North Carolina recruiting: Tar Heels gaining with 5-star PF Armando Bacot

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 team. Read his daily notebooks  here  at 9 a.m. ET Monday through Friday. In this edition, we discuss Armando Bacot, Alonzo Gaffney and the new 2019 Rivals 100 list.

Tar Heels have ‘gained ground’ with 5-star PF/C Armando Bacot

Over the last couple of months, it seems like North Carolina’s recruiting has centered around three names — 5-star 2018 power forward E.J. Montgomery, 5-star 2019 power forward/center Armando Bacot and, to a lesser extent, 5-star 2019 power forward Alonzo Gaffney.

Since we wrote about Montgomery in the Dean’s List on Wednesday, it’s only fitting the Thursday notebook addresses the other two.

In a mailbag on Tuesday, Rivals’ Corey Evans addressed the Tar Heels standing with both players.

With Bacot, the news is good. While it still sounds like Duke is the favorite, Evans indicates the Tar Heels have “gained ground” with their recent string of visits that included a visit from Roy Williams on Feb. 14, two consecutive visits to Chapel Hill on Jan. 27 and Feb. 8 for the N.C. State and Duke games, respectively, and a mid-December visit from Williams.

Bacot, the No. 7 center and No. 20 overall player by 247Sports composite rankings, is down to 10 schools, but it sounds like North Carolina, Duke and two schools Evans identified as dark horses — Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State — are the ones in the mix.

While there likely won’t be a lot of movement in Bacot’s recruitment for a while, the Tar Heels should expect to be in the mix when he does cut his list down.

Could the Tar Heels be falling behind with Alonzo Gaffney?

North Carolina’s pursuit of Gaffney has been among the more interesting storylines in the early stages of the 2019 cycle.

As the No. 3 power forward and No. 18 overall player in the class, there’s no denying his talent. However, he still hasn’t procured an offer from North Carolina.

As Evans notes in his mailbag, Gaffney has said in the past that North Carolina was his dream school growing up, but the bad news is that he doesn’t think a North Carolina offer would drastically change things. As Evans notes, Ohio State and Michigan State have already laid a solid foundation, so there’s quite a bit of ground for North Carolina to make up.

Evans also notes that “the ship may sail” if the dynamic doesn’t change there.

New Rivals 100 released

As the 2019 football recruiting circuit picks up, more player evaluations will take place with the rising senior class.

In that spirit, Rivals released their first top 100 list since Signing Day for the Class of 2019.

At the top of the list is 5-star Charlotte, N.C., running back Quavaris Crouch, who has been seriously pursued by the Tar Heels over the last several months.

Several other players with North Carolina offers were listed in the top 100 including tackle Darnell Wright (No. 2), receiver Theo Wease (No. 3) and receiver Arjei Henderson (No. 6).

Another running back that North Carolina has been strongly connected with, 5-star running back Devyn Ford, also cracked the list at No. 9. North Carolina has been among the favorites for the Stafford, Va., prospect, but it looks like a battle with Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia Tech will decide where he ends up.

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

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