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Let's Check In On Dexter Strickland

Yet another player interview via Inside Carolina.

Heading into his junior year, Strickland doesn’t hesitate when asked about areas for personal improvement.

"I’m just really focusing on my shot," he said.

The New Jersey All-American arrived at UNC with the reputation of a scoring guard – both as a jumpshooter and as a finisher. Thus far, only the latter has been apparent.

"It’s going to be much better – I promise you that," Strickland vowed.

He’s also aiming to continue his progression as a distributor, not in the sense of a true point guard role, but rather better facilitating his teammates and filling in at the lead guard spot if needed.

"I don’t think I’m going to play the one as much, but if Kendall (Marshall) is out and I have to come in and fill that spot, I know what to do," he said. "(I’ve been) getting advice from Shammond (Williams) and Raymond Felton while they’re up here."

If I were Raymond Felton I would ask Roy Williams for an assistant coaches' salary for the summer. Every time a UNC guard talks about working on his game, Felton's name comes up. In Strickland's case, there is no better player to talk to about improving his shot than Felton whose improvement from his sophomore to junior season may have been the difference between UNC winning the national title or not in 2005. Strickland promises he is working on his shot and I really hope he figures it out so I don't have to listen to people complain about him being a starter. Oh and so UNC doesn't see a zone defense 35 minutes per game, that would be nice too.

Strickland also discusses what he knew or thought about draft decisions for John Henson, Tyler Zeller and Harrison Barnes and the team expectations for next year which he puts at Final Four or bust. And I don't know if you have heard this but the players in this team all get along really well.

One topic I would have expected to be mentioned but was conspicuously absent was a question about Strickland's knee. Roy Williams said during the NCAA Tournament that Strickland was dealing with a minor knee injury which was causing him pain more than anything else. Multiple Duke players can attest that the knee problem did not affect Strickland's ability to throw the basketball down over the top of them. Still, I would have thought the question would have arisen in this conversation. Since it didn't it can probably be assumed the knee is fine.

Besides, Reggie Bullock is the one whose knee we really need to be concerned about.