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Basketball: Harangody announces plans to enter draft

Chris Hine | Friday, April 17, 2009

When Luke Harangody arrived at Notre Dame three years ago, he was just worried about getting a few minutes of playing time and finding a niche in the competitive Big East. How life can change quickly.

On Thursday, Harangody announced he will make himself eligible for the NBA Draft and potentially forego his senior season to fulfill his dream of playing professional basketball. Harangody will not hire an agent, which will allow him to withdraw from the draft by June 15 if he so wishes, but Harangody isn’t entering this process of the draft just to have NBA teams critique his game. His goal is to impress enough people and raise his draft stock to the point where he can leave Notre Dame for good.

“Right now, as me and coach said, I don’t think we’re going into this thing 50 percent,” Harangody said. “We’re going to go full speed. We’re going in to go into it, not to just see if I need to improve on anything. We’re just going to go and try to get this thing done.”

Harangody said there is no definitive pick number that’ll make him jump for the pros and that he might not make his decision until a few days before the June 15 deadline. It’s a decision he’ll make after receiving feedback from the teams he works out for, his coach and his family.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people and gotten a lot of input,” Harangody said. “It’s too early to tell how things are shaping up right now. I think that’s one thing I’m going to know as the process goes on.”

Harangody will be the fourth player under Brey to declare for the draft before his senior year.

“My feeling was after we went through it last year and the year that he had, in January, I really felt he owed it to himself to do this,” Brey said. “Everything he’s done for our program, as consistent as he’s been in this league, playing against NBA frontline people, especially this year, you take advantage of the rule to get out there and do it.”

Troy Murphy decided to enter the draft following his junior season in 2001, and was selected with the 14th overall pick. Chris Thomas and Torin Francis also tested the waters following their junior years, but chose to return for their senior seasons.

In all three cases, Brey said, his players made the correct move and he hopes Harangody makes the right decision, regardless of whether he comes back to Notre Dame or goes pro.

“Troy Murphy and I were going through it and he said, ‘Coach I think I have to go.’ And I said, ‘You do have to go because you’re going to be in the top 15. We’re proud of you and we’ll lead the parade and congratulations,'” Brey said. “I’ve been down that road before and I’ve been down two other roads where guys were smart enough not to stay hanging out there on draft night.”

Harangody knows the obstacles that lie ahead of him. He knows some think he’s undersized and knows he needs to improve his post defense, but Harangody heard the same things when he came to Notre Dame. Two All-American selections and a Big East Player of the Year award later, Harangody said he’s ready to show his doubters what he can do.

“I do see it as a challenge. I talked about this with coach the other day. When I came into college, that was a challenge, to get playing time, get a starting position,” Harangody said. “This is going to be exactly the same way. I feel like I have to prove myself again and that’s fine with me. I like that type of challenge.”

“I’ve talked to a lot of people and gotten a lot of input. It’s too early to tell how things are shaping up right now. I think that’s one thing I’m going to know as the process goes on.”