Shane Larkin, Too Short to Ride?

Miami’s Shane Larkin had quite an outstanding year. He averaged 14.5 points a game and 4.6 assists while leading a historically mediocre Miami Hurricanes program through a season that included a #2 ranking, an ACC championship, a 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and  a Sweet Sixteen appearance. Larkin was the recipient of the 2013 Lute Olson Player of the Year Award, which is one of the many awards given to the most outstanding player in college basketball. Larkin has since announced that he is entering himself into the upcoming NBA Draft.

It seems as though a majority of  draft junkies project Larkin to fall in the 15-30 range, citing his 5’11 height as a major weakness. Many players that have been labeled as being “too short” have excelled in the NBA, so is it really that big of a deal? Lets look to this years NBA Playoffs, some of the more dominant guards received the dreaded “undersized” label before the Draft. Nate Robinson (5’9), Ty Lawson (5’11), Chris Paul (6’0), and Dwyane Wade (6’4) are all great examples of guards that have proven to play bigger than their height, being key pieces to Playoff teams this year.

Larkin, the son of Hall of Fame Baseball player Barry Larkin, definitely has First-Round talent. He showed that he can not only score and dish, but also playing lock-down defense against opposing Guards. Against #1 ranked Duke, Larkin held the opposing PG’s to a combined 0-17 shooting and 1 point. Against fellow first round prospect and ACC Player of the Year Erick Green, Larkin was able to hold Green to only 16 points. Considering Green averaged a cool 25 per game, Larkin did a bang up job.

The abilities that will aid him in the NBA the most are his quickness, shooting ability, and execution of the Pick and Roll. They all go hand in hand to make him dangerous on the offensive side of the ball. A team like Utah (14th and 21st picks) must be drooling over the possibility of Larkin running the P&R with up-and-comers Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter for years to come. Indiana (23rd pick) New York (24th pick) and Oklahoma City (29th pick)  also seem to be in need of a Point Guard and Larkin could be the steal of the draft if he falls that late.

Watch for Larkin to shed the “undersized” label early in his career when he shows the NBA what he can do.


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