Training Camp Profile: Keith Langford

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The Spurs have a few new faces in training camp this year vying for one roster spot, including Keith Langford, Anthony Lever-Pedroza, Kris Lang, Dan Nwaelele and Darius Washington. Marcus Williams, the Spurs 2007 second round draft selection, was recently signed, and he’ll also be looking for a guaranteed roster spot. As training camp kicks off today, we’ll profile one player per day and finish off with three on Friday to give you an inside look at the players competing to wear the silver and black.
Keith Langford is one of the players who has been invited to the Spurs training camp to compete for a roster spot this season. The 6-4 former Kansas guard isn’t exactly a household name, but in the age when someone like Ime Udoka goes from being on the roster bubble, to being a starter, to becoming a valuable free agent, it’s important to keep track of all the prospects who may be putting on a Spurs uniform this season. Thus we give you, Keith Langford’s training camp profile.
The Specs
Langford is a 6-4, 215 pound shooting guard. He spent four years at Kansas where he averaged 14.4 points per game in his Senior year. He’s known for his slashing ability and propensity to get into the lane. He is fairly quick for his size, and while my memories of his Kansas days aren’t crystal clear, I do remember he was quite the scorer. He actually had his best scoring year at Kansas during his Sophomore season, averaging 15.9 points per game, and unfortunately seemed to regress from there, partially due to injury. His jumpshot isn’t stellar by any means, but it has improved over time and will hopefully continue to do so. He is actually quite athletic, possessing a deceptively swift first step and leaping ability. And he should hold his own defensively, as well as rebound well for a guard. If he has one truly desirable trait it’s his quickness to get into the lane, as he can be an effect penetrator at the NBA level.
Track Record
Keith is a Texas native (always a plus), from Fort Worth. He attended North Crowley High School where he averaged 25.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 4.2 assists – and he was named First Team All-State. His years at Kansas had a few peak moments, including the aforementioned Sophomore season for Langford, in 2002-2003 when Kansas reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.
Langford entered into the 2005 NBA Draft after his Senior season and went undrafted. He was picked up by the Houston Rockets in the 2005-2006 season, but didn’t make it past the pre-season with Houston when he only averaged 2.3 points per contest.
Last season Langford was in Italy playing for Vanoli Soresina in LegADue (Italian League 2, or A-2). He averaged 20.5 points and around six rebounds per game. According to Langford’s agent, he would have gotten invites to NBA training camps, but instead chose to take the guaranteed six figure deals that were being tossed at him by the Italian league.
“Very Superstitious…”
– Keith is apparently superstitious, going so far as to change his shoes at half time if he has a bad game, and at one time reportedly owned a pair of lucky socks.
– Nickname is Ke-Freeze, from his high school days when he was frequently told he had ice in his veins.
– Keith is left handed.
– Looks up to lefty wingman, Jalen Rose.
– He didn’t start playing organized basketball until grade eight.
Is he important?
In a word, maybe. I don’t think the question is whether or not he deserves to be in the league, I think Langford does have NBA talent, without a doubt. The question is whether a team with Manu Ginobili, Michael Finley, and Brent Barry, really needs another two guard. I don’t think he’s ready for significant minutes at point guard, and even so the clog behind Parker with Jacque Vaughn and Beno Udrih is crowded enough.
If he is going to compete for a roster spot, it will be because he could make a nice fill-in player coming off the bench if one of the other two guards goes down with injury or starts slumping badly. To be honest I like his game, his natural scoring prowess and ability to penetrate could make him a nice energy player off the bench if called upon.
Seeing is believing…
I know for a fact there’s some people who are skeptical at best that Langford has a shot at being anything more than just another player to fill out training camp, but if you’re interested in seeing how much game this guy still has, I’ve included a great video from YouTube that showcases many aspects of his game. Watch the man in action… and welcome Keith Langford to Spurs Training Camp 2007.
[kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/FhRXiLBbLuc” height=”350″ width=”425″ /]

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