College / May 13, 2010 / 5:56 pm

Kentucky assistant coach Rod Strickland gets demoted

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.

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  • netstar

    kind of harsh. I mean, drunk driving is entirely unacceptable, but get the man help rather than brushing him under the rug.

    ps. whats up with the grammar in that last sentence

  • Papa Smurf

    Sometimes tough love is the best help. They could have let Strickland go altogether – esp. since this isn’t his first incident. He needs to grow up.

  • Papa Smurf


    I loved his game.

  • ENEW

    Tough break for Rod, loved his game, hate to hear this, but enough of these DUI’s already!!!

    Great HOOPS card AB!!!

  • Gunner J. Matthews

    Thats sucks. Oh well……….

    P.S. I have that exact Rod Strickland basketball card in my collection

  • JAY

    Damn… sucks for Strickland. He and KJ were my favorite pgs growing up. He needs help with the alcoholism. I’m wondering if this demotion with cause him to drink more.

  • lon

    Everyone forgets Gary Williams, who was also a point guard at his alma mater, before coaching them. He has said on record that both Juan Dixon and Steve Blake and Byron Mouton have spots waiting for them if they ever decide to coach.

  • RoyalistBoss

    Tuff Luck Rod,

    I cant believe Calipari cracked down on someone i find that sorta ironic…lol

  • Soul Brova 1

    exactly how did he never make an all-star game?

  • schlomo

    Coach Cal pushed Rod down so he could bring in the Oregon assistant who has strong ties to Terrence Jones. Coach Cal is a hustla.