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.