Another new name has emerged on the 2019 big man front for UK.
This past week at the Peach Jam, Armando Bacot entered the event as a respected recruit ranked in the 25-35 range of recruiting services.
That is, until the 6-10, 240-pound mammoth played as well as anyone in North Augusta en route to leading his team to a Peach Jame title, as well as winning Peach Jam MVP honors. He averaged 11.3 points on 58.6-percent shooting, 12.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game while facing the likes of James Wiseman, Isaiah Stewart, N’Faly Dante and Vernon Carey Jr.
Bacot’s big week now has UK on his recruiting radar, according to Adam Zagoria. Assistant coach Joel Justus reached out to Bacot, who already holds offers from the Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina Tar Heels, Kansas Jayhawks, UCLA Bruins and Villanova Wildcats among many others.
With that kind of list, you might be wondering why it’s taken this long for UK to show more interest. Well, they had been in great shape for James Wiseman for a while, but it’s looking more and more like Memphis may now be the favorite.
That’s why UK needs to start recruiting other bigs more in the event Wiseman does pick Memphis, and Bacot is more than just a good consolation prize.
Speaking of, Wiseman is now joining a new AAU team for the rest of the summer. On Sunday, it was revealed that the No. 1 player in 2019 will play for Memphis-based Hoop City Basketball Club during Adidas events in Los Angeles and Las Vegas this month.
This team was previously run by former NBA player Mike Miller, who is now an assistant with Penny Hardaway at Memphis. Playing alongside Wiseman will be Memphis recruits Trendon Watford, Chandler Lawson and Kira Lewis.
This comes on the heels of reports Wiseman could move into the 2018 class and be at Memphis for next season. If that happens, then UK absolutely should make a push for Bacot, who could end up being one of the 2-3 best big men in the 2019 class, especially if Wiseman is not part of it.
After his big week, we can probably expect Bacot to get a major jump in the next round of recruiting rankings. It will be interesting to see how much of a dent UK can make in this recruitment coming on this late while schools like UNC and Duke have been on him longer.
Then again, it wasn’t until the summer of 2017 that UK really started recruiting Kevin Knox, who had been heavily recruited by, you guessed it, UNC and Duke to that point. But against all odds, UK was the pick in the end. Perhaps they can do the same with Bacot if they make him a priority.
Here are some highlights of Bacot at the Peach Jam: