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Archive for Friday, July 27, 2001

Langford prepared to prank back

KU freshman-to-be scores 15 in loss to Lithuania at Global Games

July 27, 2001

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— Kansas' Keith Langford wasn't exactly sure what he felt when he touched the keyhole to his door one morning in June during summer school in Lawrence.

He realized a few minutes later syrup had been placed on every freshman's door.

Langford only had one guess of who might have done it.

"They all think I did it as revenge, but I didn't," insists Kansas junior Nick Collison. "Maybe I did tease them a little, but not too much."

No one really knows who started it on Kansas' basketball team.

Langford recalls how many of the upperclassmen were telling the freshmen to pick up their underwear and clear their plates.

So the newcomers, led by Langford, decided to have some fun of their own.

"I was bored, so we knocked on Nick's door," Langford said. "When he came out we hid behind the mattress. We dumped a bucket of water on him and ran down the hallway. I didn't even get a chance to see his reaction."

Collison just laughs it off now.

"It was just some young kids having fun," he said. "At least he's a good playing basketball."

There hasn't been much time in the past week for pranks. Collison, a 6-foot-9 forward on USA Basketball, and Langford, a 6-4 guard on the USA Team Texas' 18-and-under amateur team, have been busy playing in the Global Games this week at SMU's Moody Coliseum against other international basketball teams from Yugoslavia, Germany, Senegal, Lithuania and Puerto Rico.

"I don't have time right now for pranks, but if I did, I would," Langford said with a laugh. "I've got a few up my sleeve for the fall session."

In Thursday night's game against Lithuania, Langford was the second highest scorer with 15 points and stayed out of foul trouble, unlike the previous two nights. Team USA came out flat and couldn't sink its free throws, shooting only 42 percent from the line in a 97-91 loss.

"We just can't keep picking and choosing when we want to play hard," Langford said, who shot 3-of-7 from the foul line. "We just have to get in the game from the start."

Langford, who took two charges against Yugoslavia's physical Stevan Nadejl, was sore and had several bruises from playing in Wednesday night's game.

"My hip started hurting last night from the game," Langford said. "Everything didn't feel right and I just couldn't get it to work. I haven't shot that badly from the free throw line in a long time, but that's no excuse. I should be making them easily."

While Team USA Texas teammates take a break today, Langford will be preparing for the Texas Boys Coaches' All-Star basketball game Monday night in Fort Worth.

"Keith makes great plays because he has great instincts around the glass," said USA Team Texas coach Greg Glen. "No matter how he plays, he always stays positive. If makes a great play he is already ready for the next play."

More than anything, Langford is ready for Kansas.

"I want to be successful and contribute as soon as I get there," Langford said. "I'd like to start, and be on the first-team all freshman. Everyone wants the accolades, but that's second to winning. It just seems like it's been forever since the season ended and I'm just ready to play."

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