EAST LANSING, Mich. – Josh Langford is expected to be ready to play in Michigan State’s season opener Friday night after the freshman participated in full-court practice Monday.
Langford, a McDonald’s All-American last season, missed Michigan State’s two preseason exhibition games with a hamstring injury. He practiced in half-court sets for a couple of days but went without limitations on Monday.
“It felt good,” Langford said. “I felt great. I hadn’t run full court but my movement and knees felt pretty good.”
Michigan State is No. 12 in the AP preseason poll. The Spartans face No. 10 Arizona in Honolulu as part of the State Farm Armed Forces Classic.
“It looks like he’s back and he would really help us,” coach Tom Izzo said prior to practice. “The conditioning is not ridiculous because he hasn’t been out that long.”
Langford, a 6-foot-5-inch guard/forward, adds length and depth to the Spartans lineup. Izzo has called him the team’s best defender capable of guarding players at a variety of positions.
“What Josh is, he’s a very intelligent kid on the court, he’s an intelligent kid off the court. His family is a very driven family,” Izzo said. “Where Josh has a problem is Josh is harder on himself than (I am). I don’t get to coach him because he’s harder on himself than I (am) so I’ve got to tell him how good he is because he’s always telling himself he’s bad. It’s a little role reversal here.”
Langford didn’t disagree with the statement.
“It’s just because I want to be a great basketball player. I want to contribute to this program as much as I can but you have to be even-keeled about certain things,” Langford said. “There’s a quote that Bruce Lee says, you have to be like water. Water just goes with the flow of things. You have to learn how to go with the flow but still keep that edge.”
Kevin Goheen covers Michigan State for Landof10.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CincyGoGo