In the months leading up to the 2016-’17 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the 'BTPowerhouse 25,' which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today's edition will take a brief look at Josh Langford of Michigan State, who came in tied at No. 24 in the rankings. The Spartans are hoping that he can be a key piece in replacing some of the team’s massive offseason losses this year.
'BTPowerhouse 25' - #24 Josh Langford:
- Eligibility: Freshman
- Career Totals: N/A
- 2014-15 Averages: N/A
- Positional Role: Shooting Guard
Although much of Michigan State’s recent success has come thanks to some fantastic upperclassmen, the program has also done a nice job with its freshmen as well. In particular, players like Deyonta Davis, Gary Harris, and Matt McQuaid stand out. As such, most believe Langford can be one of the next great freshmen in East Lansing.
Naturally, Langford is a bit of a question mark considering he’s never played a minute at the college level. Nonetheless, based upon his prep years, it’s pretty easy to assess some of his strengths on tape.
Some of his biggest strengths include a smooth shooting stroke, the ability to create his own shot, and the ability to play above the rim. He’s not necessarily on the same shooting level as a Bryn Forbes, but he’s more than capable of knocking it down from long range and hitting some nice jumpers over defenders with his mid range game.
Areas for Improvement
Obviously, as a freshman, two of the keys for Langford will be adding size and strength. Maybe that sounds generic, but if he wants to be able to drive the lane and play through contact, those are two things that will help him tremendously.
Along with bulking up a bit, he’s also going to have to become more consistent as a defender and continue working on his court vision. He certainly isn’t bad at either of these categories (he’s shown some great no look passes in fact), but even taking a minor step forward in either category could really expand his game to the next level.
Realistically speaking, Langford is probably going to be overshadowed by fellow Spartan recruit Miles Bridges. Whether fair or not, fans are probably going to focus more on Michigan State adding a top 10 prospect in Bridges than Langford. It’s just the reality of today’s recruiting and college fans.
Nonetheless, Langford looks like a prime candidate to compete for a spot on the All-Big Ten Freshmen Team and is more than capable of making a run at Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Again, with some of the conference's other additions, he’ll have his work cut out, but he should be one of the top freshman in this year’s Big Ten.
'BTPowerhouse 25' Rankings:
- #26-31 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #24 - Josh Langford (Michigan State)
- #24 - to be continued ...