Jennifer Hoffer – Sports Writer –
The Owls men’s basketball team came off a tough loss Saturday at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, falling 98-94 to end their two-game winning streak. But that was short-lived as they bounced back with a win over Saint Michaels College with the help of consistent scorer, junior Greg Langston.
Langston scored his 1,000-career point in the game against the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, but he said he was aware he was close to reaching that goal, but he did not know how many points he had in that game.
“After we got on the bus, on the way home, Coach Donnelly congratulated me,” Langston said. “But we actually lost the game which is pretty upsetting, I was more upset about that.”
This is not the first time Langston has reached a milestone in his career. He put up consistent numbers at St. Joseph’s High School in Trumbull where he recorded 1,332 points, averaged 19 points and six rebounds per game.
That was one thing that attracted Head Coach Mike Donnelly to Langston.
“He could score the ball,” Donnelly said. “He was a top priority for us because he was talented, he had the ability to score the ball, and we really needed his size at that point with the team.”
Donnelly is an alumni of St. Joseph’s too so that gave him an instant connection with Langston. He followed Langston throughout his four years of high school and through his AAU travel ball career. He not only liked Langston as a player, but as a person.
“Greg’s grown a lot on and off the court,” Donnelly said. “He is co-captain of this squad and I’m just glad I’ve gotten the pleasure of coaching him as a player and seeing him grow as a person.”
Langston said the biggest challenge with the transition from high school to college competitive-wise was the players were bigger.
“I was stunned at how big everyone was,” Langston said. “When I was in high school I was pretty much bigger than everyone. So that was definitely something I had to adjust to.”
As for improvement over the past three seasons, both Coach Donnelly and Langston see a similar change in his game.
“He’s smarter about the little things,” Donnelly said. “He doesn’t rush his shot, he’s dribbling more and with that his shot is becoming more efficient.”
Langston said he doesn’t rush the shot as much.
“As I’ve become older and wiser, I know now to take the right shot,” Langston said.
Just watching him over the past three years, Donnelly said he’s just seen an overall improvement with Langston making him an all around better player.
“Greg’s a hard worker,” Donnelly said. “He executes, he’s focused and disciplined. Most importantly he’s made the adjustments to be successful at this level.”
Tylon Smith, sophomore on the team, said that Langston’s the best scorer that he has ever played with and he makes things a lot easier.
“He opens it up for so many other players because there’s so much attention on him with the scorer that he is,” Smith said.
Langston has molded himself as one of the leaders of the team and that is what makes him such a great player, Smith said, not just because he can score points, but the person he is off the court.
“I look to him for guidance especially when I got here freshman year,” Smith said. “He helped me get through the slumps and he talked about what he went through his freshman year and how he got through it. He’s been a real help since.”
Langston said he is hoping to get a professional job overseas playing basketball somewhere.
“If that doesn’t happen I’m planning on graduating on time and getting my degree from Southern,” Langston said.