How former Notre Dame players fared in pro basketball this season
A former Notre Dame shooting guard with the sweet stroke and seemingly limitless range was about done. Finished.
After nearly a decade of bouncing around the world playing basketball in different leagues on different levels, Russell Carter was ready for a change. The Notre Dame graduate by way of Paulsboro, N.J., had relocated to Southern California and was ready to do something different.
Carter told the Tribune in July before a game in The Basketball Tournament in Chicago that his best basketball days were behind him. He was ready to turn the page.
Carter remained retired for a few more months, but just couldn’t stay away. This past season, the 31-year-old ventured to Venezuela, where he continued to play and play well, a common theme for many former Irish still running and jumping and shooting.
Irish coach Mike Brey has limited time during the season to keep tabs on his former players. But in the weeks that have followed a second-straight NCAA tournament Elite Eight appearance, he receives print-out updates via coordinator of basketball operations Harold Swanagan on his former guys — Carter in Venezuela, power forward Garrick Sherman getting big numbers in Hungary or swingman Pat Connaughton in the NBA playoffs with the Portland Trail Blazers.
“They’re having really good runs, all of them,” Brey said of his former players. “Guys are in the midst of pretty good careers.”
Following is a roundup of how former Notre Dame players fared during the 2015-16 seasons in their respective professional leagues. Stats reflect only regular-season games, with a handful of players still active at time of publication. Players are listed alphabetically with years at Notre Dame in parenthesis. Statistical information provided by Eurobasket.com.
• TIM ABROMAITIS (2008-12)
Team: Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias.
Record: Currently 14-16 and ninth place in the 18-team LigaEndesa (highest level).
Stats: Has played in 30 games and is averaging 9.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 22.4 minutes. Shooting 53.4 percent from the field, 35.9 percent from 3, and 85.4 percent from the free-throw line.
Best game: Scored 23 points with five rebounds in 32 minutes March 27 in an 84-80 victory over Estudiantes.
Notes: Abromaitis is finishing his first season with Iberostar, located in the Canary Islands, after playing last year in Germany. Iberostar’s regular season, which started in early October, runs until the end of May.
• ERIC ATKINS (2011-14)
Country: United States
Team: Erie (Pa.) Bay Hawks.
Record: Finished 14-38 and fifth place in the five-team Atlantic Division of the NBA Development League.
Stats: Atkins averaged 6.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 24.2 minutes per game. In 24 games, he shot 41 percent from the field, 36 percent from 3, and 82.1 percent from the foul line.
Best game: Scored 15 points with six rebounds, five assists and four steals in 46 minutes April 2 in a 119-95 loss to Iowa.
Notes: Atkins signed a contract last fall with the NBA’s Utah Jazz, and expected to join its D-League team in Idaho. He instead was released the following day before catching on with Erie, where he was listed as the team’s shooting guard. … Atkins was one 21 different players to appear in at least one game this past season for the Bay Hawks.
• RUSSELL CARTER (2004-07)
Team: Toros de Aragua.
Record: Finished 15-21 and fourth place in the five-team Western Conference of the LPB (highest level).
Stats: Carter averaged 10.6 points, a team-high six rebounds and 1.1 assists in 23.6 minutes per game. In 14 games, he shot 55 percent from the field, 38.5 percent from 3, and 80.4 percent from the foul line.
Best game: Scored 23 points with four rebounds and one assist in 22 minutes off the bench March 21 in a 98-76 victory over Gigantes.
Notes: Carter also has played professionally in the Development League, in Mexico and at two separate stops in France. … The Toros carried 24 different players on their roster this season.
• PAT CONNAUGHTON (2012-15)
Country: United States.
Team: Portland Trail Blazers.
Record: Expected to be a lottery team after retooling its roster last fall, Portland finished 44-38 and second place in the five-team Northwest Division of the NBA. The Trail Blazers earned a No. 5 seed in the Western Conference playoffs and advanced to the conference semifinals against top seed Golden State following a six-game series victory over No. 4-seeded Los Angeles Clippers.
Stats: Averaged 1.1 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 4.2 minutes. He shot 26.5 percent from the field, 23.8 percent from 3, and 100 percent from the foul line in 34 games.
Best game: Scored three points with eight rebounds and one assist in the regular-season finale April 13, a 107-99 victory over Denver.
Notes: After playing all 139 games (a school record) of his four-year college career, Connaughton logged a DNP-CD (did not play, coach’s decision) in his first NBA game. … He played at least 10-plus minutes only twice his rookie season.
• JACK COOLEY (2010-13)
Team: Unicaja Malaga.
Record: Finished 17-13 overall and sixth place in the 18-team LigaEndesa (highest level).
Stats: Averaged 5.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.1 assists in 13.2 minutes per game. In 21 games as a part-time starter, Cooley shot 56.3 percent from the field, 61.4 percent from the foul line.
Best game: Scored 17 points with five rebounds in 22 minutes March 6 in an 83-77 victory over FC Barcelona.
Notes: After spending part of last season with the NBA’s Utah Jazz, Cooley returned to Europe for his third professional season. He played his rookie year in Turkey. … Cooley was one of the final cuts of the Jazz late in training camp last fall.
• TORIN FRANCIS (2003-06)
Team: Union Formosa.
Record: Finished 31-25 and second place in the 10-team Norte (Northern) Division in LigaA (highest level).
Stats: Averaged 12.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 23.3 minutes. Over 36 games, Francis shot 58.6 percent from the field, 50 percent (1-of-2) from 3, and 69 percent from the foul line.
Best game: Scored 23 points with 13 rebounds in 32 minutes Nov. 25 in a 64-57 victory over Atenas.
Notes: Francis joined Formosa after three games in Uruguay for Malvin Montevideo, where he averaged seven points and five rebounds. … Francis also has played professionally in Germany, Turkey and Venezuela.
• JERIAN GRANT (2011-15)
Country: United States.
Team: New York Knicks.
Record: Finished 32-50 and third place in the five-team Atlantic Division. The Knicks fired coach Derek Fisher during the season and did not qualify for the NBA playoffs.
Stats: Averaged 5.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 16.6 minutes per game. In 76 games, including six starts, Grant shot 39.1 percent from the field, 22 percent from 3, and 78 percent from the foul line.
Best game: Grant scored 18 points with six rebounds, six assists and two steals in 38 minutes April 12 in a 102-90 loss to Indiana in the regular-season finale.
Notes: The first, first-round draft pick from Notre Dame in 12 years last summer, Grant played at least 23 minutes in each of the Knicks’ last seven games. Prior to that, he played at least 23 minutes only five times.
• LUKE HARANGODY (2007-10)
Team: Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul
Record: Finished 19-9 and fourth place in the 16-team BSL (top level).
Stats: Averaged 11.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 24.3 minutes. In 19 games, Harangody shot 60.2 percent from the field, 38.5 percent from 3, and 82.4 percent from the foul line.
Best game: Scored 18 points with five rebounds and two assists in 31 minutes Jan. 29 in an 82-79 loss to Panathinakos.
Notes: Second on Notre Dame’s all-time scoring list (2,476 points), Harangody played his previous season in Spain. … He was on the summer league squad of the Phoenix Suns last July.
• SCOTT MARTIN (2010-13)
Team: Newcastle Eagles.
Record: Finished 28-5 and second place in the 12-team BBL (top level).
Stats: Averaged 14.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 29.8 minutes. In 30 games, he shot 55 percent from the field, 38.8 percent from 3 and 69.8 percent from the foul line.
Best game: Scored 26 points with six rebounds in 32 minutes Sept. 25 in a 98-65 victory over Surrey.
Note: After seeing his final college season limited to 18 games because of a knee injury that he feared might be career-ending, Martin has played 105 games in his three professional seasons in England.
• KYLE MCALARNEY (2006-09)
Record: Currently 16-16 and 11th place in the 18-team ProA (highest level).
Stats: Averaging 11.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 29.6 minutes. In 32 games, he’s shooting 56.5 percent from the field, 46.4 percent from 3, and 86.4 percent from the foul line.
Best game: Scored 26 points with four assists April 23 in a 99-92 double-overtime victory against Nancy.
Notes: One of McAlarney's Orleans teammates is former Pittsburgh power forward Chevy Troutman. … McAlarney has one season remaining on his current contract with Orleans, whose regular season runs through next week.
• TY NASH (2008-11)
Record: Finished 16-18 and 10th place in the 18-team BBL (highest level).
Stats: Averaged 10.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 29.2 minutes. In 34 games, he shot 58.5 percent from the field, 24 percent from 3 and 66.7 percent from the foul line.
Best game: Scored 26 points with eight rebounds Dec. 6 in a 90-83 victory over MBL.
Note: Following three seasons in Germany with the Walter Tigers and one last year in France, Nash finished his first season with Braunschweig, the same team that Abromaitis played for in 2014-15.
• CARLETON SCOTT (2008-11)
Team: Antwerp Giants.
Record: Finished 14-14 and fifth place in one of two five-team divisions in the Scooore League (highest level).
Stats: Averaged 10.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 23.3 minutes. In 26 games, Scott shot 55.6 percent from the floor, 39.4 percent from 3 and 87.1 percent from the free throw line.
Best game: Scored 18 points with six rebounds and four assists in 33 minutes on Feb. 28 in an 86-84 loss to Brussels.
Notes: Scott was one of four players from the United States in Antwerp’s starting lineup, which included guard Kevin Dillard (Dayton), guard Mike Smith (East Tennessee State) and center Brad Waldow (Saint Mary’s). … The Giants’ season ended with a loss Thursday. Scott had three points, three rebounds and three steals in 20 minutes.
• GARRICK SHERMAN (2013-14)
Team: Fortress Jaszbereny.
Record: Finished 10-22 in the A Division (highest level).
Stats: Averaged 18.3 points and 9.3 rebounds, both team-highs, with 1.5 assists in 28.6 minutes. In 23 games, Sherman shot 62.7 percent from the field and 58.7 percent from the foul line.
Best game: Scored 34 points with 17 rebounds and one assist March 19 in a 91-87 loss to PUSK Pannon. He finished 16-of-26 from the field in 35 minutes.
Note: Sherman finished fifth in the league in scoring. Former Connecticut swingman Rashad Anderson led the league in scoring at 24.3 per game.