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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Keith Langford on fire overseas

Former Kansas University basketball player Keith Langford, second from left, accepts the hardware as MVP of the Adriatic League’s Final Four tournament.

Former Kansas University basketball player Keith Langford, second from left, accepts the hardware as MVP of the Adriatic League’s Final Four tournament.

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Former Kansas University basketball guard Keith Langford continues to dominate overseas.

The 6-foot-4 Fort Worth, Texas, native recently was named MVP of the Adriatic League’s Final Four tournament.

Langford, who plays for Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, scored 21 points, grabbed four rebounds and had three steals in an 87-77 championship-game victory over Cedevita. He scored 17 points in the semifinals.

Maccabi this week will begin play in the Israeli Final Four.

He will return to the United States on May 28 and figures to spend at least some time in Lawrence in June to work out with his brother, KU junior-to-be Justin Wesley.

It’s being speculated that the 28-year-old Langford will not return to Maccabi next season.

Italian website Sportando.net reports that Langford is No. 1 target of Emporio Armani Milano of Italy. Also, Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul has made an offer.

“We presented Keith with our best offer, but we’re aware he has others we can’t match,” a Maccabi team official told Sportando. Maccabi reportedly has offered Langford $800,000 for next season and a $100,000 buyout if he leaves the team after one season.

Sportando reveals that Euroleague teams Armani Milano and Ulker Istanbul are offering well over $1 million a year, perhaps up to $1.5 million.

Offer: Kevon Looney, a 6-foot-8 junior wing from Milwaukee’s Hamilton High, has received a scholarship offer from KU, Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi reports. Looney played for the Milwaukee Rebels in last weekend’s Kansas City Classic AAU Tournament in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

“The Milwaukee (Wis.) Hamilton product showed off improved athleticism and ball handling to go along with ever-improving range on his jumper,” Bossi wrote. “Looney is simply a kid with a knack for making basketball plays on both ends of the floor, and his high shoulders and length allow him to fully utilize his size making him a matchup problem who can play on the interior or perimeter.”

Bossi says Looney has offers from KU, Wisconsin, Marquette, Illinois, Tennessee and Michigan.

Custer update: Clayton Custer, a 6-foot junior to be from Blue Valley Northwest, also competed at the tourney for MoKan Elite. He has received offers from Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Houston thus far.

Barber likes KU, Bama: Anthony Barber, a 6-2 senior-to-be from Hampton (Va.) High, tells hokiehaven.com that KU and Alabama have been recruiting him the hardest of late. He also has UConn, Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech and others on his list.

“I look forward to going to the schools and seeing what they’ve got,” Barber told the website.

Comments

Gary Wirsig 6 years, 11 months ago

So Kevon Looney has "high shoulders". Since we know he's 6'8", does that mean his head is unusually short? Just kidding. High shoulders is a new term to me.

Martin Rosenblum 6 years, 11 months ago

I was just going to comment on that new term. It would make the "Flagrant 1" foul harder to call on him.

cklarock 6 years, 11 months ago

It's probably about short neck vs. long neck -- you can be 6'8" (measuring the top of your head), but if you have a really long neck, some of that height is illusory (in functional terms). So you might be the functional equivalent of 6'6".

I'm guessing "high shoulders" means "short neck."

Martin Rosenblum 6 years, 11 months ago

Keith should take the Armani offer. It probably includes some nice clothing benefits. Plus, imagine the uniforms! But they may have made him an offer he can't refuse, if you know what I mean. They have 200,000 more on the table than the Israelis, it's just business, capiche?

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 11 months ago

He can join one time Kansas recruit and Nike wearing Malik Hairston.

waywardJay 6 years, 11 months ago

It's Emporio Armani. Not Georgio. Big difference.

Granted it's not Wrangler, but Emporio isn't as Illustrious as Georgio.

And that's this weeks fashion tip....

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 11 months ago

Does Brett Favre do commercials for either? Do I need to say more?

jhox 6 years, 11 months ago

I hear Custer isn't having a great summer and is struggling against bigger, more athletic guards. Having seen him play only once, my impression was that he's a good scoring but undersized, not especially quick guard. I just don't believe, given his lack of size and quickness, that he'll get an offer from KU.

Sam Constance 6 years, 11 months ago

So you're saying this might be his last stand?

jhox 6 years, 11 months ago

Good one, marchphog88, but unlike the General, it sounds like Clayton may have other options (though some would successfully argue going to K-State would be a fate worse than death.)

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 11 months ago

I've never understood why Keith isn't in the NBA. He has proven talent, not just potential. Yes.. I know the talent difference between the NBA and the Adriatic League but he is obviously near the top of the talent pool. Still though, he must be having a blast over in Europe/Western Asia and making that type of money. He has always been one of my favorite Jayhawks.

On a different subject, I saw Cole a couple of times over the weekend. He looked to be in great shape. Hopefully he will play on a bigger stage next year. If not in the NBA, seems like Jayhawks are doing pretty well overseas. he just has too much talent to be playing in the D League.

Steve Kubler 6 years, 11 months ago

I've been trying to find feeds of Keith's games. So far I've not found anything worth watching. Might help if my language skills were a bit better.

I think Cole's lack of playing time revolves around being a rookie in a strike shortened season. If they had more time to work with him I believe he would get a few more minutes, but very few. The Thunder have plenty of bigs this year with much more experience and it is not surprising that a rookie would not see much time.

The few times I've seen him play he holds his own fairly well. He has trouble staying in front of slashing guard/forwards but makes up for it somewhat with blocks after they go by. I expect that next year we will see more out of him. That is if you can stand to watch the NBA style of hack & slash ball they display these days.

jhox 6 years, 11 months ago

I believe Cole's lack of playing time has to do with the style of game OKC plays. Put him somewhere like San Antonio and he'd be playing a lot more minutes.

dallasmd 6 years, 11 months ago

As a Spurs fan, I (and more importantly, Tim Duncan) would be very happy to have another shot-blocker out on the floor. During the Spurs championship years, they won with defense and initially this was contingent upon a defensive strategy that funneled offensive players into Duncan and Robinson; since Robinson retired, Duncan has not had a similar player forcing the Spurs to change their style of play to more of an offensive one (one which has been pretty successful). I'm sure Popovich would be quite happy to return to playing the same defensive-first strategy that while boring won them 4 championships.

Sam Constance 6 years, 11 months ago

Aldrich is not a rookie any longer. This is his second season.

And I don't think the strike has as much to do with it as much as the fact that OKC not only has several competent bigs, but they are the types of bigs that Aldrich will have a hard time moving in front of on the depth chart.

Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison are all excellent defensive front court players, and even an older Nazr Mohammed is serviceable. Aldrich would have a better chance playing on a roster with guys who are more talented offensively, but lack the defensive skill, since he could come in as a changeup. As it is, he's just the fourth defensive big, who happens to be last in terms of NBA experience.

I agree with jhox as well, that part of it has to do with the style of game that OKC plays. They like to run and gun, and while Cole is capable of getting up and down the court, he needs to be on a team that will be a little more deliberate, like San Antonio.

Plus, let's be honest, a team with Russell "I pound the ball like it's a piece of steak that needs tenderizing" Westbrook at PG and a HOF-caliber talent like Durant at SF, there isn't going to be much for anyone to do on that team.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 11 months ago

I forgot that jhox..Now I wonder if he gets another contract.

wrwlumpy 6 years, 11 months ago

OKC had Nick in the last 17 minutes of the game. 4 rebounds 2 put-back tips and a steal. He and Durant were there at the beginning of that franchise.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 11 months ago

Wow..saw Cole on the court against the Lakers. Didn't realize he was even on the roster. 2 Jayhawks on the Thunder, one on the Celtics and one on the Heat, someone should get a ring.

justanotherfan 6 years, 11 months ago

Unfortunately, the Spurs are playing the best of anyone, otherwise I'd agree wholeheartedly that the Thunder were the favorites.

REHawk 6 years, 11 months ago

Good to see Keith clocking those European greenbacks. I hope his body isn't taking the beatings that players in the NBA face nightly. These close NBA Play-off games are really brutal. Mr. Naismith might grimace in dismay, watching the hockey-style pushing, thwacking, elbowing, slamming in a professional game which has come to be so different from the sport he helped develop.

Robert Brock 6 years, 11 months ago

Anthony Barber sometimes looks like a smaller version of Tyshawn Taylor. He moves quick with the ball and seems able to get into the paint whenever he wants. Barber has areas that could use some work (outside shot, defense) but he is the sort of combo that Self finds useful.

Curtis Stutz 6 years, 11 months ago

If Barber has actually elevated KU above some other schools, sounds like the coaching staff has elevated him in their efforts, gives the appearance the staff probably isn't interested in bringing in both Adams and Doyle even if Harris doesn't come. Starting to feel like Harris is waiting on UF and the Finney-Smith situation.

Hope Barber doesn't get suckered into playing at Alabama or even worse Virginia. Why an athletic point would want to play for Bennett is beyond me. His list is still too long to worry about, but it will be nice if he makes an official visit to KU.

jhox 6 years, 11 months ago

They have a Tyshawn Taylor clone in Grandview, MO (Tyrone Taylor), who actually is a very good outside shooter, and an even better distributor. He's legit 6'2" already with a 6'5" Dad, and he's quick as heck. I know I keep bringing him up, and intend to continue to do so because I've been totally impressed by the kid the 3 times I've seen him play.

Now that Grandview is rid of a pretty talented but selfish Senior class, look for him to start taking on more of the scoring load, and getting more interest from high majors. I hear 3 high majors are already on him. By summer's end expect some of the really big dogs (KU, UCLA, Duke, etc.) to start looking his way. I like Clayton Custer's game, but he's not KU material...this kid definitely is. All he lacks is a P.R. machine like many of these kids have.

He's got the potential to be the best PG out of KC in a very, very long time.

Curtis Stutz 6 years, 11 months ago

euros are old news, everyone wants dollars again

jaybate 6 years, 11 months ago

Istanbul has almost no legacy, however. It was started in the mid 1800s by a group Greek Orthodox Catholics from Cleveland, Ohio. The Hagia Sophia was thrown up quickly by some Free Masons wanting to create a tourist attraction there. Heck, even the Darndanelles and the Bosporus were punched through about the same time as Suez Canal. Istanbul maybe able to pay him a lot, but he really is going to be culture starved there. :-)

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 11 months ago

No legacy? Only dates before Rome was anything but a small village founded by the Etruscans. Was the capital of four major empires. Was the center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity...

Wait… Are you using sarcasm? I have such problems with that.

jayjank 6 years, 11 months ago

I suppose, yes, he will be culture starved, especially if his idea of culture is trying to pick up girls at Abe and Jake’s on the weekend. Instead, he will have to suffer the hilly, cobble-stoned streets of Istanbul. There is neither culture nor legacy there, only the ruins of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. The Hagia Sophia, is not worth more than a moment to glance over the exquisite Islamic ornamentations and the image of the Mother of God on the main cupola. And the East/West dialogue expressed in the architecture and decoration? It is to be ignored, just like the horns of the ships as they pass along the Bosporus. You’re right—it is a good thing they are able to pay him a lot, because there is no way he would be able to survive this shambles of a town otherwise.

Tim Orel 6 years, 11 months ago

You left out the handprint where Sultan Mehmet placed his hand on the pillar and turned the ancient church now known as the mosque Hagia Sophia to face Mecca.

That, plus the baubles next door at Topkapi Palace (delightful movie, should you go check) and the pieces of bones of Mohammed (peace be upon him) that are holy relics of the whole Muslim empire, yeah, the city has nothing to offer.

Actually, though, I found it a wonderful place to visit with great food, wonderful souvenirs (have a temple lamp, a sword and a magnificent carpet in my house), excellent food, beautiful views, some beautiful exotic women, history everywhere you look, the ancient market, the baths still in operation from Roman years, churches where history has been made, not just celebrated...

If it weren't for the earthquakes, it would be a great place. However, Lawrence is still the best place to play basketball, so Keith, enjoy your visit back home and I really look forward to watching your brother play even better B-ball. Love his enthusiasm!

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 11 months ago

Could not agree more. Salt Lake City is a great place, never been anywhere near Milwaukee though always heard good things from people who've been there, but if I was still a young guy, I would love to be having the experiences and seeing the places he is.

Thought about going into the Navy so that I could see some of these places but nine-month rotations were not for me.

Also, I never did trust the "It's Not Just a Job, It's an Adventure" recruiting slogan...I could never get that SNL skit out of my head showing some seaman swabbing the deck as someone in the background was voicing that slogan.

wyansas 6 years, 11 months ago

Probably my all time favorite Jayhawk. Good to see he's succeeding overseas.

Martin Rosenblum 6 years, 11 months ago

I'm curious how the leagues are aligned where Keith is now. The article mentions that he was an MVP in the Adriatic Final Four and then goes on to say that he's going to be in the Israeli Final Four. Wouldn't there only be one Final Four that he would be playing in if he is on the Maccabi team in Israel? I 'm confused. Are all of these Final Fours not Final?

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