by Jeremy Bauman / @JBauman13
Shane Larkin, a 5-11 senior point guard from Orlando, FL, plays the game of basketball with a true lead guard’s mentality. Although he might be a little undersized compared to some of the taller point guards who have rapidly been flying through the pipelines, he damn sure doesn’t care; he makes up for his lack of size with an unbelievable basketball IQ, relentless heart, more than adequate long-range shooting ability, and the ability to change speeds at will—especially under pressure.
The son of former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, Shane shares the same humbleness and determination as his father. Shane committed to college on October 19, and he is more than ready to help a program that is in much need of a boost.
SLAM: First off, congratulations on your recent commitment to DePaul University. How was the recruitment and what stood out about DePaul?
Shane Larkin: Coach Purnell was recruiting me ever since he was at Clemson and he told me he thought I would be great in there style of play. Recruiting was always a good feeling when you have several coaches calling you telling you that you are there guy and they want to make you the face of the program. The thing that stood out about DePaul was that they just kept it real. There was no guard or player that they recruited behind my back and they told me even if they were recruiting another player the same position as me. Also the city of Chicago is a sports city so WHEN we get it going at DePaul we will fill up All State Arena with the 17,500 that it fits. Another good thing was that Chicago is only four hours away from a lot of my family that stay in Cincinnati, Ohio.
SLAM: What other schools were recruiting you and what was different about their recruiting tactics?
SL: A lot of schools recruited me but it came down to Colorado, USF, UCF, Boston College and George Mason. They all did a good job about recruiting me but all of the other schools had things to say about each other. Especially DePaul. I heard DePaul is going to be the toughest to win at blah, blah, blah… The thing is that those schools thought they were effectively recruiting for themselves but they were actually helping DePaul. I am a competitor so telling me that something cannot be done is just going to make me want it even more.
SLAM: Coach Oliver Purnell ran a devastating press at Clemson. From your point of view, how do you see DePaul using that press and playing in general?
SL: I think it will have the same effect as it does in the Big East than it did in the ACC. Louisville is always a successful program and they are the only team that presses in the Big East. So I think DePaul’s press can also have that kind of impact and turn it around just as quick..
SLAM: From watching you this summer I saw that you were a steady floor general with long range, a nice floater and are adept as a playmaker. What did Coach Purnell say your role would be when he recruited you?
SL: Coach told me that I would come in and do just that. He says the thing that sets me apart from other guards in my class is my ability to shoot. He says whenever somebody on the team has an open shot he wants it to go up if you are capable of making it. But he also told me that i can play fast in his system but still have the composure to make the tight decision. So he says I’m just a perfect fit for his system and DePaul University.
SLAM: What player(s) would you compare your game to and why?
SL: I would compare my game to Chris Paul. The reason being is because I am a guard who can do it all. If I have to score big for my team to win I can do that. If I need to drop 15 assists and score three points I’ll do it. And that’s what Chris Paul does.
SLAM: Who were some of the mentors who helped you get where you are today and how did they help you?
SL: My Dad and my Uncle are probably the people that had the biggest impact on me. My dad went through the recruiting process and played professionally so he teaches me how to be towards situations and my uncle played basketball and he took the same route as me going to a program that isn’t as successful right now and turning it into something so he can just speak to me about the bball part of things.
SLAM: What are some of your favorite game time memories that you have from all of your experiences over the years?
SL: Some of my favorite game memories are scoring 55 and 44 points this summer and also in my high school season playing for a state title. Another good memory is when I almost had a triple double my sophomore year.
SLAM: Did you ever play any other sports competitively?
SL: I played football until my sophomore year of high school. When I played I led my pop warner team to the Super Bowl as the quarterback where we lost. And I broke my ankle freshmen year playing wide receiver which caused me to quit with basketball being too important.
SLAM: What do you like to do with your free time? What video games do you play?
SL: I just like chilling with my friends and having a good time. As far as video games I’m the man. [Laughs] Any sports game I’m good at and modern warfare.
SLAM: What’s your favorite subject in school and what do you plan on majoring in?
SL: My favorite subject is math. I’ll probably major in communications.