Harangody Handles Harassment

Luke Harangody has been in the crosshairs of opposing fans all year, but he does not mind it. In all his years of coaching, Mike Brey has only seen one other player receive the treatment that Harangody gets on the road and has been impressed with the maturity with which the junior has handled it.

When Kyle McAlarney returned to Notre Dame after a semester-long suspension he heard a lot of taunts from opposing fans, but nothing like Luke Harangody is hearing this year.

"Luke takes the crown by far," Ryan Ayers said of Harangody's harassment.

"So many people come after him and they just keep coming after him," Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said of the treatment the junior receives. "He's a lightning rod for us in a lot of ways. I give the kid a lot of credit; he's handled it pretty good.

"Everywhere we go, when he comes out, it's like Letterman coming out. They wait for him to come out and he's just warming up kind of shooting and if he misses a 12-footer just kind of shooting around, it's 4,000 students reacting."

Brey had to think back nearly two decades, to his days as an assistant coach at Duke, for a comparison to the things that he has heard hollered at Harangody.

"The last time I've seen it like this and I've told him this was Christian Laettner in 1992," recalled Brey. "When he would come out everybody waited on him."

Much of the material that comes from opposing student sections would be rated R.

"I would love to tell you guys all the things I've heard, but I can't," Harangody said. "West Virginia had some interesting things to say. There's always some great things about my Mom."

The Irish got a kick out of one fan's opinion in Providence on Saturday.

"For some reason we thought it was great, ‘Harangody, you're an idiot!'" Harangody laughed, mimicking the taunt. "It was just so basic."

"I like it when they come up with something fresh and new," Zach Hillesland said. "I've never heard anyone straight up say, ‘You're an idiot.' It's usually commenting on someone's appearances or something. I thought it was pretty funny."

While Harangody is able to laugh off some of the stuff, most of it motivates him.

"I kind of like it, it fires me up. The student sections are packed two hours before the game starts," he said. "People on the team like to walk out with me because they like to hear what the fans have to say."

Harangody has provided McAlarney and Brey with some relief.

"He's taken a lot of pressure off his teammates. When he walks out, they don't even know who McAlarney is," Brey laughed. "They don't know the coach. They don't give me crap for not wearing a tie anymore."

Harangody's parents have been shown in the stands during telecasts on multiple times and they have become targets of abuse as well, which does bother Harangody.

"I don't like when my Mom comes on the road," he said. "It's hard for me. She's one of the toughest people I know, but it still hurts me to see when people say some things to her."

Harangody has advised his mother that she may want to skip the final road game of the regular season.

"After the Syracuse game, I said, ‘Mom, I don't know if you should make the trip to Connecticut,'" he chuckled.

But for the most part, he has embraced the attention.

"I talked to Coach about it and it comes with the territory and obviously I have to accept that," he said.

Before the game at West Virginia, Harangody proved his poise with a comment to Notre Dame Director of Basketball Communications Bernie Cafarelli.

"He actually went the scorer's table and ran by Bernie in Morgantown and said, ‘They love me here don't they?'" Brey recalled. "He's handled it really well and none of us can really relate to what the heck that is like everyday.

"You've got three guys beating you up playing you on D, they're going to rotate guys that just foul the heck out of you and 5,000 students are waiting on you as soon as you walk out to warm up. I give him a lot of credit, he's handled it great, again I have not seen it like that since 1992 and that guy used to get hammered."

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