Indiana Hoosiers Star Romeo Langford Still Has Lottery Stock Despite Recent Slump

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Despite a recent mini-slump, Indiana Hoosiers guard Romeo Langford is measure for measure the Big Ten’s best pro prospect, and by a very wide margin. His performances and productivity have slipped a bit lately, but Romeo is probably the least of IU’s problems right now. Hoosiers coach Archie Miller believes the criticism surround Romeo is much ado about nothing. 

“He’s got to continue to work, find different ways, step back behind that three point line a little bit, hopefully make a couple more, but Romeo’s not the problem,” Miller said last night after his team lost 73-66 at Northwestern.

“He’s working hard, a freshman playing 35 minutes a game, you can’t ask him to score 25 points every game. Teams obviously know he’s a pretty good player, we just got to get some other things going for him and some other guys stepping up which would help, but I’m not concerned about him.”

archie miller

Miller has seen his team massively struggle lately as teams are keying up on Langford, and none of his teammates have stepped up to draw away the double teams. IU’s loss at NU last night dropped them into a dead even tie with the Wildcats for ninth place in the league as both teams are now 12-7 (3-5 in conference).

It could be all’s well that end’s well for Romeo though as his NBA Draft stock is soaring right now. NBA Draft.net has him #14 to Utah Basketball Insiders #11 to Atlanta, Tankathon also has him going to Atlanta, but at #5. Draftsite has him #15 to Charlotte. He obviously has a decision to make at the end of the season, but as of right now you would assume he’d be one-and-done.

Other than Maryland, who have a pair of prospects in guard Jalen Smith and forward Bruno Fernando, no one else in the league is really in the first round conversation at all.

Romeo Langford, was a preseason All-American and the 27th Mr. Basketball in Indiana to suit up for the Hoosiers. He leads Big Ten freshmen and is seventh nationally among rookies in scoring average (17.9 ppg). He’s won the Big Ten freshman of the week award four times already.

The 6-6 New Albany, IND native entered the season with ridiculously high expectations.

“There’s a lot of hype around him,” Miller said at Media Day.  “Obviously being from the state, going to IU, I think that’s going to make it a bigger story than everything. He’s always had a lot of eyes on him. Always been a calm type of guy under pressure. He’s shown that.”

Romeo Langford had a career-high 28 points against Big Ten bottom-feeders Illinois earlier this month, and after that victory he discussed his individual game.

“Yeah, I felt like this was my best game so far, all around, maybe on the defensive end, too. I am getting a lot more comfortable,” he said.

 “I just started seeing more driving opportunities and that’s what I’m best at right now doing. With the way they played, like I said earlier, they like to play passing lanes, which leads for wide-open driving lanes for me to either score or pass to other teammates.”

That is definitely his game right there- drive, drive, drive and then drive-and-kick.

indiana basketball

He’s also currently second on the team in rebounds (5.4), blocks (16) and third in assists (44). 

“I’ve really admired watching him on the high school level, and the grass roots stuff,” said Northwestern coach Chris Collins after the game.

“I love his size, his body, his strength. He can make shots. I love his ability to finish at a high level, when he gets in the lane he can really finish at a high clip.

“I’m a big fan of Romeo’s, I love his demeanor. He seems to really love to play. When you look at him he’s got a really bright future.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

He also contributes sociopolitical essays to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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