“That puts him in a very select group of guys,” Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga said Tuesday when given the news. “It’s certainly well deserved. I’m certain the other 29 are also well-deserved.”
Larkin is averaging 13.1 points a game along with 4.3 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals. The latter figure leads the ACC going into this week’s play, and he is second in minutes played per game (36.1).
More important to Miami’s success has been Larkin’s leadership. As the only sophomore starter among four seniors, he has been the catalyst that has driven the Hurricanes to the top of the ACC standings. They are 13-1 in the conference going into Wednesday night’s game against Virginia Tech.
In addition to his offense, Larkin, also is one of 12 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award that the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame presents to the top collegiate point guard, is just as key on the defensive end of the court.
Though he won’t draw the initial assignment of guarding the Hokies’ Erick Green -- the task of taking on the nation’s top scorer (25.1) will go to senior Durand Scott -- Larkin likely will be facing Green at various times, just as he did when the two teams met in Blacksburg back on Jan. 30.
The game against Tech will be one of three remaining home games for the Hurricanes, who finish up the regular season at home against Georgia Tech and Clemson.
If the Hurricanes can win those three, it won’t matter how they fare against second-place Duke Saturday in their lone remaining road game. They would finish first in the ACC in the regular season and earn the top seed in the conference tournament.
Duke, 11-3 in the conference, plays at Virginia Thursday night.
If Miami beats Virginia Tech and the Blue Devils lose to the Cavaliers, the Hurricanes would need only one more win to clinch a first-place finish in the regular season.