University of Miami guard Shane Larkin is carried by forward Julian Gamble during their third round NCAA basketball game in Austin, Texas

Shane Larkin beat out Trey Burke for at least one POY award

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Rob Dauster told us the other day about the numerous Player of the Year awards that are handed out in college basketball. Clearly, Trey Burke is deserving of the several he’s already won. But he hasn’t won them all.

Shane Larkin was honored with the 2013 Lute Olson Player of the Year Award, and got his photo taken with one of the game’s all-time great coaches.

The Olson Award is given to a player who has been with his team for at least two seasons, so freshmen and recent transfers can’t win it. That certainly doesn’t rule out Burke in this case, but the Olson Award – which has only been awarded since 2010 – has only been given to the most obvious candidate once in those four years. See if you can guess which one I mean?

2012: Doug McDermott, Creighton
2011: Kemba Walker, Connecticut
2010: Sherron Collins, Kansas

Yep, 2011 the Olson committee hit it on the nose. Other seasons, they honored some great college players, but may have been a little out of step with the national zeitgeist.

Regardless of the relatively low national stature of the award, this had to feel good for Larkin. The sophomore led the Miami Hurricanes to the best season in school history, averaging 14.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and two steals per contest. Definitely a magnificent season and one worth honoring.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.