Basil Smotherman is not the only player returning from a year of redshirt exile. Former walk-on (Now on scholarship!) Jon McKeeman missed all of last season after offseason surgery and gets to come back as a fifth-year senior and the longest tenured player on the entire roster.
Jon McKeeman – Sr. (5)
Fort Wayne, IN (Carroll HS)
6’1”, 190 pounds
2016-17 Projection: Deep Reserve
With a degree already in hand in movement and sport sciences McKeeman’s reward for banging it the last four years as a walk-on is a free year of graduate school. He is seeking his masters in health & kinesiology, so hopefully he will be the scientist that offers a breakthrough towards the first ACL-tear-resistant knee.
As far as his on the court career goes, he has played a grand total of 23 minutes in 11 games. He made his debut against Western Illinois in 2012-13, playing one minute in the CBI victory as his only action as a true freshman. The next two years he earned academic Big Ten honors while getting a handful of garbage time minutes. He scored the only five points of his career to date in a 109-73 win over Central Connecticut State. He also added two rebounds in that game.
We likely won’t see a lot of McKeeman this year. Even in the exhibition win over Southern Indiana he played just two minutes. Still, he will be an important practice player and hey, free grad school!