Harangody Hampered By Thumb

By Josh Herwitt - October 17, 2007

Mike Brey didn't want to hear this less than a week after starting practice.

But the Notre Dame coach found out Wednesday that Luke Harangody will miss three to six weeks with a torn ligament in his right thumb.

The sophomore forward suffered the injury during practice Monday and could miss the first six games of the season with his thumb in a cast. Team doctors and trainer Skip Meyer will evaluate Harangody's status in three weeks, but no timetable has been set yet for the Schererville, Ind. native.

Harangody, who was selected to the Big East's all-rookie team last season, became a solid contributor as the Fighting Irish's fourth-leading scorer, tallying 11.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game to go along with seven double-doubles.

Notre Dame, which finished last season at 24-8 after its loss to Winthrop in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, will kick off the 2007-08 campaign Nov. 12 against Long Island before playing its next three games at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands.

Hopkins To Succeed Boeheim

When any legendary coach nears closer and closer to retirement, there's always rumors floating around about who will be the next in line to take over a program.

So if there was any uncertainty about who will succeed Jim Boeheim when the 62-year-old finally calls it quits on his coaching career, Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross made sure to quell them Tuesday when he announced that assistant coach Mike Hopkins will be the Orangemen's next head hancho.

"Jim isn't going anywhere, but Mike is my next coach," Gross said.

Hopkins, who grew up in California and played his high school ball at Mater Dei in Santa Ana, joined Boeheim's staff 13 years ago after playing guard at Syracuse from 1988 to 1993.

"Just to be thought of like that by a guy who I respect, one of the greatest coaches of all time, it's very flattering," Hopkins said. "I'm very humbled.

"He [Boeheim] is just constantly telling me new things and just educating me. Being around Coach and being around [associate head coach] Bernie [Fine], I've had a great bunch of mentors. They've really been there for me."

And now, the former captain is a big reason why Boeheim's recruitment process has gone as well as it has lately, with Hopkins able to convince Gerry McNamara, Hakim Warrick, Demetris Nichols, sophomore Paul Harris and freshman John Flynn to all come to Syracuse.

But even more, with Hopkins' career supplanted at the upstate New York school for the long haul, Syracuse fans don't have to worry about their future head coach leaving the Orangemen for another coaching job.

Instead, they'll have the pleasure of watching Hopkins bring the same kind of hustle and scrappy play that he once showed on the court to the sidelines.

"I'm going to coach how I played," Hopkins explained. "I'm going to hug and kiss you after the game, and I'm sure during practice the competitive fire will come out a little bit. That's what's fun."

But Hopkins' stint as head coach could still be awhile, and Syracuse fans sure hope so with Boeheim working to add on to his 25 NCAA Tournament appearances, three Final Fours and 2003 national championship.

"This thing is a family," Hopkins added. "It's not about me or these other guys. It's about the bigger picture."

No matter how much longer he's there, any fan could tell you that nothing is bigger when it comes to 'Cuse basketball than Boeheim.

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 07:18 PM on October 17, 2007

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