Peach Jam: Dexter Strickland Spotlight

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. --- Dexter Strickland may be listed as a shooting guard, but on Thursday night at the Peach Jam he made a strong case to be reclassified as a point.

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    Strickland brought the ball up the court for most of the game for his Metro Hawks team, and their offense was most effective when he was penetrating the lane and creating opportunities for himself and his teammates.

    "I think [I'm becoming a point guard]," said Strickland, who attends Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick. "I am playing the point [for the Hawks] and sometimes the two -- changing it up. But in the future I can see myself playing point guard.

    "Last year I had to play the two, but this year I went to the Steve Nash Camp and the LeBron Camp and have been working on my point guard skills."

    And the work he has put in is evident. His court vision and playmaking skills showed improvement from his performances in the spring and since then he's also taken on a bigger role with the team – demonstrating on court leadership abilities as one of the younger players on the floor.

    With an athletic and long 6-3 frame, and a smooth and deadly jumpshot, Strickland's initial natural fit was as a shooting guard. But he knows if he's going to fulfill his dream of playing professional basketball, he may not be big enough to fit the role of NBA two guard.

    "I probably won't grow much more," he said. "My mom's 5-11, my dad's 6-4 and I'm 6-3 now. I'll probably just grow to 6-4."

    Strickland expects to play some point guard in college and many of the colleges recruiting him think he could see time at that spot – UNC included.

    "Roy Williams told me that if I came there, I might be playing the point," he said.

    Williams was in attendance for both of Strickland's games on Thursday. Also in attendance were Tom Izzo of Michigan State and Billy Donovan of Florida.

    "That's a big thing," Strickland said of seeing the head coaches in attendance. "It shows that they care about you. It's always a good thing to have someone notice you."

    Those three schools – MSU, UNC and UF – comprise the early leaderboard for Strickland, though many other schools are under consideration.

    "Ohio State, Villanova, my hometown Rutgers, Seton Hall – those schools are on my list now, too," he said. "I think I fit in anywhere, be it the ACC or Big East."

    Strickland said he expects to make a number of campus visits this fall. "I'll probably go back to Michigan State, Villanova, take a trip to Florida and UNC – and Ohio State and Indiana."

    When asked specifically about North Carolina's interest and the fall visit, Strickland said: "Roy Williams is very interested in me. He's here at the game checking me out and I'll go down to the school, get a good luck at the campus and hopefully I'll like it."

    The affable rising junior is clearly in no rush to shorten his list of schools or make a decision.

    "I'm just having fun," he said. "I'm still young, I'm going to be going into my junior year so I have a lot of time to pick my school.

    "I'll probably know what college I'm going to by the end of my junior year. I don't think I can make a decision this year. There are so many schools out there for me and I'm just being patient."

    Dexter Strickland Profile

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