UNC Basketball: Dexter Strickland Cleared to Play Earlier than Expected

The North Carolina Tar Heels got some good news when senior combo guard Dexter Strickland was cleared to play.  Strickland tweeted the news of his upgraded status on Monday.  Strickland tore his ACL and was lost for the season, after playing just 19 games for Carolina last year.

Credit: Peter Casey-US PRESSWIRE

Strickland was injured on January 19th against Virginia Tech and has been rehabbing ever since.  Losing Strickland was a tough blow to the Heels in what was the first of a string of injuries that ultimately derailed the teams national championship hopes.  The Heels who were thin at the point guard position last season and relied on Strickland to serve as the starting shooting guard and backup point, are in the same position again this season.

Head coach Roy Williams had said as recently as July that he wasn’t sure if Strickland would be ready by the time training camp rolled around and that the senior guard may be limited when the season began.  Details at this point are unknown in terms of how far along Strickland is in his rehab but his earlier than expected clearance date is certainly a positive for Carolina.

The Heels are deep on the perimeter this season with Reggie Bullock, PJ Hairston and Leslie McDonald also returning and incoming freshman JP Tokoto joining the mix.  UNC isn’t nearly as fortunate at the PG position where incoming freshman Marcus Paige will take the reins from Kendall Marshall who departed for the NBA after his sophomore season in Chapel Hill.

The Heels will rely on a combination of Strickland and walk on transfer Luke Davis to backup Paige, meaning Strickland is the only player on the Heels roster with any experience running the point for Roy Williams.

 

Topics: Dexter Strickland, North Carolina Tar Heels

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  • appheel

    This is good news! I’d really like him to be healthy enough to start at PG at the beginning of the year that way the burden on Paige won’t be nearly as great.

    • Keeping_It_Heel

      I don’t think Dex starts at the point. Paige is a freshman but a very mature one and I believe he gets the nod with Strickland coming off the bench serving a dual role.

    • Ahhines

      Id rather strickland play signifcant minutes off the bench. You have to let Paige grow into his role and the only way to do it is by putting him out there.. If we had Paige McDonald Bullock James and Mcadoo out there that would be our best offensive lineup, and thats what we need this year.

      • Keeping_It_Heel

        couldn’t have said it better myself Ahhines

        • Ahhines

          I’d like to say I’ve watched enough tar heel basketball and enough videos and read enough of these articles to know what I’m talking about lol. I give all credit to keeping it heel fort knowledge!!

  • http://twitter.com/KiddPixel I think its Solomon?

    This is great news. Were gonna need him for backup PG/SG.

  • coachj

    Dexter is much in the same role as Marcus Ginyard was, a defender with a lot of game experience that can really solidify the bench. He is even a better scorer than Marcus, so I really see him as a key to this season.

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