Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 6, 2014 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BY DOUGLAS FARMER M ike Brey worried he would need to re-recruit Pat Con- naughton. The senior guard/ forward routinely assured the Notre Dame head coach he would return from a summer spent playing baseball for his final basketball season, but Brey did not know if the Baltimore Orioles had other plans. If they did, the Irish would be with- out their utility knife — a 6-5 forward with a sweet enough stroke he led Notre Dame in three-pointers made each of the last two seasons; a solidly- built guard who can defend all five positions on the court — and arguably their most crucial piece this season. "Connaughton, as you guys know, was always clear-headed that he was going to come back and finish his basketball commitment," Brey said Sept. 4, shortly after Notre Dame re- turned from a summer jaunt to Italy. "But I was always a little worried, 'Are the Orioles going to throw so much money on the table and that's the end of that?'" A touted prospect coming out of high school, Connaughton's collegiate dual- sport aspirations dropped him to the 38th round of the MLB Draft, where the San Diego Padres took a flyer on him. After three seasons with the Irish dia- mond squad, the Massachusetts native was once again eligible for the draft, and the Orioles took him in the fourth round. Again, his insistence on continu- ing to play basketball may have hurt his draft stock, and certainly lowered his payday, though a $428,100 signing bonus is nothing to scoff at. "Honestly, some people looked at me like I was crazy when I turned it down or didn't even give it a consid- eration, the kind of money I was being thrown," he said. "But for me, like I said, it would be difficult for me to live with myself not knowing what could happen in basketball or what I could have done. PITCHER O' SHOOTER Pat Connaughton has always played two sports, but will eventually need to decide between baseball and basketball

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