BYRON K. LARKIN (`88) -- 1994 Inductee --lettered four years in basketball (1984-88). Holds top spot in the Xavier 1,000-point club. First-ever XU player to have his jersey retired.
It's hard to describe him simply. Byron Larkin, the most decorated player in Xavier history, was and is a classy winner. Arguably, no one player has had a bigger impact on the basketball program at Xavier University.
Larkin, a former high school All-America football safety at Cincinnati's Moeller High School, chose instead to play basketball on the hardwood at Xavier. It didn't take long for Musketeer fans to realize that Larkin was something special. Two games into his freshman season, Larkin took over down the stretch in a 61-58 win at Pittsburgh, collecting 11 of his 13 points in the second half. That all came in just 19 minutes off the bench. Seven games into his freshman year, Larkin's clutch play forced head coach Bob Staak to put him in the starting lineup. That began a string of 115 consecutive starts (a school record that has since been broken by Romain Sato) that ended with Larkin's final game as a senior.
It's no coincidence that XU enjoyed tremendous team success during Larkin's four years. XU captured three MCC Tournament Championships (Larkin the MVP each time), three NCAA Tournament appearances and two MCC Regular Season Championships. XU captured its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory in 1987 behind a 29-point effort from Larkin.
The impressive four-year record during Larkin's stay was 86-35 (71.1 %), including two of the top three seasons for wins in Xavier history in 1985-86 (25-5) and 1987-88 (26-4).
Larkin compiled quite an honor roll while he was at Xavier. He was selected Second Team All-America (1988 UPI and Scripps Howard), Third Team All-America (1988 AP), MCC Player-of-the-Year (1986 and 1988), First Team All-MCC (1986-88), MCC Tournament MVP (1986-88), and was the first alternate for both guard spots on the 1987 U.S. Pan Am Team. He also pumped in 15 points for the East team in its victory in the 1988 NIKE/NABC East-West All-America Game in Kansas City.
He finished his career with 2,696 points, passing the 2,000-point plateau during a 24-point effort at Marquette in December, 1987. During 1988 postseason play he passed Oklahoma's Waymon Tisdale and Navy's David Robinson and moved into 21st place on the NCAA Division I all-time scoring chart. He is still in the Top 20.
Larkin was the first player in Xavier history to lead the team in scoring four straight years. His senior year he led the team in scoring (25.3 ppg.), assists (4.8 per game) and steals (2.1 per game). He scored at least 20 points in 83 games and in double figures 117 times, including a string of 78 straight games. He was the subject of cover stories and national honors from publications like Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, Basketball Weekly and Basketball Times.
There are too many highlights to mention. Who can forget his 45-point effort in the 1986 MCC Tournament Semifinals, hitting 17 of 20 from the field? Larkin provided Xavier with much more than a lot of points, though. He was a true team leader, a leader who led Xavier basketball to the next level.
LARKIN'S XAVIER CAREER STATISTICS
HIGH POINT GAME: 45 vs. Loyola at MCC Tournament (2-28-86)