I like to think of my audience here at State of the U as those kids from the AT&T commercial, at least when I talk about Shane Larkin’s NBA future.
"We want more, we want more. We really like it, we want more".
And since I’m a people’s person, I’m here to give the people what they want: more!
1. How is Shane Larkin perceived on campus / how will he be remembered?
If everything goes as planned, Shane Larkin will be remembered as the guy who changed the face of the Miami basketball program. Before last season, even the most optimistic Canes fan didn’t have an ACC Championship and Sweet 16 birth on their agenda – most were just hopeful that we would continue to grow under Coach Larranaga.
Instead, Shane Larkin blossomed in to a true star and took Miami to new heights, and while next year might be a down year (the price to pay when your five starters move on), the general feeling about Miami basketball has changed – we will really see that in recruiting over the next few seasons – and Shane had an awful lot to do with that.
2. What anecdote or story best typifies his time at your school?
I will never forget Shane Larkin throwing an alley oop off the backboard to Kenny Kadji against North Carolina in the midst of a BLOWOUT at the Bank United Center … While Lebron James and Dwyane Wade watched from courtside. And then less than a month later, Lebron and Dwyane turned around and did the same thing as Larkin and Kadji. I mean, how crazy is that?
Lebron James and Dwyane Wade were motivated by Shane Larkin and Kenny Kadji.
That really shows just how big Canes basketball got this past season. Those guys were absolute rock stars at the peak of this season. I will never forget that.
3. What parts of the draft evaluation coverage do you think is wrong or missing?
I think the notion that Shane Larkin is "too small" is silly, yet it’s one of the most common criticisms of Shane. He’s an explosive athlete (there’s no better evidence of this than his 44 inch vertical at the combine, the second highest vertical EVER at the event), he has DEEP range, and he lives in the passing lanes on defense. Yeah, he’s small, but he’s got so much going for him in spite of his height that often gets ignored because of it.
4. What will fans of the NBA love and/or hate about this prospect?
Perhaps the only complaint I really have about Shane’s game is that at times he seemed too passive this season. Somebody would come up and set a screen, and instead of attacking or pulling up for a three, Shane would simply run to the other side of the screen, and stop. This wasn’t a common occurrence, but it happened from time to time, and I’d like to see less of it at the next level.
As for what NBA fans will love about him? His range. I hate comparing people to Steph Curry, but I’ll be honest, Shane was the one guy on Miami who never made me yell at my TV when he shot the ball from six feet behind the arc, much like the way Warriors fans probably react when they see Curry shoot from so deep. Is it the best shot? No. But I’ve seen him make it enough times that I don’t even care.
5. Anything else you want to share?
Get used to hearing about how he’s "Barry Larkin’s son". Miami played games on quite a few channels this season, and thus, there were plenty of announce teams who called their games. Every. Single. One. of them pointed out that he was, in fact, Barry’s son. I can only assume that this will continue at the next level.
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