University of Kansas

KU notebook: Former Jayhawk guard Keith Langford still a scoring machine at age of 33

Keith Langford (right) scored 1,812 points in his four seasons at Kansas.
Keith Langford (right) scored 1,812 points in his four seasons at Kansas. rsugg@kcstar.com

Former Kansas guard Keith Langford last month was awarded the EuroLeague’s Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy for the second time in his professional basketball career.

Playing for BC UNICS, a team based in Kazan, Russia, the 33-year-old Langford averaged 21.9 points across 28 regular-season games, the best mark of all EuroLeague players. Nando de Colo of CSK Moscow finished second in scoring at 19.4 ppg, followed by Andrew Goudelock (17.3) of Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv and Sergio Llull (16.5) of Real Madrid.

Langford is the second player to win the Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy more than once in its 13 years of existence. He also won after the 2013-14 season after averaging 17.6 points per game for EA7 Milano. Igor Rakocevic claimed the award in 2007, 2009 and 2011. The trophy goes to the player with the highest scoring average over a minimum number of games. It is named in memory of Alphonso Ford, who died of leukemia in September of 2004 after leading the league in scoring twice while playing for Olympiacos.

“This means a lot for a couple different reasons,” Langford said in an email correspondence with The Star. “First of all, it still shows that I’m playing at a high level. Langford is the seventh-leading scorer all-time at Kansas with his 1,812 points from 2002-05.

“To set the record for most points scored in a EuroLeague season in my 11th year as a pro was very satisfying. There is also sentimental value. My agent represented Alphonso Ford when he played all the way up until his untimely death at 33 which is the age I am now. For me it puts great perspective on things and I’m just extremely grateful to still be playing basketball,” added Langford, who also contributed 3.6 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game.

“Our season didn’t go as well as years past. It was a difficult season to be honest. From an individual standpoint, I couldn’t have asked for more,” stated Langford, whose UNICS team had a 24-34 record.

Langford, a 6-4 shooting guard out of Fort Worth, Texas, scored 20 or more points 19 times this season, netting 42 points against Tsmoki-Minsk and 36 against CSKA Moscow.

Langford, who has played three seasons for UNICS, has one year remaining on his contract. He’s also played in the NBA for the Spurs in 2007-08, the NBA Development League and other teams in Italy and Israel.

“This summer I plan on making a pretty significant change. I don’t want to say too much too soon but I have some interesting options,” said Langford, who did not provide a hint as to what the change might be. He turned down NBA offers before signing with UNICS.

“Physically I feel fine. I continue every year to invest into my physical well being and it has become somewhat of an obsession. Being 33 (he turns 34 in September) doesn’t make me a spring chicken but I’ve been able to maintain and take care of myself to the point that I don’t feel any restriction when playing. That being said, as long as my body responds to what my mind says, I’ll keep lacing them up. And when the time comes, I’ll listen to my body and step away accordingly. Until that time, I’ve got buckets to keep getting lol!!” he added in his email to The Star.

Little on KU’s list

Nassir Little, a 6-foot-6, senior-to-be small forward from Orlando (Fla.) Christian Prep, tells Rivals.com he has heard from coaches from KU, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Southern California, Virginia Tech, Florida, South Carolina, Florida State, Miami and others. He’s not yet been offered a scholarship by KU or North Carolina.

“They (KU coaches) have just been saying they like my game and like what I can do,” said Little, who is ranked No. 49 in the recruiting Class of 2018 by Rivals.com. “They are going to keep watching me during July.”

Grimes says he’ll cut list soon

Quentin Grimes, a 6-5 senior-to-be shooting guard from College Park High in The Woodlands, Texas, has been offered scholarships by Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona, Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, Marquette, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia Tech, Virginia and others. Grimes, who is Rivals.com’s No. 12-rated player in the Class of 2018, told Rivals.com that he soon will slice his list to eight schools.

“Maybe I’ll cut it down to three or four schools before the start of my senior year and then look to take official visits,” Grimes told Rivals.com. “I’m not sure when I’ll decide yet, maybe in the winter between signing periods because I don’t want to rush it.”

Scottie Lewis, Bryan Antoine may team up in college

Scottie Lewis, a 6-4 junior-to-be shooting guard from Ranney Prep in Tinton Falls, N.J., says he’s considering Kansas, Louisville, Kentucky, Florida, Maryland, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Rutgers, Miami and many others. He told Rivals.com he may want to attend the same school as high school teammate Bryan Antoine, a 6-4 senior-to-be, who is ranked No. 11 nationally in the Class of 2019. Lewis is ranked No. 9.

Gary Bedore: 816-234-4068, @garybedore

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