Cyril Langevine is always sharing rebounding tips with his younger teammates on the University of Rhode Island basketball team. Some are practical. Some sound like they’re from the playbook of the rebound whisperer.
“Just going out there and going after it, hoping it comes to you, and it will,” Langevine said. “It will reward you.”
It’s easy for him to say. Teammates might not be so lucky. Langevine pairs that faith with the perfect set of tools. Add it all up and you get a player who has averaged double-digits in rebounds per 40 minutes throughout his URI career. And with his minutes growing significantly this year, you get the current streak of six straight double-doubles that Langevine is riding.
“I’d like to take some credit for that, but I can’t at all. It’s just innate with him,” URI head coach David Cox said. “He’s a physical specimen. He’s an athlete. The best rebounders you’ll see in basketball have the combination of athleticism, strength, motor and just the will to go and get the basketball. That’s what he has.”
Langevine ranks seventh nationally with 11.3 rebounds per game. He’s also scoring 15.7 points per game, making him one of only 15 players in the country who’s averaging a double-double. He is the only player in the Atlantic 10 averaging a double-double and he leads the league in total rebounds and rebounds per game.
It’s been a breakout junior season, but a natural progression to it. The first time he stepped onto the court wearing a Rhode Island uniform – the 2016-17 season opener – Langevine grabbed three rebounds in eight minutes. His pace hasn’t slowed much since. Langevine averaged 13.5 rebounds per 40 minutes as a freshman and 12.8 while battling through an injury as a sophomore. He’s at 14.1 this year while playing a career-high 32 minutes per game.
“For me, I’ve been doing it since my freshman year, rebounding at a high clip,” Langevine said. “I know how to get the ball off the shot. Preaching down to the team, I’m just trying to show the young guys how to do it.”
Langevine says he has always had a knack for rebounding. He averaged 10 points and seven rebounds per game in his senior season at The Patrick School in New Jersey. At the college level, he found that his natural instincts and his 6-foot-8, 225-pound frame would still do the trick.
“When the ball goes up, he’s just tracking the basketball. He’s not worried about the contact,” Cox said. “Somebody like me, when a shot goes up, I’m immediately looking to see who’s coming to hit me. Not Cyril. He’s just going to go up and go get it. He’s got a great combination of characteristics that allow him to be a tenacious rebounder.”
Langevine totaled seven rebounds in each of URI’s first two games this season. He’s been in double digits every game since. His best performance came in the win over Brown, when he snagged 17 rebounds, 12 of which came at the offensive end.
“I just have a nose for the basketball,” Langevine said.
The increased minutes have also set the stage for more scoring, and Langevine has capitalized, showcasing more polished post moves and an ability to finish at the rim. He has established two new career-highs in points this season, first getting to 18 against College of Charleston and then 19 versus Brown. He also scored 19 in Saturday’s win over Holy Cross.
“Healthier. Staying focused. Training my body right,” Langevine said. “And just working. Going out there and having fun with the game.”
This weekend brings a difficult challenge, with URI set to face West Virginia at Mohegan Sun. The Mountaineers feature a mammoth front-court that Langevine will have to contend with as he seeks a seventh consecutive double-double. Cox has watched Langevine embrace every challenge, from the days when he practiced as a freshman against former URI star Hassan Martin.
“They have a lot of size and a lot of depth, so I’m sure they’re going to run a lot of bodies at Cyril,” cox said. “This will be the biggest challenge he’s faced in college basketball. But he’s a competitor and he’s confident, so he’ll be up for it.”
And Langevine will keep on believing.
“Just go after it,” he said. “It’s going to come to you sooner or later.”