The best point guard in the ACC, Shane Larkin of Miami, and the best point guard in the Big Ten, Trey Burke of Michigan, were both in the high school class of 2011. This year, they’re arguably two of the best point guards in college basketball – I’m sure Aaron Craft of Ohio State, Nate Wolters of South Dakota St and Peyton Siva of Louisville might get votes, as well – and could advance to the Final Four.
Larkin and Burke have come a long way from their high school days – Larkin was the 16th best point guard in his class according to Rivals and Burke, amazingly, was 26th. ESPN’s Recruiting Database basically had the two flipped – Burke was 15th and Larkin was 26th.
We won’t begin to wonder how the pundits could have missed so badly – AAU teams? Size? – but two years later, if you’re re-ranking the point guard class of 2011, both would almost certainly be in the Top 5. Two years later, this is how I’d rank them now, which is difficult, because a couple of them left for the NBA after one year: 1) Burke, 2) Larkin, 3) Teague, 4) Wroten, 5) Kabongo.
Larkin accepted a scholarship to DePaul, but transferred out due to a mysterious health ailment (which still hasn’t been made public). He had a tremendous year with the Hurricanes, making 1st team All-ACC and winning ACC Tournament MVP honors.
Burke was vastly under-recruited out of Ohio. He had lower-middle Big East teams after him (Cincinnati, Providence) as well as lower-middle Big Ten 10 teams (Iowa, Nebraska, Penn State). He is a near lock to win Big Ten player of the Year, and he’s a contender for the National Player of the Year award (with Georgetown’s Otto Porter and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo).