If there is one thing that you can´t criticize about rookie Fraport Skyliner Sean Armand is having the bravery and audacity of speaking his mind even if it doesn´t always seem logical or plausible. Sometimes saying those well-chosen radical words can pull a team together or make an individual heighten their game while other times it can backfire. For Armand who is a 23 year old 196cm shooting guard from Brooklyn New York, he had some of those moments at Iona(NCAA) where his verbal input might have made headlines and given the press great quotes, but in the end, it didn´t profit his team. A prime example was before the game against top ranked school Kansas where he called future NBA player Andrew Wiggins overrated, but Wiggins his team coming away with a victory. After 40 minutes, the winner was Kansas 86-66 while the senior Armand had 14 points and the freshman Wiggins poured in 13 points. Another prime example was when Armand was a junior and predicted that if Iona ranked 15Th at the time beat #2 Ohio State in the NCAA tournament that it wouldn´t be an upset. The result wasn´t an upset, but moreover an easy and programmed 95-70 win for Ohio State as he finished with 17 points on 5/17 shooting. Armand may not have had much success with electing how to verbally express himself in school before a big game, but there is always going to be a guy like Armand that is sprouting with extra self- confidence for his team and himself. Even if you are a low ranked team, any player would be lying if they didn´t want to go into every game no matter if it is a Kansas, Duke, Kentucky or Arizona and want to leave the floor after 40 minutes with a win. A healthy touch of self-assurance never hurts and that is exactly what Sean Armand has. However just timing and the content was something that didn´t mesh in college. Armand may only be a rookie as a professional player, but so far his play on the court has been more than exemplary and just how much his verbal ability has had an impact on the Fraport Skyliners has been unknown as so far he has led by example. When Armand was a freshman at Iona, there were more experienced guys like future NBA player Scott Machado that had the leadership duties, so now he may be listening more to guys like Quantez Robertson. However one thing is certain since the arrival of fellow rookie Justin Cobbs, Armand has had his most consistent span as a rookie.
The early basketball ride of Sean Armand in college could be classified as a tough but worthwhile journey combined at the start of not being wanted to a player that rose and developed in his four years and became a player that every coach wished could have had after his stellar four year career at Iona. His difficult path to becoming a top rated NCAA division one player at Iona started in high school as he was undersized as a freshman and poor grades hindered him his next year from playing. However in his third year in high school, suddenly his body went wacko adding nine inches to his frame. However even if he was the central force at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School where 35 point nights weren´t a surprise, the competition level wasn´t top since he was playing for a class B school. However Armand had a cool head then and didn´t let an ego takeover and live on top of the world with high scoring games at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School, but understood that these performances weren´t going to open any doors to major NCAA schools, but that he couldn´t be content with his game, but continue to work hard and not be satisfied if he blew away the competition. When it was time to decide what his college options could be, it was Jared Grasso who pretty much opened the door for Armand to starting a college career. Grasso was head coach at Fordham and Armand was set to start at the New York city college, but the school didn´t keep the head coach and he moved on to Iona where he would be an assistant coach. Grasso thought highly of the Brooklyn native and was able to have head coach Tim Cluess maintain the same thinking and Armand would start at Iona in the fall of 2010 even if he had mixed ideas of going there in the first place to a school he had never heard of. But Armand showed respect and understood it was only the right thing to go to Iona since the school really wanted to have him.
As a freshman at Iona Armand had some top competition from guys like Scott Machado, Lamont Jones and Mile Glover, but he got respectable minutes in his first year playing 37 games and averaging 37 games: 6.4ppg, 1.3rpg, FGP: 41.2%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 62.5%. Before he even had made noise from the parking lot, his teammate Alejandro Rodriguez who played in Germany for Rhondorf and currently in Denmark for Horsholm 79ers could see the potential that the kid had. “It seems like ages ago, back then Sean had cornrows, but my first impression of Sean was this boy can shoot! As he came into his own, you realized he just didn’t want to be good player; he wanted to be a great player”, stressed Alejandro Rodriguez. Already as a freshman he showed his potential of putting the ball in the net with 22 points against Marist and 17 points against Rider. In the game against Marist he set an Iona rookie school record connecting for six three pointers. He also helped his team to the MAAC tournament final. After just one season with Armand, Rodriguez remembers some highlights from the freshman. “I think he hit like seven 3’s or something in a game; he did that a couple times if I remember correctly. I could count on an assist or two from him a night! He could really shoot back then and is a better shooter now”, warned Alejandro Rodriguez. In his sophomore season he played 33 games averaging 33 games: 9.5ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 51.9%, 3PT: 46.2%, FT: 78.6%. His scoring season highlights included a season high of 32 points against Siena and a 25 point effort against Loyola and 22 points against Rider. He helped lead the team to the 2012 MAAC regular season title. In his junior year, he made big strides in his stats making vast improvements playing 34 games and averaging 16.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 3.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 40.9%, FT: 76.8%. He had his most success his junior year in terms of helping the club win the MAAC tournament. He also built a potent duo with American Lamont Jones as combined they averaged 38ppg during the season. His scoring highlights included nine three pointers against Canisius and 10 three pointers against Siena. Jones was a senior and would move on to a professional career while Armand returned to Siena as a senior and had a new scoring sidekick with AJ English. As a senior Armand helped the team win the 2014 MAAC regular season title, but couldn´t win the MAAC title back to back losing in the final. Scoring wise it was his best season as he played 33 games averaging 17.5ppg, 3.2rpg, 4.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 78.9% and scored in double figures in 29 of 33 games including in his first 13 games. He scored 20 or more points 10 times including 30 point efforts against George Mason and ST Bonaventure. Armand was able to improve his scoring average each season and averaged 40% or better all four years from downtown. “I knew he had the work ethic to get there. It felt good watching someone you know grow like that and display their skill set day in and day out. He really did accomplish so much and I’m proud of him”, added Alejandro Rodriguez.
Last summer Armand took part at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft) and also had a workout with the Orlando Magic, but remained undrafted. It took Armand some time to sign as the Fraport Skyliners signed him at the start of September. The club pretty much got Armand as scoring insurance, but that famous European basketball question still had to be answered. “How quick can Armand make the transition from NCAA to the European basketball style”. In his professional debut he definitely showed that he had no problems scoring 27 points in a bitter 105-104 shoot out loss to Phoenix Hagen. Frankfurt came into the season with higher expectations than usual simply because their last playoff appearance was 2011. The goal is the playoffs, but the course of the season took a rapid turn backwards as the loses started to grow as they lost seven of their first eight games. A big reason for this were severe injury problems that started to plague the club as a healthy team chemistry was impossible to build. Armand continued to be inserted into the starting lineup except for a loss at Artland. He showed rapidly that he isn´t a one dimensional player as he averaged 5,5apg in the first two games mixing up the offense not always releasing cannon balls from the corner, but having that quick eye for his teammates. In loses against Ulm and Munich he combined for only 12 points while going 0/9 from the close range. He then scored in double figures in three straight games including the team´s first win of the season at home against the Telekom Baskets Bonn with 17 points. In loses against Tier and Bamberg he combined for only 16 points while shooting 2/12 from outside. Being a rookie is never easy, but Armand had problems not being able to exhibit his full abilities mainly because he had no sufficient supporting cast. Head coach Gordon Herbert knew that the team had to react and hauled in another rookie with Justin Cobbs to find that healthy mix of playmaking and explosive scoring. With the arrival of Cobbs who was the last cut of NBA team Charlotte, the fortunes of the team have changed. The team won six games in a row and have a 10-5 BBL record with him and are 10-0 in Eurochallenge games when Cobbs is on the floor.. Since the arrival of Cobbs, Armand has come from the bench in 10 straight BBL games and been that spark plug. Being a type of X factor is what ex teammate Alejandro Rodriguez believes Armand can get comfortable with and exactly what coach Herbert needs from the American. “I believe so and I feel he can handle that role. That’s what he kind of was for us at Iona his freshman year, he would come in to give us a spark with timely 3 point buckets. He can now do that in various ways, because he has developed all aspects of his game”, expressed Alejandro Rodriguez. He also has scored in double figures in 10 of 13 Eurochallenge games including a 31 point explosion at Avtodor and 23 points at Enisey which were loses, but without his side kick Cobbs who didn´t play. He also knocked down 23 points in a do or die game in Denmark against Baaken. In Eurochallenge play he is averaging 13,9ppg, 3,6rpg and 1,9apg.He supplied solid support with 12 points against Den Bosch and 18 points against Avtodor which were two wins in double OT. In the BBL Armand is averaging 12,9ppg, 2,8rpg and 2,7apg and is shooting 35% from outside. Rarely is a player satisfied with their work on the court and Armand would most likely give a monologue about what he wants to improve, but his self- confidence and that of his ex teammate Alejandro Rodriguez are at an all time high. “I have no doubt he will be able to overcome the pressure and become an impact player for Frankfurt. Sean is driven and he will do great things this season. A great sign for the Skyliners. It can be hard getting used to the way the game is played here in Europe, because it’s a lot different than the states, but I have no doubt once he gets some games under him, he will be in the talks for Rookie of the Year all season”, warned Alejandro Rodriguez. The regular season has six weeks to go and with the playoffs a goal and the Eurochallenge Final 4 looming, Armand still has many opportunities to show his talent and help Frankfurt win that coveted third club title. So far Armand hasn´t pulled a big pre game prediction like he did in college against teams like Kansas or Ohio State, but one thing is for sure, if he were to take the mic of the team´s arena announcer after a big scoring game and yell, “you want buckets, there you go”, he wouldn´t be lying. Armand just knows how to drop buckets and that is exactly what the fans want to see in Frankfurt.