For former Miami Hurricanes point guard Shane Larkin, it was quite the homecoming.
Larkin, a 2013 third team All-American, spent Sunday night’s Canes basketball game against Clemson court side, as UM honored his return with a Shane Larkin bobblehead night, giving out 4,000 to fans.
“That was a great experience. I never though I’d have a bobblehead,” said Larkin, when The Miami Hurricane had a chance to talk to him after the Knicks – Heat game the following day. “Just to be able to go to that game and support the team and see everyone again, just that whole atmosphere last night was great.”
Larkin, who opened the season as the starting point guard for the Knicks due to José Calderón’s injury, has seen his opportunities and production increase this year after a season with the Mavericks.
Last year in Dallas, Shane averaged 10 minutes per game and 2.8 points per game; this year, 22 MPG and 5.4 PPG.
“Last year, coming off of injury, being on a team with a lot of veterans, it was tough to get playing time,” Larkin said. “Just being in a position this year where I’m playing pretty much every game and getting a lot of minutes is helping me become a better player, every day.”
Hurricanes basketball coach Jim Larrañaga was also in attendance Monday at the Heat game, and Shane noted how Coach L still maintains a relationship with his former point guard.
“He still critiques me. We have a great relationship. I actually have a text message on my phone right now from him, haven’t read it yet. Even thought I’m not on his team anymore he still texts me and gives me pointers, watches my games – we have a good relationship.”
Larkin also talked about how Angel Rodriguez’s role is different than when he was still at The U.
“It’s different for Angel than it was for me in many way because he’s the oldest one, leading younger guys, and I was a young guy leading older guys, so they were more mature and knew what they had to do every game and come out with the same intensity,” Larkin said. “With him having younger guys he has to be the leader. … I think it’s a little tougher on him, but it’s just going to help him be a better player and grow. It’s a challenge, but I think he’s handled it pretty well.”
Larkin scored three points on 1-5 shooting in the loss to the Knicks, but ran the floor well, notching four assists and just one turnover in 26 minutes of play.
He’s been in double figures four times this year, with a season-high 14 points at Sacramento late in December.