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Romeo Langford played with torn thumb ligament, set to declare for NBA Draft



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Freshman guard Romeo Langford walks back onto the court March 14 after a timeout during the game against Ohio State during the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament in Chicago. Langford plans to officially declare for the NBA draft next week. Ty Vinson Buy Photos

Freshman guard Romeo Langford had to play through pain during his first season in Bloomington, and it appears likely there won’t be a second one to follow.

Langford told ESPN in a story published Thursday he plans to officially declare for the NBA draft next week.

He also elaborated on the injury to his right hand that required significant bandaging throughout the 2018-19 season. Langford tore a ligament in his right thumb last November during practice prior to IU’s game at Duke University, but rather than stop playing for the rest of the season, Langford dealt with the pain for the remainder of the season.

He is scheduled to have surgery in Indianapolis to repair the injury.

He finished with respectable numbers to lead IU in scoring with 16.5 points, along with 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

He was named an All-Big Ten second-team selection and was also selected for the Big Ten Conference’s all-freshman team.

Langford is expected to recover from the surgery in time to work out for NBA teams ahead of June’s NBA draft. Langford is expected to be selected in the first round of the draft, and many projections have him being selected as a lottery pick.

Should Langford declare and keep his name in the NBA draft, he would be the fourth non-graduate to depart the men’s basketball program this offseason. Forwards Clifton Moore and Jake Forrester as well as guard Vijay Blackmon have all entered their names in the NCAA transfer portal this offseason.

The losses of Forrester, Langford and Moore would open up three scholarships for IU Head Coach Archie Miller to use on recruits for next season.

Those four players, combined with five graduating players, means Miller could lose nine players from last season’s roster ahead of the 2019-20 season.

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