Shane Larkin, PG, Miami, 5’11”, 171 lbs
2012-13 collegiate stats: 14.5 points, 4.6 assists, and 2.3 turnovers in 36.4 minutes
After declaring for the NBA Draft on April 26, former Miami Hurricanes point guard Shane Larkin is projected to be a mid- to late first round pick in this year’s draft.
Confident in running the pick-and-roll, Larkin led the Miami Hurricanes to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. The pick-and-roll is such a huge part of today’s NBA, so Larkin will have a place in the league. A skillful floor general, Larkin uses his quickness to his advantage if the larger defender switches to him on the pick or he can use his passing skills to find the man rolling to the hoop.
As I just said, he uses his quickness. Pace is something Larkin has in abundance. He ran the three-quarter court sprint in 3.08 seconds — the quickest of all draftees. In fact, this is quicker than players like John Wall and Ty Lawson, both of whom are seen as among the quickest in the NBA.
With Larkin standing at just 5’11’’, some NBA teams could be put off about whether his lack of height will hinder his potential to become successful at the next level. However, after recording an impressive 10.64 seconds time in the lane agility drill (seventh among draftees), he should be able to stay in front of his man on the defensive end; where smaller guards like Nate Robinson usually struggle.
His 44-inch vertical is the second highest in NBA Draft Combine history. This suggests his lack of height may not be that big of a problem in the league.
Whatever way you look at it, he is less than 6 feet. There is still some hesitancy when selecting such a player. Even with his amazing athleticism, he will still struggle to deal with post-ups from bigger point guards like Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook.
His slight frame will allow people to bully him at the next level. It is vital he adds a few pounds, in order to bulk up — but this could impede his terrifying quickness.
Despite being at college for two years, Larkin is still a young player. As a point guard, he may take a number of years to find his feet before being given the keys to an NBA team. Having said that, he was brilliant in the Hurricanes run to a No. 1 seed.
Potential landing spots
Boston Celtics, No. 16 pick
Rajon Rondo isn’t going to be dislodged as the starting point guard in Boston anytime soon. However, he seems to be the only member of the roster that can handle the ball well and run a pick-and-roll. Larkin will come in and be a steady point guard right away, so Rondo can recover from his ACL at his own pace. Once Rondo comes back, Larkin can be the spark off the bench that the C’s were lacking this last season. Jason Terry — their current sixth man — is not the player he was in Dallas. Larkin makes sense.
Utah Jazz, No. 14 pick
The Jazz have a lot of great forwards on their roster. However, they lack a ball-dominant guard to run the offense well — Mo Williams is just not a serviceable point guard for a playoff team. Larkin would be a solid pick here and one that is more risk-free than Dennis Schroeder. He recently impressed at a workout in Salt Lake City.