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Isaac Bonton undecided about return next season

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The senior has the opportunity to play another season in Pullman. But will he?

NCAA Basketball: Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

During Kyle Smith’s press conference on Tuesday, we learned two important things about Isaac Bonton. First, both he (ankle) and Ryan Rapp (leg) will travel to Arizona for the team’s three-game road trip this weekend and both have a chance to play Thursday against Arizona.

Second, there is still a chance the senior will return for a victory lap in Pullman next year.

Bonton was given the senior day experience Saturday in Pullman before the team’s game against Stanford. Later that weekend, he took to Instagram to thank the WSU community for the support.

Even as a senior, Bonton has the opportunity to return for an extra year of eligibility. Bu, a lot of fans took that post to mean that Bonton was wrapping up his time with the Cougs. His head coach Kyle Smith, however, says that’s not necessarily the case, adding that he didn’t think the post was meant as a goodbye, just as a general thank you to the fans.

“I think he’s taking it day-by-day,” Smith said during his weekly press conference. “His parents were in town, so we chatted a little bit about it. If it’s the right decision to go and earn a living playing, that’s great, but we want to make sure it’s the right one. Obviously, we’d welcome him back.”

Of course, Smith wants his leading scorer to make his return, not just for the Cougs but he wants Bonton to get more of the college experience. Smith points out that he missed most of his freshman season at Montana State due to injuries and says next season could be the send off Bonton deserves.

“I think we have a chance to be really good either way,” Smith said. “My pitch is to get him back, put him in front of fans. Maybe we could be a pretty good postseason team and I’ll lobby to get him a banner one day, if that’s what it takes.”

Whether Bonton decides to return for the 2021-22 season or not, the Cougs are hoping to end the season on a high note. They just hope he’ll be able to return to the court to experience it. We’ll have to wait and see if Bonton is able to return to action Thursday night when WSU visits Arizona at 8 p.m. on FS1.

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