Dec 21, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard/forward Pat Connaughton (24) dunks against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second half of the Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden. The Buckeyes won the game 64-61. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Will Pat Connaughton Return For A Senior Season?

Notre Dame two-way star Pat Connaughton owns the distinction of being the only person to dunk on Jabari Parker and to strike out Jameis Winston. Connaught hopes that he can keep this type of fame going despite the prospect of being drafted in the upcoming MLB Draft.

The San Diego Padres drafted Notre Dame two-way athlete in the 38th round of the MLB Draft when Connaughton was a Senior at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts. Connaughton hopes that he lands much higher in the MLB Draft this year around.

Baseball America ranks Connaughton as the 128th prospect in baseball. This means he will likely be selected in the first five rounds of the MLB Draft. He went 3-5 and carried a 3.92 ERA during the past season.

When the Notre Dame men’s basketball team takes the court this season, the Irish will need Connaughton to reach their full potential. With Notre Dame’s leading scorer Jerian Grant returning from academic suspension, the Irish could field a strong starting five. It could potentially consist of Jackson, Grant, Connaughton,Burgett and Auguste. With that lineup and a fairly strong bench, Notre Dame could make a run in March.

Connaughton’s ideal situation would consist of him playing professional baseball this summer for whatever team drafts him and returning for the basketball team’s tour of Italy.

“There are some teams that aren’t willing to negotiate something like that,” Connaughton said. “To be honest, that’s fine. There’s many that are willing to. At the end of the day, it’s just like picking a college. Why not pick a school that says you can do it and will help you succeed at it?”

Connaughton told reporters during a presser that 10 to 15 baseball franchises would not have be keen on him playing another season of basketball.

Mike Brey and Notre Dame basketball fans hope that one of the 15 to 20 franchise who are willing to negotiate with Connaughton select him in the MLB Draft, which runs from June 5-7.

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