Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball fans got some pretty devastating news this evening, as preseason ACC Player of the Year and All-American BONZIE COLSON has fractured his left foot and will be sidelined for the next 8 weeks.
COLSON suffered the fracture during practice this week, and is set for surgery on his foot this Thursday, January 4th.
Mike Brey said on the unfortunate injury to the Irish’s best player: “We are all feeling for Bonzie right now, who was performing as well as any player in the country. We need to embrace this challenge. This program has lost key guys before and we figured out a way to earn an NCAA bid.”
The Fighting Irish just began conference play with a 68-59 win on Saturday against Georgia Tech — a game in which BONZIE COLSON scored 22 points and pulled down 17 rebounds. COLSON was averaging 21.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, which were 1st and 2nd in the ACC, respectively.
It will be interesting to see how the 11-3 team responds to this and how they plan to compete in the ACC without COLSON, considering how important he is to the offense and to rebounding.
Young forwards John Mooney and Elijah Burns will certainly see more time down low, and young wings DJ Harvey and Nikola Djogo will likely be asked to chip in a little more scoring to try to make up for COLSON’s huge absence.
The Irish were looking like a bubble team with COLSON in the lineup, so it will be perhaps Mike Brey’s best coaching job yet if this team is able to win enough ACC games to make the tournament. The team will need to band together similarly to the ND team in 2009-2010, which lost Luke Harangody but was able to rally for a tourney bid.
If not, it will be a sad ending to a storied career for COLSON, as he would probably not come back until postseason play based on the timeline provided by Notre Dame — which could mean the NIT if the team doesn’t find a way to play without its star.