Strickland learning to excel in point guard role
Posted December 19, 2012
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Point guard is one of the most difficult positions to play at a high level in college and it's been a learning process for North Carolina senior Dexter Strickland.
"It's a whole wide assortment of things that you have to think about other than just playing the game," said head coach Roy Williams. "You don't just have to think about your assignment, you have to think about everybody's assignment and who's in the game."
Stickland was recruited as a combo guard but in his first year at Carolina he got a taste of playing the point.
"Before my freshman year I had never played the point so I didn't know what I had to do to get other players involved," said Strickland.
To sharpen his point guard skills, Strickland watched Kendall Marshall in person and studied other NBA point guards.
"I watched a lot of film on Chris Paul. I even watched, my favorite player is Russell Westbrook, so I watched him a lot just how he's not naturally a point guard but you can see how he can create for others," Strickland said.
A year ago Strickland was second on the team in assists before an ACL injury ended his season. But it also may have helped him play the point.
"I think my injury helped me out a lot with that, not that it hurts now but it forced me to slow down a little bit and now I can change my speed and just keep my composure," said Strickland.
All of these ingredients go into the making of a point guard. Now as a fifth year senior Dexter Strickland leads UNC in assists and is fourth in the ACC, handing out five assists per game.
"I always thought of myself as a combo guard, get to the basket, you know defense," said Strickland.
"I've been really pleased by what he's done," said Williams.