Barbee's First Auburn Signee a No. 1

Auburn men's basketball coach Tony Barbee received good news on Thursday when highly-regarded in-state standout Josh Langford chose the Tigers.

Huntsville, Ala.--New Auburn head basketball coach Tony Barbee, who has received rave reviews in his first weeks on the job from Tiger fans, made a big splash on Thursday with his first commitment as head coach at Auburn.

Lee High School star Josh Langford, who is rated as the No. 1 prospect in the state by the Birmingham News, announced at a press conference that he will play for Barbee's Tigers. The last time the Tigers signed the No. 1 ranked men's basketball prospect in the state was when point guard Doc Robinson of Selma High joined the Tigers in 1996 and later led the Tigers to the SEC championship.

"I was recruited by colleges around the country but my final three choices were Auburn, Cincinnati and Ole Miss," Langford said. "I think I surprised a lot of people by not picking West Virginia. Everybody knows Coach (Bob) Huggins is a great coach and I really like their assistant coach who recruited me, but I also like Coach Barbee a lot too. I'm really excited about the opportunity at Auburn and to be a part of his first team there."

A 6-7 forward who averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds per game, Langford chose the Tigers over West Virginia, Ole Miss, Cincinnati, Alabama, Georgia and others.

"I really like Coach Barbee and I can see myself playing for him at Auburn," says Langford.

Josh Langford

Comments from Auburn men's basketball coach Tony Barbee on Josh Langford signing today with the Tigers:

"I'm excited that Josh has decided to join the Auburn family," Barbee said. "He is a huge recruit for me and for the program as we try to establish Auburn as one of the programs to beat on the floor and in recruiting in the Southeast. In getting the best player in the state of Alabama in the Class of 2010 was a very important to establish that we are going to go after the best, and Josh is the best in Alabama this year.

"It is important for me to recruit guys who have come from winning programs, and he played on the Class 5A state championship this year for Lee High School," Barbee said.

"Two things I know about Josh is one, he has played for a great coach in Coach (Greg) Brown at Lee High School so he has been coached before. It won't be a shock to the system when he comes here. The other thing I know is he comes from a great family with his mom, dad and sister. They are a great family with a great support system around him so we are getting a great kid as well.

Tony Barbee

"You know you are getting a very talented young man on the basketball floor," Barbee added. "He still has to improve in a lot of different areas, but they all have to when they come to college. We are getting a very explosive player athletically, a player who has offensive skills being able to play on the perimeter, handle it and shoot it and make plays off the bounce which are going to be key in the type of offense that we are going to employ.

"At the same time, on top of all those things, you are getting a quality young man who is going to represent this program and this university in a class way," Barbee said. "We are very excited about Josh."

Josh Langford

The prospect was not considering Auburn prior to the coaching change last month when Barbee replaced Jeff Lebo at Auburn. After being hired by the Tigers, Barbee immediately went to work trying to garner Langford's interest and succeeded.

Langford took an official visit to Auburn last weekend and announced AU as his college choice at a press conference at Lee High School on Thursday.

Langford, a forward with excellent shooting range, led his Lee High team to the Class 5A state championship as a senior and followed that by being named MVP for the Alabama team in its annual all-star game vs. Mississippi. He scored 21 points and added nine rebounds in the contest.


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