USA: Heels Offer Strickland

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The nation's select few top underclassmen are at the USA Basketball Youth Festival this week and Dexter Strickland is certainly holding his own.

The 6-foot-3 rising junior wing had his jump shot clicking Thursday, as he drained a pair of three-pointers during the evening scrimmage. Throw in a sweet pull-up jump shot and a handful of drives and Strickland looked like one of the top guards in camp.

Being known as one of the best usually means you're being recruited by some of the best, and Strickland confirmed that. Thus far Florida, Michigan State, Villanova, North Carolina, Louisville, Indiana, Miami, Rutgers and Ohio State have shown considerable interest.

"It was a big spring for me because college coaches were looking at me," the Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick standout said.

Since coaches were allowed to begin calling the 2009 class on June 15th, he's heard from a number of high profile coaches including Tom Izzo, Billy Donovan and Roy Williams. During a recent conversation with the Tar Heels head coach, Strickland was offered a scholarship.

"I talked to Roy Williams personally before I came down to USA," Strickland said. "I talked to him over the phone. He's just a great guy. He told me how he wants me to play for him and told me how I'd fit in. He talked about the new recruits coming in before me and after me."

Strickland, who has taken visits to Michigan State, Rutgers and Seton Hall, is hoping to set up visits to a number of the other schools on his list, including the Tar Heels.

"I want to visit Florida, I want to take a trip down to Villanova and UNC," he said. "I can't wait for that, Ohio State and Indiana, too."

Strickland indicated that his recruitment is in the beginning stages, however there are a few schools beginning to separate themselves from the pack.

"I don't like to focus mainly on one school because I'm looking at them all, but I like Michigan State, Florida, Villanova and UNC a lot."

Following the USA Festival, which runs through Sunday, Strickland plans to participate in the Kobe Bryant Nike Positional camp and the LeBron James Skills Academy.

Dexter Strickland Profile

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