Monday, September 16, 2013
ESPN 100 SF Larrier commits to VCU
By Adam Finkelstein
ESPN 100 SF Terry Larrier (Bronx, N.Y./Phelps School) made a verbal commitment to VCU on Monday night following his official visit this weekend. Larrier, ranked No. 59 overall and No. 15 among small forwards, was widely expected to choose between VCU and Connecticut, but was also considering Florida, Florida State, and Miami among others.
The commitment punctuates what was a breakout season on the spring and summer travel circuits, as Larrier came into his AAU season without a single high-major offer but ultimately wound up with his choice of BCS suitors after a strong showing with Team Scan on the EYBL circuit.
Terry Larrier can cover the floor and should flourish in VCU's high-powered transition offense.
Why he committed: VCU was at the forefront of his thoughts from the very beginning. Even back in March, when he didn’t own a single high-major offer, there was always a sentiment that VCU would be a great place for him, with style of play being a major factor. But when competition got fierce for Larrier’s services, ultimately it was the relationship with head coach Shaka Smart and associate head coach Mike Rhoades that proved to be the difference.
"Coach Smart and Coach Rhoades, I have a real relationship with those guys," Larrier told ESPN. "Coach Smart is real motivation, he gets his players better, and that’s the type of coach I want to play for."
What he brings: An elite level athlete who is an ideal fit for VCU's "havoc" defense. His athleticism extends beyond his explosive leaping ability. He runs the floor like a deer, has terrific agility and is exceptionally smooth with all of his movements. Defensively, he's capable of guarding multiple positions and potentially outstanding in run-and-jump situations. Offensively, he's one of the best in the country when it comes to filling lanes and finishing on the break, and he has other raw offensive tools that he should be capable of utilizing more consistently in the future.
How he fits: His length, athleticism and consequent ability to cover the court will make him an immediate weapon in VCU's full court pressure defense. He'll also be versatile within that system, capable of rattling opposing ball-handlers in the front line of their coverages or acting as an interceptor in the second line of the defense. VCU's ability to force turnovers funnels a high powered transition offense in which Larrier also should flourish. The rest of his offensive game will gradually expand during his time in Richmond, but eventually he's the type of guy who should pose major mismatch problems on the offensive end.
How the class is shaping up: Larrier joins two four-star prospects in point guard Jonathan Williams (Newark, N.J./St. Benedict's) and power forward Justin Tillman (Redford, Mich./Pershing) to give Shaka Smart the foundation for what potentially could be his best recruiting class yet. Not only are all three players uniquely talented, but they’re all similarly ideal fit for VCU's unique style of play, which is predicated on two basic types of full-court defensive pressure, a consequently up-tempo offense, and then a half-court, pick-and-roll system which distinguishes itself by attacking opposing defenses from a variety of angles on the floor.
Who he reminds us of: His size on the perimeter, long wingspan, and high level athleticism are all reminiscent of former Cincinnati swingman DerMarr Johnson, who was a McDonald's All-American in 1999 before being selected sixth overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2000 NBA Draft.