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March 4, 2008

Harangody adds star power at power forward

Rivals.com Power Rankings by Position: PG | SG | SF | PF | C | Head Coach

The third-best power forward in the nation may be the third-best player in college basketball.

Notre Dame's Luke Harangody rose to No. 3 among power forwards in Rivals.com's latest Power Rankings, behind Kansas State's Michael Beasley and North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough, the top two candidates for national player of the year.

If it weren't for Beasley and Hansbrough, who have held the top two spots for 14 consecutive weeks, Harangody would be warranting serious consideration for national honors. Harangody, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, leads the Big East in scoring (21.1 ppg) and is second in rebounding (10.5 rpg) for a 22-win Irish team that is tied for third place in the league.

Harangody scored a career-high 40 points while showing off a new outside shooting touch by hitting three 3-pointers in Notre Dame's 90-85 loss to Louisville on Thursday. Harangody had not made a 3-pointer entering the game, attempting just three in the previous 26 contests.

None of the top spots changed hands, but there was movement near the top at nearly every position.

At shooting guard, Vanderbilt's Shan Foster and USC's O.J. Mayo rose to Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, behind Indiana's Eric Gordon.

Foster scored 32 points and went 9-for-13 (69.2 percent) from the field in Vanderbilt's 72-69 win over then-No. 1 Tennessee, a performance that likely made him the frontrunner for SEC Player of the Year.

Mayo scored a game-high 20 points and dished out a team-high six assists in USC's 70-58 win over Arizona. Mayo also set a career-high with 37 points in the Trojans' 80-66 loss to Arizona State.

Memphis' Derrick Rose pushed up to No. 3 at point guard and UAB's Robert Vaden climbed to No. 4 at small forward. Stanford's Brook Lopez (No. 5) and BYU's Trent Plaisted (No. 5) moved into the top five at power forward and center, respectively.

Three players returned to the rankings: Miami shooting guard Jack McClinton (No. 22), Houston shooting guard Rob McKiver (No. 23), and Texas power forward Connor Atchley (No. 23).

McKiver scored the most points in a game this season with a 52-point performance in the Cougars' 95-67 rout of Southern Miss.

The rating of a player and coach can fluctuate each week during the season depending on how they fared the previous week, but the power rankings measure overall career performances as well as their most recent results.

By the end of the season, our power rankings should provide an accurate indicator of which players and coaches were the best at their respective positions.

Rivals.com Power Rankings by Position: PG | SG | SF | PF | C | Head Coach

Andrew Skwara is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at askwara@rivals.com.

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