Arik Armstead leaves Oregon Ducks basketball program

Arik Armstead leaves Oregon Ducks basketball program
January 28, 2014, 2:15 pm
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Oregon forward Arik Armstead has left the Ducks' basketball team.

Armstead, also a defensive end on the football team, met with basketball coach Dana Altman today to inform him of his decision.

Armstead, through his father Guss Armstead, issued the following statement to CSNNW.com: "While I will certainly miss playing basketball with my teammates, I have decided to focus  my full attention on academics and being the best football player for the University of Oregon that I can possibly be."

The 6-foot-8, 290-pound Armstead specifically came to Oregon to play both football and basketball but his career in the latter never got off the ground, leading to the decision to drop basketball, Guss Armstead said.

Arik Armstead, who could have a future in the NFL, is on a football scholarship.

Armstead, who redshirted in basketball last season, made his basketball debut this season on Sunday during a 71-44 win at Washington State. Armstead played four minutes and scored two points. He had one personal foul.

Oregon has desperately been in need of an inside presence.

The combination of Ben Carter, Waverly Austin and whomever else Altman throws in there has not been very productive.

In 12 minutes per game, Carter is averaging 3.1 points and 2.9 rebounds while shooting 30 percent. Austin in 10.6 minutes per game is averaging 2.2 points and 1.9 rebounds while shooting 44 percent.

Forwards Richard Amardi and Elgin Cook have also seen time at power forward and/or center. Both have been solid. Amardi is averaging 7.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 17.1 minutes per game. Cook is averaging 7.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 18.2 minutes. Amardi is shooting 55.4 percent and Cook, 56.3 percent.

Armstead was a three-year starter in basketball at Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove, Calif. He averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds as a junior. As a senior he averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds before cutting his season short in order to enroll early at Oregon in the spring of 2012.

Entering his senior year, Armstead was ranked No. 3 in NorCalPrep.com's Top 40 basketball prospects for 2012.

Four-star football recruits Tyrell Robinson and Tyree Robinson, signed to football scholarships last year, also came to Oregon in part to become two-sport athletes. But neither is on the basketball team.