Josh Langford Playing Like An All-American

Josh Langford Playing Like An All-American

Basketball

Josh Langford Playing Like An All-American

Michigan State is getting balanced scoring from its batch of contributors. But Josh Langford has separated himself from the pack – and he’s playing like a guy who can end up being recognized as an All-American.

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It isn’t just the stats.

Although the stats jump out at anyone who likes to look at stats.

When the game is on the line, it becomes clear who Tom Izzo and the Spartan rely on for the big shots and the key moves.

Kyle Ahrens scored the final seven points and his spectacular two-handed dunk in the closing seconds of Saturday’s game secured the win over the Gators.

But in just about every close game the Spartans have played this season, Josh Langford wants the ball and gets the ball in crunch time.

Without even looking at a specific game’s stats late in the second half, just about all Spartans want the ball in Langford’s hands.

But let’s go ahead and look at Langford’s numbers through ten games:

  • Minutes played per game – 30.
  • Field goal % – .461.
  • 3-point field goal % – .446.
  • Free throw % – .828.
  • Rebounds per game – 3.6.
  • Assists per game – 2.0.
  • Steals per game – .7.
  • Points per game – 16.7.

Let’s go ahead and round up that 16.7 ppg and say he’s averaging 17 points per game.

There are plenty of players who are ahead of Langford in terms of PPG – but when the full scope of the season is contemplated, if Langford continues at this pace, and if Langford and the Spartans win the Big Ten (a tall order, to be sure), Langford will certainly be recognized as one the nation’s premiere players.

Langford has improved impressively year by year since he set foot on the Michigan State campus.

As a freshman, he averaged 7 points a game.

Last season, as a sophomore playing with Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson, he averaged 12 points a game.

This season, there have been a few games where Langford has started off a little bit more slowly than Tom Izzo might want – but he’s begun to demonstrate that he’s the man who should have the ball when the game is tight and the clock is beginning to wind down.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone if there are game-winners and clutch moments from Langford all throughout the Big Ten season.

Cassius Winston is going to make sure Langford has the ball as often as possible.

Langford no longer looks like a guy who’s pretty happy to be out on the floor and willing to take some shots from time to time while the other higher-profile guys take care of the heaviest lifting.

Langford looks like a guy who has a killer instinct that’s developed and his body language sure does suggest that he’s become not just comfortable with the ball as the game winds down – he’s adamant about having the ball with the game on the line.

Izzo is going to need Kyle Ahrens and the rest of these guys ready to take full advantage of the opportunities that will come their way when the Spartans need someone to make a play.

But it’s beginning to be obvious that this 2018-19 Spartan team looks to one guy when a shot is absolutely necessary – and that one guy wants the ball in those situations.

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