It’s no surprise Rick Carlisle loves running the pick-n-roll offense. Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki perfected this for the Dallas Mavericks during the 2011 championship season. It’s also no surprise that the Mavericks had to upgrade at the point guard position from last season. Darren Collison only averaged 5.1 assists per game last season. As a matter of fact, as a team Dallas only got a little over eight assists per game from the point guard position.
It’s for this reason, Mark Cuban and the Mavericks front office made point guard a very high priority this offseason. One of the point guards they added was Shane Larkin. Carlisle loves Larkin’s game and raved about it after the draft, even saying he was one of the best at running the pick-n-roll in all of college.
Larkin is no stranger to stardom. His father, Barry Larkin, was an outstanding baseball player and is in the MLB Hall of Fame. Shane is listed at 5-foot-11 and 176 pounds. Larkin went to High School in the Orlando, Florida area and committed to DePaul to play basketball. However, before his Freshman year, he requested a transfer to the University of Miami. Larkin had to sit out one game his freshman year, but after receiving a waiver from the NCAA he was able to play in the second game of the season.
His sophomore year, Larkin was named c0-ACC Player of the Year and took his team to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. After being drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 18th pick of the first round, Larkin’s rights were traded to the Mavericks for the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira. Larkin did suffer a setback as he broke his ankle during a summer league practice and had to have surgery. He is expected to miss approximately three months.
Luckily for Larkin, he does not have to come in and take over the starting role immediately. During the offseason, Dallas signed free agent point guard Jose Calderon to a four-year deal. Look for Larkin to come off the bench behind Calderon for the Mavericks as he learns the adjustment from college to the NBA. If greatness runs in the blood, though, I’d watch for this kid to be something special down the road.