Healthy Strickland eager for season

North Carolina's Dexter Strickland (1) tries to grab the ball away from Kentucky's Brandon Knight (12) during the second half of the final of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament East regional, Sunday, March 27, 2011, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

August 10, 2011 12:15:42 PM PDT
The spring of 2011 was a significant grind for then-sophomore Dexter Strickland, the starter at 'two' guard for North Carolina.

While the glory of the moment was fulfilling for the New Jersey native, his physical limitations at the time were anything but.

Playing through a nagging swollen knee down the stretch of Carolina's resurgent ACC championship regular season, Strickland had to make a choice in March over whether to end his year with surgery, or try and fight through the pain and play on.

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