There were concerns that Notre Dame junior wing Pat Connaughton would have to forego his senior season of basketball after being selected in the 2014 MLB Draft.
But after being selected in the fourth round by the Baltimore Orioles, Connaughton will be allowed to play for Notre Dame this season and finish his season, according to a report from Tom Coyne of the Associated Press.
Connaughton will be allowed to sign a contract for a few weeks that allows him to be back in South Bend on July 30th so he can have a week with the basketball team to prepare for the team’s trip to Italy. Until then, Connaughton will be in Sarasota, Florida with the Orioles’ minor league affiliate.
The 6-foot-5 Connaughton averaged 13.8 points per game last season for Notre Dame. With the return of Jerian Grant to school for his senior season, Notre Dame will have some experience on the perimeter and could surprise some in the ACC next season.
For now, Connaughton needs to focus on baseball. In his junior season, the starting pitcher was 3-5 with a 3.92 ERA in 10 starts for the Irish.
“Until then, I try to make as much baseball improvements as I can, and basically start plugging through the minors as quickly as possible,” Connaughton said to the AP.
When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.
LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.
Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).
All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.
The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.
Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.