Seven Australian men making an impact in Division 1 basketball this season
These men are playing pivotal roles for their college programs this season.
With the NCAA college season in full swing, it’s been a great opportunity to get an eye on some of Australia’s best upcoming talents. Here’s a look at seven standouts who have been significant contributors to their respective teams so far.
It almost goes without saying - Taran Armstrong has been the revelation of Australian’s in college basketball this season. Coming in as a respected NBA Global Academy and FIBA Under 19 Emu member, Armstrong did have a reputation as one of our better up and coming point guards, but his remarkably impressive freshman season has surpassed expectations, to the point of catapulting him on to NBA draft radars.
Armstrong’s NBA interest has revolved primarily on his ability to pass the ball. Despite being a first year college player, Armstrong boasts the second best assist rate in all of Division 1 basketball at 44.3%, and is fourth in overall assists per game at 7.2.
With great positional size at 6’5 and some surprisingly athletic finishing ability, Armstrong fits the mould of oversized initiators that are coveted at the highest level right now, though he has some deficiencies that if improved upon could further solidify his draft stock. Armstrong will need to continue to improve his shooting ability (28.6% from three so far this season), continue to develop his handle and make strides on the defensive end of the court. Some strong performances against stronger opposition would also instill confidence, as CBU’s two toughest matchups up to this point proved a relative challenge (six points, seven rebounds, one assist and seven turnovers against Texas, and nine points, three rebounds, three assists and four turnovers against Arizona).
Leaning further into his strengths as a movement shooter and close-out attacker has made him a lethal off-ball player.
While his brother has captured the bulk of the attention, Tre Armstrong has quietly put together a fantastic junior campaign in his own right, making strides in both efficiency and volume as a scorer and emerging as CBU’s second top scorer behind British senior Daniel Akin.