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  • Indiana's Romeo Langford watches during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the NIT tournament against Saint Francis, Tuesday, March 19, 2019, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Thursday, April 04, 2019 3:00 pm

Langford will enter NBA Draft

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Indiana guard Romeo Langford will enter the NBA Draft, he told ESPN today.

Langford, the 2018 Indiana Mr. Basketball out of New Albany, played one season at Indiana, leading all Big Ten freshmen in scoring at 16.5 points per game and adding 5.4 rebounds per contest. The Hoosiers went 17-15 with Langford in the lineup and he sat out the NIT with back issues.

Langford is expected to be a lottery pick in the draft. ESPN's rankings place him as the No. 11 draft prospect and he could go higher if he impresses scouts over the next couple of months.

The 6-foot-5 guard also revealed to ESPN that he has been dealing with a torn ligament in his thumb since before Indiana's matchup against Duke on Nov. 27. He's reportedly having surgery on the thumb in the near future and it affected him all season. Langford shot just 27 percent from 3-point range, which contributed to a drop in his draft stock. The injury might explain some of those issues on his jump shot.

"I think it's fair to say that we never got a chance to see me at my best at the college level, especially since I've been playing with basically a cast on my thumb the whole season," Langford told ESPN. "Obviously that throws off your shot. Even though I didn't shoot as well as I'm capable of, I feel like I shot the ball pretty well in the second half of the season."

Langford said he expects to make a full recovery from surgery in time to work out for NBA teams prior to the draft on June 20.

The decision leaves Indiana with another open scholarship spot heading into the offseason. Clifton Moore and Jake Forrester have entered the transfer portal, but have not officially decided to leave the Hoosiers yet. Indiana will have three scholarships available if they depart.

dsinn@jg.net