After making the 4,300-plus mile trip back home following four straight games on the road, Notre Dame gets to stay in Indiana for the next month. The Irish, though, may not have Luke Harangody available during that time.
The eighth-ranked Irish open a stretch of six straight games in their home state on Sunday when they meet Furman without Harangody, who is sidelined indefinitely with pneumonia.
Harangody, the Big East player of the year last season, became ill after scoring 29 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in Notre Dame’s 81-80 victory over No. 6 Texas on Tuesday in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational.
Despite feeling ill, he had 13 points and seven rebounds in a 102-87 loss to top-ranked North Carolina in the championship game on Wednesday. Harangody, a junior who has never missed a game at Notre Dame, leads the Irish with 22.6 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.
The Irish (4-1) beat Loyola Marymount 65-54 in Los Angeles on Nov. 21 before heading off to play in Maui. They opened the tournament with wins over Indiana and Texas before losing to North Carolina.
Notre Dame couldn’t contain reigning player of the year Tyler Hansbrough, who scored 34 points Wednesday, and the Tar Heels led by as many as 23 midway through the second half.
Kyle McAlarney scored a career-high 39 points for the Irish and broke his own school record by going 10-for-18 from 3-point range.
“I just felt good, got my legs under me and was taking what the defense gives me,” said McAlarney, who is averaging 17.2 points and has gone 23-for-46 from beyond the arc. “I got lucky, got some open looks and got hot.”
The Irish play their next two at home before a matchup against Ohio State next Saturday in The Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. They then play three straight at the Joyce Center before opening Big East play at DePaul on Dec. 31.
After winning its season opener, Furman has lost three straight road games, including 68-63 Tuesday to Dartmouth. The Paladins (1-3) also travel to South Carolina and Vanderbilt in December.
“The fact we are playing several teams that made NCAA tournament runs will provide a challenge and help us measure our growth as a program,” Furman coach Jeff Jackson said.
The Paladins are averaging 64.8 points in their four games and haven’t scored more than 67. Alex Opacic had a team-best 14 points Tuesday and leads Furman with 7.0 rebounds per game. Jordan Miller tops the Paladins with 15.0 points a contest.
Notre Dame won the only previous meeting between these schools, 75-50 in Kansas City, Mo., on Nov. 25, 2002.