Michigan State Basketball: Josh Langford leaning toward return?

Josh Langford, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Josh Langford, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Michigan State basketball may have stayed away from grad transfers this offseason to make room for a return of Josh Langford.

Tough decisions. That has been the theme of the 2020 offseason as Michigan State has a couple of guys mulling NBA draft decisions and another five-star recruit wondering if he should skip college and go the pro route right from his Canadian high school.

Another guy has fallen under the radar in the midst of all this. Josh Langford has been given a chance to come back for one final season if he decides it’s in his best interest.

And according to Graham Couch’s radio show, Langford is leaning toward a return and pending an “all clear” from doctors, it looks like he’ll be good to go for his senior season.

If that’s not great news for the Michigan State basketball program, I don’t know what is. This kid brings a scorer’s mentality and he plays lockdown defense. He would be one heck of a senior leader for the Spartans and he’d create an elite backcourt with Rocket Watts.

Before his injury as a junior in 2018-19, he was averaging a career-high 15 points and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from 3-point range.

Unfinished business with Michigan State basketball

If Langford does decide to come back, which is looking likely, it’ll be for personal reasons but you can also bet he feels that he has unfinished business with the Spartans.

When he went down with the original injury during his junior year, Michigan State was cooking and looking like one of the true national title contenders. The Spartans went on a short skid when he was ruled out for the remainder of the year and then turned things up in March, winning the Big Ten title and making a Final Four. Just imagine what having Langford against Texas Tech would have done. He had to feel that the Spartans may have won it all with him present.

That’s one of the biggest ‘what ifs’ in Michigan State basketball history, but he gets a chance to rewrite his own ending if doctors clear him to play in 2020-21.

If Langford returns and both Aaron Henry and Xavier Tillman return, we’re looking at a top-10, maybe even top-five team to start the season. Karim Mane would be unlikely in that scenario unless someone transfers, but that would be a heck of a roster.

Couch’s report has injected excitement back into the fanbase after a quiet offseason and plenty of decisions still up in the air. If he returns, Langford will be a fan favorite in 2020-21.

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