His immediate goal is to learn and earn playing time.
“Of course you want to be on the All-Rookie Team and Rookie of the Year. I’ve always set high goals for myself, because I want to reach for the top, so those are things I would like to accomplish, but first I’ve got to get on the court,” Larkin said. “So, I’ve got to go in there in training camp and summer league and at the beginning of the season and prove my worth. That’s really what I’m focused on, just going in and working hard and doing whatever the coach asks of me.”
Playing in the ACC and winning the conference tournament gives Larkin the confidence to compete against NBA players, he said.
“Hopefully, I can play well enough where I can force the coach’s hand to whereas I may get significant minutes or even be a starter as a rookie,” he said. I’m just going to keep on working until I’m one of the best players and I’m the best player I can be.”
He envisions himself becoming like Ty Lawson. “He’s the type of player who can impact the game. He’s a little stockier than I am but I feel that’s the impact I can have.”
Carlisle and Nelson have high hopes.
“I don’t think he and Barea are exact duplicates, but we’ve missed the last couple of years the element that Barea brought to the game here,” Carlisle said. “Being able to get to the rim, being able to get it going from three, the resourcefulness and some of those types of things. Shane’s going to bring some of those types of things.”
Added Nelson: “[Larkin] comes in with that kind of a punch. He’s able to get by the best of them. He’s about as quick as it gets. His ability to shoot the long ball and create, especially the way the game is played nowadays, is just really, really important.”