Bacot makes Preseason AP All-America team

By R.L. Bynum

The Associated Press named Carolina senior Armando Bacot to its Preseason All-America team on Monday, the first Tar Heel to earn the honor since Luke Maye before the 2018–19 season.

Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe, the reigning national player of the year, and Gonzaga forward Drew Timme were unanimous selections. Also on the team are Houston guard Marcus Sasser and Indiana forward Tayce Jackson-Davis. Jackson-Davis and Timme were also on the preseason AP team a year ago.

Tshiebwe, a 6–9, 260-pound forward from the Congo, is the ninth AP National Player of the Year to return for another season and the first since Tyler Hansbrough returned to lead the Tar Heels to the 2009 national championship.

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Bacot led UNC, No. 1 in the preseason AP Top 25 poll, to the national championship game last season with an NCAA-record 31 double-doubles, including six in the NCAA tournament. Bacot, who last week was the near-unanimous Preseason ACC Player of the Year pick, led UNC in scoring (16.3 points per game), rebounding (13.1), field-goal percentage (56.9%) and blocks (65) to become the first Tar Heel in program history to lead the team in those categories in consecutive seasons.

The last UNC player to earn first-team AP All-America honors at the end of the season was Justin Jackson in 2017, the year after Brice Johnson did it.

Carolina will face Jackson-Davis and the No. 13 Hoosiers on Nov. 30 in Bloomington, Ind., as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The 59-person panel that votes in AP Top 25 poll selected the team.

In other Monday news, UNC’s Caleb Love is one of 20 players on the watchlist for the Bob Cousy Award, which goes to the country’s top point guard. Other ACC players on that list are Duke’s Jeremy Roach and Virginia’s Kihei Clark.

AP Preseason All-America team

Oscar Tshiebwe, 6–9, 260-pound senior forward, Kentucky
Drew Timme, 6–10, 235 senior forward, Gonzaga
Armando Bacot, 6–11 senior forward, North Carolina
Marcus Sasser, 6–2, 195 senior guard, Houston
Trayce Jackson-Davis, 6–9, 245 junior forward, Indiana

Photo courtesy of the ACC

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