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MSU basketball player-by-player breakdown: The walk-ons

I’ve gone through the names you know from the Spartans’ roster. Now, let’s take a look at four players outside the spotlight who are unheralded-yet-key components of MSU’s program – Dan Chapman, recently granted a scholarship by coach Tom Izzo, and walk-ons Trevor Bohnhoff, Keenan Wetzel and Colby Wollenman.

PLAYER: Dan Chapman

NUMBER: 40

POSITION: Combo guard

CLASS: Senior

HOMETOWN/HIGH SCHOOL: Okemos/Okemos HS

HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-3, 190

2012-13 TOTALS: 11 games, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3-point, 2 rebounds, 10 minutes

Before practices began, Izzo awarded the Okemos grad with a scholarship for his commitment to the program as a scout team player for three years. Chapman is another smart student on the court and in the classroom – he’s a physiology major who’s enrolled in MSU’s Honors College. The former Chieftain is a two-time recipient of the Tim Bograkos Walk-On Award and has played in 31 minutes in 30 games over his first three years on the team.

“Chapman is my resident unbelievable pet,” Izzo said. “He’s done a great job on the scout team. I see him doing that this year. I wouldn’t trade him for the world.”

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PLAYER: Trevor Bohnhoff

NUMBER: 13

POSITION: Small forward

CLASS: Sophomore

HOMETOWN/HIGH SCHOOL: Saginaw/Nouvel Catholic HS

HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-7, 215

2012-13 TOTALS: 4 games, 1 point, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 1-2 FT, 3 minutes

The pre-med student made the Spartans after walk-on tryouts last fall, serving as a scout team player who mimicked opponents in practice. He’s planning to major in human biology. His shining moment in green and white came when he got into MSU’s blowout home victory over Michigan, when Bohnhoff banked in a free throw for his only point of the season.

“Trev works hard,” junior guard Travis Trice said. “There’s been some days where he’s really hurt us when he’s been on the scout team, he’s getting offensive rebounds. But I mean, he’s a really smart guy, I think he’s pre-med too. He keeps the locker room alive. He’s a fun guy to talk to, fun guy to be around.”

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PLAYER: Keenan Wetzel

NUMBER: 15

POSITION: Shooting guard

CLASS: Redshirt junior

HOMETOWN/HIGH SCHOOL: Monroe/St. Mary Catholic Central HS

HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-4, 210

2012-13 TOTALS: 10 games, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 0-2 3-pointers, 7 minutes

Wetzel is a hard-working preferred walk-on who transferred to MSU from Valparaiso two years ago. Coach Tom Izzo has likened him to other tough-nosed walk-ons such as Tim Bograkos, Mike Kebler and Austin Thornton.

“Wetzel has made significant improvement in his game. He shooting the ball well, his whole body has changed,” Izzo said. “He’s a kid that probably could have played at a low Division I school. Now, just because of solid work, he is right with Denzel (Valentine) and Gary (Harris) in there every day. I don’t know what’s going to happen with him. But when you see him, you’re gonna think, ‘Wow, this kid’s improved.’”

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PLAYER:  Colby Wollenman

NUMBER: 41

POSITION: Small forward

CLASS: Redshirt sophomore

HOMETOWN/HIGH SCHOOL: Big Horn, Wyo./Big Horn HS

HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-7, 225

2012-13 TOTALS: Did not play (redshirted)

Izzo gave the hard-working Wollenman a redshirt last season after he played in nine games as a freshman. Also a high school football and soccer star in Wyoming, he is a grinding practice player who also is a top-notch performer in the classroom – another pre-med student who is majoring in physiology. Izzo said Wolleman and Wetzel could get some playing time “under certain circumstances.”

“I redshirted Colby last year for a reason. Our staff loved him so much. They said, ‘This kid should redshirt instead of playing a few minutes here and there,’” Izzo said. “As the years go on, the kid’s improved. He’s improved his shot.”

PREVIOUS PLAYER PROFILES

0 Russell Byrd

2 Alex Gauna

3 Alvin Ellis

5 Adreian Payne

10 Matt Costello

11 Keith Appling

14 Gary Harris

20 Travis Trice

22 Branden Dawson

30 Kenny Kaminski

34 Gavin Schilling

45 Denzel Valentine

PHOTO GALLERY

Quick hits from Tom Izzo on the Spartans.

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3 Responses to MSU basketball player-by-player breakdown: The walk-ons

  1. avatar Chet Bartels says:

    No comment about Schilling other than that he was in high school with Ellis. Is’nt he on scholarship too?

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