Expert's Take: Arik Armstead (Basketball)

Arik Armstead is more than Scout.com's No. 1 football player in the Class of 2012. He has also expressed an interest in playing basketball in college. Scout.com National Basketball Recruiting Analyst Josh Gershon is familiar with Armstead's game, and breaks it down for you here.

LonghornDigest.com: How does Armstead project on the basketball court?


Josh Gershon: "I would say that, because of his size and athleticism, he's a guy that would end up at the high-major level, and there are definitely some high majors that would take him if he were just a basketball player. He's not just big, not just a bruiser, but he's somewhat skilled. He can be a pick-and-pop guy and has a nice jump shot. He's so big and athletic in the post, with big hands and soft touch around the paint that he could definitely be a high-major contributor.

"As good a football prospect as he is, he would be a high-major basketball prospect if that was the sport that he was dedicated to."



LD.com: You look at other big-bodied players in the post, guys like Josh Smith out at UCLA, and they've been highly effective. Can Armstead have a big impact in that regard?


Gershon: "I don't think he can have a Josh Smith-like impact. To do that, Armstead would have to dedicate his entire life to basketball, the same way those other kids do. I hate to compare him to current guys because of that, because those prospects have been preparing their entire lives for basketball. Even though Armstead loves the sport, and he's a good basketball prospect, he has to dedicate more time to basketball to see that kind of impact.

"He would also need to dedicate more time to a college basketball strength and conditioning program. But where he's at now, if he's putting effort into basketball at Texas or wherever he goes, he loves the sport and he can definitely help the team."



LD.com: How is he as a defender?


Gershon: "That's tough because I'm not sure what (his future school) will want to do with him physically for basketball or football. Right now, he's a huge kid who defends the opposing five. It's difficult to predict, but you look at his strength and conditioning, and the sheer size of him, and he's a tough player for opposing posts to get by. He's' a great rebounder and he blocks some shots. He does make it difficult for offensive players on the other team.



LD.com: It seems like kids are more willing to try to play multiple sports now. Is that something that you're picking up on?


Gershon: "Honestly, I wish it would happen more. A lot of times you see it with guys who play basketball, guys who should play football. Maybe they don't have NBA potential in the sport, but they do have NFL potential in football, like a 6-foot-5 power forward. You see that a lot, where a kid just loves basketball, but he's best as a football prospect. As for Armstead, he's made it very clear that (playing two sports) is what he wants to do, and it's cool that he's giving basketball his all. He's definitely a high-major guy in basketball.

"I couldn't say one way or another as an overall trend. But I do wish it would happen more often, to be sure."


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