Bonzie Colson Jr. was the player of the year in Rhode Island last season as a junior, but not many basketball people could tell you much about him, even after he won the award. Those who did know Colson knew him as "Bonzie's kid," as his father - Bonzie Colson Sr. - was a star center at Rhode Island back in the day. But Bonzie Jr. was only 6-5, and he was an old-school power forward (none of this stretch-4 nonsense), so at best he seemed destined for a mid-major.
Then, this summer, EYBL happened. "EYBL" stands for Elite Youth Basketball, and is a Nike AAU league. Colson played for the Boston Area Athletic Club, which has a pretty serious reputation. The most recent bigs they've featured have been Nerlens Noel, Georges Niang, and Alex Oriakhi. Against some of the best players in the nation Colson was the most efficient player on the court. That's how this undersized 4 ended up getting visits to three high majors: Pitt, FSU, and Notre Dame.
Without sugar coating anything, Colson is an very undersized, 3*power forward. And he doesn't make up for his lack of size with explosive athleticism. He's just a 6-5 kid who has somehow figured out how to score against much bigger players. To build on that skill he also plays hard. He boxes out. He makes great passes from the post.
If he picks Notre Dame (more on this later) then the majority of FSU fans who even noticed in the first place will say "oh well" and move on. FSU is a football school, and while 3* recruits are fine, it's nothing to get upset about. Besides, FSU has a game vs No. 25 Maryland at noon today, so why the hell are we yammering about basketball?
If you pay attention to (football) recruiting, then you know that every 3* recruit has at least one booster on the message board who is claiming that their recruit was grossly underrated by the services. Scooter Haggins. Nigel Terrell. Trey Pettis. Go back and look at the threads - all of them had a few people pronouncing them the next star.
But with basketball, and with Colson - I'm now telling you that he's THAT guy. Of all the 3* recruits in the nation, he's the one the "experts" have completely whiffed on. Mike Brey, Leonard Hamilton, and Jamie Dixon all know this, which is why the three coaches synonymous with making a living on identifying underrated 3* players have all made him a priority.
Unfortunately for Jamie Dixon, Colson Jr. eliminated Pitt on Wednesday. Now he's set to announce between Notre Dame and FSU.
Notre Dame - which has been on him longer than any other high major program - has long been considered the lock. And I was sure enough of this lock that I didn't bother posting a story after he eliminated Pitt and announced that he was ready to make his choice, potentially as early as Thursday. But now it's been 3 days and he still hasn't committed to Notre Dame.
Do I still think he ends up with the Irish? Yes.
Am I getting my hopes up anyway? Yes.
Regardless, we'll know soon.
Go Noles. Crush the Terps.