Q&A: Men’s senior forward

Q&A: Men’s senior forward

By Tom Burton

DeKALB | Aaric Armstead, men’s basketball senior forward, is looking to build on his successful past season when he was one of only two Huskies to start in every game.

This season, Armstead is averaging 10 points and six rebounds while averaging over 30 minutes a contest. Head Coach Mark Montgomery said he appreciates what Armstead brings to the table with his effort and his all-around skill-set.

“The success of the team [this season] begins with our seniors,” Montgomery said. “[Armstead] is definitely our most versatile player and can do a little bit of everything.”

Q: What are your overall thoughts about the season the team is having so far?

A: I think we’re doing pretty well right now. Like everyone else would probably say, we have things that we can work on and things that we still need to get better at. Overall, the season has been going well.

Q: Do you have any goals for the team or yourself for the rest of the season?

A: Team goals are more important. We want to continue to play together and play as a unit because we are best like that. Just being able to get to the MAC Championship game is the first goal along with possibly making a run in the postseason. As far as personal goals, just continuing to work on being productive for my team in any aspect, whether it’s scoring, rebounding or assists.

Q: As one of the seniors on the team, do you feel a responsibility to be a leader and role model to the younger guys?

A: I have taken a lot bigger of a leadership role than I have in previous years. I’ve always been regarded as one of the leaders on the team, but this year, it is an increasing role.

Q: What are your realistic goals for this team coming off of an impressive season this past year?

A: For the team, going back to Cleveland for the MAC Championship game because it was a great experience. Playing in the postseason is another goal because last year, it was nice to be able to do that. It’s all about taking it one step at a time and improving game-by-game.

Q: How is your relationship with Montgomery after playing under him for a while now?

A: My relationship with Coach Montgomery is pretty good. I think we have that connection, and that’s important to have that relationship between players and coaches so we can get what we need out of each other to be successful. He has helped me greatly in becoming a better basketball player and achieving my goals. There are a lot more things we still have to accomplish.

Q: What do you think of the team and the organization going forward when you’re no longer a part or it?

A: I think it’s going to be a pretty good team. After I graduate, the team will still have Dontel Highsmith, Marshawn Wilson, Laytwan Porter, along with all the other young players that make this team go. We have several players that can be dominant going forward.

Q: What has it been like playing with the only other senior on the team, center Marin Maric?

A: It’s been interesting. Marin is from Croatia, so he has introduced me to a lot of new things. He has different perspectives and shows me a lot of different ways of thinking, and I do the same for him. We have pretty good chemistry on the court because we have been playing together since freshman year, and that’s a big part of having success. There definitely will be more times this season when me and Maric will be in more plays together. We are seniors, and Coach trusts us to close out games and lead the team.

Q: Going into your final season, what has been your favorite game or moment as a part of NIU?

A: I don’t know if I have one that really stands out because there have been so many great moments. There is a lot of time left to make more memories.