yardbarker
RealGM Basketball

Notre Dame Fighting Irish BlogNotre Dame Fighting Irish Blog

Europe Interview: Luke Harangody Of Unics Kazan

Former Notre Dame star Luke Harangody is having his first taste of European basketball this season. Last summer the 6-foot-7 forward has started his career outside the U.S. by signing a contract with Unics Kazan and making Russia his first stop overseas.

In first 11 games with Unics, Harangody’s playing time was limited as he averaged 6.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in only 16 minutes per game. However, Harangody’s role has been increasing as he has been a starting power forward in last eight games. Harangody also put his best performance so far this season in last match against VEF Riga, where he scored 16 points, grabbed seven boards and dished out tree assists.

RealGM caught up with Harangody to talk about his experience in Russia, playing under foreigner coach, NBA and more.

RealGM: First of all, what are your first impressions of Russia and Unics Kazan? Which things are different than you expected?

Harangody: My first impression is I love the city I’m in. It’s been a great experience so far. To be out of my element has been interesting, to see a new culture. As far as the team, I couldn’t ask for better teammates. It’s made the transition easier. It’s a great group to play with overseas.

RealGM: It is probably the first time you’re playing under a non-American coach (Andrea Trinchieri). Could you name a few differences between the U.S. and European coaching?

Harangody: Yes, this would be the first time I’ve played under an international coach. I think the approach to the game is much different in the U.S. There’s some things I’ve learned, just fundamentally. It’s a lot slower of a pace. It’s more of a chess game in Europe.

RealGM: Andrew Goudelock has also made his debut in Europe. Is it easier when there’s an American player who is pretty much sitting in the same boat with you?

Harangody: Yes. Having Andrew and also two other Americans on the team to lean on has made the transition a lot easier because they’ve gone through the whole transition.

RealGM: There’s another American on your team, Chuck Eidson, who’s been playing in Europe for ten years. Did you get any advice from him in terms of living and playing basketball in Europe?

Harangody: Yeah, Chuck’s been great. He’s a veteran so he’s seen it all, so any questions I have I go to him for it. He’s what you’d expect from a veteran leader. Whether on the court or off the court he’s been amazing.

RealGM: How did you choose your first team in Europe? Did you have any other options?

Harangody: I had about three options, but my agent and myself decided this is the best opportunity competition-wise for my first experience overseas.

RealGM: Talking about your NBA career, what are your best memories from Boston and Cleveland?

Harangody: I think a few of my best memories from my first year in the league was how exciting and new it was and realizing a dream and just taking it all in. It was surreal for me. I’ll always be able to look back on that experience and have good memories.

RealGM: During your time in the NBA, you’ve been assigned to the D-League for a few times. Could you take us through the process of what goes through players’ mind when this happens? 

Harangody: Any time a player gets sent down it’s always looked at as a negative, but in my case I tried to take it in stride, showcase my skills and it was a chance to play more. I’d give the same advice to anyone who’s going down there - to take advantage of the opportunity to play and be as successful as you can.

RealGM: After being waived by the Cavaliers, why did you decide to spend a season in the D-League instead of going to Europe straightaway?

Harangody: I think going to the D-League was the best bet for me. I felt more comfortable staying in the U.S. Looking back on it, it was the right decision. I needed to get healthy. That was the biggest goal for the season.

RealGM: Is playing in Europe something you would like to continue doing on your upcoming career years, or will you be attempting to get back to the NBA?

Harangody: That’s yet to be said. I’m enjoying playing in Europe. It’s a new experience. I’m making the most of the experience as I can. I can easily see myself making a career over here.

RealGM: What are your individual expectations for this season and also what goals do you want to achieve as a team with Unics?

Harangody: Basically coming over here, it’s been a transition. I’m still learning the European game and figuring out a couple of things individually. I’m just trying to be a part of the team. I know it sounds cliché but for the first couple of years over here that’s as much as I can do.

Comparing The Conferences

The Pac-12 has been suffering through a long dark period. The Big Ten has been dominant (at least in the pre-conference schedule) for the last few years. Should we expect a change this year? Is the Pac-12’s slump over? Is the Big Ten’s boom about to come to an end? Let’s take a quick look at some basic roster data and see if we can uncover any trends.

Part of predicting the season is noting the number of elite high school prospects on each roster. Not only are these players more likely to play well as freshmen, but they are also more likely to breakout later in their career. Recall, for example, Michael Snaer of Florida St. Snaer was a former Top 20 recruit, and while it took him three seasons, he broke out in a big way in 2011-12. After adding up the numbers…

- The Big East has the most former RSCI Top 100 prospects on rosters heading into the season with 58.

- But the Big East has more teams, and the Big East has only 3.9 elite recruits per team. The ACC has the most former Top 100 recruits per team with 4.6 per team.

- But James McAdoo is the only former Top 10 prospect in the ACC this season. That seems like an unprecedented lack of super-elite talent for the conference. If you want super elite talent, you probably want to watch the SEC, assuming everyone is declared academically eligible. John Calipari never lets us down on the recruiting trail.

- The SEC, however, is only welcoming ten Top 100 freshmen this year as a whole. Even the Big Ten, the land of typically poor recruiting, is welcoming more Top 100 freshmen than the SEC this season. And yes, the slumping Pac-12 brings in quite a few elite recruits this year.

Conf

T10

T100

T100 Fr

ACC

1

55

22

BE

1

58

17

SEC

4

49

10

B10

1

40

15

B12

3

33

11

P12

3

37

15

MWC

1

15

5

A10

0

11

3

The next table isn’t really roster data, but it does reflect some of my preliminary projections about playing time.

- The ACC is going to be the youngest conference in the nation this year, according to my projections.

- The Big East has a startlingly low number of key seniors on rosters this year.

- As usual, the MWC and A10 have more mature rosters. They lose fewer players to the NBA and that helps the top MWC and A10 teams compete, even without a plethora of blue chip talent.

Class

Sr%

Jr%

So%

Fr%

MWC

35%

30%

17%

17%

A10

33%

27%

19%

21%

P12

28%

32%

18%

22%

B12

32%

19%

26%

23%

BE

22%

32%

27%

19%

B10

27%

26%

23%

24%

SEC

25%

28%

24%

22%

ACC

25%

22%

23%

31%

The Pac-12 is getting older in a hurry, thanks in no small part to an influx of transfers. Note that your transfer numbers may vary slightly. I’m excluding transfer walk-ons and a few JUCOs who seem unlikely to play in the next table.

Incoming Transfers

D1

JUCO+

P12

15

8

SEC

10

11

BE

14

6

MWC

7

5

B12

7

5

A10

8

3

ACC

3

3

B10

5

1

The transfer table doesn’t mean the Pac-12 has suddenly become the conference of transfers. This is all a natural consequence of recent league history. The Pac-12 teams have struggled the last few years making those teams particularly attractive places for transfers to matriculate. If you want to transfer and PLAY in an elite league, you would have chosen the Pac-12 too.  On the other hand, the Big Ten has been on an upswing and few coaches have needed to dip into the JUCO ranks as a quick fix. Deverell Biggs of Nebraska is currently the only incoming JUCO player projected for the Big Ten this year.

Overall, the Pac-12 was a depleted league, but it is adding a number of impact freshmen and key transfers this year. The days of the league failing to field a Top 25 team are over. As for the Big Ten, the jury is still out. The teams at the top still have plenty of talent, but programs like Purdue could be in for a bit of a slip without an influx of can’t miss players coming in.

2012 Big East Power Rankings

Syracuse finished the regular season with a 17-1 record and were predictably significantly better than any Big East rival when strictly looking at the statistics. There was no other great Big East team this season, which makes judging how good the Orange actually are incredibly problematic.

Interestingly, the drop-off between Seton Hall and Pitt at No. 10 and No. 11 is vast and makes the bubble here a little easier than it has in prior seasons. 

In order to determine our team rankings, we calculate the difference between a team's own FIC per game and their opponents' FIC for the entire conference season.

The FIC is a single statistical measurement that encompasses things such as scoring efficiency, rebounding, blocked shots, etc. Its purpose is to combine the box score into one statistic, both on a team level and for players.

1. Syracuse: 21.58  
2. Marquette: 10.85  
3. Georgetown: 10.60  
4. Notre Dame: 8.34  
5. Louisville: 7.18  
6. Cincinnati: 5.62  
7. South Florida: 4.53  
8. Connecticut: 4.31  
9. West Virginia: 3.09  
10. Seton Hall: -0.63  
11. Pittsburgh: -10.19  
12. Villanova: -10.55  
13. Rutgers: -11.01  
14. Providence: -11.26  
15. St. John's: -15.37  
16. DePaul: -17.09

Who Is Hot, Who Is Not

When it comes to February in college basketball, some teams get better, the rest get left in the rear view mirror. Here are the teams that are surging and falling over their past 10 games.

Top NCAA Coaches Of Past Five Years

There are a lot of complicated ways to evaluate college coaches, but in this edition we look at the coaches with the best per possession numbers over the last five years.

Freshmen Bring Hope

Teams that play a lot of freshmen are the most likely to improve as the season goes on, while those with a lot of experience are more likely to plateau. In this piece, we examine freshmen minutes for every major school in the country.

Big East Prospect Watch

With Jeremy Lamb, Andre Drummond, Khem Birch and Mouphtaou Yarou, the Big East once again has several high-quality NBA prospects.

Bounce Back Candidates

A sudden drop in production can be a pure statistical outlier and a recovery could do wonders for their team's performances this season. We outline a few candidates for the 11-12 college basketball season.

Surprises And Flops, Part 2

Examining the surprises and flops this season in the Big East, ACC, Big 12 and Atlantic-10.

Conference Rankings (End Of Jan. Edition)

As we have commonly seen in recent seasons, the Big East has been the deepest conference in the country.

 

Basketball Wiretap Headlines

    NBA Wiretap Headlines

      NCAA Wiretap Headlines

        MLB Wiretap Headlines

          NFL Wiretap Headlines

            NHL Wiretap Headlines

              Soccer Wiretap Headlines