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OKC Thunder: Size is only drawback to Shane Larkin

Miami point guard is 5-11, but has shown plenty of skill on the court.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: June 19, 2013
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photo - Miami's Shane Larkin (0) shoots past Virginia Tech's Cadarian Raines (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Coral Gables, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Miami won 76-58. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter) ORG XMIT: FLJC109
Miami's Shane Larkin (0) shoots past Virginia Tech's Cadarian Raines (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Coral Gables, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Miami won 76-58. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter) ORG XMIT: FLJC109

According to draftexpress.com, 47 percent of Larkin's offense this season was from pick-and-roll sets. Defenders can't go under screens because Larkin can make them pay with his shooting. If they go over, he can use his speed to get to the basket. And if the defense collapses, Larkin can and will find the open man, either on a drop-off at the rim or a kick out to shooters.

“He's so good at what he does,” said Miami coach Jim Larranaga.

Larkin exploded onto the national scene this season as a sophomore on a senior-laden Hurricanes squad. He averaged 14.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and two steals while leading Miami to both the ACC regular-season and tournament titles.

Larkin led Miami in minutes, points, assists and steals while shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3-point range.

“I don't think there has been a more valuable player to any team,” Larranaga said of Larkin.

Thanks to Larkin's sharpshooting and world-class athleticism, his value figures to translate to the NBA level. He doesn't project to be a star player, but he could add depth to a team in need of an additional ballhandler and someone to help space the floor.

The obvious drawback would be Larkin's ability to defend. Bigger point guards like Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, John Wall and Jrue Holiday could have their way with Larkin in the post or simply shoot over him. But if used in tandem with a player like Westbrook in small-ball lineups, Larkin could be hidden on a lesser scorer.

But for Larkin to get an opportunity, he'll seemingly need two things: a freethinking general manager and a creative coach.

Will the Thunder be that team?

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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12 for No. 12

As part of the James Harden trade with Houston last October, the Thunder obtained the No. 12 overall selection in the June 27 NBA Draft via Toronto. We look at 12 potential candidates the Thunder might consider taking with that No. 12 pick.

Today: Miami point guard Shane Larkin

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