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Malcolm Armstead's transfer gamble paid off for him, Shockers

March 29, 2013|By GRANT MEECH | KWCH 12 Eyewitness Sports
  • Malcolm Armstead looks on vs. La Salle
Malcolm Armstead looks on vs. La Salle

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — All Malcolm Armstead wanted to do was win. That's all he cared about when he was playing with Oregon and at Chipola Junior College in Florida.

That's why he called Gregg Marshall and asked him about coming to Wichita.

"He didn't have a scholarship for me and I said that's fine," Armstead said. "He doesn't need to have a scholarship for me, I'll come in and show what I can do and I'm all about the program and I want to win. I want to chase my dreams."

The Shockers have built their program on transfers, second chance players and walk ons. Armstead is all of those. He transferred in from Oregon last year and played with the team in practice and sat on the bench during games, all building for this year and this run in the NCAA Tournament.

The Florence, Ala. native is leading the Shockers from the point, averaging 16 points a game and has them squarely in the Elite 8. They will play Ohio State, Saturday at 6 p.m. CST for a chance to go to the Final Four.

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"It's a blessing, to even be in this situation because there are a lot of people that aren't in this situation," said Armstead. "A couple of years ago I wasn't in this situation, so it's just a blessing and a dream come true and I'm just embracing it all."

While at Oregon, Armstead called Marshall about possibly coming to play with the Shockers. Marshall didn't have a scholarship, that was the first thing out of his mouth when he spoke to Armstead. But that phone call built a lasting relationship between the two that is blossoming in March.

"(He) paid his way, took out loans, went into debt and the reason was he just wanted to win," Gregg Marshall said. "I want to go to the NCAA Tournament and win. That made makes me feel good because of the sacrifice that he made and to now have this level of success and be able to play so well."

The entire NCAA run has been a dream come true for the Shockers and Armstead especially. The question Marshall has asked before and after every game has been, "Are you satisfied?" The Shockers are not, until they make it to the Final Four.

"We can't get complacent, because as soon as you do, that's when everything can be taken from you."

Shockers prepare for Elite 8 match up
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