SOUTH BEND - Feeling better after missing two games to let a bone bruise in his right knee heal, Notre Dame power forward Luke Harangody planned to participate in all 90 minutes of Monday’s basketball practice. He barely made it through 15 before lingering pain forced him out of a simple halfcourt drill. After consultation with team medical personnel and coach Mike Brey, Harangody has been ruled out for Wednesday’s home game against No. 12 Pittsburgh. “He kind of stepped out for a few minutes and wanted to come back in,” said Brey, whose team never got to a planned scrimmage with Harangody. “I said, ‘No, that’s it. We’re not going to play games with it.’ “It’s not right. It’s not ready.” Harangody was first hurt when he hyper-extended his right leg chasing a rebound during the second half of the Feb. 11 loss at Seton Hall. He missed the Feb. 14 home loss to St. John’s and last Wednesday’s double-overtime loss at Louisville. There will be no game-day decision this Wednesday. Brey met with Harangody after practice Monday and informed the nation’s second-leading scorer (24.1 ppg.) of the prognosis - until there’s no more pain, however severe, there’s no No. 44 in an Irish uniform. “He’s frustrated,” Brey said. “He did everything he could. He was really ready.” Brey doesn’t know when Harangody, who could not be reached for comment, will return. It’s not going to be Wednesday. It might be Saturday at No. 11 Georgetown. It might not. It might be next week for his final regular-season home game against Connecticut. It might not. “Ice doesn’t help a bone bruise heal,” Brey said. “It needs time.” Without Harangody, the Irish will rotation will operate as it did in Louisville. Carleton Scott, who made his first career start at Freedom Hall and responded with the most complete game of his collegiate career, will remain in Harangody’s starting spot. Freshmen power forwards Mike Broghammer and Jack Cooley, who each played big roles on the road, will again be expected to deliver. “We’re in that mode for the foreseeable future,” Brey said. Brey feared last week that Harangody might miss more time than anticipated. Minutes after the Louisville loss, Brey talked of not having him for an extended period, even though Harangody told the Tribune on Saturday that he didn’t foresee any future health problems. He felt that good. “In my mind, there’s no question - I’m going to play,” Harangody said over the weekend. “It’s feeling a lot better.” Harangody still has not done anything more than shooting drills since the injury. He remains 136 points shy of breaking Austin Carr’s school scoring record of 2,560 career points. At his current clip, he would need six games to eclipse Carr. Now out Wednesday, Harangody may only have five - three in the regular season, at least one in the Big East tournament and in post-season - left in his collegiate career. Chasing records has not factored into any rehabilitation timetable. “There’s never been any talk of that,” Brey said. “This is an old-school guy who right now really knows his team needs him.” But will have to go without him. Again.
Excellent AbromaitisBooks have always come easier than basketball for Notre Dame junior Tim Abromaitis, who shrugged off any special meaning of Monday’s honor as effortlessly as a finance pop quiz. Abromaitis, who will graduate this spring a full year ahead of schedule, was named a first-team ESPN Academic All-American. He is the first Irish Academic All-American since Chris Quinn was recognized on ESPN’s first team in 2006. “It’s a great honor for me; I’m proud of it,” said Abromaitis, whose older brother, Jason, was a member of the all-Ivy League academic team at Yale. “I’ve always tried to work hard in school and achieve on both ends.” Nominees must carry at least a 3.3 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. They also must be starters or top reserves. Abromaitis moved into the starting lineup after the season’s first eight games. He is second on the squad in scoring at 17.5 points, is shooting 53.2 percent from the floor, 49 percent from 3-point range and 87.5 percent from the foul line. “I’m really proud of Tim,” Brey said. “It’s a heck of a thing for our basketball program. It also kind of symbolizes who we are - the package of academics and athletics.” Abromaitis has been a member of the Big East all-academic teams his first two years and a three-time member of the Dean’s List. A finance major with a 3.72 GPA who will start work on his master’s after graduation, Abromaitis approaches academics the same way he does athletics - with an attitude where nothing seems to trouble him, be it a mid-term paper, project or final exam. “I’m pretty good about managing it and not having too many of those late nights,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it comes super easy, but I don’t really stress over that aspect of my life.”
Staff writer Tom Noie: email@example.com (574) 235-6153