UM basketball

Shane Larkin stands out, Kenny Kadji impresses at NBA combine


By Michelle Kaufman

Shane Larkin and Kenny Kadji likely improved their NBA Draft stock on Friday by wowing the scouts at the NBA Combine in Chicago.

Larkin registered a jaw-dropping 44-inch vertical leap, the second highest ever and best since Kenny Gregory jumped 45.5 inches in 2001.

Larkin, the 5-11 former University of Miami point guard, also had the best sprint time of the 61 players at the combine. His 34.5-inch leap from a dead standstill was also the top mark. ESPN draft guru Chad Ford tweeted Larkin was testing out as the “top athlete.”

Kadji, the 6-11 former UM forward, also had an impressive day with a 38-inch vertical and 34 from a standstill. Ford called Kadji’s leaping ability “very surprising.”

Heading into the combine, Ford said of Larkin: “He’s got a great vertical; he’s very quick with the ball. Actually, when you start to look at some of the advanced metric numbers, he tests as a top-10 player in the draft.

“I know that some NBA scouts, especially a lot of the older ones and the older GMs, they don’t pay attention to those, but you’ve got a lot of NBA front offices now that are really looking at those numbers as well, and Larkin shows really well there. He actually showed better than every other point guard other than Trey Burke in the draft. I think that helps his cause of being a first-round pick.”

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