"This is a new team for me and I'm just getting a feel for how the guys play and adapt," Strickland said. "I wanted to get my teammates involved, getting Samardo [Samuels] the ball because he was hot, so I didn't take many shots.
"My job was to go for rebounds, get my team involved and get assists and when my team needs it go to the basket. When you play with a lot of talent, you've got to give up the ball more."
And he backed up those mature words with mature performances, picking his spots to showcase his three-point shooting ability and using his long arms to snag rebounds and play tough defense.
Strickland said he grew up admiring North Carolina, but a lot of early attention from Michigan State has pushed the Spartans into the early lead.
"Right now, if I had to go to a college it'd be Michigan State," he said. "I like Tom Izzo a lot. I like Florida a lot, UNC and UConn and Villanova, too.
While he still has two full years of high school hoops left, Strickland has already found time to make some campus visits and hopes to schedule more in the near future.
"I want to visit UNC and Florida," he said. "I've visited Villanova, Rutgers and MSU already. I want to take a look at UConn, Florida and UNC. Hopefully soon I can check those schools out."