September 11, 2002

Lang Asked Schools to Halt

Sources close to basketball prospect James Lang told the Louisville SportsReport and Cardinalsports.com on Wednesday that several schools have continued to recruit the 6-foot-11 Lang and tried to appeal to his mother, contrary to the youngster's wishes.

Reportedly, once Lang committed to Louisville, he personally called the hoop staffs at Kentucky, Connecticut, UAB and Georgetown, politely thanked them for their attention and interest, but asked that they now put off calls to his mother and him.

Instead, as explained in published reports this morning, Kentucky and others have actually stepped up their recruiting.

Certainly, Lang is a tremendous prospect. And evidently, there are several factions surrounding him that either want him to wait longer to make a decision, or who simply want him to choose another school.

Still, we're told Lang believes U of L is where he wants to go. For a 19-year-old to pick up the phone and call four other schools as he did, is a good sign. Not just good that he may be headed for Louisville, but good in that it shows tremendous strength and maturity for such a young man.

Typically, the last word prospects want to tell college coaches is "No." They'll hint around, say maybe, string out the process for months, and then grudgingly say no in a hushed, apologetic voice.

Heck, it's hard for 50-year-olds to say no to telemarketers they don't even know, so think how hard it is for a prospect to make a phone call and say no to someone they've probably come to like.

As we've said, most prep athletes don't take that route, but it seems Lang is firm in his desire to be part of Coach Rick Pitino's program at Louisville. If that's true, he's certainly not looking for the easy way out, because Pitino's practices will be the most demanding of any he could find...in some cases MUCH more demanding.

So it seems that not only is Lang showing that he's motivated to become a much better player through hard work, but he's also apparently someone with the character to tell some of the nation's top programs: "Thanks, but no thanks."

Certainly, his mother is watching out for Lang's best interests and has expressed that she doesn't want him to make a hasty decision. In a way, that's good news, too, because not all parents care to get that involved.

But when it all settles in November, and when signing day rolls around, it's still most likely that Lang will sign with the Cards and put the exclamation on what may become the top recruiting class in the country.



 

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