Romeo Langford is the No. 5 overall recruit in the 2018 class, the highest ranked recruit who has yet to commit to a school.
Despite interest from Kentucky, Duke, and North Carolina, Langford’s final three schools are Vanderbilt, Indiana, and Kansas, with the first two expected to be the favorites.
For the first time, Langford’s family has spoken publicly about why he is no longer considering committing to Kentucky or North Carolina. Langford’s father, Tim, spoke openly with Fletcher Page of the Courier Journal about his disagreements with Kentucky coach John Calipari.
It all began during Calipari’s stint as the head coach of USA Basketball’s U19 team. After heavily recruiting Langford prior to the trip to Egypt, Calipari only gave him limited minutes before Langford was hampered with an injury.
After the trip, Tim called to confront Cal about the situation.
“I just told him, ‘You came in our house, said you couldn’t wait to coach our son and do this and that. You had the opportunity before his back started bothering him. I didn’t appreciate it because you said you wanted to coach him and you had the chance to do it.’”
To Langford, Calipari coaching his son in Egypt was a trial run and Calipari failed to live up to his promises.
Romeo was also disappointed, apparently, by Calipari’s in-game coaching ability. When Team USA was trailing Canada in the semi-finals, Langford went into the huddle and felt like Calipari was in over his head.
Calipari “couldn’t adapt to what was going on against Canada,” Romeo told his dad.
Regardless, Romeo still wanted to consider Kentucky as an option. He had his father call Coach Calipari again to set up an official visit, but that call was neither answered or returned.
Obviously, Calipari wanted no part of the drama that Tim Langford could potentially bring to the Kentucky program. It could also be the case that, after coaching Langford for a few weeks, Calipari was no longer convinced that the five-star shooting guard was the caliber of player that he wants to bring to Lexington.
You hate to see a recruitment end in this fashion, especially when one party speaks out negatively about the other in the media. But it seems as though Calipari and his staff may have dodged a bullet by dropping Langford from their list.