Kansas target Romeo Langford hits the 'homestretch' of his recruitment

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Kansas target Romeo Langford is in the “home stretch” of his recruitment, the blue-chip guard from Indiana told reporters after Saturday’s Jordan Brand Classic practice in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“I’ve just got to make a decision,” the 6-foot-5 shooting guard from New Albany (Ind.) High said, as quoted by SI.com.

Langford — the country’s No. 6-rated player in the recruiting class of 2018, according to Rivals.com — indicated he would stick with his final list of Kansas, Indiana and Vanderbilt despite the fact new Louisville coach Chris Mack recently tried to get involved in his recruitment. Langford said he would likely announce his choice by the end of April, likely in a ceremony at his high school.

“I’m glad they got a new coach, but it’s a little bit too late now,” Langford said of Louisville.

Langford said he will consult with family members and reach a decision after playing in the Nike Hoop Summit on April 13 in Portland, Ore.

“(KU coach) Bill Self's resume speaks for itself,” Langford said, as quoted by Flohoops.com. “His success with big guards … he’s good (with) people like Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre. He got them better, sent them to the league. He knows what it takes to get to the league, so that's what I like about Kansas."

Of Indiana, Langford said to Flohoops.com: “I like coach (Archie) Miller. He gets the best out of his players and he proved that this year. Even though they weren't that good of a team, having the best season, he got them ready for big games like Duke. And then they also got coach (Ed) Schilling. His individual development over the summer with guards, his resume says it all. He sent so many guys to the NBA when he was at UCLA. So those two are reasons I like Indiana.”

And about Vandy, Langford said: “Coach (Bryce) Drew has been in the league and he does everything based off the league, so he knows what it takes. His practice, the stuff they do on and off the court, gets you ready.”

Langford’s dad, Tim, told USA Today that about 10 schools contacted him in the past month to see whether they’d be allowed to recruit Romeo at this late date. So far, nobody besides Romeo's final three have been added to the list.

“I try to keep my composure because Romeo’s so laid-back with this and I’m so excited. I’m ecstatic because I can’t wait to see him at the next level,” Tim Langford told USA Today.

KU signee Quentin Grimes, a 6-5 senior combo guard from College Park High in The Woodlands, Texas, ranked No. 10 by Rivals.com, also is playing in the Jordan Brand Classic, but not on Langford’s team.

“I feel like if (Langford) came, it would be crazy in the backcourt,” Grimes told SI.com, meaning “crazy” in a good way.

The Jayhawks also are bringing in Devon Dotson, a 6-1 senior point guard from Providence Day High in Charlotte, N.C., ranked No. 17 nationally by Rivals.com. Sophomore-to-be Marcus Garrett was a part of the rotation this past season, while Charlie Moore, a 5-11 transfer from California, will be eligible to play in games after sitting out a season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.

Other guards on the roster are sophomore-to-be K.J. Lawson, a transfer from Memphis, and junior-to-be Sam Cunliffe. Incoming freshman Ochai Agbaji, 6-5 from Oak Park High School, can play both guard and forward.

Langford, who played in the McDonald’s All-American Game, averaged 35.5 points per game his senior season. He scored 3,002 points in his career, which is fourth on the state of Indiana’s all-time scoring list.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony recently listed Langford at the No. 5 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

The Jordan Brand Classic is slated to start at 4 p.m. Sunday and will be aired on ESPN2.

Penny wants to hire Brown

New Memphis coach Penny Hardaway wants to hire former KU coach Larry Brown as an assistant coach, the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper has reported.

“I have to talk to Tom Bowen (first),” Hardaway said of Memphis’ athletic director, in an interview with Geoff Calkins of the Commercial Appeal.

Hardaway played under Brown in 2005-06 when Brown coached the New York Knicks. Asked which coach has influenced him the most, Hardaway said: “Larry Brown.”

The Commercial Appeal said the AD has concerns about Brown’s past, in which he’s had problems with the NCAA at his college stops at KU, UCLA and SMU. CBSsports.com noted that Brown is not serving any current NCAA punishment and would be free to join the Tigers’ staff.

Brown, 77, by the way, told the Commercial Appeal that he “almost came here in 1979,” when the Tigers hired Dana Kirk. Brown also interviewed for the Memphis Grizzlies job in 2007. Former Memphis Grizzlies player Mike Miller will be one of Hardaway’s assistants, CBSsports.com has reported.

Marcus doesn't want to battle Kieff

Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris does not want to meet his twin brother Markieff’s Washington Wizards in the first round of the playoffs, Marcus told ESPN.com Saturday.

The two brothers played college basketball at Kansas.

“Man, every day we talk about it. Honestly, I don’t want to play them first. Can’t lie,” Marcus Morris told ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg. “I don’t want to play them first because it’s my brother and we’re going to war. When I go out there — I’ve been telling (my teammates) this is wartime. It’s like fighting for your life out here, and I’d hate to see my brother in the first round, to have to be that bully to my brother when I know what it’s gonna be like.”

Marcus Morris spoke to ESPN about being ejected from two games in a seven-day span — after being called for two technicals against Toronto, then Chicago.

“I kind of feel like I'm getting that Rasheed Wallace treatment, just quick trigger, quick trigger,“ Morris said.

"Going in the playoffs, that's nothing to worry about. I promise I won't get no techs unless we're just getting blatantly cheated," Morris said. "I want my team to win, so I won't put my team in jeopardy or anything like that. But I'm still passionate about the game, like I said.”

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