Five-star guard Romeo Langford talks IU recruiting pitch

  • 07/21/2017 8:40 pm in

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Class of 2018 New Albany and Twenty Two Vision five-star guard Romeo Langford didn’t even need to take the court on Friday at the All-In Hoopfest to draw a crowd.

Langford, who has been a household name in the Southern Indiana area since his freshman season, isn’t playing during the second July evaluation period. But Indiana associate head coach Tom Ostrom still stopped by his team’s game on Friday night, as did Louisville coach Rick Pitino.

The 6-foot-5 guard, who played limited minutes in last weekend’s adidas Gauntlet Finale in Spartanburg, South Carolina, hopes to return next weekend for the adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas.

Langford said his hips are “off,” which is causing him back pain and that he’s currently getting massages and doing pool exercise to rehab.

As for his recruitment, the list of suitors has remained steady.

“It’s still the same. It hasn’t overwhelmed me,” Langford explained. “I’m just taking it day-by-day. Talking to all of the college coaches. I am trying to focus on cutting my list by the end of the summer.”

Langford has offers from every blueblood program in the country, including Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and UCLA. In late June into early July, Langford played for USA Basketball and won a bronze medal in the U19 FIBA World Championships in Cairo, Egypt.

That team was coached by Kentucky’s John Calipari.

“It was good being able to be coached by him already,” Langford said. “And being coached by the other two college coaches, coach Tad (Boyle) and coach Danny Manning. They’re all three good college coaches and I learned a lot from them.”

Indiana, which reaffirmed its scholarship offer to Langford quickly after Archie Miller took over in late March, has taken a straight forward recruiting approach with the top five player.

“(It’s) just the legacy I would have at Indiana because I’m from Indiana,” he explained. “If I go to Indiana, everybody is going to love me.”

In terms of how schools involved in his recruitment plan to utilize Langford, most schools are providing a similar pitch.

“They can help me better myself,” Langford said. “They know what I can do now. Just them helping me and putting me in the right situations on offense and stuff like that.”

The New Albany star said that he has talked about taking a visit to Bloomington, but hasn’t set a date yet. He confirmed that a spring decision is most likely.

“I’m probably going to wait until the spring to make my decision,” he said. “I’ll probably want to take my official visits in the fall and then just wait until the end of my senior year of basketball to make a decision.”

As for his upcoming senior season at New Albany, which sold out nearly every home game last season, the goal is clear: Langford wants to win a state championship.

The Bulldogs won the 2016 Class 4A state championship, but lost to Castle in the regional this past March.

“Winning state. That’s the goal,” Langford said. “We’re going to have to play well as a team. It’s going to be a new squad so we just got to go in from day one, go into practice every day and be focused.”

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  • AndyCapp

    Maybe it’s because of all the hype but I find myself pretty neutral about our recruiting of Langford. Not because he might not be worth all the hype, but because Coach has done an excellent job putting strategic pieces together for the growth of the program and I want to see players commit who share the vision. I think RL’s commitment would help increase awareness of other Indiana players that the program is undergoing a resurgence, but if he doesn’t Coach has got other players in his sights that likely fit the profile of the players we NEED to build a dominant program again. Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to have RL and it sounds like our chances have improved dramatically recently, but I don’t think that he is the panacea that others are making him out to be. JMHO. ‘Kay, ready for the arrows to be shot my way;)

  • LiveIUBBall

    IUBB is on the right track, I think that’s clear. The sky won’t fall, the train won’t come off the tracks without Romeo, but I do not think his impact on and off the court can be understated. RL to IU would be huge, for many reasons.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Great point. I also feel that other big IU target recruits will make a decision in IU’s favor much earlier than RL, therefore we may have to move on without RL. I also hate the fact that John Clipari had an unlimited access to RL during the World games.

  • Steve Shoda

    Putting it frankly Romeo Langford is what being a Hoosier high school basketball player is all about. He works hard, he wants to learn the fundamentals and become the best player he can be, he is humble, he ‘s well mannered and respectful, his main goal is for his TEAM to win a state title in his Senior year of high school. He puts the team first. He could have gone anywhere in the country and played his high school career and his Senior year. Every prep school in the nation would take a top 5 player in the country, and the top shooting guard in the nation. But Romeo chose to stay home. And win another state title with his friend’s in his hometown. I have watched basketball my whole life. I have seen a lot of great players. Gifted players with talent you can’t teach. Romeo is one of the most talented players I have ever seen grace the high school court in Indiana. I am so impressed with Romeo the person. Here’s to a great season and a long and successful basketball career. Romeo will always be a Hoosier.

  • AndyCapp

    Agreed on the whole Calipari deal. When all other coaches have to stay away from these top players, except for eval periods, it’s absolutely bogus that a couple of coaches get unrestricted access to, and allowed to develop relationships with, them.

  • AndyCapp

    I think it would be huge as well, but I think the reasons are less than many – maybe even just a couple – and for off court reasons only. IMO, too speculative to say it would be huge for on-court reasons when he hasn’t even suited up for a college game yet. Still, he seems like a level-headed young man we would all be proud to see wearing candy stripes.

  • I would love Romeo Langford but I agree with the sentiment that I wouldn’t be devastated at all if he doesn’t come. I don’t like one and dones. I don’t like them at all. I don’t blame them one bit for their decisions to leave but in my mind I really don’t even consider them a Hoosier.

  • HardRockHoosier

    I would have to respectfully disagree with your one point. I think RL is almost a “panacea”.. and his commit would be kind of a resounding success. I agree with you that it’s not a devastating loss if we do not get him, but, if he comes, it would start a feeling that IU basketball, at least as far as recruiting has reached a ‘high’ that we haven’t seen in quite a while…. maybe even since the commitment of Isaah Thomas. IT was the most sought after recruit in the country at the time. I am old enough to remember that commit. It was REALLY a great time for IU basketball. Anyway, I do ‘up vote’ you for your post.. You are really right on about it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t happen. Coach is doing a super job just ‘outta the gate”. Can’t wait for the season this year to get underway. ya gotta love the ‘Arch’.

  • Donnie Vick

    Anyone know anything about his hips and back? That doesn’t sound good.

  • TomJameson

    Steve, well said. I’ve heard the same things about Romeo the person from others who have spoken to him or met him. The person behind the one-and-done is what makes them valuable to a team for that one year, or not.

    If the player is only concerned with himself, getting to the NBA as quickly as possible, and isn’t really a team player, then I don’t want them either. But if they want to win as part of a team, if they want to contribute and not take over, if they care about the team in that one year … then I want that one-and-done on my team.

    And even though he has the ability to get to the NBA after one season, doesn’t mean he will. Example would be Cody Zeller. I really don’t think it is out of the question that Romeo (please come to IU), will play for two years to enjoy the college experience as much as he can. You can never go back, so get it while you can.

  • TomJameson

    That whole deal is beyond the pale, IMO. It’s just not anywhere close to being fair for recruiting, and (sarcasm warning) the NCAA is all about fairness, right?

  • TomJameson

    No arrows Andy. You have a valid point, and it’s an opinion that’s shared by many. Of course there’s also the opinion that’s shared by many, that Romeo would be the program changer that Cody was. Both sides have valid arguments, but there are program differences that need to be thought of as well.

    Both programs were/are in a resurgence of sots. When Cody came to IU the program got a big jump in recruiting and awareness. But an argument can be made that the current program is already getting that big jump in recruiting and awareness. Three top-100 recruits in 2 days can’t be ignored.

    I think there is great validity to the point that NOT getting Romeo wouldn’t hurt IU BB and its recruiting at this point. And I think that getting him wouldn’t be as big of a jump as some think. Big new and big deal, yes, but I think the bigger difference maker (Archie) is already making waves, and another top player can easily be a difference maker that Romeo can/could.

    But yes, I want Romeo to come to IU for 1-2 years. It would be a program changer, just not at the level that some want to put it. He’s already being upstaged by Archie, and Arch isn’t even close to being done yet.

  • Lance76

    Making a decision late could be good for IU since we have three more scollys to give. Other teams may not have the scollys to give or fill earlier with other talent. If RL goes elsewhere, maybe we identify a grad transfer big to fill in spring 2018 or hold scolly til the next year and bring more balance to classes.

  • GregFeltner

    The comments on here drive me crazy. Everybody knows these kids read these. Romeo is a game changer! He’s a top 5 recruit from INDIANA. We should be begging Romeo to come. We need one and dones. Its part of the game now, like it or not.

  • Outoftheloop

    Let’s go all in for this great kid. He could be the best since Oscar and Bird. Pick the Candy Stripes Romeo, you are correct “everyone will love” you!

  • AndyCapp

    Thanks for your comments and upvoting HRH. Especially interesting comment about IT. I would agree that in terms of ranking, skill and position played, Romeo is the closest we’ve seen or at least gone after since Thomas. I haven’t seen enough of Romeo’s game to know if he is as good as making other players around him better like Thomas was, so will have to withhold opinion on whether he is a panacea 😉

  • Outoftheloop

    Always save a scholarship for Romeo! We have to give ourselves a chance for him to say “yes” in the Spring. With 4 recruits for 2017 (now with Race), 3 for 2016, 1 for 2015 (but Juwan is special), wrap up 4 for 2018 (with Jerome and Damezi there are 2 spots open), definitely save the 13th for Romeo until he tells Archie “no” or “yes”! I hope that Phinisee says “yes” very soon, or he may miss the Hoosier Party. IU should certainly take the first 2 who say “yes” out of our great list of Phinisee, Garland, Dort, Duke, and the others in the top 70 I can’t now remember.

  • AndyCapp

    I haven’t seen a single inflammatory comment about RL on this thread. What are you getting all bent outta shape about?
    And IUBB should NEVER have to beg to get any recruit.
    Period.
    End of discussion.

  • AndyCapp

    Not that my opinion matters much, but I’m all for your last sentence!

  • bball at nick’s

    Romeo is exactly the kind of 5-star we have a chance of getting, one who places high value on his Indiana roots and one who would be remembered in Hoosier history as having launched an ailing program and a rising coach to new heights. I hope that at the end of all the recruiting hullabaloo and all the elite hawks knocking on his door Romeo will sit back, close his eyes, and see something of the magic and stardust that only the candy stripes can offer to this home-grown star.

  • IndyBronco

    Does the fact that Romeo is holding off until the spring any indication that he wants to see how season 1 for Archie goes before making a decision? I would think that I would have my mind made up at this point and want to get everyone off of my back. He’s going to have to hear from coaches day after day.

  • bball at nick’s

    By the same token, he might also want to see how his own game and injury develop before making a decision on the program that suits him best.

  • AndyCapp

    Or, as so many have suggested or agree with, he may just be focusing on winning another state title for his school and teammates. Whatever it is I think it has less to do with colleges at this point in time and more about the next set of immediate goals he has set for himself.

  • Stourley Kracklite

    Good luck, Romeo! This from a Hoosiers fan. Whichever college you attend you will be bringing a level of maturity that is rare. I would like to note that I once watched an interview of several NBA legends. When asked for their favorite moments in their basketball careers each one mentioned something from their college days. College is short and good memories cannot be bought. Cheers.

  • Stourley Kracklite

    It sounds like he is taking care of himself.

  • AndyCapp

    I think the reason that we seem to have moved into a more favorable position with him is because he seems like a loyal young man and he understands the legacy of his Indiana basketball roots. If we do get him I believe it will be because he knows that he “would be remembered in Hoosier history as having launched an ailing program and a rising coach to new heights”… Love this comment.

  • bball at nick’s

    True his priority is to win a title, but I don’t think recruiting would distract him from that. I think he mentioned the title in order to focus people on that goal instead of his recruitment, perhaps to buy himself some privacy while he makes the decision on a college. Good luck to him with that, LOL.

  • IUBizmark

    Five star guys typically wait until spring, because they can. It also helps keep their name top of mind because they believe it keeps people talking about them in several different fan bases, etc. Seeing how IU does this season is likely more of a side benefit of waiting until the spring to commit.

  • I agree that _if_ Romeo is that kind of kid, then IU is in great shape with him. And Archie is a coach who can help him secure that kind of Indiana legacy in building the program back to where it belongs.

    Without wanting to insult Romeo, however — it’s not _necessary_ that he be that bought into his Indiana roots — I just don’t know yet if that’s how he thinks. And I do think Archie has something to prove on the court, as much as I’m loving what he’s done so far. Next season will be vital in demonstrating beyond a doubt what kind of coach Archie is — and I’ll add that I’m 99.9% confident he’s going to amaze some people.

  • I get his point. There are a few comments basically saying that Romeo is great, but the program will do just fine without him. And I think that’s essentially true, even while I believe that getting Romeo would accelerate the whole process of IU returning to elite status.

    And I’ll add that Crean is no longer coach because IU hasn’t been THE destination school for Indiana kids. I believe Archie will get the program back to that status, but it hasn’t happened yet.

  • bball at nick’s

    I’m just saying that with the offers he has from all the top schools it would take the type of love that Cody had for his home state to bring him here. I’m not putting down Archie at all, and for all I know there might be something particular to Archie that stands out for him; e.g., being young and energetic and a great motivator, etc.

  • bball at nick’s

    Begging of Shakespearian proportions! LOL.

  • bball at nick’s

    He never said the comments were inflammatory, just that they drive him crazy. You don’t think the daily texts to recruits are a digital-age form of begging? We just need to up the text-begging a bit with Romeo, LOL.

  • I think we’re singing from the same choir book here.

  • Corey Dunigan

    It also gives the player time to closely monitor roster changes.
    Incoming and outbound.

    Guys like Romeo who are title chasers want to play with the guys who can help them get it done. See everything NBA right now.

  • Corey Dunigan

    There is not a school in the land that will turn down Romeo because of scholarship numbers.

    The Dukes and UK’s of the world may stop recruiting him if they get other players to commit at the same position first but scholarship numbers alone will not decide if any team gets him. IMHO

  • William Stephens

    I also believe he has a desire for a quality education. I know that can be achieved after going pro. But if he wants one from an outstanding University with a top business school. Indiana is the place. As far as Louisville or Kentucky they have nothing to compare to the IU School of Business. I recently read where the IU School of Business is rated #5 nationally. That’s pretty solid. Duke and Vanderbilt can hold their own for prominent degrees. However his parents are U of L fans so I feel the last place he would go is UK, unless somebody got wealthy. Which has happened to UK recruits before. I’m old school, I still believe an Indiana kid has to have a desire to attend IU if they are a basketball player. The candy stripes are a tradition few get the chance to wear. If he stays one year I doubt he will develop a legacy. But if he were to stay three years and get his degree the way many of IU’s players have he would surely be a state wide hero with a legacy few have had.

  • William Stephens

    Good statements from you and Steve. But IU’s advisors have worked with a number of past players to get them graduated in three years. Romeo has indicated that education is very important to his family and himself. I feel strongly that if Archie has a good season Romeo will be a Hoosier in 2018-19.