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Luke Cameron Harangody (born January 2, 1988 in Decatur, Illinoismarker) is an Americanmarker college basketball player who is currently the starting power forward at the University of Notre Dame. A rising senior (fourth-year player), he was the 2008 Big East Player of the Year, and was also named to the second team on the 2008 Associated Press All-America team. Harangody considered entering the 2009 NBA Draft, but withdrew his name to return to Notre Dame for his senior season.

Early years

Growing up in Schererville, Indianamarker, Harangody, the son of a former Indiana University football player, had an intense sibling rivalry with his brother Ty, who is 20 months older and was one grade ahead of him in school. The two began with basketball games on a mini-hoop in Luke's room, which ended when they were kicked out for shaking the light fixtures. The games then moved to a court that their father set up in the basement, and from there to the backyard once they outgrew the basement. Their father soon banned them from the backyard because their one-on-one games almost invariably ended in fistfights, but that only moved their rivalry to local parks. Bigger and stronger, Ty won most of their games; Luke would later say about those days, "I still look back on that as where most of my competitive nature comes from. To beat him, I'd go all out, all the time." Eventually, the brothers' athletic paths split. Ty followed in their father's footsteps as a football player, eventually earning a scholarship to IU as a tight end; his career was ended by a torn ACL in his sophomore year. Luke grew 3 inches as a high school freshman and opted for basketball.

Luke starred at Andrean High Schoolmarker in nearby Merrillvillemarker. In his last two high school seasons, he averaged over 20 points and 10 rebounds, was named as the top player in Northwest Indiana by at least one media outlet in each season, and received All-State recognition in Indiana in both seasons.

Collegiate career

Freshman season

Despite Harangody's credentials, he had considerable doubts about his ability to play in the Big East, and much of Notre Dame'smarker recruitment consisted of convincing him he was good enough to play in the conference. During preseason practices, he remembered being "absolutely destroyed" by teammate Rob Kurz. After most practices, he called his father, who remembers Luke telling him "I will never see the court, I will always be a bench player." Those doubts would start to disappear shortly after the season started, when he scored in double figures in five straight games.

After a double-double against Butler in the second game of the season, Irish head coach Mike Brey considered adding Harangody to the starting lineup, but Harangody hesitated, and Brey decided to wait until Big East play. Harangody would go on to start the team's final 16 games.

Harangody went on to average 11.2 points and 6.2 rebounds that season, and was named to the Big East All-Rookie first team. However, conditioning proved to be a problem for him that season; he gained weight during the season (not typical for college athletes), and he played more than 30 minutes only once as a freshman. His conditioning caught up with him in the NCAA Tournament. He played only 17 minutes in Notre Dame's first-round loss to Winthrop, and finished with 4 points and one rebound. About that game, he would later remember that "It was hard to get up and down the court. I hit that wall and there was nothing I could do to get out of it. I never wanted to feel like that again." He then had dinner with his parents shortly after the game, an event which his father clearly remembered in an interview the following season: "On the spot, he says, 'I've got to do something.' He rededicated himself from the minute they lost that game."

Sophomore season

His rededication began with a change in diet; he and the team's trainer worked on a nutrition program that limited his intake of fried foods and carbohydrates. Harangody also increased the intensity of his workout regimen, in both cardiovascular work and weight training. The work paid off in his sophomore season; his body fat content dropped from 14% at the end of his freshman season to 8% by the end of the 2007-08 season. Harangody also took more of a leadership role on the team, notably berating several of the team's freshmen for giggling in the locker room after a January 19, 2008 loss to Georgetown.

Harangody ended the season averaging 20.4 points and 10.6 rebounds, which made him the Big East's leading scorer and second-leading rebounder. In contrast to his early doubts about his ability to play in the Big East, he had even better numbers in Big East play, with averages of 23.3 points and 11.3 rebounds, which led the conference in both categories. This also made him one of only five players in the previous decade to average 22 points and 11 rebounds in conference play for a BCS conference team. His scoring and leadership led the Irish to a 14–4 conference record and 24–7 regular season record. The Irish also became the first team in Big East men's basketball history to go unbeaten at home in conference play in consecutive seasons. Although the Irish lost in the first round of the Big East tournament to Marquette, Notre Dame earned their second straight NCAA Tournament bid as a #5 seed. The Irish beat George Mason in the first round and went out in the second to Washington State.

After the season, Harangody was named the conference Player of the Year, and was also named to the 1st Team All Big East squad. He was named to the Associated Press' All-America Second Team on March 31, 2008.

Junior season

Harangody never considered declaring for the 2008 NBA Draft. With Harangody and fellow All-Big East first-teamer Kyle McAlarney leading an experienced team, the Irish were expected to make a deep run in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, with Dick Vitale naming the Irish #6 in his preseason rankings and Andy Katz placing the Irish in a "next tier" of teams that he effectively ranked from 8th to 16th.

However, Notre Dame had to deal with a possible threat to Harangody's college eligibility during the 2008 offseason. A Bostonmarker company, Cellular Services Worldwide, had obtained public domain photos of Harangody and Irish quarterback Jimmy Clausen and used them in an advertisement on a Notre Dame fan site on the Web. Such a use of images of players is a violation of NCAA rules. The school immediately issued a cease and desist letter to the company, which satisfied NCAA requirements and ensured the players' eligibility.

The Fighting Irish finished a disappointing 21-15, losing in the Final Four of the NIT to Penn State after climbing as high as #7 in the polls during the season.

College statistics

College Statistics

2006-07 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 32 16 20.6 .459 .000 .816 6.2 1.2 0.9 0.5 11.2
2007-08 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 33 33 29.0 .500 .333 .763 10.6 1.7 0.8 0.9 20.4
2008-09 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 34 34 34.2 .459 .368 .777 11.8 2.1 0.9 0.9 23.3
Career 99 83 28.1 .474 .354 .780 9.6 1.6 0.9 0.8 18.4

Notes and references

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