For the UNC basketball program, "TEAM" is the right recipe

The UNC Basketball program is in the midst of a nine-game win streak and big man Armando Bacot recently set down with ESPN for an interview about the success.
Lance King/GettyImages

The UNC Basketball program has won nine consecutive games, is off to an 8-0 start in the ACC for the first time since 2015-2016 and displaying true team chemistry on, and off, the court. That chemistry is a huge reason for that success.

Big man Armando Bacot recently sat down with ESPN for an interview to discuss this year's Tar Heels and what is allowing them to play at such a high level.

How tight knit is this team? Bacot's very first answer about what has been working for this team during the nine-game win streak was "those four letters you just said. T-E-A-M."

What is even more impressive is when you look at Armando Bacot's numbers, he is still averaging a double-double, but his numbers aren't as high as some UNC Basketball fans may like to see. However, here at Keeping It Heel believe Bacot is playing his best basketball of his career. He is buying into the TEAM and doing what the TEAM is asking him to do.

He is boxing out at an elite level during this nine-game win streak, allowing other players such as Harrison Ingram and Jae'lyn Withers to get more rebounds because of it. He is defending better than he ever has, holding his individual man to less than 30% shooting from the field. And to cap it all off, he has become the main rim protector on this team with 38 blocks. That is more than any season in his career except for 2022-2023 when he had 65.

Bacot was asked about the success of RJ Davis and referenced work he had put in throughout his career leading him to be arguably the best guard in the country this season. Davis is a great guard and is having a historic season, there is no arguing that. However, Davis and Bacot's chemistry is unmatched.

We have seen North Carolina run pick-and-roll action with Bacot and Davis an infinite number of times this season and most of the time it leads to Davis getting a great look at the rim allowing him to be so successful. If it isn't a pick-and-roll, Bacot is sealing off the lane for Davis (or any other of the North Carolina guards) to get a clean path to the rim.

In this highlight clip of Davis versus Wake Forest earlier this week, Davis scores on seven Bacot screens or seal action in the paint. If those points were attributed to Bacot, fans wouldn't be complaining near as much about the lack of production from the UNC Basketball big man.

If "points responsible for" was a basketball track stat similar to "touchdowns responsible for" in football, Bacot would have a large number of "points responsible for" for the 2023-2024 UNC Basketball team, and it really isn't even a debate.

On our most recent episode of Talkin Heels, site expert Nick Delahanty and myself breakdown our thoughts on Bacot and why we aren't concerned. Our discussion begins at the 35:45 mark of this video.

Bacot is doing everything this team is asking him to do, and then some. His entire interview with ESPN is just another great representation of what a great teammate he is and what makes this entire 2023-2024 UNC Basketball team so special. They love and care about each other and genuinely care about the success of each other.

North Carolina and Armando Bacot will look to continue their win streak and stay undefeated in the ACC when they take on Florida State Saturday at 2:00 PM on ESPN.

Next. Is the UNC basketball program still in the mix for five-star Jasper Johnson?. Is the UNC basketball program still in the mix for five-star Jasper Johnson?. dark