“Older Brother” Juwan Morgan’s Defense of Romeo Langford “Meant a Lot”

There were a lot of uninformed narratives floating around regarding one-and-done Indiana guard Romeo Langford.

His former teammate Juwan Morgan crushed nearly every single one of them last week.

And now it’s Langford’s turn — to show some appreciation.

In a revealing Q&A by Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated, Langford expressed gratitude for Morgan’s recent comments that set the record straight on the former Indiana Mr. Basketball.

After rumors of the New Albany native being a bad teammate, or soft, or unwilling to play through injuries, Morgan said this regarding Langford on Indianapolis television station WISH TV last week:

“He was definitely the best teammate I’ve ever been with,” Morgan said.  “All the guys will attest to that, Romeo was not a bad teammate at all. If you were there in the locker room and during practice, you would see the pain he’s going through with his hand. He was in treatment more than anyone else I’ve ever been around, and I’ve been around a lot of injured guys.”

The 6-foot-6 Langford played through most of his lone season in Bloomington with a dislocated thumb that required a bulky wrap on his shooting hand.

He likely negatively impacted his NBA Draft position by playing through the injury rather than shutting things down in November and preparing to play professional basketball.  Langford shot just 27% from three-point range for the 2018-19 season.

A back injury caused Langford to miss the National Invitational Tournament and led to further criticism by some of his commitment to the team.

Langford was asked about Morgan’s comments in the SI interview.

“It means a lot because Juwan was like the older brother of the team, at least for me,” Langford said.  “He’s a great mentor, he was my roommate for road games and whenever we traveled. I just learned a lot from him. For him to come out and say that, it really meant a lot.”

On his way to second team All-Big Ten honors, Langford averaged 16.5 points per game.  He was second on the team with 5.4 rebounds and 26 blocks, third in assists with 75, and fourth in steals with 25.

Langford also spoke about the pressure he faced coming to IU as a highly regarded in-state recruit.

“I didn’t really feel too much pressure. I’m not going into it [thinking] that there were going to be a lot of eyes on me. Just from me being from Indiana, just from me being Mr. Basketball is going to come with all those extra distractions, but I didn’t really deal with that pressure because I knew what I was getting myself into.”

The Q&A session covered a lot of other topics including perimeter shooting, what he sees as his role at the next level, his favorite memory at IU, and more.

The 2019 NBA Draft is on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.  Langford will be in attendance at the event in the green room.

Langford is widely expected to be a first round selection, and likely in the pick 12 to 20 range based on most projections.

You can watch a full length NBA Draft scouting review of Langford’s strengths and weaknesses here.

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