Whether Shane Larkin actually leaves the University of Miami for the NBA remains to be seen. But the star sophomore point guard is expected to submit his name for the NBA Draft by an April 10 deadline with the possibility of withdrawing.
“That’s probably what is going to happen,’’ Larkin’s uncle, Byron Larkin, said in a phone interview Saturday with FOX Sports Florida. “That’s what they’re going to do. You want to get as much information as possible. We’ll probably have (Miami coach Jim) Larranaga get some opinions on where he stands and he’ll sit down with Shane.’’
Told of what Bryon Larkin said, Larranaga agreed Shane Larkin likely will submit his name, telling FOX Sports Florida, “I think that is the best way to do that.” Larranaga said he already has spoken to some NBA personnel people about the ACC Player of the Year, although they say it’s too early to know about his draft status since it’s still unclear how many underclassmen will come out.
If a player submits his name for the draft by April 10, he can go through an NBA advisory committee, which offers an objective evaluation of where the player might be drafted. The deadline then to return to school is April 16.
However, a player who doesn’t go through the advisory committee still could apply for the draft up until April 28. NBADraft.net has Shane Larkin listed as the No. 28 pick, which is the third-to-last selection of the first round.
Byron Larkin, who starred in basketball at Xavier University in Cincinnati from 1984-88 and serves as an adviser to his nephew, said it’s not a final decision that the point guard will submit his name to the draft. But his recommendation is he submits it to the advisory committee since there’s no harm in doing so.
“Yeah, absolutely,’’ said Byron Larkin, who last spoke to Shane Larkin on Thursday night, after Miami’s season had ended with a 71-61 loss to Marquette in the Sweet 16. “That’s what we’re thinking and his dream is to play in the NBA. There’s no doubt about that.’’
Larranaga said he has talked with Shane Larkin and his parents, Baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin and Lisa Larkin, about his draft options.
“The most important thing is he gets the proper information to know where he stands, and if that’s the way you do it, that’s what he’ll do,’’ Larranaga said of Larkin submitting his name for the draft. “I think his family will research it, and we will inquire …. (Shane) wants to be well informed.’’
Byron Larkin said he wished the process was like it was in the old days, when players could submit their names for the draft and work out with teams. But he said having the point guard evaluated by a NBA personnel experts is better than nothing.
Byron Larkin said it’s too early to speculate on where his nephew will be playing next season. But he believes he does have the ability to one day play in the NBA.
“Oh, yeah,’’ Byron Larkin said. “Definitely, he could be (an NBA player), and then how much he’s improved. I think his best basketball is ahead of him. He’s going to get better, for Miami or playing in the NBA. So we’ll see.’’
Larranaga said he does not have the expertise to know if his point guard is now ready for the NBA.
“I think he’s a great point guard, but I’m not in the NBA,’’ Larranaga said. “There are a lot of NBA scouts who will know when he’s ready.’’
Of the NBA officials that Larranaga has spoken with so far, he said they told him it’s too early to have a good idea where Shane might be drafted.
“What they’ve said is they can’t project at this early stage because they don’t know how many people are going to submit their names,’’ Larranaga said.
Larkin averaged 14.5 points and 4.6 assists for the Hurricanes in a breakout season. He was named ACC Player of the Year by the coaches and was second in voting for the media award.
Regardless of what happens, Byron Larkin said his nephew “loves Miami’’ and “loves being a college student.’’ Shane Larkin expressed those sentiments Friday in a picture posted to his Instagram account while not tipping his hand on his NBA plans.
“Regardless of what future decisions I make this has honestly been the best year of my life,” Larkin wrote. “Thank you to my teammates, coaches and most importantly all of the fans for the support. I will forever be grateful for every moment shared with you all. This season was magical and something I will remember for the rest of my life. Im blessed to be a Miami Hurricane and represent the U! Thank you!!!!”