RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A pair of college basketball stars in the Triangle are earning national recognition heading into the 2023-24 season.
Duke big man Kyle Filipowski and North Carolina forward Armando Bacot were named on the Associated Press preseason All-American team on Monday. The duo was also joined by Purdue center Zach Edey, Kansas center Hunter Dickinson, and Marquette guard Tyler Kolek.
Filipowski, the lone underclassman on the five-player team, returns this year following a dominant freshman campaign, leading the Blue Devils with 15.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. The 7-footer finished with 16 double-double performances, which ranked first among all freshmen last season.
His commanding presence resulted in him winning the ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP, becoming the fourth player in history to accomplish the feat.
With Filipowski and three other starters returning from last year’s squad, along with a top-five recruiting class arriving in Durham, the Blue Devils were tabbed as the No. 2 ranked team in the AP preseason poll.
Down the road in Chapel Hill, Bacot has been a force to be reckoned with over the past four years for the Tar Heels. During the NCAA Tournament in 2022, the 6-foot-10 forward became the first player in college basketball history with six double-doubles throughout the course of a single tournament.
Bacot then averaged 13.7 points and 10.1 rebounds per game last season, receiving third-team AP All-American honors in the process.
Duke opens the regular season against Dartmouth at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Nov. 6.
No. 19 ranked UNC tips off its year on the same day versus Radford at the Dean E. Smith Center.