Aaric Armstead is a 6'-5" shooting guard from Hales Franciscan High School. He has the ability to put the ball in the hoop at a high rate in a variety of ways. The junior came up big in leading Hales to a 2A Illinois State championship.
"It was great," Armstead remembers. "We played as a team and stayed focused through the whole season. We knew it wasn't going to be easy going down there. We came in and took what was ours."
He was happy with his play this past season.
"I think I played at a much higher level. This past season I played good, and now I am looking to take it to a new level."
That is a scary proposition, considering he averaged 18.2 points and 5.2 assists per game last year. The most effective part of his game is his offensive repertoire.
He has a great combination of size, length, athleticism and skill. He has a very good jump shot, with smooth form and good height off the floor. Armstead creates space well with his jab step and has shown the ability to hit a contested jump shot.
He can take his man off the dribble to score at the cup or show off his explosiveness in transition. For a shooting guard, he is a nice passer with good vision, making solid decisions. Defensively, he brings energy, toughness and pressures the ball.
"I would describe it as intense, aggressive, and rough. My strengths are defense, my shot, and how I have a knack for scoring the ball."
He hungers to continue his winning ways with Hales during the high school season and with the Mac Irvin Fire 17 and Under squad on the AAU circuit.
"I am looking for more success. Once you get a taste of success, you just want more of it."
He is receiving recruiting interest from a few different schools.
"I am looking at Indiana State, Nevada, New Mexico, Illinois, and Wisconsin Green Bay."
What kind of contact has Illinois had with Armstead?
"They have been sending me a lot of recruiting mail."
Most years, Armstead would be receiving even more interest from the Illini, but they are concentrating their efforts on landing a point guard in the class of 2012. If a scholarship at the wing does open up, he would seem to be a fit for the Illini.
"They like to run and play aggressive. That is what I like to do. That is what my whole game is centered around."
He discussed his timeline for his decision.
"I am just waiting for everything to happen and will make my decision at the right time."
Time will tell if a scholarship will open up for Armstead. With his play during the high school season and this spring, he has clearly established himself as a contender for the top player in the class of 2012 in Illinois.