【N.J】 Sharp shooting Ryan Langborg ready to keep Princeton men’s basketball’s offense rolling – Trentonian – New Jersey News

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Ryan Langborg has never been the most vocal guy on the basketball court, choosing instead to lead through actions, but now that he’s a senior in the Princeton program that’s starting to change.

Not only is Langborg one of the most lethal shooters in college basketball, he’s quickly transforming into one of the most influential players for the defending Ivy League champion.

“Normally, I was kind of a quiet guy and there were some bigger personalities that would take that role,” Langborg said. “I would kind of work my butt off, but this year with a lot of younger guys I kind of got to show people the ropes, use my voice all the time, constantly talk on defense to make sure everyone is in the right spot. It’s different and it will be a challenge for me, but I’m ready for it.”

There’s no doubt the Tigers will need Langborg to be at his best — he was hobbled by a knee injury the last few weeks of the season — if they are going to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017.

A 6-4 guard out of San Diego, Langborg averaged 10.7 points and shot 40.5% from beyond the arc, but he’s going to need to up that production to replace all the firepower that is now elsewhere. Langborg, returning Ivy Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan and Matt Allocco are the only three players with any big-game experience.

“Everyone is going at each other’s throws the whole time (in practice), which is really the way we improve as a team collectively,” Langborg said. “With spots up for grabs, everyone is getting better here before practice getting their work in. It’s a fun atmosphere for people who want to improve and get better.”

Coach Mitch Henderson has noticed a difference in Langborg. He said the coaching staff sat him down and watched clips of his defense and asked him to take ownership of that.

“Ryan is very quick to laugh at himself and doesn’t take anything too seriously,” Henderson said. “I think that is a really good quality for a team to have, but he’s also ultra-competitive and that’s also a really good quality to have in a senior.”

Princeton's Ryan Langborg (3) looks to move the ball against Cornell during an Ivy League men's basketball game. (Kyle Franko/ Trentonian Photo)
Princeton’s Ryan Langborg (3) looks to move the ball against Cornell during an Ivy League men’s basketball game. (Kyle Franko/ Trentonian Photo)

Of course, his bread is buttered from behind the 3-point line. Langborg talked last season about how he developed his quick release by having his dad throw him bad passes on purpose so he had to catch and get it in the shooting pocket as quick as possible.

That’s rarely a problem with the offense running through Evbuomwan. The 6-foot-8 Englishman averaged 16 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. He was one of just two forwards nationally to finish in the top 50 in assists.

“I’ve never played with someone like him before,” Langborg said. “I get some of the easiest shots I’ve ever taken in my life. We just got to get him the ball, a little three-man action and I get an easy look at the basket. It makes my job a lot easier and takes a lot of pressure off me and the other guys as well because while he’s making a lot of assists, he’s also scoring 15-20 points a game.”

In other words, the offense is pretty much unguardable, which was the case for much of last season when it ranked 11th nationally in scoring (79.8 points) and fifth in 3-point percentage (38.6%).

Evbuomwan, naturally, dished it right back to Langborg and his teammates.

“It’s such a luxury to have these guys around me and we were super difficult to guard last year,” Evbuomwan said. “We’re looking for kind of the same thing this year. With the way we play with me in the middle and guys around me, defenses have to make a decision on who they come up on a little bit. … Having these guys around me who can really shoot the ball and do a whole bunch of different things, it’s a really fun way to play.”

That’s not to say there may not be some time needed to gel. A big chunk of that offense — Jaelin Llewellyn (Michigan), Ethan Wright (Colorado) and Drew Friberg (Belmont) — are elsewhere as graduate transfers after running out of Ivy League eligibility and new players are going to need to step up.

“We had a rotation last year that everybody kind of knew, but you haven’t seen some of the pieces that we have that we are excited about as a group,” Henderson said.

But seniors win games in the Ivy League and Henderson believes he has two of the best in Langborg and Evbuomwan.

“Teams in our league go as the seniors go and I’m really pleased with the leadership we have in the senior class,” Henderson said. “Ryan is a big part of that. I’m expecting him to have a terrific year.”

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