Indiana and head coach Archie Miller landed the program’s biggest recruit in years on Monday night as in-state five-star guard Romeo Langford pledged to the Hoosiers.
Announcing in front of plenty of Indiana fans in his New Albany High School gym, Langford’s commitment is Indiana’s first five-star prospect since James Blackmon stayed home in 2014. Finishing off an impressive five-man recruiting class for Indiana in the Class of 2018, Miller has his centerpiece and potential go-to scorer for next season.
A smooth 6-foot-5 shooting guard with great length and athleticism, Langford has the potential to be an immediate impact player on both sides of the ball for the Hoosiers next season. Naturally a scorer who can get rolling for 40-point games on the right night, Langford can hit perimeter shots or attack the basket. He can be an effective slasher and off-ball cutter who scores in many unique ways.
Also long enough to be a disruptive force as a perimeter defender, Langford has good size and quickness for the position as he could guard multiple spots on the floor. Indiana could also really use someone to replace departing shooting guard Robert Johnson. Langford should be able to step in and immediately fill that spot in the lineup for next season.
And the pressure of being the in-state hero shouldn’t be that big of a deal for Langford. He’s already been in the spotlight his entire high school career in Indiana. Langford’s addition makes Indiana one of the most fascinating teams in the country next season.
Scoring over 3,000 points during his Indiana high school career — including a state title sophomore year and Mr. Basketball honors as a senior — Langford is already a high school basketball legend in Indiana. His entire senior season, Langford played in front of sellout crowds of adoring Indiana fans, hopeful that he’d eventually wind up a Hoosier.
By staying home for the next step in his basketball career, Langford now has the chance to continue his journey in a basketball-crazy state. If he helps bring Indiana back into the national spotlight, Langford’s in-state fame will reach new heights. That won’t be an easy task for Langford, or Indiana, after missing the NCAA tournament with a young roster.
There’s also plenty of reason to be optimistic about Indiana basketball for the first time in years. Besides for Langford, Miller reeled in four more four-star prospects, re-establishing a local Midwest pipeline in the process with three Indiana commitments and an Ohio prospect among the group of five.
Indiana is still going to be a very young team relying on a lot of new pieces heading into next season. The Big Ten is also down and the Hoosiers just added one of the best impact freshmen in the country to a potentially deep class. At Dayton, Archie Miller once made the Round of 32 with a roster of six scholarship players. He’s done great things with lower expectations.
A lot of those expectations will probably fall on the shoulders of Langford. And if Langford comes through he’ll become immortal in Indiana.