In this day and age, athletes are often encouraged to focus solely on one sport when they enter college. Don’t tell that to Arik Armstead, Oregon’s highly recruited defensive lineman who just wrapped up his Freshmen season playing for the Ducks football team. Armstead has begun to practice for the Oregon basketball team according to Dana Altman, but Altman is unsure when his debut for the team will be. Coach Altman has been quoted as saying he wants Armstead to get into basketball shape first before he hits the hardwood. This whole idea of having a multi-sport athlete at Oregon though is very intriguing.
Remember when defensive lineman Julius Peppers walked on to the North Carolina basketball team his Freshmen year and played on a team that went to the final four? Peppers even continued playing through his sophomore year, which featured a loss in the second round of the tournament in which Peppers had one of his best games scoring 18 points and racking up 10 rebounds.
In high school Arik Armstead played for a team that was undefeated when he left school early for Eugene, and Armstead was actually recruited by a few schools for basketball with some people calling him one of the best two-sport athletes in the country. During his junior year, Arik Armstead averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds a game, and was listed as the 3rd ranked basketball prospect by NorCal Prep.
Armstead’s athletic ability could be a huge advantage for Ducks basketball if he is able to get in shape and adjust to Oregon’s style of play. Armstead is listed at 6’8″ and 280 pounds, and is great at using his body to get into the post and score down low. He also has a great pull up jump shot, and can even shoot the occasional three. While it is uncertain whether Arik Armstead will have a huge impact on the Ducks basketball team, it will be interesting to see how his addition to the roster will play out.