Notre Dame Basketball

INTEL: Should Bonzie Colson Return?

February 13, 2018

Notre Dame All-American Bonzie Colson broke his foot in December and has been on an eight-week timetable to return. The date is quickly approaching as the Irish try to make a final push to get to the NCAA Tournament. 

Head coach Mike Brey has been adamant about not playing Colson before he’s ready to play as he is watching out for his NBA future. 

“The one thing I told him and his father, we will never rush this guy back,” Brey said in January. “I’m very sensitive to his NBA auditions and being healthy and fresh for those. If he doesn’t come back, he doesn’t come back.” 

Colson will get an X-ray on Wednesday, and it could determine his future in an Irish uniform. 

“If Wednesday’s X-ray is a thumbs up, we’re going to let him jog and move a little bit and start bringing him back,” explained Brey. “He really wants to come back and play. I’m going to be the guy that’s going to be the voice of reason on being conservative. I don’t want to bring him back too soon. I don’t want a risk of a re-injury and where are we in the midst of things?

“The pure part of it, he just wants to play with his teammates again. That may be cool no matter where we are in things. I know he’s been frustrated, but we’ll cross that bridge in maybe two weeks.” 

We caught up with an NBA source to get a feel of what Colson should do when it comes to his future. 

“With him being a senior, the NBA knows what he has to offer,” stated the source. “The chance to make the NCAA Tournament, make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament and play well in the NCAA Tournament can lift a guy’s stock a lot. 

“It’s a national stage. General Managers start to pay attention in March. If he can come back and somehow propel Notre Dame to the NCAA Tournament, it can go a long way in helping his draft stock rise. 

“If he comes back and doesn’t play well, I don’t think it will hurt him that much.” 

The source also felt the NBA wants to see him compete if he is healthy enough to play.

“He’s a senior and a competitor,” stated the source. “His biggest asset is how much of a competitor he is, and if he didn’t come back and he had the ability to play, I think that may raise some questions.

“You want to see a guy compete, especially a guy like Bonzie. If there is no risk of injury or injuring it again, there isn’t a reason for him to not come back.” 

In most NBA mock drafts, Colson is a late second-round pick, and our source doesn’t see that changing too much unless Notre Dame gets on a magical March run and the All-American is the catalyst behind it. 

“He’s probably a mid-second round guy,” the source said. “He’s a could be a late 30’s or a high 40’s pick. If Notre Dame can somehow make a crazy Final Four run and Bonzie is averaging 20 and 10 or putting up monster numbers on national TV, who knows at that point.” 

As for life in the NBA, the source feels Colson can definitely find a role, and it will come down to his three-point shot. 

“I see him as an NBA three,” said the source. “He’s long and big enough to play the three. He can guard players at the three in the NBA. He needs to find a spot where he is a guy that can run the floor and grab a bunch of rebounds every night. 

“He needs to make corner threes and stretch the floor.” 

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