Tar Heel nation tips its hat to you, Dex. You’ve been a staple in the Tar Heels’ lineup for four years straight and have been every bit consistent in leadership, production, and grittiness. You had a chance to complain about injuries and you had a chance to complain about diminished playing time behind two incredible talents, Kendall Marshall and Marcus Paige, during your upperclassman years. However, you never did. That just isn’t your nature.
Throughout the last four years, UNC has won 106 games with Dexter Strickland on the floor. That’s 26.5 a season. You know what that tells UNC fans? Dexter always did the intangibles that are hidden in the stat sheet—but evident in the win-loss column. Diving for loose balls or shutting down the team’s best scorer doesn’t show up on the score sheet. Strickland knew though, that if it would help UNC get the W, he’d do it.
Dexter was Mr. Consistency. Throughout his four years, his turnovers per game dropped season after season. This year it was a lowly 1.3. Compare this to his career best 4.2 assists per game and you’ll see how UNC managed to win many games this season, despite being filled to the brim with underclassmen.
He was also on the floor a lot. Dexter averaged 27.9 minutes a game. This statistic was another career high. Roy trusted Strickland with the ball. This was despite the emergence of Marcus Paige showing out this season. We never heard Strickland complain or make public comments about the situation. He could have, but he didn’t. Dexter just took the younger man under his wing and led by example.
So, Strickland, we don’t know what the future holds for you. Trying to enter the league next season or deciding to play ball overseas before making that leap might also sound like a good route to you. Tar Heel nation does know that in these last four years, UNC would not have been as strong without you in the lineup. Thank you for your consistency and leadership to a young team.