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  1. #1

    Notre Dame's Jackson and Harangody named to all-rookie team

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    Tribune Staff Writer

    Moments after his freshman season took a dramatic detour, a shaken Tory Jackson slipped into a shell of silence.

    Members of the Notre Dame men's basketball team gathered that late December day to meet with coach Mike Brey, but the kid from Saginaw, Mich., had no idea what the boss was saying. For all he knew, Brey was speaking Chinese. Or Russian. Jackson could comprehend little about that moment. He also could not speak after learning that starting point guard Kyle McAlarney -- his mentor, his big brother, his security blanket -- had been indefinitely suspended following an arrest on misdemeanor marijuana charges.

    A handful of thoughts raced through Jackson's mind as Brey talked of having to move forward.

    "I was thinking, 'Man, he's gone. Now it's my team. Oh, my God,'" Jackson recalled. "It was like a nightmare just because I always had Kyle there to rely on. Man, it was nice having him around."

    Instead, the fortunes of a program desperate to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003 would be turned over to a teenager, who had never played in a Big East game. This was not Class C basketball in Michigan, where Jackson was a one-man show. This was big-boy basketball in an unforgiving league. Would Jackson thrive? Survive?Two months later, Jackson and fellow Irish freshman Luke Harangody earned two of 11 spots on the Big East all-rookie squad, which was announced Monday after a vote of the 16 conference coaches. Former Notre Dame players who have earned such honors include current coordinator of basketball operations Martin Ingelsby (1998), Troy Murphy (1999), Chris Thomas (2002) and Torin Francis (2003).

    "That was a big goal for me my first year," Jackson said. "Not many kids can get that. That's a big success."

    Success that surfaced only after McAlarney packed his bags and returned home to New York for the spring semester. Had legal trouble not found McAlarney, Jackson would have continued in his role as a backup seeing spot minutes as a defensive sparkplug. Instead, he started all 16 Big East contests, averaged 35 minutes a game and led the league in assists (6.0) in conference games. He also earned one league rookie of the week honor.

    Most importantly, Jackson and Harangody offered the No. 20 Irish (23-6 overall; 11-5) a much-needed shot of heart and hustle.

    "Those two young men have added a real degree of mental and physical toughness," said Brey. "The positions they play are very important positions on a basketball team."While it took McAlarney's legal matters for Jackson to step in at point guard, a quick start (double-figure scoring in 11 of his first 14 games) and consistent contributions allowed Harangody to bull-rush past sophomore Luke Zeller and into the starting power forward spot by early January. While becoming the inside scoring threat the Irish have lacked for years, Harangody also tied Seton Hall's Eugene Harvey and Scottie Reynolds of Villanova for a league-best three rookie of the week honors.

    "It is a great honor, especially playing in a conference as strong as the Big East and the class that we came in with this year," Harangody said. "I appreciate it."

    Harangody's rookie season was not without its struggles. Able to routinely score the first two months, Harangody hit the proverbial "rookie wall" midway through the league schedule. He scored double figures only twice in a span of seven games, and may have led the team in frustration.

    "I kind of let my attitude get the best of me," Harangody said. "Coach just told me to settle down on the court. That put a lot of confidence in me."

    Four consecutive games of solid play followed, including a career-high 22 points against Marquette and 13 rebounds, which tied his career-best. Harangody closed the regular season fourth on the Irish in scoring (11.3) and second in rebounding (6.3).Even before he knew for sure his spot on the all-rookie squad, Jackson planned to place at least one phone call Monday. It would be to McAlarney. The two have remained in touch with McAlarney often offering advice. But this time, it was Jackson's turn to talk and offer thanks for helping show him the way to become a Big East point guard.

    "If I wasn't going to earn a starting spot while he was here, I was OK with it because I knew Kyle was a great guard," Jackson said. "The majority of this goes to Kyle because of how hard he had me work while he was here

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Absolutely rediculous that 10 kids make this team, if you played as a freshman you are on it. Same with the first and second teams. Harangody deserved it.

    BIG EAST All-Rookie Team

    Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati, Fr., 6-1, 200, Indianapolis, Ind.

    *Jerome Dyson, Connecticut, Fr., 6-3, 190, Rockville, Md.

    Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut, Fr., 7-3, 255, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

    DaJuan Summers, Gerogetown, Fr., 6-8, 235, Baltimore, Md.

    Edgar Sosa, Louisville, Fr., 6-2, 170, New York, N.Y.

    Luke Harangody, Notre Dame, Fr., 6-8, 250, Schererville, Ind.

    Tory Jackson, Notre Dame, Fr., 5-10, 185, Saginaw, Mich.

    *Eugene Harvey, Seton Hall, Fr., 6-0, 165, Brooklyn, N.Y.

    Paul Harris, Syracuse, Fr., 6-5, 228, Niagara Falls, N.Y.

    *Scottie Reynolds, Villanova, Fr., 6-2, 195, Herndon, Va.

    Da’Sean Butler, West Virginia, Fr., 6-7, 205, Newark, N.J.

  3. #3
    Does that mean you don't think Jackson deserved it?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    I believe that Reynolds deserves the honor by himself. That kid is sick. Having 10 kids on a all rookie team waters down what should be an elite award.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by latte View Post
    ... Having 10 kids on a all rookie team waters down what should be an elite award.
    Agree. And I'll defer to someone who has watched them this year. I only saw a couple of ND games and couldn't give you the name of any opposing players.

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