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Monday, April 30, 2018

KU basketball target Romeo Langford to make college choice known tonight

Romeo Langford (9) in action during the Jordan Brand Classic high school basketball game, Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Romeo Langford (9) in action during the Jordan Brand Classic high school basketball game, Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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The time has come for Indiana prep standout and Hoosier State legend Romeo Langford to make his college decision public.

After months of speculation and discussion, years of recruiting and thousands of hours of work in the gym, the top remaining uncommitted prospect in the 2018 recruiting class is ready to announce his choice between finalists Kansas, Indiana and Vanderbilt.

The announcement will come during a ceremony at New Albany (Ind.) High, where Langford has been a star in every sense of the word for the past four years. Langford’s announcement is expected to come just after 6 p.m. tonight and the decision will be streamed live on WDRB TV’s web site and various other spots on Twitter.

The public has been invited. The town has been buzzing for weeks. There were even rumors that the governor of Indiana had received his own official invitation to the big event. But don't think for a second that that type of spectacle has bothered Langford or his family. It's quite the opposite, in fact.

“We're enjoying it,” said Romeo's father, Tim Langford, during an interview last week with WDRB TV in Louisville. “We're embracing each day. We could be on the other side and not be in the spotlight.”

That might never be the case again for the dynamic, 6-foot-5, 190-pound shooting guard who is ranked No. 5 overall by 247 Sports and No. 6 by Rivals.com. Langford figures to be a star wherever he ends up, and his role on any of his three finalists certainly would be to tap into what he does best — put the ball in the basket.

“Whoever lands him gets a 6-5, bona fide shooting guard who scores in a variety of ways,” ESPN's Paul Biancardi, national director of recruiting for the ESPN 100, recently told the Journal-World. “Good shooter, great scorer and he'll take any of those programs and enhance wherever they are and put them at an even higher level in terms of what their expectations are.”

While Langford has kept nearly all of his thoughts private since naming his finalists months ago, his father told WDRB TV that he thought the younger Langford had reached a decision at some point last week.

The plan then was for the family to sit down and talk about it as a group one final time before letting the rest of the world know.

“We haven't really had a chance to really talk about it,” Tim Langford said. “We know about all three of the universities and I think we pretty much got an idea of what he wants to do, but he still (wanted) to discuss it with the family.”

That discussion was scheduled to take place sometime Saturday, which then would have given Langford two nights to sleep on it before committing.

Although Tim Langford said the entire family, including Romeo, has enjoyed the wild and crazy recruiting journey, he got the sense that they also were all ready to see it come to an end.

“Right now it's (mostly crazy for) me,” Tim Langford said. “I think it's kind of died down on Romeo, especially at the school. So he's pretty much laid back. But me, every time I go to work or go into stores, that's all we hear.”

Regardless of whether his son decides to stay home and help reenergize the Hoosiers program or seeks out to make a difference at Vanderbilt or become part of one of the most tradition-rich programs in all of college basketball at Kansas, Tim Langford said he hoped that everyone in the New Albany High gym would be pulling for Romeo above all else.

“My thing is, if it's not IU, (which) I don't know for sure if it's them or not, if they're truly Romeo fans, there's a difference between the school's fans and my son's fans,” he said. “And when it's all said and done, who's really for my son? Who's really a fan of him?”

In a matter of hours, the list of Romeo Langford fans will grow substantially, with fans at KU, IU or Vandy getting to see their favorite program add a late treat to its 2018 recruiting class.

While KU coach Bill Self has been at the top of the recruiting game for years by whatever measurement you want to use, the 15-year Kansas leader has done particularly well with five-star talent who made their decisions in the late Spring.

KU's Late Spring Recruiting Success

Here's a quick look back at eight five-star prospects who picked Kansas in April or later:

• Josh Jackson – April 11, 2016 – The five-star wing from Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif., who left KU after one season to become the No. 4 pick in the NBA Draft, chose KU over Michigan State and Arizona.

• Josh Selby – April 17, 2010 – The No. 1-ranked player in his class at the time, Selby picked KU during the first half of the Jordan Brand Classic all-star game in New York City.

• Xavier Henry – April 23, 2009 – After initially committing to Memphis, the five-star scoring wing who was ranked No. 8 overall in the 2009 class picked KU after then-Memphis coach John Calipari bolted for Kentucky.

• Cheick Diallo – April 28, 2015 – The No. 5-ranked player in the Class of 2015 never quite lived up to the hype after eligibility issues forced him to miss the start of his lone season as a Jayhawk. Diallo, a native of Mali, who was drafted No. 33 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft after his lone season at KU, picked KU over Kentucky, Iowa State, St. John's and Pitt.

• Darrell Arthur – May 9, 2006 – For a long time, it seemed like a certainty that the Dallas native and No. 16 overall player in the Class of 2006 was headed to Baylor. But a late change of heart, inspired by a dream about Kansas, sent the five-star prospect to KU, where he helped KU win a national title.

• Andrew Wiggins – May 14, 2013 – The top overall recruit and future No. 1 NBA Draft pick kept his decision quiet until making the announcement. Even the KU coaches did not know until Wiggins' ceremony. Picked KU over Florida State, Kentucky and North Carolina.

• Svi Mykhailiuk – May 21, 2014 – Five-star prospect from far-away Ukraine, picked KU as a 16-year-old instead of turning pro in his home country.

Comments

Andy Godwin 2 weeks, 5 days ago

This culture of recruiting has to be the least pleasurable part of a coach's job. Dragging and dragging out the decision, is a bit like holding a team hostage to an 18 year old kid's indecision, especially given he won't even make it through the second semester of classes. Who came up with the concept of keeping 3 teams in the running, so they can make a show out of their selection day? Self shared his story of how hard they recruited Newman the first time (decided to stay near home) and when he decided to leave Mississippi State after a year, Bill told the family he was not recruiting Newman again, he is either is coming or he is not. If the following is true - "There were even rumors that the governor of Indiana had received his own official invitation to the big event", then Vanderbilt and KU have been strung along so they can have two extra hats on a table. If not Indiana, it will be quite a surprise. Time for players who feel they are OAD to have the ability to head directly to the NBA without a short layover in college.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I agree with you. I can't imagine you open your announcement event to the governor and Indiana public if you are telling them you're going to Kansas. But, you don't know for sure until the hat is on the head...

Tim Orel 2 weeks, 5 days ago

We don't know if it was the Langford family or somebody else (principal. local politician) who may have issued that invitation. However, from the father's comments, I actually thought IU might wind up the bridesmaid, not the bride. Maybe that's just wishful thinking for KU on my part.

Marcus Balzer 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Late Spring Recruiting...aka "Drop off the Bag" season.

David Robinett 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Old Roy invited the students and community to the stadium for his “stay” announcement but not for his “leave” announcement. So if the governor of Indiana has truly been invited, this is over.

Andy Hess 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I recall Harrison Barnes announcing for North Carolina in his high school in front of practically half of Ames, Iowa. Who he announced in front of means nothing.

Tony Bandle 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Random Thoughts:

1} YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!!!!

2] If Romeo commits to Kansas, they will have to change Bill Self's title from Head Coach to The Head Wizard of Recruiting.

3] It would be nice to know we finished second and didn't fall behind Vanderbilt of all people!

4] If it was me and I was going to declare for Indiana, the heck with the governor, I would have invited the most powerful man in the state, John Mellencamp.

5] Geez, it's not like we are desperate for an outside shooter!

6] If he does commit to Kansas after all this, Romeo Langford would have to be declared as having the biggest Cajones west of the Allegheny Mountains!!

7] One small ray of hope was when his dad indicated he wished for everyone to back Romeo no matter what the decision.....uh, who am I kidding.

8] Romeo's dream is most likely be a OAD at Indiana, be an All American and be a lottery pick by the Indiana Pacers.

9] All kidding aside, best wishes to Romeo and his family but he'll never know what you missed by passing on KU.

Danny Hernandez 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I have never felt Kansas was in the mix, but as much as I'd love to have him, it won't be as big a loss that he doesn't choose Kansas as it will be for IU. They totally need to this kid to validate their season, we don't. And that's not sour grapes, it just is what it is

Barry Weiss 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I do hope we get him, but will not be bummed if we don't. Sounds like we will have a solid group next year. Would like to see this Silvio deal cleared up one way or the other.

Bill Corrigan 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Anyone care to speculate why this decision came down to the last possible minute? Was it just to garner as much publicity as possible before making an announcement? If indeed Romeo will finally end up at Indiana as most recruiting analysts predict, why the delay when the family has said "Kansas and Vanderbilt are too far away to make another (unofficial) visit" as he has already done by revisiting IU, and have indicated they want to be able to watch him play next season without the necessity of driving 3-4 hours. Seems like KU would offer the most in-season media exposure for an OAD, with the bonus of a Final Four run, that likely would not be available at either Indiana or Vandy. But again, should this school selection have been that difficult and time-consuming?

Shannon Gustafson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Because he was waiting to see what Newman & Vick were doing, then once he knew that he needed a few weeks to think about his final decision. He would have been crazy to commit with the chance of Newman & Vick staying and hurting his playing time.

Suzi Marshall 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Romeo could be Newman part II. He choices his heart me state school with a second tier coach only to bust the. Transfers to Kansas, with a top tier coach, sits out a year, then has the expected performance....three years later.

Pius Waldman 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Suzi Your thinking is interesting but it appears a OAD guy. Something better why not come this next season play with Grimes. His parents seem to allow him to make the decision. So think a KU jersey next year for Romeo.

Marius Rowlanski 2 weeks, 5 days ago

So was Malik before MSU. It's not likely but it is a fair comparison.

Mallory Briggans 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Security.....he will need it if he doesn't pick Indiana......but what ever the reaction is it is of his own doing....

Robert Brock 2 weeks, 5 days ago

PREDICTION:

Indiana gets Romeo Langford.

Kansas gets Joe Cremo.

Jonathan Allison 2 weeks, 5 days ago

that would be a great addition in my opinion. Probably the closest thing to a plug and play grad transfer roster addition that there is. An instant upgrade to the team's 3pt shooting and would change the way that defense game plan for KU. Not a replacement for Svi, Vick, or Malik, but a guy with a defined role who would most likely make a very easy transition into that role.

Blake Brown 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Just read the governor of Indiana has been invited to the announcement. That would strongly suggest he is going to Indiana. He`s had so much local and statewide support, it really doesn't make much sense for him to go anywhere else. Plus, he will be THE hero on that team as opposed to just another really good one on ours.

Kent Wells 2 weeks, 5 days ago

How much does Adidas have on this? And do they not have goons? Nike and Under Armour must to keep a lid on their own antics.

Craig Carson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I dont think even the most diehard KU has believed Langford was KU bound..his commitment was always moe of a greedy wish..to be frank, Indiana NEED him way more then KU does..KU will most likely get Dok back next season and we will be set..sure our outside shooting will be suspect, especially compared to the last few season, but IU needs to find its footing..i figure with all the talent that gets pulled from that state that they are due to keep someone at home

[''] 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Oh my. This ceremony sounds like a freaking bible thumping second coming event...c'moooonnnn He is a HS basketball player. He didn't cure cancer....wow this is freaky. His pastor just said Romeo is just like Abraham Lincoln..... whuuuhhhthaaaa

[''] 2 weeks, 5 days ago

This is the creepiest selection event I have ever seen. I hope he chooses Vandy.

Matt Stone 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Well, who is our next target? Good luck Romeo.

Mallory Briggans 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Now that the Romeo circus is over ....lets hit the reset button and look at what we got.. Our guard situation looks solid as far as depth.... Not counting on Vick coming back Our backcourt will be Dotson Grimes Garrett Moore OKC Cunliffe Lawson Thats pretty deep.....if anything Sam benefits by Romeo going to IU. I would rather have another big because of the Desouza mess so we will see what coach pulls out of his hat .

Dustin Thorne 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I agree 100% with you. We still don't know what Doke is going to do so having another big would make our roster solid. Even if it's a J UCO transfer.

Joe Baker 2 weeks, 5 days ago

You act like SDS is guilty and good as done. Nothing to really go on except the word of a convict and con artist

His guardian has had plenty of chances to get paid. This is a witch hunt. The cons are grasping at thin air.

What program is next? Pick one...they are all indictable.

Stephen Dobelbower 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Romeo picks Indiana and will be the face of that team. Hope that works out for him(deep sarcasm font) ... See Trae Young, See Marcus Smart. See Kevin Durant. etc.

Shafqat Mallah 2 weeks, 4 days ago

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