Romeo Langford was supposed to be a difference maker when he came to the Indiana Hoosiers for the 2018-19 season. However, Langford only helped lead the Hoosiers to the NIT with a (19-15) record. Now, Langford is planning to throw his name into the 2019 NBA draft despite not being fully healthy.
He stated on Thursday, “I plan on officially declaring for the draft next week,” according to ESPN.com.
The star guard has the attributes to be a competent NBA player someday. Chances are, that day will not come next season. Although he led the Hoosiers in scoring with 16.5 points per game, Langford struggled from the 3-point line. During his freshman season, he only connected on 27 percent of the shots from beyond the 3-point line. Yet, there were times Langford could offer a magical display of offense with an array of moves. He shot 53 percent from 2-point range this season. Therefore, Langford shot a respectable 44.8 percent from the field as a freshman.
The problem is this freshman wants to play in the NBA next season. Part of the reason is due to his status as a potential lottery pick. Currently, he is projected as the No. 11 draft eligible prospect. Yet, we’ve seen this story before. Everybody can’t be a lottery pick and the numbers won’t add up. Still, Langford believes it is worth the risk.
Furthermore, Langford underwent surgery to repair a ligament in his thumb today. He played with the bad thumb for the majority of the season and that could have hampered his shooting throughout the year. It’s unclear what Langford will be able to show during the draft process. However, he won’t be 100 percent, so teams will have to take a gamble without seeing his full capabilities.
Langford scored a career high of 28 points twice during the season. The first time came during a win against the Illinois Fighting Illini. The second time came eight days later in a loss to the Maryland Terrapins. In all, Langford reached the 20-point scoring mark 11 times during his freshman season. He also produced four single digit scoring games. They all came against NCAA Tournament competition, including a nine-point effort against the Michigan State Spartans in a win.
In the end, it’s highly probable that by the time Langford is ready to contribute, he will be with another team in the association. And that’s the biggest risk of taking such an unproven prospect in the lottery.