Performance Review: Colby Wollenman

Impact Izzone will be handing out performance reviews for each Spartan in the following weeks. The series will start with the freshmen and move up the classes. Stay tuned for the rest of our grades! Check out Gavin Schilling’s’ performance review here.

2015-16 stats: 6.2 mins, 1.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 54.2% FG, 73.3% FT

Blake Froling:

If nothing else, Colby is the smartest player Tom Izzo has had in years. Wollenman will be attending medical school next year instead of playing in the pros, but his impact on the court is not to be overlooked.

Although he played a limited role for the Spartans, he made those limited minutes count. During the Big Ten Championship Game against Purdue, Wollenman had his number called early on when forward Matt Costello got into foul trouble. The Boilermakers touted one of the most formidable frontlines in the NCAA, but Wollenman wasn’t phased. He played solid defense on the seven-footers and scored five points to go along with four rebounds. That was all MSU could ask of him.

More than anything, Wollenman was a mentor for the younger players, especially Deyonta Davis. The impact he made off the court could never be fully quantified.

Final Grade: B


Davey Segal:

The stats won’t show it, but Colby Wollenman’s leadership was unmatched on Michigan State’s roster this past season. Imagine being at a Big Ten school, with pride flowing through the streets and being on the basketball team, playing for a Hall of Famer in Tom Izzo.

However, you know that you’re not a star player, like your fellow seniors Denzel Valentine or Bryn Forbes. Instead, you’re applying to medical school to continue your career. Oh, and by the way, you have to attend mandatory practices, meetings and are traveling constantly. As stated in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, “sounds like a lot of ‘hooplah’, right?”

As Blake said, Wollenman’s big moment was against Purdue, where he only scored five points. But he kept the game close during a pivotal juncture, knowing that he was at a disadvantage in almost every category on paper. The sample size is small, but Wollenman’s ability to lead by example, on and off the court, was underappreciated in East Lansing.

Final Grade: B-


Ryan Cole:

Colby Wollenman could not top his breakout junior season, but he still provided a key component to Michigan State’s 2015-16 season. After getting passed up on the depth chart by a number of rising, younger forwards like Deyonta Davis and Kenny Goins, the former walk-on acted with the class, dignity and grace you would expect from a future doctor. He never let the slight hurt the team’s chemistry, which has been one of the most underrated aspects of Tom Izzo’s last two Spartan squads.

While he never really offered much in the way of athleticism, Wollenman has always played smart basketball when called upon in his career. This season, even though he played less minutes than the previous year, he proved to be a mentor to the players who passed him by, most notably Davis, who became an NBA draft pick. Even though Davis had all the athleticism in the world, Wollenman helped him throughout the season with the mental aspects of the game.

It’s no secret around East Lansing that Izzo will miss Wollenman, and once you dive deeper into the Wyoming native’s story, it becomes quite obvious why he will be missed. No matter how frustrating it must have been for Wollenman to see his minutes dwindle, he provided critical senior leadership in his final season as a Spartan.

Final Grade: C+


David Manion:

The Doctor is in the house! Colby Wollenman may have not been the fastest or strongest player on the court, but he was definitely the smartest. He graduated with a 3.9 GPA with a pre-medical major, pursuing to become a doctor in the medical field. He has received many letters of interest, including two top-five medical schools: Harvard and Washington University in St. Louis.

The Wyoming native arrived in East Lansing his Freshman year not even intending to play Division one basketball. He did participate in open tryouts for MSU basketball. He thought he had no chance, but Tom Izzo thought otherwise. Izzo loved his intensity and his stingy defense.

Wollenman admitted that shooting was definitely not his strong suit. He did improve with his shooting form when he received playing time late in games when blowing out the other team. But it’s his leadership and defense that are his biggest strengths. His mental game and ability to showcase a swat fest in the interior proved him as an asset.

His play was without a doubt undervalued by Spartan Nation. There’s more ways than one when it comes to delivering positive contributions. And for Colby, it was his intelligence and vocal aspect that made him a very special player.

Final Grade: B-