When we first introduced you to Jamaree Strickland, many didn't know who he was. Unfortunately, that will happen sometimes when a player sits out two years due to injury. That hiatus, coupled with sitting out last year due to academic ineligibility, makes Strickland an unknown commodity for the Bearcats at this point. Perhaps the Bahamas sheds the brightest light on what to expect from Strickland, where he posted 7 points on 3-4 shooting in 11-minutes.
Name: Jamaree Strickland
Weight: 270 lbs
Class: Freshman (Redshirt)
Hometown: Oakland, CA
Jersey Number: 32
I won't lie, the knee injury from high school worries me. Basketball bigs with injury issues is a very real and historical problem (e.g. Greg Oden, Arvydas Sabonis, Danny Manning, Ralph Sampson, Yao Ming, Bill Walton, and etc... etc...). With the Bahamas behind us, it looks like he may be good to go. I trust the coaching staff is working on the hefty lefty's fitness and getting him into better shape, which should reduce the chance of future injuries.
So what can we expect this year?
Strickland was under the radar due to the knee injury. At this point, I view him as a high risk/reward kind of player. At 6'10", if he can stay healthy and get in better shape, he could become a nightmare in the AAC. But don't take my word for it. A while back, Strickland had this to say about his game:
"I would describe my game as a Zack Randolph," said Strickland. "My favorite move to go to is the left hook shot, and I can shoot it from about 15 feet." (For full interview/story)
Zack Jamaree, your opportunity is finally here. Strickland wasn't even allowed to watch practice last year, let alone participate. That kind of negative experience can either crush a person or make them that much stronger. Let's hope for the latter. Strickland can finally play, finally practice, and finally can truly feel a part of something.
I think Strickland takes a backseat to Ellis and DeBerry initially. His scoring ability could earn him some solid PT, and as he gets into better and better shape he will likely earn more and more time. We could have really used his size last year, especially when Justin Jackson was in foul trouble. However, in a couple of years we will probably look at last year as a blessing. Remember - If Sean Kilpatrick didn't red shirt, we wouldn't have had him last year and I don't even want to think about what that would have been like.
-Daniele "Da" Bologna