Hilton Armstrong

Hilton Armstrong profile
Drafted #12 in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Pelicans
Height: 6'10" (208 cm)
Weight: 240 lbs (109 kg)
Position: PF/C
High School: Peekskill High School (New York)
Hometown: Peekskill, NY
AAU: NY Pride
College: Connecticut
Current Team: Bnei Hasharon
Win - Loss: 0 - 1


NBA Scouting Reports: Filling in the Blanks- the Centers

Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Aug 20, 2009, 08:00 pm
Overview: An athletic forward-center who is a legitimate backup at this point. Not very tall for a center, but compensates with a 7-4 wingspan. Extremely well built, and has added some bulk since his college days. Could stand to continue adding weight. Not a late bloomer physically, but is the definition of the tag from a basketball perspective. Averaged roughly 10 minutes per game in his first three seasons at UConn. Blew up as a senior, primarily on the defensive end. Named Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2006. Showed enough promise offensive to propel himself into the lottery. Hasn’t been a major impact player in the NBA, and needs to have a similar spike in production to avoid being labeled an underachiever. Turnovers, an aversion to rebounding and his inability to stay out of foul trouble have all been major issues for him thus far. Will need to work hard to earn his minutes behind former UConn teammate Emeka Okafor and faced competition from Ike Diogu. Consistency and focus will be the name of the game for him moving forward. Question marks abound regarding his physical and mental toughness.

Offense: Has covered a huge amount of ground on the offensive end in the past few seasons. Much more skilled than he was early in his career. Has all kinds of potential on this end, but rarely is able to show it on a consistent basis. Gets about a quarter of his offense in the post, with the rest coming from hustle plays and an occasional spot up jumpers. Shows a solid turnaround jumper from over his right shoulder when operating down low, as well as a developing hook with his left hand. Appears comfortable making hook shots with both hands, but isn’t as consistent when he takes one on the move. Shows a drop step to the baseline and an up-and-under move every now and against as well. Will often just turn into his man over his left shoulder and shoot over him. Has a high release point on his jumper, which helps him taken advantage of his quick leaping ability and not get his shot blocked under defensive pressure. Strong enough to take contact at the rim and still get the ball up. Excellent finisher on the whole. Not a great foul shooter though, which hurts his efficiency. Shows adequate form on his jumper, but lacks consistency. Doesn’t have a fluid release, which hurts him. Would be well served to take the time to refine his midrange game, as it would help his face up game immensely. Has all kinds of issues when he puts the ball on the floor against pressure, but isn’t a bad ball handler in space. Wants to go left or come back to his left hand with a spin move if he does put the ball on the floor. Has some issues catching bullet passes in the lane. Struggles badly with turnovers, coughing up about 30% of his possessions over the last two years. Often looks lost in his team’s half-court sets. Decent offensive rebounder who uses his mobility well on the glass and in transition. Shows signs, but seldom strings together good performances. Needs to continue working hard to polish his skills, and especially become tougher and more aggressive on this end of the floor.

Defense: Average defensive player who could definitely be better. Not aggressive defensively and doesn’t seem to have a great deal of fight in him. Uses leverage to compete for position down low, but doesn’t always keep his man from catching the ball on the block. Lack of ideal bulk hurts him when defending the center position. Susceptible to fakes as well, which takes away from his quickness and lets his man score with counter moves. Has improved his weakside defense to an extent, but only to the point that he attempts to contest shots, often still arriving a step late. Will block most of his shots coming from behind, or surprising his man with his wingpan and leaping ability at the rim. Uses his length well out on the perimeter too when contesting shots, but needs to be more aggressive and work harder when defending the midrange. Extremely poor rebounder on the defensive end, has the tools, but just doesn’t pursue the ball hard enough. Needs to give his all defensively in an effort to compensate for his still developing offensive game. Doesn’t look bad when he’s giving a good effort and throwing his body around, but that unfortunately does not happen enough.

Las Vegas Summer League Day Seven

Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Jul 19, 2008, 01:12 pm
The former UCONN power forward came through with a good performance today, taking advantage of the inferior defenders he was matched up with. Armstrong utilized his strength and experience to get off a number of post moves against Clippers’ rookie DeAndre Jordan and his quickness to get to the rim against Nick Fazekas. Armstrong is the total package athletically, but his skill set is now starting to come together nicely. He possesses good touch from the midrange, and has a number of spin moves and fakes that he uses, primarily operating over his right shoulder. The Clippers had no answer for Armstrong today, and he had his way in the paint. Armstrong still needs to work on his finishing ability and continue working on his left hand, as well as maintaining a consistent focus level throughout the game, but he’s come a long way since his days in college. Defensively, Armstrong showed nice explosiveness, blocking one of Jordan’s dunk attempts, and doing a good job holding position. Though he’s a dominant player on the Summer League level, Armstrong still has a lot of work to do to become a consistent threat in the NBA.

DraftExpress All-Summer League: Third Team

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Aug 01, 2007, 07:56 pm
Although The Hornets failed to win a game, Hilton Armstrong managed to showcase the progress he’s made since last season in the four games he appeared in. Armstrong played relatively well for New Orleans as a rookie last season, but looked like a completely different player during the Summer League. He showed the same intensity when rebounding and blocking shots, but appears to have made great strides on the offensive end.

The first thing that immediately stood out about Armstrong was his physique. He looked noticeably more muscular than he did last season, especially in his lower body. While he hasn’t added a lot of bulk, he seems to be attacking his weight gaining goals in the right way by adding lean mass. Even with this added size, Armstrong showed vastly improved quickness in his post moves, which only added to the impact of the newly developed post game that he displayed.

Armstrong’s showed more improvement to his post game that arguably anyone in the Summer League. At times, Armstrong was simply dominant with his back to the basket, showing a nice turnaround jump shot, some up and under moves, and a solid repertoire of fakes and drop steps. The most impressive thing Armstrong has added to his game is the spin move he went to when facing his man up. His footwork has improved on the whole, but it was especially apparent when Armstrong was taking his man off the dribble and spinning around the defense to get easy buckets around the rim.

While Armstrong has made solid strides in his game, he still isn’t consistent enough to hurt a defense on an every game basis. His midrange jump shot was an especially good example of this lack of reps, as he showed vastly improved touch and range, but just didn’t knock his shots down at a consistent clip. As he gets more playing time, he could become an effective offensive player. Armstrong will need to continue adding muscle and polish to his game, and should get every opportunity to do that while serving as the primary backup to both Tyson Chandler and David West.

Hilton Armstrong NBA Draft Scouting Report

May 24, 2006, 03:48 pm
Hilton Armstrong has a good set of physical attributes to play PF/C in the NBA, possessing a great combination of height, length, and athleticism. Armstrong is about 6’11 with a massive wingspan to boot. For a big man, he’s very quick off the ground, both on his first and second jump. He has the ability to run the floor well for a big man, is very mobile on both ends of the floor, and is coordinated in all his movements.

Offensively, Armstrong has a very versatile set of skills, though they were not always on display in UConn’s offense, where Armstrong often played a small role in regards to scoring. When Armstrong was given the opportunity, he showed a potent inside-out game with no major weaknesses to speak of.

Armstrong’s most NBA-ready offensive skill is his mid to long range jumper, which he can consistently hit from up to 16-18 feet away from the basket. His shot has good form, a high release point, and he gets good elevation, which along with his height and length, makes the shot very difficult to block. In the right situation, Armstrong could have a major offensive impact with his jump shot in his rookie year, similar to how Knicks rookie Channing Frye did this past season.

Armstrong’s perimeter skills don’t stop at his jump shot, as he also possesses a respectable off-the-dribble game to complement his shot, making him tough to defend on the perimeter. Using the threat of his jump shot, Armstrong is good at taking his man off the dribble to the right, and has enough ball-handling ability to get to the basket without getting in trouble. He finishes well at the basket, possessing good body control when he makes contact with a defender. He also uses the glass and rim very well, understanding how and when to use the glass or go reverse on a lay-up.

Armstrong didn’t show much of a low-post game until his senior year, but has made outstanding progress over the course of the season, now possessing a respectable array of moves in the post, which he converts with very good efficiency. Armstrong’s most reliable move in the post is a jump-hook across the lane, which with his length, is extremely hard to contest. He also has a nice dropstep towards the baseline, which he can finish with a jam, a lay-in, or a reverse lay-in. He also uses fakes well, doing so to either get his man off his feet or by faking one way and going the other. He has a very nice touch around the rim, shooting 61% from the field on the year, albeit on not a very large number of shot attempts.

Armstrong doesn’t get many opportunities to use his passing abilities, but he shows good court vision and awareness from both the low and high post, recognizing double teams and making strong, crisp passes on kick-outs to the three-point line.

Defensively, Armstrong is most well-known for his weakside shot-blocking, which was his greatest contribution to UConn this season. Armstrong averaged 3.1 blocks in 27.7 minutes for the Big East powerhouse, doing so against great competition, while still having the potential to have done even more. Armstrong combines his length and athleticism with impeccable timing to swat away shots both near and away from the basket. On the low block, when focused, Armstrong quickly moves from the weakside to contest or block shots near the basket, both against opponents slashing and posting up. When he exerts himself, Armstrong has a very strong presence near the basket, having the ability to alter every shot an opponent takes in the lane.

Armstrong’s ability to block shots is magnified even further because of his excellent mobility, which allows him to impact the game both near the basket and on the perimeter. When Armstrong is pulled out to the perimeter to defend his man, he has the ability to pick up slashers entering from the top of the key, following them in their route to the basket, and using his length, athleticism, and timing to block their shot from behind. He has this same ability when his own man gets past him on the perimeter, having an excellent chance to recover with a block from behind. He also can be utilized to step up and double team on the perimeter, as he can quickly recover back to his own man in the post.

In terms of man-to-man defense, Armstrong is adequate on the perimeter, possessing decent lateral quickness for a big man, a good fundamental base, and when all else fails, the ability to recover with a block from behind if his man gets past him. In the post, Armstrong has a solid fundamental base, and great length, which he can use to alter shots and poke at the ball. When strength is not an issue, Armstrong does well to contain his man in the post, often being able to block his man one-on-one if he goes at him. He understands how to use his body, arms, and legs to man up with his opponent. With his excellent length and athleticism, Armstrong is also very good at fronting the post.

Because of his length and athleticism, Armstrong has the ability to get rebounds from out of position, and also can track down long rebounds with his mobility. Overall, Armstrong is a decent rebounder, usually being in good position on the defensive end, and usually boxing out his man.

Armstrong had a small role in Connecticut’s offense, indicating that he’s a coachable player. He often is the one setting picks on the perimeter, not having his number called very often. Because of the extremely high talent level on his team, his skills were often underutilized on the offensive end. He is young for a senior, only 21 years old, and just really began to tap into potential in this his senior year. He made major strides in his game in this one season, still being fairly raw with plenty of room to improve.

Armstrong has some physical weaknesses, most notably with his strength, which affects many aspects of his game. He is lacking in both upper and lower body strength, and although he certainly has room to add more bulk, he is somewhat limited by a narrow upper frame for someone his size. This lack of strength affects his post defense, post offense, and rebounding especially.

Armstrong has enough ball-handling ability to take a few straight dribbles to the basket with his right hand from free-throw line extended, but he could use more work on his ball-handling if he intends to expand his face-up dribble-drive game. Armstrong can't really create with his dribble, and only gets occasional opportunities to drive because of the threat of his jump shot.

Armstrong’s post game is inconsistent in overall productivity, partly due to his limited role in UConn’s offense, but also partly due to a lack of assertiveness in calling for the ball in the post. Due to his strength, Armstrong also can have trouble establishing position against stronger opponents, or in getting off his moves. He relies mostly on finesse moves, and won’t be able to use any power moves in the NBA without adding more strength.

Armstrong’s man-to-man defense in the post is the area that will give him the most problems in the NBA if he does not add some more strength. He had some problems in the NCAA against stronger opponents, not being able to contain them and often being out-battled for position on the block. This would be magnified even further in the very physical pro game.

In terms of weakside defense, Armstrong has a lot of room to improve, mostly in his approach to the game. While Armstrong posted great shot blocking numbers in his senior year, he had the ability to have done much more. Armstrong has a tendency to be very tentative on the defensive end, sometimes watching opposing players go by, or not going out of his way to contest shots that are within his range. He often looks complacent, and rarely shows the aggressiveness needed to have the impact he is capable of. Armstrong also sometimes loses focus and fails to make all of the rotations, sometimes even looking completely lost on the defensive end. To fully make use of his abilities, he needs to play with greater tenacity and focus for every second he’s on the floor.

Armstrong’s lack of tenacity carries over to rebounding, where he is often reluctant to mix it up, many times standing and watching as others battle for rebounds. This reluctance could in part be due to a lack of strength, and is something that can definitely be improved upon.

Most of Armstrong’s weaknesses come from either a lack of physical strength or a lack of consistent mental toughness, both of which are within his capacity to fix. At times, Armstrong can be very focused and energetic, but at others he looks very tentative and unassertive. He sometimes looks sluggish running the floor and going through the motions on either end of the court, so his conditioning may need a little work. But that could also be attributed to the lack of consistent focus and concentration.

As a high school player, Armstrong was largely considered a mid-major caliber recruit, garnering offers from schools such as LaSalle, Hartford, Canisius, and Niagara before eventually settling on UConn. Coach Jim Calhoun saw something special in him, and things eventually worked well for both parties. The two still enjoy a special relationship, with Calhoun half-jokingly saying that he “misses” having him by his side on the bench when he’s in the game. Armstrong is the definition of a late bloomer, standing 6 feet 2 inches when he began high school, and growing 7 inches by his senior year and then another 2 inches since then. He played just over a thousand minutes in his first three years at UConn, peaking at 12.4 minutes per game as a junior while scoring 3.8 points and 3.4 rebounds. With Emeka Okafor, Charlie Villanueva and others out of the picture, Armstrong finally exploded onto the national scene as a senior, averaging a discreet 10 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.1 blocks in 28 minutes on what was still an incredibly stacked team, but showing tremendous upside throughout the year. Still 6 months away from turning 22, Armstrong is younger than many juniors in this draft.

Armstrong should be able to contribute considerably to the right team in his rookie year, and he also has the possibility to vastly improve on his already solid game. Because Armstrong didn’t get many minutes until his senior year, considering how much he improved in that one year, and because he is so young for his class, he still has a lot more upside to build on. Armstrong immediately needs to add some more bulk to his frame, which should instantly improve many aspects of his game.

Armstrong’s skillset and current situation are remarkably similar to Channing Frye’s at this time last year. Frye also had an extremely versatile skillset on both ends of the floor that was not fully utilized at Arizona, where he played a small role in favor of more prolific scorers, just as Armstrong did at UConn. Frye had similar weaknesses, both with his lack of strength and his sub-par rebounding, due in part to both his strength and his unwillingness to consistently mix it up inside. Frye bulked up considerably in the offseason, adding a reported 10-20 pounds of weight, something Armstrong absolutely needs to do. Armstrong will also be able to ride his mid-range jump shot as the rest of his game develops, just as Frye did for most of his rookie season.

Father Hilton Sr. led Division II in FG% and was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs, then in the ABA.

NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (Elite Eight, Sunday Games)

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Mar 26, 2006, 11:09 pm
]Armstrong’s final performance for UConn was a mixed bag. He showed flashes of quite a few things in this game, but didn’t really stand out in any one area. On the offensive end, he showed an 18-foot jumper on one occasion, a turnaround jumper in the post, and a spin move for a lay-in in the post. He showed some evidence of a face-up off-the-dribble game from mid-range, but wasn’t able to convert it into any points. He also drew some fouls down low and showed some good passing out of the low and high post.

Defensively, Armstrong had four blocks, but didn’t have the impact he should’ve in this game. He often seemed either complacent or hesitant in the lane when approached by opposing slashers, not contesting their shots as fiercely as he could, if at all. He has the athleticism, length, and timing to be a real force on the weakside, but needs to show more of a killer instinct to be fully effective with it. In terms of man defense, he had his hands full with George Mason PF Jai Lewis all night long, often being overpowered by the 275-pounder. Armstrong showed a pretty good fundamental base in the post, but simply couldn’t dictate the situation at all because of his strength deficiency. Lewis backed him down and repeatedly scored on him. Armstrong did manage to use his length to compensate for his strength on a few occasions, poking the ball away from Lewis before he could complete his move.

Armstrong projects as a mid to late-first round in this summer’s draft, but could still use a lot of work on his game. He most importantly needs to get stronger to improve his man defense in the post, but he could also use some polish on his offensive game. He has a good base of skills right now, but definitely has room to expand on them. If Armstrong has a strong performance at the Orlando pre-draft camp or in workouts and adds a few extra pounds of bulk in the next few months, it may be enough to push him into the lottery.

NCAA Tournament: Washington Bracket NBA Draft Prospects

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Landry Fields
Landry Fields
Mar 12, 2006, 10:51 pm
One of the best stories of the year in college basketball (if you're not a fan of a rival Big East conference school) has been the blossoming of Hilton Armstrong from a skinny, passive and uncoordinated underclassman to a game changer on both ends of the floor. Armstrong's height, terrific length and outstanding athleticism have made him a force as a shot-blocker especially, showing not just the physical attributes, but also the natural instincts to average nearly 3 and a half blocks per game and help UConn lead the country in this department for the umpteenth time in a row.

Armstrong has shown flashes of excellence on the offensive end as well at times, helping the Huskies relieve the full-court pressure they often see on their lone ball-handler Marcus Williams, stepping back to 16 feet to knock down a smooth looking jump shot, and scoring efficiently in the paint with the jump-hook. He doesn't get too many touches on a team that is absolutely loaded at every position, but he makes the most of what he does, to the tune of 62% shooting from the field on the year.

Continuing to be aggressive is what scouts will look for the most out of Armstrong. He wasn't expected to be the factor that makes or breaks UConn's season, and that trend will likely continue in the NCAA tournament. His physical attributes and raw skills alone will get him plenty of looks regardless in the first round, but a consistent showing throughout the tournament would certainly not hurt his stock.

NBA Draft Stock Watch: Maui Invitational

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Landry Fields
Landry Fields
Nov 28, 2005, 03:48 am
Anytime a long and athletic 6-11 big man strings together a couple of nice plays and makes his presence felt on both ends of the floor semi-consistently against high-level competition, you have to take notice. When that player plays for arguably the best team in the country, its almost impossible not to. It’s been a long time coming for Hilton Armstrong, and it finally appears that he’s physically and mentally ready to make the type of impact that many expected him to in his senior year.

Armstrong looked particularly good rebounding the ball, playing good defense and getting to the line in UConn’s semifinal victory against Arizona. He looked very impressive bouncing up and off the floor repeatedly for rebounds, showing a nice combination of athleticism, length and determination. For a player whose biggest weakness has always been considered his physical and mental toughness, that’s a great sign. He still has a long ways to go in terms of showing the kind of consistent ability as a senior to make up for the time he lost sitting on the bench behind Emeka Okafor, Charlia Villanueva and others, but he is clearly off to a good start. He’s nowhere near a finished product yet, as evidenced by his almost non-existent post moves in the paint, but still clearly looked better and more active than fellow teammate and more highly touted draft prospect (so far) Josh Boone.

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