Point guard McAlarney describes return to Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame guard Kyle McAlarney walked
into a news conference Wednesday, looked at reporters and asked:
"Everybody miss me?"

"Not as much as him," a reporter said, referring to Irish
coach Mike Brey.

"That is true," Brey said. "That is true."

With that, McAlarney broke the ice as he sat down to talk about
what happened to him since his arrest Dec. 29. That's the night a
state trooper found marijuana in his car during a traffic stop near
campus hours after a game.

The university initially suspended him from the team
indefinitely, then was dismissed from school on Jan. 22. After
applying for readmission, he will be back playing for the Irish
this season.

Asked to talk about what happened the night of his arrest,
McAlarney said: "What is there to talk about? I made my mistake,
got arrested, that was it. The hardest part for me was waking up
the next morning and tell Coach Brey."

McAlarney's lowest point came when his arrest became news
"because I knew I embarrassed my family and my school."

McAlarney, who already had entered a pretrial diversion program,
was initially angry at the university's punishment, knowing that
many schools wouldn't have been so severe.

"But when you really look into it and see the big picture, this
is why I came to Notre Dame -- the kind of respect people who
graduate from here get," he said. "That's why it is the school
that it is. That's why they have the standards that they have."

A day after then-No. 22 Notre Dame lost to St. John's at Madison
Square Garden in January, Brey flew back to New York to meet with
McAlarney and his family to try to persuade him to return. The talk

"That showed me and my parents the loyalty he has to his
players and what a family this is while you're here in this
basketball program. That's something I didn't want to miss out
on," McAlarney said.

McAlarney, 19, who is from Staten Island, N.Y., concedes he
thought briefly about transferring.

"But when I really looked deep into it, there was no other
school for me," he said.

McAlarney started the first 12 games of his sophomore season,
averaging 10.3 points, as the Irish got off to an 11-1 start. He
said he watched all the Irish games on TV but had to turn the set
off at times when his team struggled.

"There were times I would get aggravated and just walk away and
be like, 'Man, if I was there?"' McAlarney said.

"Now you know how I feel," Brey said.

McAlarney said he isn't worried about fitting in with Tory
Jackson, the freshman who took over as point guard.

"I never saw myself as a point guard or a shooting guard. I
always saw myself as a guard," McAlarney said.

Brey said he respects the way McAlarney accepted responsibility
for his actions.

"As I've said to people here in the community when they ask me
if McAlarney is back, I say, 'He's back and it's going to be a
great story,"' Brey said.