It’s only natural that point guards eventually go into coaching. Just like catchers in baseball or quarterbacks in football, PG’s are expected to know everything that’s happening on the court during a basketball game: Time, score, who’s hot, who’s hurt, who’s needs the ball soon before they mentally check out.
Look around the upper echelon of college basketball and you’ll see it. Coach K, Tom Izzo, Billy Donovan and Tubby Smith are among the active coaches with national championships who ran point for their teams in college. Meanwhile, the generation of PG’s that my peers grew up watching is starting to break into the coaching ranks. Former Seton Hall star Shaheen Holloway just got hired as the top assistant at his alma mater, Mark Jackson is a top candidate for this summer’s NBA openings (despite having zero experience on the bench) along with Avery Johnson, and Izzo has said Mateen Cleaves has a job waiting for him at Michigan State whenever he’s ready.
Rod Strickland was one of those ’90s-era point guards on the fast track to a high-profile coaching job, but now he’s taken a step back. The 17-year NBA vet, who averaged 13.2 points, 7.3 assists and 1.5 steals over stints with nine teams, has been an assistant to John Calipari at Kentucky and Memphis, before was reassigned today to essentially an office job in the program stemming from a DUI arrest last month.
UK said Strickland — who has been instrumental in the development of Tyreke Evans, Derrick Rose and John Wall under Calipari’s watch — will move to an administrative role that requires less travel. Plus he’ll no longer be on the bench on game day. The DUI case is still pending, and Strickland has pleaded not guilty. One of the best NBA players of his era to never make an All-Star team, Strickland has two other drunk driving convictions on his record.