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Bonzie Colson set to return for Senior Night

| Wednesday, February 28, 2018

After senior point guard Matt Farrell’s heroic performance against Wake Forest this past weekend, the Irish will return home, hoping to pick up a win on Senior Night against Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The biggest news of the game will be the return of senior forward Bonzie Colson, who has missed the last 15 games due to a broken left foot.

Sarah Olson | The Observer

Irish senior forward Bonzie Colson takes a jump shot during Notre Dame’s 88-62 win over Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 13, 2017 at Purcell Pavilion.

Irish head coach Mike Brey believes Colson’s return will be a pick-up for the team and the crowd.

“His strength numbers and range of motion numbers are better,” Brey said. “They are not where they were at in late December, and we want to be smart . . . but he has been doing a lot of individual stuff with coach [Ryan] Humphrey, different things with [director of strength and conditioning] Tony [Rolinski], jumping on that leg and getting that thing conditioned again. We’ll try a little five [on] five and see how he feels.

“ … His teammates are really anxious and want him back for the psychological pick up. … Love to get back to it this season, even if it’s 10 to 15 minutes, I think it can help overall energy and confidence.”

Colson said he can’t wait for Senior Night.

“I’ve been waiting for it, and I’ve been really eager, but I’m still being patient and trying to wait until I am ready to play,” Colson said. “I’m getting there, but it’s going to be a special moment with Senior Night. My family will be here who has supported me and been with me through out the ups and downs with my career. I’m excited for it and it will be an exciting opportunity for all of us.”

As the team approaches the last regular season home game, Brey said he is grateful for the seniors’ contributions, and they should not take their work over the past four seasons for granted.

“I had Bonzie and Matt [Farrell], I had them in my office on Tuesday, and I said ‘you guys have been spoiled,’ really,” Brey said. “There’s not a lot of college players that play in the tournament four out of four years. They’ve earned it, those guys have been part of spoiling themselves and spoiling all of us. You look at their run and I think it’s very fitting that they are the all-time winningest class. I have a lot of respect for them for how they have hung in there this year, with some of their comrades in their senior class not available at times. They’ve continued to help set the tone, help us plugging and help younger guys in the program feel that we still have a chance.”

Although the team has suffered without Colson, Brey said senior forward Martinas Geben has stepped up his game, and hopefully Colson and Geben can work in tandem upon Colson’s return.

“I’ve been thrilled with him this year,” Brey said. “For Geben to step in with Bonzie out and to be doing what he is doing — I think he’s the best candidate for most improved in this league . . . [Geben and Colson] played pretty darn well together in Maui [Hawaii]. I don’t want to overanalyze or overreach it, but he needs to continue to stay confident and we are going to throw to him at post to score. Bonzie can play off of him and post some. Maybe we’ll show some film of them from November.”

With the Irish currently being the “Next Four Out” in the NCAA tournament according to ESPN’s bracketology, Brey said he is still optimistic about the post season.

“I think what happened, and there’s certainly more work to be done, but when you lose seven in a row and there’s no Bonzie Colson, I don’t think people look at our numbers as much,” Brey said. “Our BPI and our numbers, all that stuff, when you get to the 10, 11 and 12 seeds they all have a lot of warts. Guilty as charged, we do too, but we have something going for us. I’m not squinting as hard as I was in Boston, but I’m still squinting.”

Excited to eventually put his jersey back on, Colson has trusted Brey’s outlook the past three years and will continue to do so for the rest of the season.

“All thanks to God, we just worked, we kept grinding and we got better each year. Getting better, trusting Coach Brey, playing like we have nothing to lose and playing like that every game. … We’ve had a lot of these state of the union talks, thats what he calls it,” he said. “They’re real and there are no shortcuts. He tells us what it is and we take that on our own. We listen to him and know we got to perform and do well on the court to get where we want to be.”

About Meagan Bens

Meagan is a junior Visual Communication Design major and Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy minor living in Lyons Hall. She serves as a sports writer and hails from the suburbs of Chicago.

Contact Meagan