Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Despite preparing for Duke all week, Roy Williams has been busy on the recruiting trail.

North Carolina recruiting: 5-star PF Armando Bacot visits for Duke game; Roy Williams went in-home with 5-star PF Vernon Carey Jr.

Cody Pace

Join us daily at ACC DieHards for the latest North Carolina recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Tar Heels. Don’t miss any coverage from Cody Pace and the DieHards.com team. Read his daily notebooks here at 9 a.m. ET Monday through Friday. In this edition, we discuss 5-star power forward/center Armando Bacot’s unofficial visit for the Duke game and 5-star power forward Vernon Carey Jr.’s home visit with Roy Williams earlier this week.


5-star PF/C Armando Bacot in for Duke matchup

North Carolina-Duke is one of college basketball’s premier match-ups every year, so it’s no surprise that the game this year in Chapel Hill attracted some important prospects.

Among the most important visitors was 5-star power forward/center Armando Bacot, as confirmed by the Twitter account of his AAU team, Team Loaded.

Bacot has arguably been Roy Williams’ top target in the Class of 2019. This is Bacot’s second trip from Richmond, Va. to Chapel Hill in the last couple weeks, as he was also in town for the matchup against N.C. State.

While two visits in two weeks would seem to bode well for the Tar Heels, in reality, this visit is more about the matchup. So far, it’s been North Carolina and Duke that have gone after Bacot the hardest and many in the industry already see him as a Duke lean, so the visit was likely a chance to get two visits for the price of one.

Bacot, the No. 7 center and No. 20 overall player in the Class of 2018 per 247Sports, also saw both Duke and North Carolina just before Christmas. He’s down to a top nine, which likely won’t be officially pared down until after the season.

In town for the game with Bacot was also 5-star small forward signee Nassir Little, the No. 6 overall player in the Class of 2018.

Roy Williams visits 5-star PF Vernon Carey Jr.

Among the more important storylines from earlier this week on the basketball front was Williams’ trip down to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to see 5-star power forward Vernon Carey Jr.

Rivals’ Corey Evans confirmed the trip on Twitter.

With it being Duke week, Williams wouldn’t waste a trip on just any recruit, Carey is the No. 2 overall player in the Class of 2019 behind only fellow power forward James Wiseman.

This is a pivotal time in Carey’s recruitment because he’s beginning to schedule official visits. He’ll take his first over the weekend to Michigan State, which is the only one he’s set a date for so far.

North Carolina has been pushing hard on Carey, who it likely believes it has a better shot with than Wiseman, who has also been offered and recruiting by the Tar Heels. Williams went to see Carey in December as well.

Carey has 18 offers, but it looks like mostly a battle of the blue bloods. In addition to North Carolina and the Spartans, Duke, Kansas and Miami — where his dad Vernon Carey Sr. played football — have been pushing hard for Carey. Kentucky has also been in the mix.

Duke leads in the 247Sports Crystal Ball for Carey.

Miss a previous edition? Find every ACC DieHards daily North Carolina Tar Heels recruiting notebook right here.