Notre Dame forward Bonzie Colson announced Monday that he is returning for his senior season.
The All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-teamer had the option of testing the NBA waters without hiring an agent, which V.J. Beachem did last summer. But Colson — who led the Irish in scoring (17.8 ppg) and rebounds (10.1 rpg) — will not do so, opting to not go through the pro workouts.
“After a lot of discussion with my family and Coach (Mike) Brey about possibly entering the NBA Draft this season, I have decided to pursue my dream of earning a degree from the University of Notre Dame and return for my final year of eligibility,” Colson said in a statement.
“I promised myself and my family when I committed to Notre Dame that I would earn a degree from the University and help lead the program to new heights. Returning to play another season with my brothers and the possibility of hanging more banners in Purcell Pavilion and establishing ourselves as one of the best teams in program history is an opportunity of a lifetime.”
With Colson's return, the Irish bring back their top guard and forward from last year's team that finished 26-10 and went to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Point guard Matt Farrell will run the show, with Colson anchoring the post.
“It is exciting to know that Bonzie will be back for his final season,” Brey said in a statement. “He has an opportunity to finish his career as one of the best to take the court here and I am impressed with the way he has handled this decision.”
Notre Dame provided a list of honors that Colson achieved in 2016-17:
• Associated Press All-American, Third Team
• The Sporting News All-American, Third Team
• Basketball Times All-American, Second Team
• College Sports Madness All-American, Third Team
• All-ACC First Team Selection
• ACC All-Tournament Team, First Team
• Karl Malone Trophy Finalist (Top PF in the nation)
• Wooden Award Final 15 Selection
• Naismith Award Top 30
• Naismith Award Player of the Week (Feb. 14, 2017)
• USBWA Oscar Robertson Player of the Week (Feb. 14, 2017)
• CollegeInsider.com Lute Olson Player of the Week (Feb. 13, 2017)
• NCAA.com All-Week Team (Feb. 13, 2017)
• College Sports Madness National and ACC Player of the Week (Feb. 13, 2017)
• NBC College Basketball Talk National Player of the Week (Feb. 13, 2017)
• ACC Player of the Week (Feb. 13, 2017)
• ACC Player of the Week (Dec. 5, 2016)