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Men’s Basketball

Bonzie Colson to return for senior season

| Monday, April 10, 2017

Fresh off a first-team all-ACC season where he averaged a double-double, junior forward Bonzie Colson announced Monday that he would return to Notre Dame for his senior season.

“After a lot of discussion with my family and [head coach Mike Brey] about possibly entering the NBA Draft this season, I have decided to pursue my dream of earning a degree from the University of Notre Dame and return for my final year of eligibility,” Colson said in a tweet. “I promised myself and my family when I committed to Notre Dame that I would earn a degree from the University and help lead the program to new heights. Returning to play another season with my brothers and the possibility of hanging more banners in Purcell Pavilion and establishing ourselves as one of the best teams in program history is an opportunity of a lifetime.”

Irish junior forward Bonzie Colson implores the Irish crowd to cheer during Notre Dame’s 83-71 loss to West Virginia on Saturday at KeyBank Arena.Michael Yu | The Observer

Irish junior forward Bonzie Colson implores the Irish crowd to cheer during Notre Dame’s 83-71 loss to West Virginia on Saturday at KeyBank Arena.

Colson’s usage rate increased dramatically during the 2016-17 season, and his stat lines progressed to reflect that; he averaged 17.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, both team highs, as he stretched his game behind the 3-point arc, shooting 26-for-60 (43.3 percent) on the season from deep. Colson signed off the 2016-17 campaign with a 27-point performance in the second round NCAA tournament loss to West Virginia, shooting 10-for-15 from the field including a 4-of-5 night from deep.

“It is exciting to know that Bonzie will be back for his final season,” Brey said in a release. “He has an opportunity to finish his career as one of the best to take the court here and I am impressed with the way he has handled his decision.”

Due to new rules implemented a year ago, Colson could have declared for the NBA Draft without hiring an agent — as forward V.J. Beachem did after last season — and received feedback and maintained his eligibility. Colson, however, opted not to go down that path.

In Colson’s three years, the Irish have gone a combined 82-28, with an ACC championship and two Elite Eights on the resume. If Notre Dame wins 16 or more games next year, Colson and his classmates will stand alone as the all-time winningest class in school history.

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