Oct. 31, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame guard Kyle McAlarney (Staten Island, N.Y.), guard Ryan Ayers (Blue Bell, Pa.), forward Zach Hillesland (Toledo, Ohio) and forward/center Luke Zeller (Washington, Ind.) have been named as captains for the 2008-09 men’s basketball season.
The four senior captains will become the fifth four-man group to serve as captains in the 104-year history of the Notre Dame men’s basketball program.
McAlarney is coming off of a junior season in which he averaged a career-best 15.1 points while also dishing out a career high 115 assists. He started in all 33 contests for the Irish and scored in double figures in 27 of those contests. He set the Irish single-season three-point record with 108 three-point field goals made and shot 43.6 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from beyond the arc. McAlarney set the Notre Dame single-game three-point record when he made nine against Syracuse (Feb. 24. 2008) in a victory at the Joyce Center. Along with receiving BIG EAST Player of the Week twice in his junior season, McAlarney was a first-team all-BIG EAST selection.
Ayers’ junior campaign saw him emerge as an outside threat for the Irish. He finished the 2007-08 season with career highs in points per game (7.8) and rebounds per game (3.2). He also registered career highs in field goal percentage (45.7) and three-point percentage (45.1). Ayers went on to play in all 33 contests for the Irish, starting in the first 17 contests of the year. He averaged over 25 minutes per game, besting his previous high 11.9 minutes.
Hillesland participated in all 33 games for the Irish as well, earning a starting spot for the final 16 games of the season. He was able to post career highs in both scoring (6.1) and rebounding (5.2) and recorded double figures in six contests. Hillesland also registered 80 assists, 24 steals and 14 blocked shots.
Zeller played in 33 contests for the Irish last season, averaging 4.5 points per game. He scored in double figures in three games, matching a career-high with 14 points against Colgate and grabbed a career-high 10 boards in a loss at Marquette.
“I don’t know if it has been more clear in my time here at Notre Dame who our captains should be” ninth-year head coach Mike Brey said. “Clearly, our seniors have set the tone for this group and have been a big part of the positive momentum of this program.”