As an athletic program, Notre Dame can’t seem to have nice things. One day after the football team put the cap on a successful 10-3 season, news came out that basketball star Bonzie Colson would be out for 8 weeks. Colson will undergo surgery for a stress fracture in his foot. Colson suffered the injury in practice.
Senior All-American Bonzie Colson to miss eight weeks after suffering a left foot fracture in practice this week.
— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) January 2, 2018
The news is a difficult blow for the 11-3 Irish, who just started their ACC campaign with a 68-59 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday. They will be without Colson for about the rest of the regular season. Colson may be ready to return at the beginning of March. The ACC tournament starts March 6th.
Statistically, Colson is Notre Dame’s leading scorer, averaging 21.4 points per game. He’s also their leading rebounder (10.4 per game) and their leader in blocks (2.4). A senior, Colson figured to be in the running for ACC and National Player of the Year.
Fortunately, Notre Dame has some experience that will help pad the loss of Colson. Point Guard Matt Farrell is as good as it gets and Rex Pflueger is battle-tested, as well.
The Irish will likely look to the aforementioned players to cover Colson’s scoring and rebounding load, while youngsters like DJ Harvey and Elijah Burns figure to see more time to help carry the load.
The ACC will be a grueling challenge for the Irish without Colson. If the Irish are able to manage the schedule, they can still qualify for the NCAA Tournament–albeit as a lesser seed–when Colson could return for a tournament run.
The Irish entered the year projected to finish 3rd in the ACC behind North Carolina and Duke. Without Colson, the harsh reality is that the Irish should hope for a .500 record in ACC play if they want to find themselves in the top 68 come March.