Strickland to UNC

Special to IC
Posted Jan 13, 2008

"I've decided to attend North Carolina," Dexter Strickland announced at a Sunday press conference at Madison Square Garden. The 6-3, 175-pound junior guard from Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick chose the Tar Heels over Florida.

According to sources close to the situation, Strickland informed the UNC and Florida staffs of his decision on Saturday.

"I just think [UNC] was a great fit for me," he said at his announcement. "I think all the schools are great, but there is just something special about North Carolina. I felt at home when I went up there. The players were great, the coaching staff, good history. I just felt that that was home."

He is ranked the No. 1 point guard in the class of 2009 by and the No. 10 prospect overall.

"He's a valuable guy for a number of reasons," said Dave Telep, of "He bridges the gap that will be left one day by Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington, since he'll help at both spots.

"And anytime you have a chance to add a guy who is so talented offensively and can play multiple positions, it's a big deal."

Strickland also considered offers from Michigan State, Indiana, Memphis, Ohio State and Villanova.

“Roy Williams is a good friend,” Strickland told last month. “I like their coaching staff, the players on the team and basically everything. It’s a nice gym, too. I like their gym.”

Strickland has the ability to play either guard position, and has played both in high school and AAU.

"My mom’s 5-11, my dad’s 6-4 and I’m 6-3 now," Strickland told in a previous interview. "I’ll probably just grow to 6-4 ... I see myself playing the 2/1 combo guard."

UNC envisions Strickland seeing time in the backcourt at both guard spots.

"Coach [Williams] was explaining to me that I was 6-3 now and I’m only 17 so I’m probably going to grow one more inch," Strickland told previously. "He said he sees me playing the one or the two. Larry Drew is going there and he’s 6-0, and he said he sees me playing in the game with him and playing the one and two, but mostly the two and also the one. He said it really doesn’t matter, more of a combo guard."

Strickland is UNC's fourth commitment in the junior class, joining forwards John Henson, David Wear and Travis Wear.

"The Wear twins and John Henson should really help us with their size when we all get to college," Strickland said at the press conference. "The big guys are 6-9, 6-10, so that will be good for us. I think we'll have a pretty good team."

Dexter Strickland Profile

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