Hawks Still in Hunt for Armstead

An article over the weekend caused some worrying in the Hawkeye Nation as it looked like point guard recruit Malcolm Armstead moved off the radar. HN.com caught up with the Chipola JC star on Monday to clear things up and find out more about his past and future. Read all about it in this recruiting update.

Iowa fans hoping that the Hawkeyes will land a top junior college point were shaken over the weekend by an article saying he was going to visit and then commit to Arkansas can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Malcolm Armstead from Chipola JC in Florida cleared things up with Hawkeye Nation on Monday morning.

"I really don't know what the interview was thinking on that, but I was saying that I was going to take a visit (to Arkansas)," the 6-foot-, 195-pound Alabama native said. "I'm going to take more than one visit. I'll maybe take three or four."

Armstead said that he's focusing on his junior college season right now and not recruiting. Chipola is ranked No. 1 nationally, and he plans on taking his visits and making his final decision after the campaign ends. He will have three years of eligibility in Division I starting next fall after spending an extra year at prep school in Alabama.

Armstead said that he doesn't have schools in which he's interested ranked in a Top 5 or Top 10 format.

"I would say right now I‘m looking at Iowa, Arkansas, Kentucky, Florida, St. John's, a couple of mid majors, a couple of Big East schools, a couple in the PAC-10," said Armstead, who spent prep school time at Central Park in Birmingham.

Not all of those schools have offered him a scholarship, Armstead said. He reported offers from Iowa, Arkansas, Kentucky, Washington State, Iowa, Wichita State, Colorado, Fresno State and Providence.

There is one school that appears to be recruiting him the hardest.

"Iowa has been here a lot," Armstead said. "A lot of schools come in, but Iowa has been here the most."

So, Hawkeye fans can relax on this one for the time being. Hawkeye Nation will continue to monitor the progress in Armstead's recruitment and will pick it up more after his season when he plans on choosing a school.

Here is the rest of our interview with Armstead:

Q: How far along are you in the recruiting process?

Malcolm Armstead: I really haven't been focusing in on the recruiting right now. I'm trying to get through the season and trying to win this national championship.

Q: When are you going to start to concentrate on that?

MA: After the national tournament; hopefully after we win it all. Whenever our season is over, that's when I'm going to sit down and focus on it.

Q: If someone asks you about the your recruiting situation, kind of where your head's at, what do you tell them?

MA: I tell them I'm open. I'm still real open right now. They kind of understand that I'm really trying to focus on the season right now. When you start to focusing on this school and that school, that's when you start loosing focus on the games and everything. I'm really worried about my school right now.

Q: Having done an extra year at prep school and a year at junior college, where do you think you are maturity wise as a basketball player?

MA: I think I've developed a lot, developing my game; learning when to score, when not to score; learning who to get the ball to and who not to give the ball to.

Q: What do you feel are the strongest parts of your game and what areas would you like to improve on?

MA: I would say my strongest parts are running the team, knowing who to get the ball to in tight situations. Things I may need to work on are maybe communicating more on the floor and my jump shot.

Q: When you do start to focus on recruiting after the season, what's going to be most important to you when choosing a school?

MA: The first thing is education. I want to get a good education. Then it will come down to looking at the situation and where I can come in and be a big impact. I want to come in and get a lot of minutes. I want to find a school that makes me feel like I'm at home even though I'm away from home.

Q: Is the location of the school a factor? You're from the South and your family is in Alabama.

MA: No. That's not a big deal.

Q: I read somewhere where you said you're not a fan of cold weather. Is that the case or are you OK with playing at a cold weather school?

MA: I'm OK with it. It's actually pretty cold down in Florida right now.

Q: From what you know about Iowa, what's impressed you?

MA: They keep it real with you. They're real honest. They seem pretty cool with it, telling me they need a point guard to come in and run the show. They said I would fit their system. I've watched them play a couple of times and have seen that they do need a point guard. They play off ball screens and I love playing off ball screens. I figure it would be a good situation for me.

Q: Are they telling you that you can come in and start right away? Their starting point guard (Jeff Peterson) is only a sophomore. I was wondering how they're selling that to you.

MA: No school is going to say that you're going to come in and start right away. If I come in and work and do what I have to do and doing what I'm capable of doing, starting doesn't really matter to me. It's about who finishes the game.

Q: Are you looking at the point guard depth of the schools recruiting you?

MA: That's a big concern. If they have a freshman point guard right now and he's an all-American, there would be no point in me going to whatever school it is. It depends on who all they've got coming in and how many point guards they have at that school.

Q: What is your relationship like with (Chipola teammate) Torye Pelham? I've heard you guys have talked about going to the same four-year. What are the chances of that and how big of a deal is that?

MA: I've been knowing Torye every since Central Park Prep School. It would be good if me and him went to the same school because wherever I would go I would know somebody before I get to that program. I know how he plays and he knows how I play. But if it doesn't happen, it will be alright.

Q: How much is/will (Chipola Coach) Greg Heiar help you in the recruiting process?

MA: He doesn't tell me what school I need to go to. He lets me make that decision. But if I ask him for help on a certain school and where he thinks I'll fit in that program and where he thinks I can be a big impact player, that plays a lot in my decision.

Q: What has he told you about Iowa? He's from here (worked with Iowa Assistant Chad Walthall).

MA: He said that Hawkeye fans really support Iowa basketball. He was saying that it would be a good fit for me because maybe 95 percent of the time the ball is in the point guard's hands. They let him make plays. A lot of schools they just make you the point guard to initiate the offense and that's the only time you touch the ball in that possession. I want to go somewhere where I'm going to make plays, being able to score and set people up playing with me.


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