Vikings Senior Standout Gets Milestone in Win Over Hillsborough
MONMOUTH JUNCTION, NJ—On Thursday, after the GMCT seeds came out for both the boys and girls basketball teams, teams went back to work getting ready for the tournament.
One of those teams was the fourth ranked South Brunswick Vikings, which also received the 4th seed in this year’s GMCT. On Thursday afternoon, South Brunswick, took on Hillsborough of the Skyland Conference and Somerset County in a non-conference game.
The Vikings stormed out to a 23-13 lead, and increased that advantage to 42-23 at the intermission en route to a 78-51 victory over the Raiders. Devin Strickland wasn’t the leading scorer for the Vikes in the win, but still had 18 points including the 1,000th of his career.
Strickland, who comes from a very prominent family of athletes in South Brunswick, collected his 18 points on 7 field goals and four free throws. Strickland, began his prolific career with the Vikings in the JV program as a freshman during the 2016-17 season when SBHS had a talented squad consisting of another 1,000 point scorer, Mike Ugarte that reached the 2017 GMCT Semifinals.
The following year, he became the leader of a young Vikings squad that went winless through the regular season before winning its 2018 GMCT Play-In Round over Dunellen. Last year, South Brunswick improved to 12-13 including an upset win over eventual GMCT Champion, St. Joseph’s that left the Falcons at 5-6 in the middle of the 2018-19 season.
This year, Strickland, along with Justin Carbone, Ahkil Edekar, Ty Murchison, Yathin Vemula, and Andrew Tesser, the Vikings (17-4 overall and 12-2 in GMC Red) have completed the rebuild it began two years ago under head coach, Joe Hoehman, who is now in his 13th year at the helm in Viking Country. Hoehman also served as a freshman and JV coach at SBHS under previous head coaches Dave Turco and Chris Balent in a nearly two decade career at the school.
To date, Strickland has tallied 167 field goals, four treys, and 80 made free throws for a total of 446 points this season according to NJ.com. As a sophomore, Strickland compiled 82 field goals, 9 threes, and 30 foul shots for 244 points. A year ago, the three year varsity player at SBHS tabulated 140 field goals, five threes, and 24 made free throws for 319 points. Combined, Strickland has 389 field goals, 18 threes, and 134 free throws.
In 61 games played over the past three seasons, Strickland has scored in double figures 54 times (89 percent of his games played). Of those 54 games scoring in double figures, Strickland has scored at least 20 points, fifteen times including two games of 30 points or more twice this season. His three highest scoring performances have occurred this season.
Strickland scored a career high of 33 points on 11 field goals and 11 made free throws in a 91-70 victory over Piscataway in Monmouth Junction on February 4th. He also pumped in 30 points on 12 field goals and 6 made foul shots in a 94-79 victory over Lawrence in the 2020 Coaches vs. Cancer Shootout at Montgomery High School on January 12th. He recently added 29 points on 11 field goals and 7 made free throws in a key win over then top ranked St. Joseph’s last Saturday, February 8th. GMC Hoops has covered two of those games.
Strickland is the third member of his family to make a name for himself in South Brunswick athletics. His oldest brother, Danny, played basketball and baseball for the Vikings. He played hoops with the likes of football standout, Jevon Tyree, the older brother of Bree Tyree, who was a 1,000 point scorer at St. Joseph’s and now plays college hoops at Ole Miss. Older brother Dontae Strickland has had even more success athletically.
Dontae Strickland, starred as a running back for South Brunswick and led the Vikings to the Championship Game of the 2014 NJSIAA Group 5 Championship before losing to Manalapan. The older Strickland went on to star on the gridiron at Syracuse, and now plays in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals. Dontae Strickland was also in the boys basketball program as a freshman.
Strickland has become the sixth player in SBHS school history to score 1,000 points in his career. He is the third player to do so in the GMC Hoops era (2000-present) although GMC Hoops also saw Donnell Lumpkin play back in his high school days at South Plainfield, and Jason Womble while serving as a volunteer assistant coach at SPHS from 1992-1997.
Justin Carbone led all scorers with a game high 27 points in the Viking victory over Hillsborough while junior Ty Murchison also added 18 in the win. Yathin Vemula also chipped in with 7. Kyle Chedid led Hillsborough in a losing cause with 14 points while Aidan Bremer chipped in with 10. Congratulations Devin on reaching your personal milestone, and best of luck the rest of the way this season.