2009 Prospect Rankings – #18
Posted by ibleedblue040 on June 11, 2008
#18, Dexter Strickland – Committed to North Carolina
– One of the nation’s top juniors put on a very strong overall performance, despite not making much noise scoring the basketball. Strickland, one of many talented players on a loaded St. Pat’s team, spent most of the afternoon deferring to teammates in the Celtics win over St. Raymond’s. The future Tar Heel spent the majority of the game playing at the small forward spot due to St. Pat’s playing a backcourt made up of three players all capable of running the point guard position.
– Strickland has a lot of ability as a slasher, which leads us me believe he could line up at the off-guard spot a fair amount in college depending on who is on the floor. He exhibits excellent ball-handling skills, dribbling himself out of several double teams during the course of games. Strickland proved to be a handful to contain thanks to his ability to mix a great first step in with a nice hesitation move that freed him up to attack the basket. He has nice length for a guard and is an explosive player, which allows him to finish with consistency around the basket, even in traffic. In situations where bigger players took away a direct line to the hoop, Strickland showed nice touch on a running floater he was able to deliver from the baseline.
– In games where he isn’t lighting up the scoreboard, Strickland definitely exhibits a pass first mentality. He is equally as dangerous as a playmaker in both the transition and half court games thanks to his athleticism and excellent basketball IQ. On the break he has a knack for drawing defenders by waiting until the last possible second to deliver a pass to an open teammate. In the half court set he is so good at breaking down defenders off the dribble, that he forces other players to commit to him, leaving open looks for teammates.
– Defensively, Strickland really gets after it in every aspect. He is a terrific on ball defender, possessing great lateral quickness and coupled with his long wingspan for a guard, he is tough to beat off the dribble consistently. He closes well on perimeter shooters, and his leaping ability makes him tougher to shooter over that many other guards his size. What impressed us the most about Strickland was how hard he hit the glass for a guard. Only 6’3”, he was still able to haul in 8 rebounds thanks to his tenacious effort in the paint.
– The one major question mark left after this game with Strickland is his perimeter shooting. He passed up on plenty of open looks from the outside, and while he is a very team oriented player, these are shots he will need to at least attempt from time to time in order to keep the defense honest. He attempted a couple of mid-range shots off the dribble, and while they didn’t fall, he shows nice form on his shot.