By the time the college basketball season was over, there weren't too many guards that could definitively say they were better than Miami sophomore Shane Larkin. At least three point guards are projected ahead of Larkin on the draft boards, which actually seems fair considering Trey Burke and Michael Carter-Williams are in the selection pool.
Yet the few knocks on Larkin are really semantics. It's the same old tired argument you hear about a guy being too small, not having a long enough wingspan, far enough reach. At 5'11, Larkin's basically got fins for arms and probably won't get a lot of tips on loose balls or anything like that. Running point guard, though? Check him in.
Larkin had to shoulder a greater offensive load with the Hurricanes this past season, because the college game has become an offensive malfunction. Coaches micro manage the games to the point that truly gifted players aren't always allowed to flourish.
That wasn't the case with Larkin and Jim Larranaga in Miami. As the son of baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, this kid has been around athletic greatness his entire life. Once he reunited with Larranaga after a failed attempt to recruit him to George Mason, it was a forgone conclusion that Larkin would get an opportunity to do something special, even if it wasn't exactly clear that Miami was going to be a boss this past season.
With him not even standing at 6 feet in his sneakers, the questions are inevitable about his size. Is he a Ty Lawson kind of dynamic, or is he DJ Augustin? Larkin put up 14 and 4 overall last season, but just under 16 points, five assists and two steals a game per 40 minutes.
Assuming Larkin is asked to play limited minutes in the beginning of his career, there won't be as much opportunity to prove himself. But wherever there's a window, there's a way to get this "little guy" through.