SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame's NCAA tournament hopes were dealt a blow Friday with news that forward Luke Harangody will miss Sunday's game against St. John's with a bone bruise to his right knee, and he could be out longer.
Harangody was injured in the 90-87 loss at Seton Hall on Thursday. An MRI performed Friday showed there was no ligament or cartilage damage, Irish coach Mike Brey said. He called it good news, saying he feared the injury could have been much worse.
"A bone bruise is something you can deal with. There's nothing torn in there," he said. "It just takes time and it's not going to be ready Sunday."
Harangody, who is third in the nation in scoring (24.1 points per game), did not talk with the media Friday. He appeared to walk without much of a limp when he arrived at the Joyce Center, but later practiced walking with crutches. The crutches should help speed the healing by taking pressure off the knee, Brey said.
Brey believes Harangody likely will be a long shot to play at Louisville on Wednesday but he's hopeful Harangody will be ready when the Irish (17-8, 6-6 Big East) play Pittsburgh (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 25 AP) on Feb. 24.
Brey is hoping the Irish can rally around the adversity.
"You know what is so interesting in sports is that when key guys are out, it's funny how key guys step up," he said.
With Harangody out, the Irish are going to need more production out of Tyrone Nash, who is averaging 7.7 points and 5.4 rebounds.
"He's probably not going to get you 28, but we still need that low-post presence when he's in there," Brey said.
Brey said he likely would start guard Jonathan Peoples (4.3 points and 2.1 rebounds a game) in Harangody's place. Carleton Scott (3.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and freshmen Jack Cooley, Joey Brooks and Mike Broghammer likely will see more playing time. Guard Tory Jackson said the other Irish players are going to have to step up.
"This is a team. It's not just built around one person," he said. "We have a lot of great players around here. It's college basketball. Things happen."
The injury also will make it harder for Harangody to become the Big East's all-time leading scorer. He has scored 1,324 points in league games. He needs 65 points to pass Troy Bell of Boston College for second and 82 points to pass Syracuse's Lawrence Moten as the league's all-time scorer. The Irish have six Big East games remaining.
He needs to 136 points to pass Austin Carr as Notre Dame's all-time scorer.