NBPA Day One: Five-star Langford is tops
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- There may be some firepower missing from the 2015 NBPA Top 100 Camp because of USA Basketball tryouts, but class of 2018 five-star Romeo Langford made sure everybody knew that there was a big-time player in the building on day one of camp.
LANGFORD HEAD OF THE CLASS AT NBPA
Class of 2017's five-star shooting guard Romeo Langford filled the void created by this week's USA Basketball events nicely with his play on the first day of camp.
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from New Albany (Ind.) High came close to doing it all. He attacked the rim for dunks, played terrific defense, rebounded and made all of the little plays. The only thing that he didn't do was splash jumpers, and that's usually a strength of his game. An off jump shooting day aside, the beauty of Langford's production is that he doesn't waste any motion and that he is a pure basketball player with a high IQ.
Currently ranked No. 14 overall in 2018, Langford will move into at least the national top five during the next rankings update and he could push for top three. Not surprisingly that has resulted in offers from Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Purdue and many more, while he feels that North Carolina is close to offering.
"Louisville, Duke and Indiana are staying in the most contact," Langford said. "I like the coaching staffs at those three schools and the way they use their guards. All three programs have a good track record of getting guards to the next level."
However, Langford also made it clear that he is still open at this point. So far he's seen the campuses of Louisville, Purdue, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio State and he'd like to take a visit to Duke as soon as time permits.
TRIO OF SUITORS STAND OUT TO ASHTON-LANGFORD
Ranked No. 37 overall in the class of 2017, Makai Ashton-Langford is one of the highest ranked point guards in attendance at the NBPA Top 100 Camp.
A strong athlete who loves to get into the lane and make plays at the rim or dish to others, he's got a no nonsense game that he showed Wednesday.
During the media session, Ashton-Langford held court and discussed his recent unofficial to Connecticut and discussed why the Huskies, Providence and Louisville are standing out as three programs making him a priority.
MORE DAY ONE NOTES FROM NBPA
Four-star combo guard Nick Weatherspoon continues to make a strong case to be moved up from his current spot of No. 72 in the class of 2017 Rivals150 to the top 50 when the rankings get revamped in a couple of weeks. Weatherspoon is a little wild at times, but he plays with passion and has serious burst. His brother plays at Mississippi State and he knows all of the Bulldogs' plays and Ben Howland's track record with guards. However, he's open to looking around and plans to take trips to N.C. State, North Carolina and Louisville after camp ends.
For the most part, underclassmen tend to struggle at camp. So, not surprisingly four-star 2018 point guard Courtney Ramey didn't put up huge offensive numbers when we watched. What Ramey did do, though, was play inspired on-the-ball defense and for that he deserves credit. College coaches were able to make their first contact with players from the 2018 class on Wednesday and he heard from Butler, Colorado, California, Baylor, Kansas State, Northwestern, Ole Miss, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Purdue, Creighton, Rhode Island, Texas and Tulsa.
No. 47 ranked player in 2017 Tremont Waters was terrific during Wednesday's first set of games. Known for his scoring ability, the 5-foot-10 point guard converted on some slick finishes at the rim. However, it was his laser sharp passing out of pick-and-roll situations that really impressed as he racked up nine assists to just two turnovers. Duke, Indiana and Kentucky are among those coming on strong in his recruitment and he has some Tyler Ulis and Yogi Ferrell to his game.
Another player in 2018 who is due for a bump up in the rankings is Zion Williamson. The South Carolina native who currently ranks No. 33 overall in his class doesn't fit any conventional position standards, but the 6-foot-6 forward is explosive, gets to the rim and will go and get a rebound.
The spot that North Carolina point guard Lavar Batts currently holds in the top 100 should be safe. Yes, he can be a bit wild at times and yes his jumper isn't conventional. However, he makes a habit of getting into the lane and making things happen for himself and others and he hits enough deep jumpers (at least on Wednesday night) that you have to respect him out there even with an unconventional release. Oklahoma is the latest to offer and they joined the likes of Butler and Clemson.
Finally, some quick hitters on other standouts. Shooting guard Alex O'Connell is currently ranked No. 131 in the class of 2017, but his jump shooting, toughness and athleticism demand that we find a way to get him into four-star territory. Arkansas-bound big man Daniel Gafford is coming along nicely. He still has to get stronger, but he's attacking the glass and looking to finish strong. His current ranking of No. 29 may be a little high based on current production, but when you factor in upside it may not be that out of line. UCLA bound five-star point guard Jaylen Hands is somebody defenders can't keep in front of them. He's also mastered the let-the-opponent-dribble-by-and-then-poke-the-ball-away-from-behind move that Mario Chalmers loved to use in his high school days. In fact, the more we see Hands, the more he reminds of Chalmers at the same age. Last but not least, we'll look forward to seeing more of 2018 combo guard Sharone Wright. He's got some juice with the ball in his hands and is a shake and bake dribbler that can get to the rim.