This year’s recruiting class has caused a lot of headlines, from Duke snatching three top 5 recruits, to Shareef O’neal decommitting from Arizona during the allegations and landing at UCLA, and finally #9 recruit Darius Bazley becoming the first player to go from High School straight to the G league. One question remains unanswered however, where will Romeo Langford go? Langford is listed as the #5 recruit by ESPN, and #6 by 247Sports, and is the only top 20 player to not make their decision yet.
The time is coming however, as Langford announced he will decide between Indiana, Kansas, and Vanderbilt on April 30th. Here is the case for each school to land him and my prediction where he will go.
Pros: Langford is from Indiana and played High School ball there, so he will be close to home if he chooses IU. Indiana also has one of the best up and coming coaches in Archie Miller. To play under a good coach could help him throughout his NBA career. Romeo would also be the best player not only on the team, but in the whole conference if he chooses to sign there.
Cons: Indiana is the worst out of the three teams he is deciding between. If he wants to win a few tournament games before heading to the draft, he won’t get that at Indiana. The Big Ten is a hard conference to play in, and he would have to face teams like Michigan and Michigan State at least twice. If he can’t perform against these top teams, his draft stock might dip.
Pros: At Kansas, he will be coached by one of the best coaches in college basketball, Bill Self. He will also have the best chance of winning a championship in college, as he would join a team that is already considered the #1 team in the preseason AP poll. He will get to play alongside other future NBA players, such as Quentin Grimes, Devon Dotson, and Udoka Azubuike (if he decides to come back). This could give him the experience he needs to have a smoother transition into the NBA.
Cons: Playing with other top players can sometimes hurt someone’s draft stock. We’ve seen it with players in the past, and if he gets outperformed by other top recruits, he can slide in the draft. He may also get caught up in the NCAA scandal, which has added KU to the list, but that shouldn’t be much of a problem. Kansas is also the farthest away from Indiana.
Pros: Vanderbilt is close enough to home where he doesn’t have to worry about a long flight. He would also team up with his friend and #16 recruit Darius Garland. He would become the third 5 star recruit to join the team, setting them up to compete with a stacked Kentucky team and make an Elite 8 run next season. This is probably the safest pick out of the three schools.
Cons: Vanderbilt has never had a successful player go to the NBA. The best active player from there is Demarre Carroll, and if Langford went there, he might not have the NBA career he expected. They also finished last season 12-20, including 6-12 in conference play, so they will solely rely on the recruits, and the inexperience may hurt them again.