Notre Dame junior forward Luke Harangody announced on Thursday afternoon that he will enter the NBA Draft, but will not hire an agent.
Harangody will have until June 15, 10 days before the NBA Draft at Madison Square Garden, to withdraw his name and return to Notre Dame for his senior season."This is a great situation I'm in right here. Whatever happens happens," said Harangody. "I wouldn't mind either case because coming back next year we have a great team with Ben [Hansbrough] and Scott [Martin] joining us with the core nucleus we have right now."
But Harangody made it clear that his goal is to stay in the draft.
"I don't think we're going into this thing 50 percent. We're going to go full speed," said Harangody. "We're going into not just to see if I need to improve on anything, we're just going to go all out to try to get this thing done."
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey is confident that Harangody's personality will help him as he tries to prove his worth to NBA scouts.
"You don't just do it to say, ‘Oh, let's just see what this feels like and what they tell me.' You do this to get drafted and go," Brey said. "Luke's never played a game just to play it, he's always played the game to win it. I think he has to play this game to win it."
Harangody essentially has another two months before having to make a final decision while being able to work out at pre-draft camps and have NBA teams fly him to workouts in order to get a better idea of where he is likely to be selected. Harangody averaged 23.3 points and 11.8 rebounds last season for the Irish.
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said that his initial research has shown that Harangody is likely to be a second-round pick, which unlike first-rounders do not receive guaranteed contracts. But Brey also said that projections right now don't mean much and that if Harangody got himself into the top 20 overall, he would probably have to advise his star player to go pro.
"I don't know if you can talk about that right now," Brey said of Harangody's stock. "Maybe you won't have that info until June 13."
Harangody has always been a team-first guy and did admit that it would tough to leave Notre Dame and his teammates, but said that everyone has been supportive of his decision.
"This is new territory for me, but one of the best things is that I told them this week what I was going to do and they have been so supportive," he said. "We have some of the best guys in the country here so that's been great for me. But I realize that I have to move on, I have to be a little selfish and I put myself in that position."
Harangody said that it is too early to start setting parameters for what feedback would keep him in the draft and what would push him back to college."It's definitely too early in the process," he said.
Brey had a similar conversation with Harangody and his family on the day of the 2008 banquet.
"We came to the conclusion that no one was really ready to do that. I think that was a great decision," Brey said. "My feeling was after we went through it last year and after the season he had, in January I really felt that he owed it to himself to do this."
A player may only return to college once after entering his name in the draft. So if Harangody had gone this route after his stellar sophomore season, it would not be an option now. But with only one collegiate season left, it makes perfect sense for Harangody to explore his draft stock now.
"He's got nothing to lose," Brey said. It's not like he's protecting anything."
Harangody is fourth Irish player to put his name in the draft in nine years under Brey, but just one remained in draft.
Troy Murphy left after his junior year in 2001 and was picked 14th overall by the Golden State Warriors. In 2003, guard Chris Thomas entered his name, but pulled it back. Forward Torin Francis did the same thing in 2005.
"I just want to be four-for-four as far as making the right decision. Murph's decision was the right one, Thomas and Francis' decisions were the right ones," Brey said. "We want Luke's to be the right one.
"It will be."
Harangody's case seems to be more similar to Murphy's than to those of Thomas and Francis. Thomas and Francis are both playing overseas and Brey acknowledged that they will not make the NBA, but do have their degrees.
"He's going to be a 10, 12-year NBA player whenever he goes, whether it's this year or next," Brey said. "I think the arc for him will be a little bit like college, he'll shock people again at that level. There's too much good stuff going on there."