Temple men’s basketball was without junior guard Tai Strickland for all of last year due to NCAA restrictions and a right shoulder injury. On Thursday, he had successful surgery in hopes of making a full recovery.
The 6-2 guard, from Tampa, played his senior year of high school at St. Petersburg after transferring from Tampa Catholic. He averaged a 17 points a game, with seven boards, three assists, and two steals, leading St. Petersburg to a 24-6 record. He played in three consecutive state semifinals as a member of both Catholic and St. Petersburg, while also earning first-team honors in Pinellas County and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the 2017-18 season.
Strickland committed to for Wisconsin following high school. but averaged just 1.8 points a game while playing a scarce 50 minutes in his freshman season. His most notable effort came against Savannah State on Dec. 13, 2018, where he scored a 14 points and added six assists.
After transferring to Temple, Strickland was only able to participate when the Owls traveled to the Bahamas for the 2019 Summer Tour. He scored a team-high with 13 points over an IBA select team on Aug. 5.
Tai’s father, Rod Strickland, was a First-Team All-American for DePaul University during the 1987-88 season when he averaged 20 points a game and along with 7.8 assists a game. He played 17 seasons in the NBA for nine different teams, including the Portland Trailblazers, where he was teammates with Temple head coach Aaron McKie.
For Temple, they hope that with the departures of guards Quinton Rose, Alani Moore II, and Nate Pierre-Louis, Strickland can contribute on the floor in the upcoming season, and perhaps have a breakout year for the Owls.