Few Big Ten stories over the last few years have been more disappointing than Joshua Langford’s tale. After arriving on campus as a solid prospect and putting together two solid seasons, Langford has struggled with injuries, missing the majority of the 2018-’19 season and the entirety of last season. It was a crushing blow for Spartan fans.
But the Michigan State Spartans might be getting some good news on Langford’s front.
Late last month, the Lansing State Journal reported Langford might be in line to return to campus next season. And while this is something that had been discussed over the last few months, we had never received any indications this strong that Langford will be around for one more season with the Spartans.
During his time with the program, Langford has played in a total of 83 games and averaged an impressive 15.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in his final season with the Spartans. He also shot above 40 percent from three-point range in each of his three seasons.
And while Langford’s return is far from confirmed, it certainly has to be welcome news for Spartan fans. With Cassius Winston graduating and Xavier Tillman exploring the NBA Draft waters, there are a lot of questions about how next year’s team will look. But those questions get a little easier to answer if Langford is back on the roster.
Should Langford return, he would undeniably be in line for a starting spot. He would likely play alongside Rocket Watts in the backcourt, which would open up players like AJ Hoggard for reserve roles. And with players like Gabe Brown and Aaron Henry on the wing and Joey Hauser upfront, Michigan State would really have a formidable lineup.
The most significant boost, though, might just be in raw experience. Players like Watts have playing time, but nothing like Langford. Tom Izzo’s best teams have always had senior leadership and Langford could offer just that.
We’ll have to see whether Langford does indeed stay in East Lansing next season, but it’s encouraging news for the program and Izzo moving forward.