On Tuesday night, Shane Larkin got a phone call from DePaul associate head coach Dr. Ron Bradley and decided to pull the trigger and verbally committed to the Blue Demons and head coach Oliver Purnell for the class of 2011.
The 5-11, 160 lb. point guard prospect from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando chose DePaul over interest from Boston College, Central Florida, Colorado, George Mason, Mississippi, and South Florida.
"DePaul was always there on top of my list," said Larkin.
Larkin took an official visit to DePaul's Lincoln Park campus a few weeks ago.
"The city of Chicago is amazing, I had never been in a big city like that," said Larkin.
"The city of Chicago really impressed me. The campus is right in the middle of Lincoln Park. It's a real comfortable feel."
Larkin cited the long-time relationship that he's had with Purnell and his staff as being a big factor in his decision. Purnell and Bradley had been recruiting Larkin since they were at Clemson.
"Ever since Coach Purnell was at Clemson, I wanted to play in that system," said Larkin. "They were the first high-major to call me and offer me a scholarship. If he was still at Clemson, I would have probably committed awhile ago. DePaul hasn't been successful lately, Purnell turned around a lot of other programs. He's the one coach that can turn it around. I like the style of play."
"The relationship that Coach has made with me and my family is a big thing," added Shane.
Larkin is the son of former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, but it was his mother that had a strong influence in his decision.
"My Mom has had a condo picked out in Chicago for like four weeks now, so I knew where she wanted me to go," said Shane. "My Dad knew the recruiting process and he helped me out a lot. DePaul offered me both the opportunity to play at the next level of basketball and the opportunity to have a good job after graduating from there."
Shane is looking forward to playing in the Big East and the level of competition that the league offers.
"I think the Big East is the best conference," said Larkin. "You have to go every night. Every night you go up against one of the top point guards in the nation. Every night is going to be a battle. If you go out there and play through it, do what you're supposed to do and win, I think the Big East is the best conference to be in, if you want to play basketball after college."
Larkin is ranked as the 20th best point guard in the nation by Scout.com and is regarded as the 85th best overall prospect in the country according to the RSCI rankings.
"I'm a do-it-all point guard," Larkin said. "I can shoot it, penetrate and kick, play defense, step and take a charge, find the open man, I can do all of it.
Larkin joins Crete-Monee's Jamie Crockett and Rich South's Macari Brooks in the class of 2011 for Purnell.
"I fit their style where I can go on the break and use my decision-making ability to find open players for lobs," said Shane. "I know they've got Macari Brooks and Jamie Crockett. I've watched them on YouTube. Those dudes are crazy athletic! It's going to be real fun being up in that press, somebody getting a steal at half court, pushing to me on the wing, and me just throwing a lob anywhere three feet from the rim to those two coming in and killing it."
Shane averaged 19 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.5 steals per games as a junior at Dr. Phillips High School where the Panthers advanced all the way to the state championship game last season. Larkin faced-off with Winter Park and Duke-bound point guard Austin Rivers in that game.
"We played Winter Park in the state championship last year," said Shane. "A lot of people down here are saying that we're going to meet up with them again in the state championship this year."
With any luck Larkin and the Panthers will get there.
Stay tuned to WeAreDePaul.com for the very latest on Blue Demons recruiting.
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