It’s official. Romeo Langford is an Indiana Hoosier.
So let’s take a look at the projected starting five for Indiana next year and where Langford will fit in.
The Hoosiers had nine different players over the course of the 2017-2018 season make starts. The two most consistent were senior guard Robert Johnson and junior forward Juwan Morgan combining to start all but one game for Indiana in last years 16-win season.
With Johnson and Josh Newkirk graduated, this opens up two guard spots that were occupied in the starting lineup for most of last season.
Devonte Green has the most returning starts from a season ago with 12 and started the last seven games to end 2018.
We saw what Green could do when he was a pass first guard and inserting him in the starting lineup next to Langford at shooting guard will only make Green’s all-around game better.
Here’s our projected starting five for the 2018-2019 season:
Langford slotted in at shooting guard will be an x-factor for Indiana scoring the ball. It also gives the Hoosiers some size in their guard play.
At 6-foot-5, Langford becomes the tallest guard on the Hoosier roster and replaces the 6-foot-1 Newkirk and 6-foot-3 Johnson. Indiana was undersized all of last season and especially hampered when Davis went down with a season ending Achilles injury in early January.
After Davis went down, Coach Archie Miller put a major emphasis on guard rebounding, as for the majority of the games; the 6-foot-8 Morgan was the tallest Hoosier on the court. Langford size will definitely help Indiana with their guard rebounding.
We saw Zach McRoberts earn 17 starts last year, and although he is a fan favorite that can do it all, he’ll be much more utilized as a spark plug off the bench. An older more polished Justin Smith should slot in nicely at forward with Morgan and a healthy Davis.
Where does Romeo help Indiana the most?
Langford adds help where Indiana needs it the most: offense.
As a team, the Hoosiers were 11thin the Big Ten in scoring (71.9 ppg), 13thin 3-point FG percentage (.322) and eighth in field goal percentage (.456).
Langford’s ability to catch and shoot, create his own shot and shoot off the dribble will help the Hoosiers tremendously in these areas. Plus he can serve as a great decoy on offense as well.
Every player on each opposing team will know who he is and be aware of where he is on the court at all times. Miller can easily take Langford completely out of a play on offense and open up more room on the court for Green to drive to the basket or Morgan to work down low with Davis or Smith.
What about the rest of the guards?
Langford is most likely a lock in the starting lineup for Indiana at shooting guard, but the point guard position is up in the air.
Green’s strong finish to last season puts him ahead as of now, but an older Al Durham and incoming freshman Rob Phinisee are both very much be in the mix for the starting point guard role.
Also, incoming freshman Damezi Anderson should serve as a three-point shooting threat off the bench in relief of Langford.
Indiana pulling in Langford is not only big for Archie Miller to lay the foundation of his program, but also to get ahead of other Big Ten programs.
Langford at number six, according to 247 sports, is the highest ranked Big Ten commit out of the 2018 class. Maryland’s Jalen Smith (No. 14) and Illinois Ayo Dosunmu (No. 30) are the only other top 30 players to sign with Big Ten teams.
With Langford, the ceiling is high and the talent will impact Indiana immediately. The real question is how long will he stick around in a cream and crimson uniform?