Opportunity could lead to big seasons for Michigan State's Joshua Langford and Michigan's Jordan Poole.
Langford, a junior guard, and Poole, a sophomore guard, are two of six players Joe Boozell of NCAA.com writes are poised for breakout seasons in 2018-19 in a story posted this weekend.
Boozell says both are in line for big things, thanks in part to what their teams lost from last season.
For Langford, whose 11.7 points ranked fourh on the Spartans last season, should see more scoring opportunities with Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson in the NBA.
Langford is the prototypical two-guard in today’s game. He’s a three-dimensional scorer who can shoot from deep, mid-range and get to the rim," Boozell writes. "Langford was a role player as a freshman and sophomore, but Michigan State will need him to shoot more as a junior."
Langford knocked down 40.4 percent of his 3-pointers last season, and 43 percent overall from the field, both below his freshman marks of 41.6 and 50 percent, respectively.
"(Langford) needs to improve his dribble-drive game," Boozell writes. "Langford was uber-efficient from deep last year, but he only shot 42.9 percent overall. His floater game is developing, but could use some refinement. Langford can beat defenders off the bounce but he doesn’t always know what to do once he arrives in the lane."
As a freshman, Poole was one of Michigan's heroes during its run to the NCAA Tournament title game, draining a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to oust Houston in a second-round matchup.
Poole played in 39 games last season — all coming off the bench — averaging six points and 1.4 rebounds. He'll see a bigger role this season, with the graduation of Duncan Robinson and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman.
"Poole is a bit of an enigma, but his talent is obvious," Boozell writes. "Athletic wings who can shoot are the hardest players to find in college basketball, and Poole fits that mold. He jolted the Michigan offense several times last year when it needed jolting. Poole only played 12.2 minutes per game, but ... shot 37 percent from 3.
"He has a chance to become a huge part of the Wolverines’ success."