University of Kansas

Monday is Decision Day for elite Indiana shooting guard Romeo Langford

Romeo Langford senior year highlights

Highlights from Romeo Langford's senior year at New Albany High School in New Albany, Indiana.
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Highlights from Romeo Langford's senior year at New Albany High School in New Albany, Indiana.

McDonald’s All-American Romeo Langford, a 6-foot-5 senior shooting guard from New Albany (Ind.) High School who on Sunday night was chosen the state of Indiana’s Mr. Basketball in a ceremony at Butler University, will announce his college choice on Monday.

Langford will choose one of his three finalists — Kansas, Indiana or Vanderbilt — in a 6 p.m. ceremony in his high school gym, where he helped New Albany to a 100-10 record and one state title in the last four years.

Langford, the country’s No. 5-ranked player according to ESPN.com and No. 6-rated player according to both Rivals.com and 247sports.com, averaged 35.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.0 steals per game this past season for New Albany High (25-2). He finished his career as the fourth-leading scorer in Indiana high school history with 3,002 points.

“He’d make a lot of money as a poker player,” New Albany coach Jim Shannon said jokingly to the News and Tribune of Jeffersonville, Ind., referring to Langford’s “poker face” when asked where he’s headed to college.

Speculation of recruiting writers is Indiana may be the choice, but that opinion has been fueled by the simple fact that Langford has invited the public to watch Monday’s commitment ceremony. Analysts have wondered why he would risk a negative reaction from fans in a packed gymnasium if the choice was a team other than Indiana.

In actuality, Langford and, his dad, Tim, have not even hinted publicly at what direction Romeo might be leaning.

The plan was for Romeo to meet with family members before heading to prom on Saturday night and finalize his decision before the dance, with nobody outside his immediate family learning of his decision until Monday’s ceremony.

“I can’t even tell my 85-year-old aunt in Atlanta who I love,” Tim Langford told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “She might be laying on the bed and spill it out to somebody. That’s our secret and we’re going to keep it.”

As far as where the announcement will be made … that should not be looked at as a factor, the family has told Indiana media.

“I don’t think it is going to be a negative reaction if I don’t pick IU,” Romeo Langford said as quoted by the Indianapolis Star. “I think they (fans) will support me either way, wherever I go.”

“I’m not nervous,” he added. “I’m just excited and anxious for the day. I’m excited that everybody will know where I’m going.”

His father told the Indy Star: “You can’t please everybody. You control what you can control. Doing it in public, that is just to show our appreciation of a great four years at New Albany. He wanted to do something different and allow the fans to be a part of it. But as far as pleasing all of the fans? You aren’t going to do that no matter what you do.”

Romeo Langford has been on the radar of major-college coaches for four years.

Last fall he narrowed his list to KU, Indiana, Vanderbilt, UCLA and North Carolina, eliminating Kentucky and Duke.

He visited his five finalists, then cut the list to three last winter.

The Indy Star’s Zach Osterman wrote this about Langford and his finalists:

“Indiana: The Hoosiers weren’t considered serious contenders a year ago, when Archie Miller was installed as IU’s new head coach. Miller and his staff worked their way in patiently, visiting Langford early and landing an official visit for Hoosier Hysteria. Langford also visited unofficially in January, and was courtside for the Hoosiers’ heavy win over Northwestern.

“Kansas: The highest-profile program on this list, Kansas has been around Langford’s recruitment for some time. Bill Self’s reputation for harnessing talented guards and wings has kept a blue-chip pipeline open to Lawrence. Langford’s last official visit took him there in October. Self also traveled to New Albany this winter.

“Vanderbilt: The dark horse on this list in terms of prestige, Vanderbilt has recruiting momentum right now. Coach Bryce Drew (who is from Indiana) has already landed two McDonald’s All Americans in this class, and is putting together what is undoubtedly the best signing haul in program history. Langford gave the Commodores his first official visit last fall, and traveled to Nashville for a game against Florida in February.”

Monday’s announcement will be available at wdrb.com as well as courier-journal.com and facebook.com/courierjournal.

KU has one scholarship left to give in the recruiting class of 2018 — two if Udoka Azubuike decides to keep his name in the 2018 NBA Draft. KU has signed guards Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes, forward David McCormack and wing Ochai Agbaji.

Hurt talks about in-homes

Matthew Hurt, a 6-9 junior forward from John Marshall High in Rochester, Minn., who is ranked No. 5 in the recruiting class of 2019 by Rivals.com, has had in-home visits with coaches from KU, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Minnesota, Indiana, UCLA and Memphis, according to USA Today.

Hurt told USA Today the award for "Best Appetite" goes to … “Kansas (coaches). They just wanted more and more. We had pasta and I guess they liked it.”

Hurt said the award for "Best Presentation" goes to … “Duke and Kansas. Kansas showed me how they could use me as a big guard like they did with Josh Jackson, Kelly Oubre and Andrew Wiggins. Duke talked about me playing the stretch-four and how much success that position has had with them on pick-and-pops and taking smaller guys inside. Both really stuck with me.”

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