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Men’s Basketball: Big East Beckoning

Chris Hine | Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Irish guards Russell Carter and Colin Falls were named to the all-Big East first team Monday, marking the only time in school history two Notre Dame players made the first team in the same season.

“I’m just happy for two seniors who have paid their dues,” Irish coach Mike Brey said before practice Monday. “Their paths have been a little bit different – Colin being a consistent guy from day one, Russ taking a little bit different route, and it’s a great story.

“I think anytime you can have seniors make the All-Conference team I think it says you’re guys are getting better every four years.”

Meanwhile, guard Tory Jackson and forward Luke Harangody made the cut for the Big East All-Rookie Team. Jackson took over the starting point guard position after Kyle McAlarney was suspended in late December.

Harangody earned national freshman of the week honors from rivals.com last week for his performances against Marquette and DePual. He averages 11.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

“I look at those two guys on the first team and I go, ‘Wow, we have to replace a lot,'” Brey said. “But then I look at the All-Rookie team and go, ‘Oh, I got those guys for three more years.'”

Carter began his career as a rarely used reserve, playing in just 11 games his freshman season. Now, he leads the Irish in scoring – with 16.9 points per game – and is fourth in the Big East.

“I thought [this was possible]. Personally, if you can’t think it’s going to be done, how are you going to accomplish it?” Carter said. “I’ve always had goals set for myself and so far things are getting accomplished, but there’s a lot more I want to accomplish before my collegiate career is over. It’s an honor but we have other things on the agenda.”

Since he was a freshman, Falls has been one of Notre Dame’s biggest three-point threats. This season, he broke Gerry McNamara’s Big East record for career 3-pointers and currently has 318.

“It’s an honor to be on this team,” Falls said. “There are a lot of great players in this conference. Having four guys getting postseason mention speaks volumes for the season we’ve had.”

Notre Dame will take on the winner of Syracuse and Connecticut in the second round of the Big East tournament Thursday at 2 p.m. on ESPN.