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June 15, 2009The popular social networking site Twitter allows 140 characters per post.
Mike Brey needed just 29 keystrokes to announce the biggest news of Notre Dame's off-season, that former Big East Player of the Year Luke Harangody will return to the Irish program for his senior season.
"Gody to return to the Irish!!," was how Brey posted it on his Twitter page Monday afternoon, less than two hours before the deadline for players to withdraw their names from the NBA draft process. Players had until 5 p.m. Eastern on Monday to make their intentions known.
"First of all, we are thrilled that Luke has decided to return to Notre Dame and be a part of our program for his senior year," Brey said in a full statement. "I believe that the past several weeks have been a great learning experience for Luke and his family. He has handled this as a man and I am very proud that he went through this whole process."
Most draft prognosticators tagged Harangody as a second round pick following his battery of workouts and camps, which included sessions before the Chicago Bulls earlier this month and the New Jersey Nets this weekend. Brey traveled to watch Harangody's final audition, which wasn't enough to earn the forward assurances of a first round contract and the guaranteed money that comes with it.
Notre Dame has scheduled a Tuesday press conference at 3 p.m. for Harangody to explain his deadline decision. Brey will also attend the event.
Harangody's return gives the Irish a legitimate shot to return to the NCAA Tournament next season after a one-year absence. While Notre Dame loses Kyle McAlarney, Ryan Ayers, Zach Hillesland and Luke Zeller, the Irish will gain transfers Ben Hansbrough and Scott Martin. That's in addition to Harangody, Tory Jackson and Ty Nash.
Notre Dame could also make a run at the upper echelon of the Big East, which was gutted by graduation and early entries. Harangody is the only player from the first team to return. Just one player on the second team returns in West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler.
While Harangody's return might not boost his draft stock unless he shows consistent outside range next season, he could make a run at Notre Dame's history books.
If he duplicates his junior season of 792 points, he'll surpass Austin Carr (2,560 career points) for the all-time scoring mark. Harangody currently sits seventh all-time with 1,823 points, 27 behind Matt Carroll. Harangody will find the same story in the rebounding department, where his 949 boards rank fifth all-time, just 369 short of Tom Hawkins' career mark of 1,318 rebounds. Harangody grabbed 401 rebounds last season.
It's difficult to project how many points or rebounds Harangody will notch next season, but no doubt Brey can smile all off-season now that he can count on something from his power forward during the 2009-10 schedule.
"Luke has had my full support from day one and whatever final decision he made, I was doing to support him," Brey said. "With that being said, I am excited that he is going to be back. We have a great nucleus next year and I know what of Luke's goals is to get back to the NCAA Tournament. He also has the chance to carve a unique place in the long and storied history of the Notre Dame basketball program."
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