KFS Draft Watch: Romeo Langford vs Marquette Report

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Spencer Pearlman continues our Knicks Film School Draft Watch with a breakdown of Romeo Langford’s game vs Marquette.


Editor’s note – I want to apologize for the delay. I have had issues with Synergy over the last few days and getting the video has been difficult. I am still having some issues, but appear to have found at least some sort of workaround for the time being. Without more explanation, let’s dive into the film.

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I’m going to try something a bit different here and hoping y’all reach out to me on Twitter or leave a comment below if you like or dislike the new format. Basically I’m going to have four main videos focusing on the good for offense and defense, and the bad for offense and defense. For this report, there are 6 videos – the 4 good/bad + the 2 clips lost from Synergy. In addition to the video, I will have a short blurb on some general thoughts on offense and defense.


Offense

The Good

  • Drew 5 fouls, leading to 7 FTAs. He does a nice job seeking out contact and exaggerating it a bit to get the call. If the defender is too wide, he does a nice job attacking the body once to draw the foul.
  • All of his shots were either at the rim or from three – shot chart tailor-made for the NBA.
  • Nice job finishing through contact and in traffic (his strong frame helps here). The floater he had off the drive showed his touch, which I am a fan of.
  • Two really nice off-ball cuts. One of them lead to a finish in the paint when the defender turned his back to Romeo. The second one was actually my favorite offensive play he made all game – he attempted the cut, which was the right read, but when the defense adjusted, he turned his cut into a flare screen, creating a look from three for Fitzner.
  • Two strong rip through drives, one leading to a secondary assist and one leading to a left-handed finish at the rim (used left to get the inside hand on the defender + get a better look at the rim due to right hand being further out). Both were quick decisions, which is what he needs to do consistently with lack of elite burst or wiggle. I also thought he did a nice job attacking the one time he had the mismatch on the big.
  • Showed a few dribble moves to get the defense off balance: L-R-L cross and the in-and-out dribble. Will have to continue to use these to help alleviate some of the issues created with his lack of burst. Get defense off balance and then attack.
    • I know it’s not a dribble move, but I liked how he snaked the PnR in the video and kept his downhill attack.

The Bad

  • Aside from the play on the secondary break, he really did not show the ability to get by his man from a stand-still. Lack of elite burst/wiggle will be an issue going forward, so his ability to weave, use dribble moves to keep defenders off balance, and use change of pace will be huge for his ability to get into the paint.
  • The jumper is an issue. As Jackson Hoy (JHoyNBA), myself, Mitch Libanoff (Mitch_Libanoff), and Skyfall (Polarfall) discussed on Twitter here, the mechanics aren’t consistent. Sometimes he releases when his shooting arm is extended, other times no; balance isn’t always there, as you’ll see on the last jump shot posted in the video; his left thumb stays on the ball on the release; and he cocks it back far, creating almost a two motion shot. He needs work on his mechanics.
  • Decision making was questionable at times. He picked up his dribble too early on a weak double, deciding to go for a cross court pass even though there was a release valve behind him. To be fair, there should have been one at the top of the key but there was not. I also was not a fan of him pushing the pace in transition where he was called for the offensive foul. He had no numbers and had no advantage there; he should have pulled it back out.
    • The shot selection on his last jumper was a bad shot to take, point blank.
  • He drove into traffic on three of his drives, one time where the paint was completely clogged, another time where it was clogged and might have had an angle for a weak side corner pass, and the third time he had the strong side corner pass on the drive and kick. He can do without those shots – pick spots better, work on drive and kick a bit more, and don’t drive into traffic when there is no space.

Defense

The Good

  • For the most part, I thought his positioning was damn good. Take a look in the video and you will see him splitting the court (which will become 2-9ing the paint in the NBA) and helping on the strong side when he was on the weak side, knowing where to be in the PnR, playing the elbows, and simple positioning on help defense – cutting off passing lanes.
    • One of the plays involved the corner man going to help on the strong side attack, so Romeo positioned himself in a place where he could react to both his man and the corner pass if the ball handler were to attempt the pass.
  • There were at least two times where he stunted on the PnR from the weak side to cut off the roll man and then recover to his man.
    • One of his PnR help defense possessions involved him tagging the roll man and keeping with him until the original defender returned. Once that happened, he got back to his man (had a poor closeout) and ended up switching onto the original roller. Lots of action here, and aside from his poor closeout, it was a solid defensive possession.
  • Had a few nice digs and then showed ability to get back to his man. Not sure what his wingspan is now (last measured at ~6’11 in 2016), but he does a nice job using his length to dig + contest.
  • Even though there were a few times where he was lazy getting through screens, for the most part, I thought he did a fine job here. Instead of going under every time, I liked how he would go over and try to get skinny while getting through, or attacking high to push offensive player back.
  • Last but certainly not least, I liked how he was communicating on defense. It wasn’t happening all game long, but when it was needed, he was there.


The Bad

  • He needs work on his closeouts – it’s that simple. Poor footwork, not neutral or balanced, etc. Romeo needs to work on these, because he had issues on closeouts a few times this game.
  • As mentioned above, even though his ability to get through screens was solid for the most part, there were times when it wasn’t – got lazy. This is an effort issue in my book because he showed some flashes with the technique. Just needs to be more consistent here.
  • There was one play where he just made a bad decision to double team, Not only did it have zero impact on the play, but there could have been an open corner three if John saw the look.
  • Two (?) questionable awareness plays he had, but that was all that jumped off the screen to me. One of them was a team based issue where Romeo was not the only one at fault, but the other was him losing his man on the same play / not picking up the open one after his assignment was covered.
  • Lastly, his lateral quickness was an issue here when he was caught on an island by himself. On the second clip in the video below, he recovers nicely with the block at the end…but you still see the lack of lateral movement that he needs. He is able to make up for some of that by being a smart defender in help positioning, but he has to find a way to overcome this. He can use his length more, work on quick hip turn drills like NFL secondaries do, etc. Romeo needs to find a way to compensate for his lack of elite quickness, because it can, and likely will be, exposed at the next level.