Indiana's Mr. Basketball, Romeo Langford, has decided to stay at home and play for Archie Miller at Indiana. The Hoosiers beat out Kansas and Vanderbilt. Langford was the highest-rated recruit remaining in the ESPN 100. Langford finished fourth all-time in the state in career scoring with over 3,000 points at New Albany High School.
Why he committed: When Miller took the Indiana job 13 months ago, the Hoosiers were not really in the race for Langford. Miller made up significant ground in Langford's recruitment by making him a major priority. He laid out a specific plan of benefits that playing at Indiana will bring to him, both on and off the court. The appeal to stay home and play for the Hoosiers became a golden opportunity.
Back in February he told ESPN what he was looking for in a his future head coach.
"I want to play for a head coach who will push me and get things out of myself that I have not been able to do over the years," Langford said. "I want a head coach that will help me become a better man both on and off the court."
What he brings: When it comes to scoring the ball, Langford is special. He is a prolific scoring guard who understands how to create space for himself and make difficult shots look easy. He's dangerous from distance with range and accuracy, as well as a legitimate threat from the mid-range area. His pull-up jumper is well-polished and at times his signature shot. He owns an athletic frame with body control to finish at the rim. From a live ball he possesses a quick first step, attacking mindset and a knack for getting to the line. For a player with star qualities Langford fits in well with his teammates, which is an important trait as he jumps to the college game. The bottom line on Langford is that he has the mindset and is gifted enough to get points in the conversion game -- through set plays, or from a broken play -- and that type of ability is something any program needs, especially Indiana.
How he fits: With the losses of James Blackmon, Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby prior to last season, Miller had a solid roster at best in his first year, as there were no stars or difference makers to count on. Miller did an excellent job coaching his team to a .500 record in the Big Ten. Langford will have the opportunity to play as many minutes as he can handle and will have plenty of opportunities to score. But Langford won't have the pressure to be the man as Juwan Morgan, who led the team in scoring, will be back, as well as big man De'Ron Davis, who showed plenty of promise inside and can perform at a high level when needed. Langford will get a major share of the limelight based on his reputation and will certainly have an impact, but does not have to do it alone. That was the fit he was looking for. Miller needed a star-type player, so it turned into a win-win scenario.
Who he reminds us of: There are many players you could compare Langford's game to because of his prolific scoring abilities. Another former Indiana Mr. Basketball, Gary Harris, comes to mind. Harris went to Michigan State and went on to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Both score the ball best from various spots on the floor, have a knack for making jumpers from long range, mid-range and in close, and have a drive game that complements well. Both are strong two-point shooters, have deep range and accuracy from distance but need consistency. Harris a better defender at the same stage, but Langford is capable with his strong frame and size. Langford's pull up jumper reminds some of former NBA all-star Paul Pierce, as their pull-up is the best part of their scoring package.
How the class is shaping up: Landing Langford gives Miller and company recruiting momentum moving forward at Indiana. The recruiting credibility coming from the best player in state staying home has been established. The class was ranked at No. 26, and with Langford on board the group should see a jump in to the top 15. He will join ESPN 100 Jerome Hunter along with 4-stars Robert Phinisee, Jake Forrester and Damezi Anderson as an exceptionally strong first class for Miller and his trusted staff. The Hoosiers can now turn all their attention to the class of 2019 and beyond.