John Heisler | February 17, 2017
There's a line from one of the songs in the hit movie musical "La La Land" that goes, "And here's to the fools who dream, crazy as they may seem."
Maybe there have been some college hoops observers who have been humming those lyrics in their head, wondering how in the world a 6-5, 225-pounder like Notre Dame junior Bonzie Colson could ever survive--much less prosper--while spending most of his time operating around the lane for the Irish men's basketball team.
But Notre Dame coach Mike Brey is looking awfully prescient these days after Colson contributed 27 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots against Wake Forest last week and then followed that performance with another bonanza--33 points and 13 rebounds in a Saturday victory over 14 th-rated Florida State, then atop the Atlantic Coast Conference standings. All that combined to earn Colson the ACC Basketball Player of the Week honor today--and NCAA.com named him to its five-player All-Week team.
Colson leads the ACC with 16 double-doubles (nine in conference play) this season. He also paces the ACC in rebounding (10.8) and has six 20/10 games this year (tied for best in the league). No player near Colson's size has led the league in rebounding since 6-6 Pete Brennan did it for North Carolina in 1958.
The Irish today stand as the 20th-ranked team in the USA Today poll of coaches with a smallish starting lineup featuring senior wings Steve Vasturia (6-6) and V.J. Beachem (6-8)--both more comfortable at the three-point line than in the paint--while Colson does all the dirty work inside, generally with great success and often against defenders multiple inches taller than he is.