Notre Dame's Pat Connaughton delivers solid Portsmouth effort

IRISH STEW

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

Former Notre Dame captain Pat Connaughton is intent on carving a place for himself in professional basketball.

He's off to a solid start.

Connaughton wrapped an early three-game professional hoops audition Saturday at the annual Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational Tournament with 11 points, a game-high eight rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot in 34 minutes for his Portsmouth Partnership team, which lost to Cherry Bekaert in the tournament championship, 77-66.

Connaughton averaged 10 points and eight rebounds in 28.6 minutes over three games as his team finished 2-1. He is coming off a season senior in which he averaged 12.5 points and 7.4 rebounds in 35.6 minutes for a Notre Dame team that finished 32-6, 14-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Connaughton helped drive the Irish to the ACC tournament championship.

A fourth-round selection last June by the Baltimore Orioles in the baseball amateur draft, Connaughton spent time last summer with the Aberdeen (Md.) IronBirds, the Orioles' Class-A short season affiliate.

The right-hander, who is ranked the ninth-best pro prospect in the Orioles' farm system, He plans to chase his dream of playing at basketball's ultimate level - the NBA. If Connaughton is not selected in the two-round NBA draft in late June, his next step would be to catch on with an NBA summer-league team to compete in Orlando and/or Las Vegas.