With the end of this season the only left to do is to look forward to next. The Irish will only lose one player, Rob Kurz. Rob Kurz mostly provided leadership, rather than a dominant player as many senior leaders are. He contributed just as much as someone who scores 20 points a game and gets 10 rebounds. His leadership and his knowledge of the basketball court will be something that will indeed be missed.
My projected starting line-up for next season:
PG Tory Jackson
SG Kyle McAlarney
SF Zach Hillesland
PF Luke Zeller
C Luke Harangody.
6 man: Ryan Ayers
My biggest concern for next season is not that guard play. Tory Jackson plays great at the point while McAlarney and Ayers will be able to knock down the threes. My biggest concern is the front court. Luke Harangody will be beastly once again next year, but the power forward is wide open. Luke Zeller will be a senior so I can see how he would be given the spot. However, he cannot score down low, or well at least he hasn't yet, and I don't think he is physical enough to bang down low with the rest of the league. I can see one of the freshman stepping into his role, Tyrone Nash or Charleton Scott. If this happens though, I can't see it happening in the beginning of the year. I don't think any of the freshman, who have not even played more than 2 minutes in a game, would be ready to step into the starting role on a Big East team.
I think Notre Dame needs to spend time this off season trying to recruit a solid down low player. Harangody is just too short to play center. Notre Dame needs a a real center in order to be a real big threat. Someone over 6-8 and who actually scores on the post not from deep.
I do not see how Ty Proffit and Tim Abromaitus are going to fit in to the line-up, unless the Irish cut playing time from some of the normal starters. The way things are looking now the Irish will be keeping their 8 man line-up.
Overall I believe the Irish will be better next year. Harangody will have another great year and McAlarney, Ayers, Hillesland, and Zeller will all have great senior years. Next year is the year. The Irish are bringing their best team yet for 09 and should make even more noise than they did this year.