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