Indiana's Romeo Langford Out of NIT Opener Because of Back Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2019

BLOOMINGTON, IN - MARCH 02: Romeo Langford #0 of the Indiana Hoosiers shoots a free throw during the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Assembly Hall on March 2, 2019 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Indiana Hoosiers will be without their leading scorer for Tuesday's NIT game against the St. Francis Red Flash.

According to Mike Miller of the Herald Times, guard Romeo Langford was in street clothes before the game and will not play. Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star noted he was dealing with a back injury.

It is not unrealistic to think Langford won't play another game in an Indiana uniform after it missed the NCAA tournament and with this injury.

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected the freshman as the No. 9 overall pick in his last mock draft and pointed to his ability as a ball-handler in the pick-and-roll and isolation situations.

Langford averaged 16.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists a night in 32 games this season. While he needs to improve his outside shooting to thrive in the NBA after hitting just 27.2 percent of his three-pointers, his upside as someone who can score attacking the basket and use his physicality in the lane and on the boards at 6'6" stands out.

The Hoosiers are a No. 1 seed in their NIT bracket but may have to go through a combination of Providence, Arkansas, Clemson or Furman to reach the Final Four in Madison Square Garden.

That will be a tall task if Langford is sidelined throughout the tournament.