Connaughton Among July Stock Raisers

Patrick Connaughton was the rage in Orlando. Playing for Middlesex Magic, the talented forward managed to raise his stock.

Heading into July, Patrick Connaughton's only basketball scholarship offer came from Bentley University, a Division-II program in Boston.

After playing in the AAU Nationals with the Middlesex Magic, Connaughton's list changed dramatically.

"Before I came [to Orlando] baseball was the only thing I had going for me in terms of sports," Connaughton told "I had USC, Miami, Virginia and everybody coming after me for baseball."

Now the 6-foot-5 small forward out of Arlington (Mass.) St. John's Prep now holds basketball offers from Notre Dame, Penn State, Northwestern, Florida, Marquette, Colorado, Tennessee, UCLA and Wake Forest.

Notre Dame was the only school tracking him prior to July.

"Coming into this summer and this year I was hoping I could play at the highest level," he said. "Coming into the summer the only school I had talked to was Notre Dame. Coming to this tournament. I didn't know what to expect."

"I was going to see what I could work out there and see if I'm good enough for them," he said of the Fighting Irish. "Then it came in as a wave. Coach Crotty helped me a ton and I've played as hard as I could."

To go with his offers, Iowa State, Boston College and Clemson have also shown varying degrees of interest.

"I've been overwhelmed with all the schools. I've had to write them all down and now I really have to think about it."

To top it off, Connaughton is also a major baseball prospect. A pitcher, he's been clocked in the 90's and has some of the top baseball programs recruiting him.

"I know coach [Bruce] Pearl and the UCLA coach both said that I could pitch for them when the basketball season was over," he said. "I want to talk to them about that. In the end I want to keep my arm and keep my options open."

"Right now I'm just trying to take everything in."

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