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July 3, 2008

Armwood discusses commitment to Villanova

At Isaiah Armwood’s lowest basketball-playing moment, the Villanova coaching staff was there for him.

In a January matchup between Armwood’s Montrose Christian squad and Jericho Christian, Armwood elevated to the hoop but was undercut on the way down. He landed awkwardly and could barely walk. The 6-foot-9, 195-pounder and Woodlawn native was rushed to the hospital where he received his diagnosis -- a sprained MCL.

“I was in the hospital just waiting for my results and [the Villanova coaches] actually called my phone and asked if I was OK,” Armwood said. “It was my first serious injury and I really didn’t know what to do. ... They just let me know they were there for me. [They said], ‘Keep your head up and everything. We’re here for you if you need it.’”

Armwood admitted the Wildcats were “the leaders from day one,” but the Villanova staff’s support during that difficult time stood out. He rewarded Villanova head coach Jay Wright with a verbal commitment Tuesday, picking the Wildcats over Syracuse and Texas.

“I got to know [the coaches] really well,” Armwood said. “When I was injured, they were really concerned, and I knew I could really depend on them if anything went wrong. I knew I could turn to them.”

Armwood, a four-star player and the No. 43 prospect in the class of 2009 according to, said he appreciated the honesty of Wright throughout his recruitment.

“He’s a good guy, a cool dude,” Armwood said. “I can relate to him on a lot of levels. If you ask him something, you might not like it, but he’s going to tell you. He’s not going to feed you a bunch of crap.”

Another attraction for Armwood was the style of play at Villanova and in the Big East, a conference he’s grown up favoring.

“I’ve always liked the Big East because they’re tough and get after it,” Armwood said. “And at Villanova they really get after it. ... They have a lot of guys leaving at the forward and guard positions. They’re going to have me everywhere on the court, the way they run their offense. I’ll be doing a little bit of everything.”

Armwood’s not playing much AAU ball this summer. He opted out of USA Basketball’s U-18 trials to focus on summer school. But he says he’s healed from his injury and ready to come back strong for Montrose Christian come fall.

“[Recruiting] was just overwhelming because I never expected my basketball would take me this far ...” Armwood said. “[Committing to Villanova means] it’s just one less thing I’ve got to worry about going into my senior year.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:14 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Local recruiting


Huh? "A lot of guys leaving at the forward & guard positions."???

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Villanova had NO seniors on last years team - which made for an interesting Seniors Night. (Jay Wright just thanked the seniors in the student body).

TML -- I think you're right, but he meant guys that are leaving after this season. Looks like they've got four guys that will be seniors this season.


Is it true that the Terps haven't offered Tristan Spurlock. Do you know why? With Armwood committed and Vinson looking out of state, as well, it would be a shame to loose all three of that talented trio to out of state schools!

I thought they had offered him, but it was awhile ago and there apparently wasn't much interest on Spurlock's end.

Yea Gary!! Another top 50 recruit lost to another out of state school!!! Nice recruiting... What a bone head.

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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