Oregon forward Arik Armstead begins practicing with basketball team

Oregon forward Arik Armstead begins practicing with basketball team
January 8, 2014, 7:30 pm
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Oregon defensive lineman Arik Armstead (9) against the Washington State Cougars at Autzen Stadium.

(Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports)

Oregon forward Arik Armstead began practicing with the basketball team on Tuesday but whether or not he will contribute this season remains unclear.

Armstead, who plays defensive end for the football team, could offer the team an inside presence that it sorely needs given that he's 6-foot-8, 280-pounds.

But Oregon coach Dana Altman didn't appear too enthused about what Armstead could offer the team this season.

“We’ve been doing something for three months, he hasn’t, basketball wise,” Altman said. “So it will be awhile before he is even considered for the mix.”

Oregon (13-1) hosts California at 8 p.m. Thursday night at Matthew Knight Arena.

UO center Waverly Austin has lost minutes because of poor play creating opportunities in the middle.

"He needs to play better," Altman said.

Armstead averaged a double-double during his time at Pleasant Grove High School in Sacramento, Calif., but did not contribute last season when he redshirted as a basketball player.

When asked if that could change this year, Altman was noncommittal.

“I don’t know. The season is long season, he said. "A lot of things can happen.”

Oregon freshmen twin brothers Tyree and Tyrell Robinson, out of San Diego, Calif., were expected to play both football and basketball at Oregon but have yet to practice with the basketball team.