Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Sky Is The Limit For Colson-Led Irish

October 11, 2017

Bonzie Colson had an All-American year a season ago, and there is much hype surrounding the Notre Dame senior power forward heading into the 2017-18 season. 

The 6-foot-6, 224-pounder averaged 17.8 ppg and 10.1 rpg, but the Massachusetts native looks to build on those eye-popping stats this winter. 

“I am trying to be more consistent with what I’m doing every day,” stated Colson. “I worked on my post game and shooting threes when I came back in June. I try to live by example. I’ve learned from Jerian (Grant), Pat (Connaughton), Demetrius (Jackson), Steve (Vasturia) and VJ (Beachem). I am just telling the guys to trust the process and the coaches. 

“I have been telling them to enjoy the ride.” 

Colson mentioned working on his three-point shot this summer and head coach Mike Brey felt it’s at the point where it can be something the offense builds around. 

"With how he is shooting the three, there is another element and sets to have him really spread the floor,” Brey said of Colson’s extended range. 

While Colson’s three not be something Notre Dame fans see to the level of a VJ Beachem regarding three-point shots, he has made sure to add it to his game as he knows it will only make life easier for him. 

“I am trying to be a versatile player, but when I am hitting my shot, I know it’s tough for the defender to guard me,” Colson explained. “I can shoot it or post up. I’m just trying to be more consistent on both sides of the floor.”  

Rick Kimball/ISD
Bonzie Colson

The Notre Dame offense averaged 77.3 points a night a year ago, but there is a belief the Irish will have a more potent offense despite losing two starters. 

“We’re dynamic and can play a lot of different lineups with our group,” said Colson. “We are going to still do what we’ve been doing. We will play inside out and pick and roll. We have a lot of knockdown shooters and guys who can do both. 

“We’re just excited knowing we have the offensive game, but we know we can guard on defense to play both ends of the floor.” 

More weapons on offense is a good thing, as the Irish struggled at times last year with consistency shooting the rock. The added defensive intensity is also a positive trait for a program which is known for its offense. 

Colson knows the combination of the two could finally lead Notre Dame to a Final Four appearance. 

“It’s really motivating for us as a team,” Colson said of the potential to make a deep postseason run. “We’ve gotten close two of the four years I have been here. Making the next step is something we have within our team. We have a great coaching staff and great players ready to step into leading roles.

“Having those two assets coming together, the sky is the limit for us.” 

The belief and high goals set start from the top down. Brey isn’t bashful about stating the intent is the Final Four, as he knows his players are up for the challenge and will embrace the work it takes to make a deep run in March.

“It starts with Coach Brey,” said Colson. “He trusts his players and puts us in great situations so we can be successful on the court. He says things and his players do it. As a team, we do the things he tells us to do. Actions speak louder than our words, and as a program, it starts with Coach Brey. 

“He has built a great program, and we trust the culture he has built.”  

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