North Carolina recruiting: Tar Heels visit 5-star PF/C Armando Bacot; Mychale Salahuddin names top 5
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 the Tar Heels recent visit to see 5-star power forward/center Armando Bacot and Mychale Salahuddin‘s de-commitment from USC.
Tar Heels visit 5-star PF Armando Bacot
Roy Williams wasn’t the only member of North Carolina’s basketball staff that was busy on Tuesday.
While Williams was in Fort Myers, Fla., visiting 5-star small forward commit Nassir Little and two of the Tar Heels’ top targets in the Class of 2019, assistant Hubert Davis had his eyes set on another important 2019 target, according to Scout’s Ross Martin.
On Tuesday, Davis traveled to Richmond, Va., for the Times Dispatch Invitational Tournament. His main target was 5-star power forward/center Armando Bacot, a product of Trinity Episcopal School in Richmond.
Bacot put on a show for Davis, too. En route to being named tournament MVP, Bacot scored 26 points while going 7 for 8 from the field. He also had 8 rebounds, 6 blocks and 3 steals as Trinity Episcopal beat Varina 61-58, according to Rivals reporter Matthew Hatfield.
Bacot has received a lot of attention from North Carolina as its attention has shifted mainly to the Class of 2019. Bacot visited Chapel Hill in September and received an in-home visit from Williams later that month. In October, he included North Carolina in his top 10.
North Carolina has some serious contention from Duke for Bacot, however. The Blue Devils are seen as the early favorite to land the nation’s No. 4 center and No. 17 overall player.
Mychale Salahuddin de-commits, names top 5
The first day of the early signing period went down without a hitch for North Carolina on Wednesday, with all expected players accounted for early in the day.
Now Larry Fedora and his football staff can focus on filling the remaining slots in the Class of 2018 from the group of unsigned players over the next month and a half.
Among the more interesting prospects still on the board is running back Mychale Salahuddin. The 4-star Washington, D.C., prospect, was set to head across the country to USC, but he backed out of that commitment earlier in the week and named a top five. North Carolina made that top five, along with the Trojans, Clemson, Maryland and Pitt.
— M.Salahuddin (@_TopProspect_) December 17, 2017
Salahuddin is the nation’s No. 4 all-purpose back and No. 204 overall player per 247 Ports composite. Maryland has emerged as the favorite, which makes sense from a geographical standpoint.
What will be interesting to see is how North Carolina chooses to approach this newfound opportunity. The Tar Heels took two running backs during the early signing period Wednesday — 3-star running backs Devon Lawrence and Javonte Williams. There’s no guarantee that North Carolina will have interest in carrying three running backs in the class, which means it could opt not to pursue Salahuddin at all.
The other four schools on Salahuddin’s list all appear to be in a better position to take a running back. Both USC and Clemson took just one running back during the early cycle, while both Maryland and Pitt took none. The only question about Maryland his how much room it has left. The Terps took 22 in the early cycle and have two more expected to sign in February, which doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room.
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