Tuesday’s trip Boston College will be a reunion of sorts for Notre Dame.
Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week Bonzie Colson, a native of New Bedford, Mass., will be playing in front of friends and family when the Irish square off against the Eagles (7 p.m./ESPNU).
Colson’s father, Bonzie Colson II, was an assistant under former BC head coach Al Skinner for nine years. Colson II, who was a standout at Rhode Island, is now the coach at New Bedford High. During Colson’s freshman season, he scored 16 points in 14 minutes off the bench at Boston College. Last year he tallied 16 points at BC in a blowout win.
“Getting to play at home in front of my friends and family is always something that everybody likes to do and marks on the calendar,” Colson said. “My dad used to be a coach there, me playing in the arena when I was younger always in there and around the team was something that I remember.”
The fanfare of a homecoming hasn’t seemed to affect the 6-foot-5 forward, now a star for the Irish (19-7, 8-5).
“I’ve always worried about bringing a guy home, but he’s just delivered,” head coach Mike Brey said.
Former Notre Dame standouts Zach Auguste and Demetrius Jackson — now playing professionally — are also expected to be in attendance at Conte Forum for the game, Brey said Monday.
Brey said he’s exchanged text messages with Auguste and Jackson in the lead up to Tuesday’s game. Auguste is on break from his Turkish pro team and will be back home in Cambridge, Mass. Jackson is currently playing for the D-League’s Maine Red Claws.
“As Zach said, ‘Can’t wait to hang with my ND family,’” Brey said.
Auguste is a starting forward for Muratbey Uşak Sportif, averaging 13.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 24.0 minutes a game.
Jackson, drafted in the second round by the Boston Celtics in June, is averaging 16.1 points, 5.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 22 games for the Red Claws.
Brey said Auguste and Jackson, as well as fellow former Irish stars Pat Connaughton (Portland Trailblazers) and Jerian Grant (Chicago Bulls), are keeping close tabs on this year’s Notre Dame team, led by seniors V.J. Beachem and Steve Vasturia, a nucleus that led the Irish to back-to-back Elite Eights the past two years.
“They’re really excited,” Brey said. “They’re really excited for V.J. and Steve. Demetrius is really excited for (junior guard) Matt Farrell. He always had respect for him because they used to go at it and he loved playing with him during that run last year. I know he’s stayed in touch with him personally as well as V.J.”
Farrell said he and Jackson frequently text about the other’s performances.
“He texts me after games and I’m texting him after his games,” said Farrell, who shared the starting lineup with Jackson during last year’s NCAA Tournament. “It’s an awesome relationship that I’ve built with him. I’m lucky to even come here and build a relationship with a kid like that.
“Just a great kid. I know he’s proud of me, he knows I’m proud as hell of him. He’s got a bright future.”