EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A year ago, Luke Harangody and Scottie Reynolds both tested the NBA waters before opting to return to the Big East for their senior seasons.
Now Harangody and Reynolds are hoping to find their way on to an NBA roster as the draft approaches June 24.
"I had no regrets at all," Harangody said Thursday after a group workout at the Nets' facility before representatives of more than 20 NBA teams, including Larry Bird of the Pacers and Danny Ainge of the Celtics. "It was great to come back for my senior year. I would do it all over again. I got my degree, which is awesome and I never looked back."
The 6-foot-6 Harangody averaged 21.8 points and 9.1 rebounds to earn first-team All-Big East honors as a senior but missed five games after suffering a deep bone bruise on his right knee. He finished his career as the third all-time leading scorer in Big East history with 1,329 points and second with 662 rebounds.
The former Notre Dame star looks fitter than ever before and says he's dropped down to 242 pounds from 250 at the end of the season.
"I think I'm in the best shape I've ever been in right now," Harangody said.
Harangody is projected as a second-round pick by both NBADraft.net and DraftExpress.com.
"No one's had a more consistent career than Luke Harangody in college," said Gregg Polinsky, the Nets' director of player personnel. "He's put up numbers every year that are admirable. I think the guy is an NBA player. I think he will play in the league. He may not make Glamour magazine, but what he does, he does night in and night out. He's very persistent."
Harangody, who was the Big East Player of the Year as a sophomore, has been criticized for his defense. Does he have the quickness and lateral movement to be able to defend other power forwards in the league?
"The challenge for him is becoming smart," Polinsky said. "He's obviously does one big thing, and that's made himself a little quicker by losing weight. He's in great condition, looks terrific. But he's always going to be challenged because he's going to have to play power forwards so that will be something he's got to figure out from an IQ standpoint."
Despite a tremendous college career, Harangody is aware of the knocks on him and says that just motivates him to be better.
"Even working out today, I have a little chip on my shoulder," he said. "The production I've had in college has basically gotten me nowhere for the next level, so it's basically like I have to start over again, which is fine with me."
Harangody has now worked out in group settings in New Jersey and Minnesota, as well as for the Grizzlies.
Both he and Reynolds are scheduled to work out for the Pistons on Friday.
Yet the 6-foot Reynolds jammed his right index finger Thursday while working out against France's Edwin Jackson and wasn't sure he could make the Detroit workout.
Next week the former Villanova star is slated to work out for the Nets, Wizards, the Trail Blazers and Spurs.
Reynolds had a tremendous senior year at Villanova, averaging 18.2 points and earning first-team All-America honors from The Associated Press and first team All-Big East honors.
Still, because of Reynolds' size and questions about his defensive ability, neither major draft site has the guard getting picked.
"He is really savvy," Polinsky said. "I don't know if that will lend itself to putting a stamp on the guy as an NBA player. But I think when you watch him, you get a high-level competitor that has been very well coached at Villanova, that is very creative off the dribble and understands how to negate athleticism and quickness and use his strengths."
Whether or not he gets drafted, Reynolds feels prepared for whatever lies ahead.
"You just want an opportunity," Reynolds said. "Nothing is ever given to you. You want an opportunity and when you get that opportunity, you have to be ready."
Free throws: The Nets have the No. 3 pick in the draft and will hold these workouts in the next two weeks: DeMarcus Cousins (June 16), Wesley Johnson (June 17) and Derrick Favors (June 21). ... The team is expected to formally introduce Avery Johnson as its new coach during a news conference Tuesday.