Fort Worth power forward Kevin Langford has been involved with Stanford in the recruiting process for some time, much of it owing to his 4.0 GPA that clearly marks him as a sound admissions candidate. But April is a time for the high school basketball "second season" to kick into high gear, and Langford certainly has been busy. Two weeks ago he traveled with Team Texas to Hampton, Virginia for the famous Boo Williams Invitational. Then last weekend they made a shorter journey to Austin for the Tops in Texas tournament. Langford recently took some time to talk about his play in both events with us, as well as some recruiting updates.
In Virginia, Langford admits that he did not play his best basketball. "I defended well, but I didn't score consistently," he says. The rebounding has been one constant for Langford through his high school and AAU play, though, and he crashed the boards well at the Boo. The quality of opposing forwards was high, including nationally elite names like Al Jefferson and Brandon Rush.
But it was in Austin where things clicked for the North Crowley junior. Team Texas lost in the semifinals the previous weekend, but they took the title in this hotly contested Texas event. And along the way, Langford clashed head-to-head with bigtime talents like Jeremis Smith and Dion Dowell. Reports from the event have given Langford his due for shutting down his opponents, including a lockdown performance on Smith, one of the more hyped small forwards in the country. Against one team that employed a three-guard lineup, Langford was put on the perimeter to defend the opposing point guard. He also rebounded like a monster throughout, and scored consistently in double figures. He put up 17 points in the final game.
This coming weekend Langford and Team Texas will make the short trek to Houston for the Kingwood Invitational, the largest national tournament during the April evaluation period. Coaches from every major program in the country will be there watching, and it should prove to be an inflection point in his recruitment.
At this time, Langford says that his top five schools list has taken a small modification. He had Kansas and Illinois in that quintet a month ago, but now with Bill Self making the migration from Urbana-Champaign to Lawrence, that keeps Kansas in the game. This despite speculation that the somewhat messy Roy Williams departure could disrupt the Jayhawks' chances. His other four are Stanford, Kentucky, Virginia and Auburn. UVA was his first offer, and Auburn is the newest school to enter the fray. "Auburn is really starting to come after me pretty hard," he notes. Langford also says that Auburn has become the second school to offer him a scholarship.
Of course, the key question on Stanford fans' minds is admissions, and Langford indeed just received the Stanford application this month. It was hand delivered by assistant coach Tony Fuller, who came to visit at North Crowley High School. "I've already started on it," Langford says of the admissions application. "I want to hurry up and get it over with, even though the coaches didn't give me any deadline."
On top of a busy spring of basketball, Langford has the SAT just on the horizon. He is taking the test for the first time in early May, and will take it again in June.
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