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Monday, November 2, 2009
Harangody, Kansas pair lead team

Associated Press

Luke Harangody should get used to being on top of lists.

The senior forward from Notre Dame was the leading vote-getter Monday on The Associated Press' preseason All-America team, and if he has the type of season he usually does, he will become the leader for his school and conference in scoring and rebounding.

The 6-foot-8 Harangody received 57 votes from the 65-member national media panel and was followed in the balloting by Kansas teammates Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins.

They are the sixth set of teammates selected for the preseason team, which began in 1986-87, and the second from Kansas, joining Raef LaFrentz and Paul Pierce in 1997-98.

Aldrich, a 6-11 junior who recorded a triple-double in the NCAA tournament, received 49 votes, 10 more than Collins, a senior point guard.

Junior forwards Patrick Patterson of Kentucky, who had 35 votes, and Kyle Singler of Duke, who had 30, rounded out the team announced Monday.

Harangody averaged 23.3 points and 11.8 rebounds last season, the only player to rank in the top 10 nationally in both categories.

He was a preseason All-American in 2008-09 and was selected to the second team after the season.

He enters this season with 1,823 points -- 738 away from Austin Carr as Notre Dame's career leader.

He needs 370 rebounds to pass Tom Hawkins as the Fighting Irish's career rebound leader, and averaging 20.6 points and 9.0 rebounds this season would make him the Big East's career leader in both categories, passing Syracuse's Lawrence Moten and Derrick Coleman, respectively.

Harangody decided to return to Notre Dame for his senior season after exploring his options for entering the NBA draft.

"It was a good experience for Luke to go through the process he did last summer," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "He's even more confident at moving around to different spots on the floor. We're going to have him open up in transition much like he did at the end of last season and run him off a screen for 15- and 18-foot jump shots.

"He'll be our main threat in the low post because that is his bread and butter, but we're going to have him step out along the perimeter which should add another dimension to his game."

Aldrich's stock rose all last season and it culminated with the first official triple-double in Kansas history when he had 13 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocks in a second-round NCAA win over Dayton.

He averaged 14.9 points and 11.1 rebounds, joining national player of the year Blake Griffin of Oklahoma as the only players in the Big 12 to average a double-double last season.

Collins didn't become a full-time starter until last season when he averaged 18.9 points and 5.0 assists in earning third-team All-America honors. He and Aldrich are the stars of a deep Kansas team picked No. 1 in the preseason Top 25.

"I do think we return the best guard in the country and the best big man in the country," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "I think if you're going to start a team, why not have an anchor and why not have a guard?"

Aldrich and Cole are the first teammates chosen to the preseason team since J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams of Duke in 2005-06.

The 6-9 Patterson averaged 17.9 points and 9.3 rebounds for the Wildcats last season and he's expected to be more of an inside presence this season with the addition of freshman point guard John Wall to new coach John Calipari's offense.

Singler averaged 16.5 points and 7.7 rebounds last season for the Blue Devils but his role should change to more of a perimeter one this season.