By TOM COYNE
AP Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND -- Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody is putting his name in the NBA draft with the intention of turning pro, but will leave open the option of returning for his senior season.
"We're going in full speed. We're going in to go into it, not to just see if I need to improve on anything," Harangody said Thursday. "We're just going to go out there and try to get this thing done."
Still, Harangody doesn't plan on hiring an agent, meaning he can pull out of the draft by the June 15 deadline.
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey agreed that Harangody should approach the next two months as though he's not coming back.
"You do this to get drafted and go," he said. "Luke's never played a game just to play it. He's always played a game to win it. I think he's got to play this game to win it."
Harangody sees the next two months as a challenge to prove to NBA teams that he is ready to step up, saying it's similar to the challenge he faced when he arrived at Notre Dame without much fanfare.
"I feel like I have to prove myself again," he said. "That's fine with me."
Harangody, who averaged 23.3 points and 11.8 rebounds last season, has led the Big East in scoring and rebounding in back-to-back seasons. He was the league's player of the year in 2008.
Harangody, who is listed at 6-foot-8, said he thinks the two biggest questions about him are his height and his athleticism.
"I think I can show teams I'm a little more athletic than they perceive me on TV or in person," he said.
Brey said Harangody also needs to improve his defense, but said there's no doubt he will be a good NBA player.
"He's going to be a 10-, 12-year NBA player, whenever he goes," said Brey, who has spoken with people who have projected Harangody to be taken in the second round or late first.
"One of the things Luke and I talked about through this, I said: "That's real interesting territory and familiar territory for you going into this because nobody thought you could play in the Big East when you came here,"' Brey said.
Harangody said there's no one thing that would cause him to make a decision, although he joked that if he knew he would be the top pick overall he'd be ready to decide. He said knowing he'd be drafted in the first round wouldn't necessarily cause him to leave his name in the draft.
"There's so much that goes into the first round, on who would draft you and when they would draft you," he said.