Interview & Workout Footage with Luke Harangody June 18, 2010
[Read Full Article] NCAA Weekly Performers, 2/16/10 February 16, 2010 Matthew Kamalsky
The number one scorer in college basketball, Luke Harangody has been one of the most productive bigmen in college basketball for three years now, and we've profiled him accordingly. After declaring and withdrawing from the draft last season after not receiving the guarantees he was looking for, the Indiana native has continued to play at a high level, though Notre Dame (17-9) is having another disappointing season in the Big East. While Harangody's numbers looks comparable to past seasons on the surface, he's made a few subtle adjustments to his skill set that are worth noting.
Though Harangody has made some changes to his game, his biggest weakness from an NBA perspective remains his lack of athleticism. The hard working forward certainly took the draft process seriously last summer, shedding some weight and improving his mobility to a degree in the process, but the strides he made still leave him severely lacking compared to the average NBA power forward. Extremely strong, but very undersized at just 6-6 without shoes, and without a great wingspan (6-10) to compensate for that, Harangody may not have the type of physical tools that would allow him to translate his production to a much smaller role at the next level. While that certainly limits his NBA upside, it may not exclude him from having the opportunity to make an impact as a role player.
Harangody's play this season on the offensive end is indicative of an effort to diversify what he could potentially offer at the next level. His scoring ability is unquestioned, although it should be noted that he also leads all NCAA players in field goal attempts. The senior, known for his bruising play at the rim, has become significantly more perimeter oriented. Harangody showed some range last season, shooting 37% on a little over one three-point attempt per game, but he's revamped his approach on the offensive end this season, nearly tripling the number of shots he's taking from beyond the arc. Haragody has looked to score using his spot up game more frequently, but he's only making 29.8% of the jump shots he's taking according to Synergy Sports Technology, down from almost 37.5% last season. Considering the struggles he will surely have at his size to score inside the paint against bigger, longer and more athletic NBA big men, this is not a positive development for his NBA draft stock.
This new, more perimeter oriented approach has brought Harangody's rebounding numbers down to earth in a major way, as his production in that category has fallen off by about 20%. He seems to be forcing the issue a bit more now, as seen by his assist to turnover ratio, which has taken a significant hit. He's still a remarkably mistake free player relative to the huge offensive load he's forced to shoulder, though, turning the ball over on just 10% of his possessions.
Around the basket, Harangody has benefitted to a small degree from his improved physique, moving better on his post moves and running the floor better in transition, he's been more efficient both in the post and as a finisher at the rim. While Harangody's lack of vertical explosiveness is still a limiting factor when projecting his interior game to the next level, there is no questioning his work-horse mentality. Averaging a double-double, getting to the rim at a high rate, and having his best shooting season aside from his sophomore year, Harangody leaves everything on the floor each time out.
Defensively, Harangody remains a step slow, but still plays a brand of active, position-based defense that allows him to be effective on the college level. He struggles to deny dribble penetration in close quarters, but leaves a cushion to give himself a chance to contain his man. Lacking the size or wingspan he'd need to compensate for his lack of explosiveness, his effort level won't afford him much success in the NBA, though it certainly won't be for a lack of trying.
A hard worker, physical scorer, and prolific rebounder, Harangody has a clear set of limitations that NBA decision-makers have become familiar with over his four seasons in South Bend. His intangibles are clearly a plus, and he'll work tirelessly in workout settings. As it stands, Harangody could be one of the top candidates for the Portsmouth Invitational, and could impress similarly to what Jon Brockman showed last season. A strong candidate to hear his name called come draft day, Harangody is a known commodity at this point with some very obvious strengths and weaknesses. [Read Full Article] Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East Part Two (#6-10) October 11, 2009 Joey Whelan
Notre Dame senior Luke Harangody has been broken down several times on this site during his three seasons in South Bend. The bruising power forward went from unheralded recruit to an All-American in his meteoric rise during his sophomore season and is the most productive returning player in college basketball this year. His game has been called many things, ranging from unorthodox to unusual, but no one can deny the hustle and tenacity with which he plays. This biggest knocks against Harangody have always been his lack of size and athleticism to play at the next level; his game simply doesn’t appear to translate to the NBA on first glance. While the stocky power forward will never be confused with an elite physical specimen, we may be seeing a different player once the season gets underway in November.
As we reported at the end of May, Harangody dropped a good amount of weight and was in the best shape he has ever been since bursting onto the scene. This was a result of the extra work he put in while preparing for the possibility of keeping his name in the NBA Draft. It will be interesting to see if he has managed to improve his level of fitness in the months since we were last able to observe him in action.
Harangody’s game has stayed consistent throughout his college career, spending close to half of his time getting touches in the post. Despite shooting a respectable 46 percent from the floor, the senior is only an average finisher when operating on the block, connecting on just 37 percent of his shots in these situations. Since he doesn’t elevate well at all, Harangody has been forced to develop other facets of his post game in order to be successful. He does an excellent job of using his body to establish position and create space, also showing a soft touch around the rim. The only real consistent move his arsenal features is an unorthodox turnaround jumper that he gets to fall with some regularity.
It is interesting to note that Harangody is an excellent finisher on other shot types in the lane, mainly moving without the basketball and offensive rebounds. This is one of the major reasons NBA scouts are concerned about his game at the professional level, given that he already struggles a fair amount against collegiate post defenders, many of whom are far below the caliber of athlete he will see in the League. Still, it’s hard not to like his ability to finish with contact and get to the line at a very high rate.
What should be most interesting to observe this season is the continued development of the forward’s ability to shoot from the perimeter. Last season Harangody shot a respectable 37 percent on just over one shot attempt per game from beyond the arc. His form is tremendously awkward and he gets little to no lift off the ground when he releases, but the end results are hard to argue with. When DraftExpress dropped in on one of his pre-draft workouts in May, Harangody was repeatedly connecting on shots from beyond the NBA three-point line, suggesting that he has put in more effort to extending his range. Being able to step out and shoot even just a couple of times per game this season could see the senior become even more of a prolific scorer incredibly enough.
If Harangody comes in in better shape that will most certainly help him at both ends of the floor. He has shown the ability to occasionally attack the basket off the dribble against slower defenders, though he will never be a huge threat in this sense. Defensively, his limited lateral quickness hurts him when he is forced away from the paint, especially on pick and roll situations. Of course, his lack of size hurts against taller opponents who can simply shoot over the top of him.
In the long run, Harangody will never be a prospect who will be talked about as a lottery prospect because of his physical limitations and lack of size. With that said, he is one of the most productive players at the college level in the last few seasons and he is doing it in one of the best conferences – that is hard to overlook. Harangody is a guy who at the end of the day just finds a way to get it done, even if it isn’t always pretty. Many of the same things that were said about Tyler Hansbrough last year are now being said about Harangody, so history tells us that we shouldn’t be too quick to rule players like him out. [Read Full Article] Priority Sports Workout in Chicago May 28, 2009 Workout Webisode:
Analysis: The two things that stood out the most about Harangody were his conditioning and overall skill-level. He appears to have dropped a decent amount of weight and looks to be in very good shape now, even if he’s clearly not the most athletic power forward you’ll find in this draft. He may very well be the best shooter, though, at least from what we could see here—he was knocking down NBA 3-pointer after NBA 3-pointer with unorthodox mechanics but a very quick release. Harangody’s scoring instincts shine through even in a setting like this, he has great touch around the basket and can even make some shots of the dribble it seems. Teams will want to get a better read for how he projects defensively at his position, which is not something we could really evaluate in this particular setting.
Harangody is still only “testing the waters” at this point and is keeping his NCAA eligibility open until he decides whether to stay in the draft or not on June 15th. He’ll likely be looking for a firm commitment from a team if he’s to pass up returning to school. [Read Full Article] Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East (Part Three: #11-15) October 30, 2008 No one is going to doubt Luke Harangody’s effectiveness and productivity at the collegiate level. The 3rd best returning scorer in the NCAA per-40 minutes pace adjusted in our database (tops amongst BCS conference players), and 5th best rebounder (third amongst returning BCS conference players), as well as a top-25 leader in a host of other categories, Harangody is a sure-first first team All-American and likely a top-two early candidate for player of the year honors along with Tyler Hansbrough.
The way that Harangody gets his production is likely to come under scrutiny from NBA decision makers, though. Nearly 40% of his offense comes from grinding in the post with his back the basket, according to Synergy Sports Technology’s quantified report. His whole game seems predicated right now around using his tremendous lower strength to seal his man off and establish position deep in the paint, in order to finish with excellent touch, in a variety of creative ways. The problem is, this is probably not going to work nearly as well against the type of athletes every NBA team seems to stock in abundance at the big man positions.
Harangody is an incredibly tough, competitive, undersized center who has great hands and loves to bulldoze his way through the paint for scrappy finishes through contact. He gets to the free throw line at an outstanding rate, and once there, converts a terrific 76% of his attempts. He has some problems at times already at the collegiate level getting his offense the way he does, though, as he lacks serious elevation around the basket and thus is extremely prone to getting his shot blocked. He seems to force the issue at times and tends to settle for bad shots if he’s unable to establish the type of position his game is predicated around, particularly if forced to shoot with his off-hand.
Facing the basket, Harangody has nice touch and looks more than capable of knocking down mid-range jumpers with his feet set out to about 16-18 feet. He seems to rush his shot at times, though, particularly when forced to shoot off the dribble, as he lacks the size to get his jumper off when being defended by longer and more agile players. Still, this part of his game shows very nice potential.
If presented with an open path to the basket, Harangody can put the ball on the deck in a straight line with a slow-developing first step and make his way to the rim, although his already average ball-handling skills are clearly much better with his right hand. He has a nice floater in his arsenal, and generally seems to have a nice array of swooping hooks and runners that let him get his shot off from angles his defender might not initially be expecting. There is a reason after all that Harangody averaged 21 points per game in just 29 minutes—he has an incredible knack for scoring and will usually “find a way” to get things done even when logic tells you he shouldn’t be able to.
Defensively, Harangody competes extremely hard and seems to have nice fundamentals to boot, but his poor combination of size, lateral quickness and leaping ability are likely going to be deemed major issues for the next level regardless of how hard he hustles. He just isn’t agile enough to stay with quicker players on the perimeter defending pick and rolls and such, and gets shot over quite easily by taller big men taking advantage of his lack of size. It’s tough to see him not being a liability on this end of the floor defending the Dwight Howards and Kevin Garnetts of the world.
On the glass, Harangody can’t be considered anything less than a rebounding machine, thanks to his combination of timing, outstanding hands, huge motor and impeccable technique boxing out opponents. He pulled down an excellent 14 rebounds per-40 minutes pace adjusted, ranking him amongst the top players in the NCAA in that category.
You’d be hard pressed to find many sophomores who put up the type of numbers Harangody did in a conference like the Big East who did not go on to play in the NBA. Even though it appears that he will have a very difficult time translating his production to the next level, history tells us that we should be very careful about ruling out players like this. Harangody needs to become much more versatile offensively, meaning polishing up his all-around skill-set, working on his left-hand, expanding the range on his jump-shot, improving his ball-handling skills and getting his body in optimal shape (right now he’s carrying a lot of excess weight) in order to maximize himself defensively as well. No one is ever going to be blown away by his upside, but there is very likely a place for a player like him in the NBA. The question is, in what capacity? [Read Full Article] NCAA Weekly Performers, 1/17/2008 -- Part Two January 17, 2008 After a promising freshman season, Harangody has been downright dominant as a sophomore. He has been remarkably consistent in Notre Dame’s 16 games thus far, scoring in double figures and grabbing at least six rebounds in every game but one. Not bad for a player who could be mistaken for an NFL tight end at first glimpse.
Luke’s game is centered around his skills in the low post, where his favorite move is clearly his right handed jump hook. Seemingly understanding his deficit of size and length, he gets his post moves off in a hurry before opposing defenders are able to gather themselves to attempt to swat his shots away. The former SYF player has no problem turning towards either shoulder out of the post or finishing with either hand at the rim, utilizing his girth to shield off defenders. Harangody has expanded his range to out to17 feet this year, but still has mixed results in terms of accuracy. He is much more consistent facing the basket when within 12 feet of the rim, and must continue to expand his range if he hopes to maximize himself at the next level.
The Indiana native is very nimble for a big man, light on his feet and owning a pair of soft paws. He is able to finish so well around the cup partially because of his ability to establish such good post position and catch anything thrown his way. Once Harangody has the ball in his hands, his movement is uncommon for a player with his stature. He usually finds his way to the rim no matter where he is on the court, gracefully dodging defenders that try to step up and take charges on him. It is another testament to how coordinated the Notre Dame sophomore is.
Harangody is a good positional defender, making opposing post players battle for any position that they receive while he is defending them. He does his best to alter shots despite his marginal athleticism, while playing surprisingly well defense against quicker players facing the basket. The most impressive feat about Luke’s defensive potential is his ability to rebound the ball. Excelling at boxing out, he often puts himself in situations in which he doesn’t even have to jump to snag down a rebound. He currently ranks third in DraftExpress rebound leaders per 40 minutes when playing over 25 minutes per game, behind only Michael Beasley and Kentrell Gransberry.
The most glaring weaknesses that Luke has as a prospect are his physical traits. He is undersized for a power forward at a generous 6-foot-8 and is not exceptionally long or blessed vertically. In terms of long term potential, he does not offer as much as the vast majority of other legitimate draft prospects comparable in size. Whether or not Harangody will be able to maintain his “bruiser” style of play at the next level is up in the air, at the moment.
There is not much more that one could ask out of Harangody throughout his first two years of college, given the productive player he has been. His main deficiencies lay in areas that he cannot control, unless he chooses to do a total body transformation a la Udonis Haslem. Any way that you look at it, Luke is an outstanding college player and one whom has the potential to eventually become a nice role player at the next level if he is able to expand his range and improve upon his athletic inadequacies. [Read Full Article]