DePaul had high hopes for incoming freshman Shane Larkin. The combo guard from Orlando had a chance to start alongside incumbent point guard Brandon Young. At the minimum, he was going to be an important part of the backcourt rotation because he could handle and shoot.
I’m typing in the past tense because DePaul just announced Larkin has a medical condition that “requires him to be closer to his Orlando home.” Larkin, who finished the first session of summer school and participated in the team’s initial practices for next week’s trip to France, will not attend DePaul.
“I’m disappointed he’s not going to be here, and we’re concerned about Shane’s well-being,” second-year coach Oliver Purnell said in a statement released by DePaul. “I support his decision.”
“At this time, the best situation for my well-being is to stay in Florida,” Larkin said in a statement. “I appreciate everything Coach Purnell and the staff have done to support me at this time.”
When I talked with Larkin in late June --- two weeks after his arrival --- he seemed cool with his new surroundings.
“Everybody’s getting along pretty well,” Larkin said. “The first week was kind of like, getting to know each other and not being ourselves. But now, in the dorm, everybody’s got their door open and blasting music and coming into each other’s room making jokes and everything.”
I’m reading between the lines here, but I’m guessing if Larkin enjoyed his DePaul experience, he would have asked for a sabbatical to get better and then planned a return to the school…and DePaul would have presented his departure in that regard.
Somewhere there’s a disconnect…or maybe there are a combination of factors at work that include the medical condition.
Larkin underwent a thorough physical when he arrived at DePaul. You’d think any danger signs would have been noted at that time. That’s what happened at Toledo this summer. Incoming freshman Justin Moss was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which required him to quit playing ball.
I’m guessing we’ll learn more as time marches along. CBS Sports' Jeff Goodman already has tweeted it wouldn't be a surprise to see Larkin turn to Miami and new coach Jim Larranaga.