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Is a Romeo Langford decision coming by the end of the month?

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New Albany guard Romeo Langford (1) shoots over McCutcheon forward Haden Deaton (32) in the second half of the Indiana Class 4A IHSAA state championship basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 26, 2016. New Albany won 62-59. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

New Albany guard Romeo Langford (1) shoots over McCutcheon forward Haden Deaton (32) in the second half of the Indiana Class 4A IHSAA state championship basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 26, 2016. New Albany won 62-59. (AP Photo/AJ Mast) by Matt Tait

Even two days after a season ends, one of the most popular questions surrounding the Kansas men's basketball program from year to year is one you've heard a few dozen times: When is Late Night?

And while that question no doubt has crossed the minds of at least a few Kansas fans in the past 48 hours, there is another date that might be of greater interest and more immediate importance for the Jayhawks.

April 11 marks the beginning of the regular signing period for NCAA Division I basketball programs. And with five-star guard Romeo Langford still uncommitted, that date — and the days that follow — is worth watching in a big way.

Langford told Rivals.com analyst Eric Bossi at last week's McDonald's All-American Game that he would start to get serious about a decision after he finishes play on the all-star circuit during the next couple of weeks.

“There's not one school that stands out,” Langford told Bossi. “But I plan on getting down to making a decision once I get done with all of these all-star games. So probably around the end of April, that's when I'll make the decision.”

By now, you probably know that Langford is down to Indiana, Kansas and Vanderbilt as his three finalists.

The 6-foot-5, 190-pound shooting guard from New Albany, Indiana, who is ranked No. 5 nationally by 247 Sports and No. 6 on the Rivals 150, is far and away the most highly coveted, uncommitted player remaining in the 2018 class.

In fact, just seven of the Top 65 players on Rivals.com's 2018 rankings remain undecided heading into the regular signing period, which runs from April 11 through May 16.

Getting Langford is not an absolute must for the KU program, but it might be a bigger deal than people think.

KU's 2018 class, which already is loaded and ranked in the Top 5 by most recruiting services, features two five-star guards in Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes, fellow-McDonald's All-American big man David McCormack and Kansas City prospect Ochai Agbaji. Technically, current KU power forward Silvio De Sousa is also in that class.

That group has incredible size, speed, ball-handling, toughness and play-making ability. What the class is missing, though, is a pure shooter.

Langford is certainly more than just a shooter — most view him as just a flat-out scorer from anywhere and everywhere on the floor — but his addition would bolster KU's perimeter scoring and also would push Duke for the top class in the 2018 rankings and also would give the Jayhawks about as complete of a class as you've seen Bill Self bring to town, one that certainly, when it's all said and done, could push for being the best of the Self era to date.

Because of his schedule and the distance, Langford was unable to visit Kansas for a game this season, but that did not stop him from paying close attention to the ins and outs of Self's program.

“No, it doesn't hurt them,” Langford told Bossi of not visiting KU. “I took my time and watched them on TV. Out of all the teams, I probably watched them the most and I got some good things out of watching them on TV.”

The Jayhawks, unlike Indiana and Vanderbilt, got the added bonus of extra television exposure by making a deep run in this year's NCAA Tournament, which allowed Langford an extended look at KU's style of play and the way the program operates in the spotlight.

Langford told Bossi that one thing that stands out about what Kansas does is how much success Self has had with bigger guards.

As for whether the Final Four run put stars in Langford's eyes, it does not sound like that's the thing putting KU over the top but it also does not sound like it hurt Langford's view of the program.

“It doesn't really give them an advantage,” he told Bossi. “But it's real cool to see that Coach Self got them to the Final Four. It's real good to know that he's getting the best out of the players.”

The biggest question surrounding Langford right now is why the wait? With Indiana and Vanderbilt both missing out on the tournament and Kansas making a deep run, the hot speculation is that Langford is waiting to see what happens to KU's roster before making a decision.

While he did not address that with Bossi, nor has he addressed it publicly, it certainly would make sense.

While Kansas is guaranteed to lose Devonte' Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk from this year's team, it also could lose Malik Newman and/or Lagerald Vick. If that were to happen, there would be plenty of room for Langford to slide right into a prime role with the Jayhawks and his importance, should KU be able to get him, would sky-rocket given the fact that that foursome made up KU's top four 3-point threats during the 2017-18 season.

Langford will join Grimes and 22 other all-stars at the Jordan Brand Classic on Sunday in New York. After that, Langford and Grimes, along with McCormack and eight other elite prospects, will head to Oregon to compete with the 2018 USA Junior National Select Team at the 21st annual Nike Hoop Summit on April 13.

Comments

Dillon Davis 4 months, 2 weeks ago

How's everyone feeling on Vick? I know all of us would likely love to have Malik back but for me personally, wouldn't be upset at all to see Vick go pro. I know having senior leaders, especially senior guards helps a lot come March but I just don't think he's more valuable or effective than Langford would be. In fact if he comes back, with or without Langford, I'm not sure he starts.

Jonathan Allison 4 months, 2 weeks ago

My thoughts on Vick. I would love to have him back next year. I think that Langford is waiting to see what Malik is going to do. If Malik signs with an agent, then Langford to KU could happen. If Langford commits to KU then I think that Self will end up cutting ties with Vick, unless of course Udoka opts into the NBA Draft.

If the question is would I rather have Newman or Langford, then the easy choice is Newman. If the question is Langford or Vick, then I think that Vick's discipline history at KU weighs heavily. He was under investigation by the University last year and he has been involved in more than one police investigation alongside some of his former teammates, and on the court he has been enigmatic most of his career. I think that despite whether or not Bill Self likes Vick he would really have no choice but to give the last scholarship to the star recruit.

Craig Carson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

@Jonathan..that was a heartless thing to say about Vick..the kids been at KU for 3 years and you would be willing to cast him aside so easily aside for a another hyped up kid who will probably be on campus for 7 months??!!! and so what he's had some minor issues!!! And do you really think Self would actually approach a kid he's coached for 3 years and basically force him out of his scholarship for some temporary talent?? screw Langford, give me a senior Vick and let KJ Lawson play the wing

Lawrence McGlinn 4 months, 2 weeks ago

About Self, yes. Naadir Tharpe wanted to be closer to his family. Yeah, right!

Jonathan Allison 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I like Vick. I want him to be back next year, and I think that he probably will be. But if we land Langford I think that both Vick and Newman are gone. The fact that Self is still recruiting Langford means that Newman is most likely already gone, and there is a good chance that either Azubuike or Vick will leave, or as was brought up below Cunliffe transfers and qualifies for a 5th year of eligibility.

Jesse Johnson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I honestly would like to see him go. He just seems to have hit a ceiling where all he really does for the team is catch and shoot or catch and dunk. If he stays, he will gobble up precious development minutes for our raw, younger players, knowing HCBS's propensity to give minutes to low-ceiling upperclassman over raw talented freshman (see two years ago when Self kept Jamari Traylor in the game even in garbage minutes over Cheick Diallo). I would definitely wish him the best but for the sake of the team, I kind of hope he moves on.

Pius Waldman 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Langford doesn't have to sign the intent but just an agreement to play but not binding. The top rated players have that option as schools will gladly agree to their wishes. Self also has a problem only 13 scholies and now he is one over and has to wait to see what non-seniors decide.

Titus Canby 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I'll take Vick or Newman over Langford. Give me a seasoned junior or senior over an OAD freshman any day.

On a similar note, what happened to Zion Williamson?

Craig Carson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

amen to that...KU has enough talent next year..KJ Lawson can man the wing position

Shannon Gustafson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Unless he's greatly improved from 3, he doesn't have the range to be an ideal candidate to play the 3 at KU. He was atrocious from 3 at Memphis.

Craig Carson 4 months, 1 week ago

next years team can afford to be less reliant on hitting 3's...though the 3 ball could be KU's biggest question mark since we really dont know how good Grimes is gonna be from 3..same can be said from Moore and Dotson (another good reason to have Vick back, we know he shoots the 3 well)..and it isnt like Garrett displayed a nice 3 point touch..this might be KU's only real weakness (on paper) next year..I like KU going back to power basketball and all, but I dont want them to revert back to the stone ages LOL

Jason Icehouse 4 months, 1 week ago

Langford would be a great recruit to get. He is the #1 SG in the class, BUT Grimes is the #2 SG. Not sure if both are needed.

Bryson Stricker 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Vick & Newman are both gone.

Literally don't waste strength or breath thinking or talking different.

Chris DeWeese 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree Malik is gone. I'm not sure about Vick.

[''] 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Vick gone? Where? To play in Uzbekistan? No way he is NBA ready. Can't dribble. Can't play D. Can't shoot off the dribble. He can jam, and shoots mildly well. That's it.C'moonnnn. He could be great in two years. Not even close now.

Gerry Butler 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Ya you answered your own question. - -he doesn't get drafted - then he goes over sea's he is ready for some money - doesn't matter where - he is NOTA coming back for get about it

Craig Carson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Vick isnt on any draft boards and even Euro league might not take him...he isnt going anywhere

Jonathan Allison 4 months, 2 weeks ago

a few scenarios:

I think that Newman will go pro, putting the spotlight on whether Langford will choose KU or go elsewhere. If Langford chooses KU, then someone else has got to go. Udoka or Vick? If Udoka wants to stay he will stay, and Self would cut ties with Vick.

I think 85% change Newman goes pro. If yes, then 50% change Langford picks KU. Udoka going pro is not dependent on KU signing Langford. I'd say 65% chance that Udoka stays. Vick going pro is dependent on KU signing Langford and on Udoka staying. Thus (0.850.40.65) a 28% chance that Vick is gone.

Would Vick consider leaving KU early anyway? Quite possible that he could see the writing on the wall for his PT next season. We don't know what his relationship with the coaching staff is like, but he's been in the doghouse some over his three years at KU and there could be a desire for a fresh start. I don't think that it's likely that Vick would choose to transfer or leave early for NBA draft, but maybe a 15% chance that would have to be weighted into the equation of whether or not he would return.

Overall I would say that I think there's an 85% chance we lose Newman, 35% chance we lose Dok, 30% chance we lose Vick, and a 40% chance we get Langford.

Barry Weiss 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Vick go pro? what league? I can't see him getting drafted at all in the NBA after this year. Newman I agree. He is probably gone.

Jonathan Allison 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't think anybody is saying that Vick will be drafted or that he will end up on an NBA roster next year.

When I say go pro I mean that he declare for the draft and end his collegiate career.

Similar to what Brannen Greene did after he smoked the last straw at KU and Bill Self cut him loose.

Vick is an elite athlete, and despite putting himself in the wrong place at the wrong time a few times at KU, he doesn't come off as being a bad kid. His biggest weakness seems to be his mood swings, followed by his ball control. A little bit more maturation... shore up the ball-handling, improve the consistency on his jump-shot and he could be an NBA role player, a poor man's Gerald Green. A player who has been in and out of the NBA, and who has improved his game playing overseas. That said, if Vick never makes the NBA, he could have a decent pro career elsewhere in the world.

Matt Gauntt 4 months, 2 weeks ago

"Elite Athlete"??

Well, compared to most of us mortals, sure. Comparing him to the 1,000+ college basketball players that will graduate/end their collegiate career....long way from it. As a lot of others have said, he is getting better, but lacks a lot. He had a number of games in 2017 where he was above 20 points, but not a single game in 2018. He had almost as many turnovers as assists, but significantly better than last year.

He has a chance to come back next year, be a senior leader and improve his odds of going to the NBA. At this point, I don't know of a single draft board that is giving him any shot of being drafted.

Jonathan Allison 4 months, 2 weeks ago

When I said elite athlete I was speaking solely about his God-given athletic giftedness. Compared to the 1000+ college basketball players that will graduate/end their collegiate career, he is more athletic than 99% of them.

And never did I say that he will or should get drafted. I am only saying that he could end up forced off of the KU roster by the numbers game. Would he transfer and sit a year? No. He would enter the draft. Go undrafted. Play summer league. Then either sign a G League contract or go overseas. He's got enough size and athleticism to be an NBA 2 guard if he can develop his ball-handling, and consistency on his jump shot. But he will have to mature emotionally if he wants to have a success pro career in the NBA or overseas.

Rae Bricil 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I dont see anyone but the seniors getting drafted in 2018. I dont think Newman leaves--i have heard the 2019 draft is supposed to be weak and may serve him better going then. I think Vick and Newman test and return..

Minutes are going to be hard to come by next year. Maybe Self will implement line changes :)

Jonathan Allison 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I would love to see Newman and Vick both back at KU. As Samer says below... we are already overcommitted. Someone has to free up a scholarship. Who will it be? Maybe Bill Self has an ace in the sleeve. Maybe Lightfoot qualified for an academic scholarship... Maybe Udoka is ready to feed his family. But from my perspective if no one out of Udoka, Newman, and Vick stay in the draft then Bill Self will probably have to choose somebody to cut loose.

What precedent might there be for Bill Self to withdraw his scholarship offer to Agbaji if KU ends up not having any schollies left to give? I know that no one wants to do that to a kid, but is it worse to pull an offer from a recruit or to send Vick packing.

Rae Bricil 4 months, 2 weeks ago

maybe someone can take a football or manager's scholarship....

Jason Icehouse 4 months, 1 week ago

Agbaji will be more valuable to KU in 2, 3, or 4 years than Langford would be to his one and probably done season.

Mason, Graham did pretty darn good for 3 star ratings.

Samer Adra 4 months, 2 weeks ago

After adding Agbaji, the team is already one over the scholarship limit with no early departures. To add Langford would require two early departures.

Sean Doherty 4 months, 2 weeks ago

The early departures could possibly be Sam Cunliffe and/or Mitch Lightfoot and/or Marcus Garrett. If the transfers and incoming freshmen are as good as advertised, I don't expect these 3 players will see much court time. Will they have patience and character or will they join the nearly 1,000 other D1 transfers this off-season?

Sean Doherty 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I should have mentioned this is a scenario where Newman, Vick, and Dok return next year. There's a whole new scenario if current players do go pro.

Jesse Johnson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Why does everyone keep suggesting that Cunliffe might transfer. He already transferred once and therefore can't transfer again without losing a year of eligibility (at least not unless he managed to graduate in two years).

Craig Carson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

cant see Cunliffe transferring again..Mitch i could see redshirting..Garrett in my opinion has earned his playing time, the kid plays hard..please keep in mind that KU could loose more players after next season and Self isnt promised to land another top recruiting class..it would be wise to not run Mitch, Sam or Garrett off as they could end up becoming starters

Marcia Parsons 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Do you really think Self would decide to choose someone off the bench, such as Cunliff, before keeping Vick? He was part of the rotation most of the year. I think you're really off on this one.

Brian Leslie 4 months, 2 weeks ago

There was nothing in Cunliffe's on-court play, Self's reaction to that on-court play during games, and the usual hints that Self drops on guys he likes such as Garrett and Lightfoot, that would make me think that Cunliffe has a future with the program. Sam seems like a good guy, but I am getting the same Self freeze-out vibe that I got with Anrio Adams. We're also not seeing the assistants talk Sam up.

Sam has not burned a red-shirt -- he sat out a year for transfer and played two half-seasons that the NCAA considers full seasons. He still can transfer and have 3 years to play 2. He would probably end up a starter at a Mountain West school and have a better overall development experience.

So that's one. I think that Newman is 98% gone, so that's two.

Jonathan Allison 4 months, 2 weeks ago

that's a good point that I hadn't considered with Cunliffe. How does the NCAA treat the year that he sat out in accordance with transfer rules since it consisted of half of his freshman year and half of his sophomore year. He played and used eligibility in both seasons, so it would make sense that he could still transfer and sit a year without losing a year of eligibility.

If the NCAA allows him to transfer and to have a fifth year of eligibility that might be a path that we see more players start to take. And theoretically he could sit his third year, play his fourth year, graduate, transfer again and play his fifth year for a fourth school.

Sean Doherty 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh man my head is spinning with the thought of so many transfers and so many frequent flyer miles...

Steve Powell 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Sam Cunliffe can transfer to Wichita State and the problem is solved. He's a perfect fit for that program.

Robert Brock 4 months, 1 week ago

Cunliffe will not get many minutes next season. I don’t know why he would stick around.

Jason Icehouse 4 months, 1 week ago

Mitch may not like red-shirting, but I have to think he's do it for him and the team. DeSousa will probably light it up next year and then may be gone. Same for Dok and Lawson will be gone. Going to need an experienced, beefed up Mitch.

Bill Lamson 4 months, 1 week ago

This is probably a dumb question, but if someone redshirts, does that count against the scholarship limit?

Jonathan Allison 4 months, 1 week ago

yes. Redshirt players still count against the scholarship limit. This is partly why the team was so short on depth this season. Because Dedric Lawson, KJ Lawson, and Charlie Moore were using scholarships but not eligible to play in games. It works the same way if a freshman or any other non-transfer player decides to redshirt a year such as with Travis Releford or Landen Lucas.

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