The 2018-19 Indiana University men’s basketball season is right around the corner. To help get you ready, The Daily Hoosier is profiling every player on the 2018-19 IU roster. You can see all of our 2018-19 player profiles in one place here. If you are looking for the 2018-19 IU basketball schedule, you can find that here.
One of the most anticipated Indiana basketball recruits of all time is about to play his first game in a Hoosier uniform.
Romeo Langford captivated the state of Indiana with his 3,002 point high school career (4th all-time in state history), and the lights are only going to get brighter in Bloomington. The New Albany, Indiana native will be the 27th former Indiana Mr. Basketball to play for the Hoosiers and the 30th former McDonald’s All-American.
For as talented as he is on the court, part of the fascination with Langford stems from his quiet and humble demeanor as well as his willingness to interact with the fans. It was standard operating procedure in high school for Langford to stay for more than an hour after his games to visit with fans and sign autographs.
His qualities off the court led him to be one of seven players considered for the Morgan Wooten Award which is presented to a player who displays outstanding character, shows leadership and embodies the values of a student athlete.
But make no mistake, Langford is uber-talented on the court, and his talents did not go unappreciated by the national recruiting analysts. He was ranked No. 5 by ESPN and 247Sports and No. 6 by Rivals in the class of 2018 national rankings.
For his career at New Albany, he averaged 28.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 2.9 assists, 2.2 blocks. The 6-foot-6 guard shot 56.0 percent from the field, 36.0 percent from 3-point range and 79.0 percent from the line.
Langford outperformed his career averages as a senior, pouring in 35.5 points and 8.9 rebounds a game.
- Height: 6-foot-6
- Weight: 215
- Position: Guard
- Class: Freshman
- Hometown: New Albany
- High School: New Albany High School
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
IU head coach Archie Miller on Langford:
“Just how talented and gifted he is athletically. I think you can probably say he’s very athletic or watch him play and say, wow, but he just does things so easy and so smoothly. If he was a football player he’d be Randy Moss. If he was a track athlete, he’d probably be Usain Bolt or one of those guys. Just the stride, the elevation, quick jumps, second jumps, the — just the knifing through people, covering ground from rim to rim, things just like that that just — he probably takes for granted but in most cases you watch him and he really makes it look easy.”
WHAT 2018-19 SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE
The buzz, hype and excitement surrounding Langford has some Hoosiers fans expecting his high school stats to immediately translate to the Big Ten. While that isn’t a reasonable expectation, it wouldn’t be altogether unprecedented.
For the 1970-71 season, IU newcomer George McGinnis averaged an IU record and Big Ten-best 29.9 points and 14.7 rebounds per game. To be fair, McGinnis was a sophomore that year after sitting out his freshman season under the rules at that time.
Can Langford ultimately be as talented of a pro as McGinnis? Absolutely. Is he going to score 30 a game at IU? That is highly unlikely.
The more apt recent comparison would be the electrifying freshman season of Eric Gordon. The former Hoosier star averaged 20.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists while earning first team all-Big Ten honors.
Gordon was the first Hoosier freshman to average 20 points a game. Can Langford get there? That would not be surprising.
We expect that Langford won’t leave the starting lineup all year, will score between 16 and 22 points per game, while adding more than 4 rebounds and 3 assists per contest.
More important will be his offensive efficiency, the ability to play in a complimentary fashion with Juwan Morgan, and growing more accustomed to passing when defenses collapse on him. Can he withstand more contact at the rim, and get to and capitalize on opportunities at the free throw line?
Langford is going to be a star in what will likely be his only season in the Big Ten. In addition to being the leading contender for Big Ten freshman of the year, we expect him to make a run at first team all-Big Ten.
When you put it all together, a season of that caliber should have IU contending back towards the top of the conference and back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2016.
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