NBA Prospects: Luke Harangody
Will the All-American’s game translate well in the L?
by Sam Cadet
If you saw Luke Harangody walk down the street you’d think he was corny looking farm boy gifted with a baller’s body. As cliché as it sounds there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Mr. Harangody. Any college hoops head will tell you he’s currently one of the best power forwards in the nation. On top of that he’s arguably been ripe for an NBA career since his junior year at Notre Dame. He already declared for the draft last year and backed out so it’s not like Associations thoughts haven’t crossed his mind.
The Second Team All-American and former Big East Player of the Year may run the low block in the NCAA. So far, the senior has saved his best for last by averaging nearly 25 and 10 a night. But the NBA is an entirely different beast. Will the “Harangody Hook” flourish in a stronger, faster professional game? Here’s a rundown of the pros and cons for this NBA bound (semi) big man.
Decent inside touch
Harangody is far from a finesse player inside. But he has a patient low post game and that’s enough to get the job done. The patented “Harangody Hook” has been the bane of many 4’s throughout the country and it’s a lost art in the L. This could be his backdoor to decent rookie box scores next year if he can adapt to reading pro-level defense.
Harangody’s offensive talents extend far beyond the paint. His form is far from pretty but the ball still manages to hit the bottom of the net. He can hit set shots, turnaround Js and even drain the occasional three. Plenty a forward before him made careers out of draining shots from the wing so he can fit right in that mold once he gets the ball rolling. His range from three is a two year experiment at best and he’s been heaving more with mixed success. Let’s see if he develops that wildcard when he gets drafted.
Luke may look soft but he’s not afraid to bang with the best of them. He’s been good for heavy double doubles three years running. Leaping ability isn’t his forte but he’s smart about attacking the glass and gets his fair share of offensive boards night in and night out. Rebounding isn’t a purely physical art so he may surprise some scouts in this area.
Tepid three point shooting aside ‘Gody doesn’t force too many shots up. Even though the season is still young he’s putting in work with 54 percent shooting from the field. Odds are he’ll taper off to about 50 percent when all is said and done. Still that’s far from poor considering he’s good for 20 + nights year round.
Luke is far from a posing threat to scorers especially in the paint. He’s not awful as he averages a steal and a block a game. Additionally, he’s not exactly a pushover in the college game as he’s stronger than most of his adversaries in the key. It remains to be seen if he can truly hold his own down low with the likes of the everyman 4 as well as the NBA elite in Duncan, KG, Bosh and Boozer among others. Going by his current game he’ll look like a stiff in the early going.
This will be Luke’s biggest hurdle as he won’t be able to waltz in the paint like his Fighting Irish days. He’s not exceptionally fast and lacks leaping ability. Plus I bet the sting from Earl Clark’s poster still irritates young Luke every now and then.
I hate to say it, but you can’t teach height. Luke is 6-7 on a good day yet he weighs in like a power forward. He’ll be a peculiar sized 4 as he’s not mobile enough to play small forward. Player’s shorter than him have found success as enforcers but that’s not Harangody’s game in the slightest. There’s some potential for toughness inside as he’s got a capable frame. All things considered he’s due for a rude awakening on both ends of the court as he’ll routinely face off against big men taller and stronger than him.
There’s no telling what will develop between now and draft day but Luke Harangody will most likely get picked in the teens depending on team needs. If his older, taller, more athletic brother from another in Psycho T is any indication he’ll have his ups and downs with some brief flashes. He’s not good enough to start on the vast majority of NBA teams right away. Nevertheless he has the skill set and upside for a solid career through hard work. The NBA is faster than he’ll ever be but that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute in a half court offense. Just don’t expect him to drop monster numbers anytime soon.