Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Past, Present, and Future | by Pat

As the off-season slugs along, here is a rundown of news on Irish players past, present, and future.


Recently departed seniors Chris Quinn and Torin Francis didn't expect to hear their name called during the 2006 NBA Draft and that was the reality as Notre Dame went another year without hearing an Irish player's name called.

Good news followed for Quinn and Francis though as both signed contracts with the Miami Heat to play for the Heat's summer league team. The pair will report to Florida soon as the Heat's summer team starts play on July 10th against a Charlotte Bobcat team that will likely feature ND alum Matt Carroll. Playing alongside Quinn and Francis will be 2005/06 opponents Daniel Horton from Michigan, and Mike Gansey and Kevin Pittsnogle from West Virginia.


Good news for those looking for any sign that the Irish low post presence will be somewhat servicable next season. Junior Rob Kurz and sophomore Luke Zeller are both going to be spending time at the famed Pete Newell Big Man Camp. Zeller will have a pretty busy summer as before the Big Man Camp he will be spending time in China as a member of the Athletes in Action team participating in the 2006 William Jones Cup. Zeller will update his progress with a travel diary on so hopefully there will be some interesting stories in the near future. The roster for the trip shows that Zeller is listed at center and one of only two players over 6'10", the other being Belmont center Justin Herndon, so hopefully Luke will get plenty of time working with his back to the basket and fighting for position in the paint. I'll restate the obvious that his ability to provide a low post presence will be a large key to ND's fortunes next season.


Speaking of low post presence, incoming freshman Luke Harangody is continuing to impress with his work on the Indiana All-Star team. Harangody started things off by replacing consensus National Player of the Year Greg Oden at center for the Indiana team and notching a game high in both points (16) and rebounds (14) for the Hoosiers against the Kentucky All-Stars. In the followup game, Harangody chipped in another 12 points and 4 blocked shots. His impressive play down low earned him accolades from the All-Star coach and should give a glimmer of hope for Irish fans that next year there will actually be a few options when it comes to a low post threat on offense and an ability to grab rebounds in the rough and tumble Big East.