North Carolina forward Armando Bacot is reportedly returning to the Tar Heels program for the 2023-24 basketball season, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

Bacot finished his senior season averaging 15.9 points and 10.4 rebounds in a disappointing ’22-23 campaign that saw the Tar Heels miss the men’s NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010 and the program choosing to not compete in the National Invitation Tournament.

“I’m using my last year of eligibility,” Bacot told Goodman. “I felt it was the right decision for my future.”

Although Bacot already has played four seasons at UNC, he retains a fifth year of eligibility because the NCAA has ruled that the 2020-21 season, which was played amid the COVID-19 pandemic, doesn’t count against an athlete’s eligibility. 

With Bacot’s return, the third-team AP All-America selection will have the opportunity to set the NCAA’s all-time rebounding record next season. In December, during his senior campaign, Bacot passed Billy Cunningham for the most double-figure rebound games in UNC basketball history.

In four collegiate seasons, Bacot has registered 1,335 career rebounds. The NCAA Division I record is 1,673 by Kenneth Faried of Morehead State from 2008-11

North Carolina entered this season as the nation’s No. 1 but did not live up to the expectations, finishing 20-13 and 11-9 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.