April 11, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Senior captains Russell Carter (Paulsboro, N.J.) and Colin Falls (Park Ridge, Ill.) were honored as co-Most Valuable Players by the Notre Dame Monogram Club at the team’s annual banquet on Wednesday evening at the Joyce Center.
Sophomore Luke Zeller (Washington , Ind.) also was the recipient of one of the night’s major awards as he received the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete award for his accomplishments in the classroom.
Nearly 600 were in attendance at the team’s annual event that paid tribute to the 2006-07 Notre Dame team. The Irish finished the season with a 24-8 and earned an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in seven seasons. The 24 wins matched the most during Mike Brey’s tenure at Notre Dame and was the fourth 20-win season since he became head coach during the 2000-01 campaign. Picked to finish 11th in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches Poll, Notre Dame earned a first-round bye in the BIG EAST Championship after finishing fourth with an 11-5 record. The 11 wins matched a school record for conference victories and marked the fourth time that an Irish team had won 10-plus league outings.
Brey was tabbed as the BIG EAST Coach of the Year, while Carter and Falls garnered first-team all-league honors. In addition, freshmen Luke Harangody (Schererville, Ind.) and Tory Jackson (Saginaw, Mich.) were named to the conference’s all-rookie team. The Irish coaching staff handed out five other awards during the evening: Zach Hillesland (Most Improved Player), Jackson (Best Defensive Player), Rob Kurz (Best Rebounder), Harangody and Jackson (Outstanding Freshmen) and Ryan Ayers (Team Irish Award).
Russell Carter (Notre Dame Monogram Club Co-MVP):
Averaged a team-best and career-best 17.1 points per game, in addition to 4.9 rebounds per game … Irish captain … two-year starter … scored in double figures in 29 of 32 games … netted 20-plus points in 11 games and led the Irish in scoring in 14 contests … had the only 30-plus point performance of the season when he scored 32 points versus St. John’s … scored in double figures in the first 18 games of the season … First Team All-BIG EAST selection … named to the BIG EAST ALL-Tournament team … selected to the NABC District 10 First Team as well as well as to the USBWA District V squad … was named BIG EAST Player of the Week once and tabbed for weekly honor roll accolades on three occasions … finished his career with 983 career points and 10.1 career scoring average while playing in 97 contests.
Colin Falls (Notre Dame Monogram Club Co-MVP):
Second-leading scorer with a 15.3 scoring average … Notre Dame and the BIG EAST Conference’s most prolific three-pointer shooter … finished career as top Irish three-point shooter with 331 three-point field goals … also became the BIG EAST’s leading three-point shooter with 189 … played in all but two games during his career as a three-year starter (121 of 123 games) … leading three-point shooter for the Irish in three straight season … started 90 of the 121 games he played … 46th player in Notre Dame history to score 1,000 points … netted 20-plus points in nine games and scored in double figures in all but four games … First Team All-BIG EAST selection … NABC District 10 second team honoree … finished with 1.387 career points and an 11.5 career scoring average.
Luke Zeller (Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award):
Has a cumulative 3.396 grade point average in the Mendoza College of Business … played in all 32 games and started the first 16 contests … tallied a career-high 14 points in won over Elon … also scored in double figures with 12 points against The Citadel … averaged 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds.
Rob Kurz (Best Rebounder Award):
Leading rebounder at 8.0 rebounds per game and third-leading scorer at 12.6 point per contest … started 30 of the 31 games he played … tri-captain of 2006-07 Irish team … scored in double figures in 21 games and had a team-high nine double-doubles … two-time member of the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll … grabbed 10-plus rebounds in 11 games … netted a career-high 25 points against Lehigh … netted 20-plus points in three games.
Zach Hillesland (Most Improved Player Award):
Played in 32 games and made four starts while averaging 5.8 points and 4.8 rebounds … also averaged 19.6 minutes per game … scored a career-high 14 points on two occasions against Syracuse and Providence … scored in double figures in six contests and grabbed seven-plus rebounds in nine games … grabbed a career-high12 rebounds in season opener against IPFW … registered first three double doubles of his career.
Ryan Ayers (Team Irish Award):
Played in 30 games and made first career start against Providence … averaged 2.9 points and 1.4 rebounds … finished with a career-high 12 points against Cincinnati (the first double-figure scoring effort of his career) as he made all four of his three-point attempts … had a career-high seven rebounds against Winston-Salem St.
Tory Jackson (Best Defender and co-Best Freshman awards):
Played in all 32 games and started the final 20 games of the season … averaged 7.8 points and 3.3 rebounds … also led the Irish in assists (139) and steals (59) … in BIG EAST play averaged a league best 6.0 assists per game … named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team and was named BIG EAST Player of the Week on one occasion … scored in double figures in 10 games, including a career-high 21 points vs. Marquette … also netted 20 points in BIG EAST tournament loss to Georgetown … dished off a career-high 11 rebounds versus DePaul … scored in double figures in six of the last nine game.
Luke Harangody (co-Best Freshman Aaward):
Played in all 32 games and started final 16 contests … averaged 11.2 points (fourth-best on the team) and was second-leading rebounder at 6.2 rebounds per game … member of the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team and a three-time BIG EAST rookie-of-the-week honoree … scored in double figures in first five collegiate outings and in 22 games overall … tallied a career-high 22 points and matched career-high with 13 rebounds against Marquette … scored 20-plus points in three games … second on team with seven double doubles.