University of Miami sophomore point guard Shane Larkin is almost certainly going to enter the NBA Draft this weekend, according to his father, Baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.
All indications are that Shane is going to turn pro, the elder Larkin said by phone Friday. He hasnt given me the 100 percent, and nothing is final until he signs the NBA papers, but at this point, strong indications are he will turn pro.
Larkin has a press conference scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday to make his announcement, but his father said thats almost a formality. He wanted to be able to do it with Coach [Jim] Larrañaga, and I think thats when Coach is available.
Barry Larkin said his son has genuinely been torn about the decision.
Its a very tough decision for a young man to make, he said. Whats pulling at Shanes heart is his love for the University of Miami and the City of Miami. He feels very comfortable there. He loves Miami. He already told us he is not moving back to Orlando, that Miamis his city. He loves the college atmosphere, feels very loyal to the coaches there, and this has been a tough decision.
That said, Larkin has done his homework, his father said, and come to the conclusion that it would be better for him to enter the draft this year than play another year of college. He is projected to be picked anywhere from late first round to middle of the second round. His stock went up a notch when Oklahoma States Marcus Smart opted to return to school.
He really wanted to see what was going to transpire with other players who were considering leaving, and he wanted to talk to as many NBA people as he could, and people in the know have given him information that leads him to believe his time is now, Barry Larkin said. Thats the business side of it. The personal side is whats been hard for him.
Larkin said he wouldnt be shocked if his son changed his mind in the next 48 hours, but he has every reason to believe the speedy, heady guard will enter his name in the NBA Draft by Sunday night, the league deadline.
Larkin averaged 14.5 points and 4.6 assists his sophomore season. He was named ACC Player of the Year by the conference coaches, and was one of five finalists for the Cousy Award for the nations top point guard. He drew raves from his coaches, teammates and TV analysts for his court vision, quickness, decision-making, and ability to make his teammates better.
A few days after the Hurricanes Sweet 16 run ended, Shane Larkin seemed to be saying goodbye when he posted on Instagram:
Regardless of what future decisions I make, this has honestly been the best year of my life. Thank you to my teammates, coaches, and most importantly, all the fans for the support. I will forever be grateful for every moment shared with you. This season was magical and something I will remember for the rest of my life.
His formal farewell will likely come Sunday.