Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Rod Strickland Talks Wall, Bledsoe; Joe Jackson 'Wide Open'
Rod Strickland knows a thing or two about being an elite point guard.
Strickland was selected by the Knicks in the 1988 NBA Draft and enjoyed a stellar NBA career.
Now he serves on John Calipari’s staff at Kentucky, where he will help coach two of the top point guards in the nation next year in John Wall and Eric Bledsoe.
“I’ve seen both of them on film. They’re both very good players, athletic, quick. I think they both have a chance to be special,” Strickland said in a recent interview.
“Obviously John Wall is the No. 1 point guard. He has the height and the skill to be great. And I think Bledsoe has the speed and the quickness. And both of them have the toughness to be special.”Can they play together next year?
“They definitely can play together,” Strickland said. “The way we play our offense, we have four perimeter guys and everybody handles the ball. If you’re able to handle the ball and beat your man, you’ll have opportunities on the court. If you want to call yourself a one, two, three, four, what have you, they’re all interchangeable parts.”
This class has been called among the best in college basketball history. How long will it take to jell together?
“I’m not for sure but I’ve been with coach a few years now and I’ve seen him mold teams and mold players and I think we’ll get better and better and I think we’ll peak at the right time.”
JOE JACKSON SAY HE’S WIDE OPENSpeaking of talented point guards, rising senior Joe Jackson of Memphis White Station told Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier-Journal he is hearing from Memphis, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio State, Syracuse, Duke, Texas, Villanova and Connecticut.
Jackson has a longstanding relationship with Memphis coach Josh Pastner, and the Tigers are heavily involved with him.
“It’s wide open,” Jackson proclaimed. “Everybody still has a chance.”
Jackson said of Kentucky coach John Calipari: “We know where we stand with each other. I know he wants me.”
“What do you not know about Kentucky,” Jackson continued. “They have produced a lot of NBA players over the years. Now, they have coach Cal and the No. 1 recruiting class (in 2009).”
(Photo courtesy Louisville Courier-Journal)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.