- Romeo Langford's path to the NBA draft is more interesting than most. The one-and-done prospect who stayed home in Indiana and played through injuries is now looking forward to his next challenge: the 2019 NBA draft.
The best word to describe Romeo Langford as a draft prospect may be intriguing.
The 19-year-old declared for the NBA after only one season at Indiana. Langford stayed in state for college to much fanfare—he was the No. 2 shooting guard recruit at the time of his commitment, and he was the biggest name in the Hoosiers’ top-10 ranked class. The team’s season, however, ended in disappointment, with Indiana in the NIT and Langford on the bench due to a back injury.
Langford caught some heat for missing the end of the season, though his teammate Juwan Morgan recently spoke out in his defense. As a prospect, however, Langford has an NBA-ready body at 6’6”, 215 pounds, though there are concerns about his outside shot. (SI’s Jeremy Woo has Langford ranked at No. 22 in his most recent big board.)
Earlier this week, The Crossover caught up with Langford to discuss the draft process.
Rohan Nadkarni: What did it mean to you that Juwan Morgan defended you after your season didn’t end the way you wanted it to?
Romeo Langford: It means a lot because Juwan was like the older brother of the team, at least for me. He’s a great mentor, he was my roommate for road games and whenever we traveled. I just learned a lot from him. For him to come out and say that, it really meant a lot.
RN: There was a lot of attention on you after you decided to stay in Indiana. How would you describe the pressure you felt to perform last season?
RL: I didn’t really feel too much pressure. I'm not going into it [thinking] that there were going to be a lot of eyes on me. Just from me being from Indiana, just from me being Mr. Basketball is going to come with all those extra distractions, but I didn’t really deal with that pressure because I knew what I was getting myself into.
RN: The focus on you as a prospect is mostly on your outside shot. How much have you worked on that heading into the draft?
RL: Yeah, the shot has really been a big, big part of my game I’m working on to improve. Just going in after getting the surgery, once I’ve been able to start shooting full time, that’s the only thing I’ve been working on. I’m going to work on getting my shot back to normal.
RN: As you’ve gone through the draft process, what have you heard from teams in terms of your shot?
RL: Everybody says I have the opportunity to be one of the great scorers in the league, an elite scorer in the league. I just have to focus on getting my shot back to normal, getting back to being a knockdown three-point shooter, because three pointers are such a big deal in the NBA now.
RN: What role do you see yourself playing on the next level? Do you want to be a leading scorer, or would you be okay being more of a secondary player?
RL: I mean really, I would want to be a leading scorer, but when it comes to the next level, that’s not always going to be your job right away. Really, I just want to be whatever the coach and organization need from me. Whether that’s being a defender or rebounder from Day 1, what they want me to do, I’m going to do it.
RN: Does it feel normal for you to visit NBA teams and go through all this, or are you able to pause for a moment and take in how special this process is?
RL: It really is surreal. It still hasn’t kicked in that I’m possibly going to be playing in the NBA next year. I don’t think that’s going to kick in until draft night. I’m just really enjoying the process and I’m trying to take it day by day.
RN: What’s your favorite memory of your time at Indiana?
RL: I would just say staying in the dorms with my boys—Rob Phinisee, Damezi Anderson, Jake Forrester, Jerome Hunter. Just enjoying all the times we had, living the dorm life, living the college life with my guys.
RN: What emotions do you think you’ll be feeling when your name gets called on draft night?
RL: No, I haven’t really got that far. I’m the type of guy who won’t really realize an emotion until it’s there.