March 2, 2007
McAlarney chomps at bit for return
Next week, all Kyle McAlarney will have to do is jump on the Staten Island ferry to Manhattan. From there, he'd be just a short cab ride from Madison Square Garden where the Big East basketball tournament will be held.
He'll stop at the Notre Dame team hotel to hang out with his teammates. But he's not sure whether he'll actually go to the Garden. Watching it on TV will be just as difficult.
The withdrawal pains hurt too much. The thought of what he's missing eats at him. The pages on the calendar can't flip fast enough.
"It hasn't been getting easier, especially this time of the year," said McAlarney, who was suspended from the basketball team at the end of December and placed on disciplinary suspension from the University about a month later, ending his season and semester at Notre Dame.
Enrolled in classes near his home in Staten Island, McAlarney is expected to return to Notre Dame this summer and gain admission before rejoining his friends on the basketball team in the fall.
"It's harder at tournament time," said the 6-foot-1 sophomore who was averaging 10.3 points and 5.5 assists through 12 games when he was arrested for marijuana possession the morning of Dec. 29.
"But I'm really proud of the guys. They've really stepped up big. They've shown a lot of character, especially right after the suspension when they weren't really used to playing without me at point guard."
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