Armstead went the prep school route, coming to NIU from La Jolla Prep in San Diego. NIU sophomore forward Darrell Bowie is a product of the same school.
Armstead was part of Chicago Hales Franciscan’s 2011 Class 2A state championship team, where his brother, fellow Huskie guard Aaron Armstead, was a teammate. He played his senior year of high school at Bullard High in Fresno, Calif.
Armstead, Aaric’s brother, has Division I experience, having spent the 2011-12 season at Wisconsin-Green Bay. He averaged 14.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists at San Jose City College last season.
Averaged 29.1 points, nine rebounds and seven assists his senior season at Dowagiac (Mich.) High School, a year after averaging 27.8 points. Last season, Highsmith finished fifth in Michigan’s Mr. Basketball voting.
He was a point guard in high school and could see some time there this season, but primarily will play shooting guard.
A native of Split, Croatia, Maric played at La Lumiere School, a prep school in LaPorte, Ind., last year, averaging 10.2 points and 6.3 rebounds a game. Maric stands 6-foot-10, and is one of three Huskies 6-9 or taller.
He played for Croatia in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championships in the Czech Republic, where he averaged 6.1 points a game.
Rakocevic sat out last season after transferring from Sacramento State, but will provide much-needed size for the Huskies this season, as he stands at 6-11 and weighs 245 pounds.
Played two seasons in Sacramento, averaging 1.3 points and 1.0 rebounds a game two years ago.
Threloff transferred from Illinois State in the spring, was granted the NCAA’s hardship waiver and is eligible to play this season. He’ll be a nice post presence for the Huskies over the next two years. Threloff averaged 2.5 points in 21 games last season, playing 7.9 minutes a game. The DeKalb High product was the 2009-10 Daily Chronicle Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
– Steve Nitz, email@example.com