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Archive for Monday, March 25, 2002

Freshman Langford has career game

March 25, 2002

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— Kansas University freshman Keith Langford picked a great time  the Elite Eight  to have the best game of his college basketball career.

Langford, KU's 6-foot-4 guard from Fort Worth, Texas, scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed a career-best eight rebounds as the Jayhawks pounded Oregon, 104-86, Sunday at Kohl Center to reach the Final Four.

"I might have surprised some people," Langford said. "I don't think I surprised myself."

He was named to the all-Midwest Regional team with teammates Drew Gooden (MVP) and Nick Collison, Oregon's Frederick Jones and Luke Ridnour and Texas' James Thomas.

"I really didn't expect that honor," Langford said. "I think being on there with Drew and Nick is great. It's a real big honor. I can't let it get to my head. I can't have any letdowns the rest of the way."

Langford shocked a national television audience when he soared through the air to slam home a dunk following a Gooden miss, a key bucket in KU's late 14-3 run that turned a 77-72 KU lead into a 91-75 advantage.

"My adrenaline was flowing. With Drew shooting the ball, the lane opened up," Langford said. "I jumped at the right time. It didn't feel like I jumped high at all."

He hung on the rim briefly and violently pumped his fist after what he called "probably my best dunk in college. I may have had some better ones in high school."

The slam dunk gave KU a comfy 83-72 lead at 5:46.

"Coach was like, 'Get back on defense,'" Langford said of KU coach Roy Williams' comments after the slam. "He said, 'I love ya, thanks for rebounding and crashing the boards, but get back on defense.'"

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