High Expectations for Irish Hoop teams

Mike Brey has just one senior--Rob Kurz-- this season.

He loses the Big East's all-time leading scorer in Colin Falls and top scorer Russell Carter.

But he still has plenty of experience back from a team that made it to the NCAA Tournament last March.

And that's why the expectations remain high for the Notre Dame men's basketball team.

Brey also has one of his former star players back.

Junior Kyle McAlarney was reinstated to the team and the university in June after being expelled from Notre Dame early last season.

The guard had to overcome a lot of hardships to make it back to the Irish. Now that he has, he can't wait to get onto the basketball court for the first practice on Thursday.

"I've been waiting for it for so long," McAlarney said with anxiousness in his voice. "It's exciting to me and you see a smile on my face. It's just so good to be back---to be back with the guys."

By the end of media day, McAlarney was the last player still in the gym---shooting around. It's something he's done for a long while to get himself ready to return to the team.

Muffet's Squad also returns a key player who was unable to contribute on the floor last season. Junior guard Lindsay Schrader, one of the team's most valuable players in '05-'06, returns to the Irish after suffering an ACL injury.

"This is definitely like my freshman year," Schrader said. "I'm not the player I was my freshman year, but the emotions and the excitement---its definitely piling up."

"I haven't played anyone in a year and half and I'm real excited to get things going."

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