Miami Point Guard Shane Larkin Quickly Becoming Elite

Jordan BallCorrespondent IFebruary 9, 2013

Jan 30, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Shane Larkin (0) reacts after making a three pointer during the second half against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

When your dad is a Hall-of-Fame baseball player, living in his shadows is something you get accustomed to.

It seems as if the son of former Cincinnati Reds great Barry Larkin has had enough of that, however. 

In just his sophomore year, Shane Larkin is having one of the best individual seasons in all of college basketball as he has led his Miami Hurricanes to a 19-3 start. 

The team has reached its highest ranking in program history this week at number eight, and after a blowout win at home over North Carolina, it seems that the sky is the limit. 

Without a doubt this team is loaded with talent from top to bottom, but this highly explosive offense wouldn't be meshing so well if it wasn't for the leader that has emerged at point guard. 

Originally committed to DePaul University, Shane Larkin decided to withdraw and take his talents to the U. 

After a so-so freshman season which resulted in a trip to the NIT, Larkin has exploded onto the scene in his second year on campus. 

His points per game, rebounds and assists have essentially doubled since a season ago, as he now sits at 13 PPG, while averaging just over four boards and four assists per contest. 

Larkin's ability to dial it up from deep is arguably the strongest point of his game as he has proven to be one of the ACC's best time and time again. 

Only twice this season has the 20-year-old failed to connect from three in a game, while hitting as many as five on two occasions. 

What puts Larkin ahead of the field is his ability to control a game. 

He's not your typical pass-first point guard, but his scoring ability helps create open looks for his teammates; open looks that Larkin finds almost immediately. 

In the win Saturday over North Carolina, he recorded a career-high nine assists, thanks in large part to his hot start from the floor. Every time he would drive, three to four Tar Heel defenders would swarm, allowing him to kick it out to the corner for a three.

Which the 'Canes took advantage of as they netted 15 trifectas on the day. 

And that's just his offensive game.

On defense, Larkin can guard with the best of them and steal better than the best. 

His 2.3 steals per game are more than any other player in the ACC and rank him in the top 25 in the nation. 

Larkin's thievery allows Miami to keep their high-tempo offense moving and is a huge factor in why the Hurricanes only give up 58.9 points a game. 

Tie all of this together and you see why this young man has been named one of the 12 finalists for the Bob Cousy award given to the nation's top point guard.

If he continues to play at this high of a level and his Hurricanes keep rolling over their opponents, don't be surprised when Shane Larkin heads home with the title of best in the country.