Spike Albrecht to Michigan

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Michigan didn’t wait long to add a point guard to the roster after the news broke that, barring a change of heart, Trey Burke was likely headed to the NBA. Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.) point guard Spike Albrecht took an official visit to Michigan on Thursday and, as confirmed by his coach, he made his commitment official after receiving an offer from Michigan head coach John Beilein. The Wolverine staff had been recruiting the under the radar guard for the last month and the prep point guard will add an option to a Wolverine backcourt lacking depth.

Video, scouting and analysis after the jump. 

Basics

Michael “Spike” Albrecht is listed at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds on the NMH official roster. He averaged 9.3 points, 6.9 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game this season while connecting on 32 percent of his three point attempts and helping NMH to the NEPSAC Class AAA Championship.

Albrecht is Michigan’s fourth commitment in the class of 2012, joining Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stuaskas.

Albrecht is not ranked by any major scouting services and his recruitment boiled down to Michigan and Appalachian State as well as handful Ivy League options.

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Scouting

There isn’t a lot of scouting information on Albrecht on the internet but he began to open some eyes in the final month of the season with his strong performances in the NEPSAC playoffs. Here’s a recap of Albrecht’s tournament run which ended up with him being named Most Valuable Player of one of the top prep leagues in the country:

Albrecht’s MVP run: It was quite the week for the post graduate from Indiana. Albrecht scored a team-high 23 points to go along with six assists and two steals en route to being named tournament MVP.

“We knew we deserved this one but we had to go out there and earn it,” said Albrecht. “I am glad for my teammates, my classmates and all of our coaches.”
Albrecht also had a huge game in the semi-final upset win over Brewster as he scored 16 points and five of his team’s nine points in overtime.

We got a hold of Adam Finkelstein from the New England Recruiting Report and he provided this scouting report on Albrecht:

He’s an old-school style pass first point guard.  He’s very cerebral with a high basketball I.Q.  His best physical attribute is his endurance – he can play all day – but he isn’t especially explosive.  He’s a threat with the three-point line but not a great shooter.  He takes care of the ball, makes very good decisions, and knows how to run a team.

Earlier in March, Finkelstein published a similar report at ESPN after watching Albrecht in the NEPSAC AAA Championship game, noting that he was one of the surprise players of the event.

Albrecht showed great resiliency and endurance, playing all 40 minutes of an incredibly hard fought AAA final and serving as the team’s primary ballhandler from start to finish. He was at his best down the stretch, knocking down a deep 3-pointer and two clutch free throws in the game’s final 30 seconds. Albrecht is a cerebral point guard who is super crafty inside and is especially adept at keeping his dribble.

In the NEPSAC AAA Semifinals, Albrecht was instrumental in propelling NMH to an upset win over previously undefeated Brewster Academy:

Big Spike Albrecht was able to score 5 of his team’s nine points in overtime, not because he is a scoring assassin, or has to prove to scouts that he will perform for them because they’ve committed resources to his future, but because he has a big heart. Albrecht was willing to sacrifice his body in the lane, was able to drown out the noise from the crowd as well as that little voice of doubt that rings whenever a pressure situation pressure situation presents itself, and come through for his team when they needed him to.

“It was nice,” said Albrecht of being fouled and having a chance to shoot uncontested shots. “I always enjoy going to the line at the end of the game. I pride myself on making free throws because that’s what wins games.”

Video

2011-2012 NMH Highlights

Game Highlights vs. St. Thomas Moore, (#3) 18 points, 10 assists and 4 rebounds

2010 Crown Point/AAU Footage

NEPSAC Playoff Interview


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Fit

Michigan is in the unenviable position of having to scramble to find a point guard sooner than later. Albrecht isn’t the highest rated point guard on the board but he has the makings of a solid fit for the Wolverines. That’s not to say he’ll be Michigan’s starting point guard or be a 30 minute per game answer, but he should find a niche given the talent around him.

Michigan has a wealth of front court options on next year’s roster including Tim Hardaway Jr., Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III among others. Most of those players are the type that need someone to get them the ball in the right spots rather than primary ball handlers. Michigan doesn’t need a point guard that will 15 shots a game, it needs someone that can distribute offensive opportunities among the other four players on the court. Albrecht could be that guy.

With Darius Morris and Trey Burke, Michigan relied on a point guard that dominated the ball for much of the last two seasons. That recipe worked well, but it’s not the only way to play basketball. John Beilein’s “two guard” offense was originally designed as an evolutionary measure for one of Beilein’s early teams that didn’t have a true point guard. It’s significantly different than what we’ve seen over the last two seasons, but it’s an adaption that Michigan’s coaches will have to make to survive.

If Burke were to return, Albrecht would be a perfect candidate to back him up at the point guard position for 5 to 10 minutes per game.

Albrecht has ties to two of Michigan’s most fertile recruiting territories: the region of Northwest Indiana and the New England Prep School league. He also played his grassroots basketball for the SYF Players, a team with strong Wolverine ties. Albrecht joins Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III and Max Bielfeldt as the fourth SYF player to commit to Michigan in the last two recruiting classes.

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Albrecht’s ties to the Michigan program go beyond his AAU connections. Spike’s father, Chuck, played Division II basketball at Purdue Calumet along with Zack Novak’s father, Dave. The relationship between the two families is detailed in this old NWI Times article from 2008 including a reference to Spike, a first grader at the time, playing against Novak’s AAU team. It’s safe the assume that Zack Novak (pictured to the right with Spike’s older brother and father) provided some input to John Beilein regarding Spike’s abilities.

  • Mpartington87

    Well, this provides some relief from the problems at hand. I think with a decent point guard we are still a sweet 16 team at the very least. We’re going to have some serious inside presence — simply need someone to distribute.

  • Paul

    I heard he ran the same offense in high school that Michigan now runs.  Is that true?  If so, that should give him a leg up for us

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UOPIDV6VFMTQRX3HOCWFWILYOI chris f

    So this article pretty much says Burke is gone does it not?

    • Sven187

       Not sure if that was their intent but that is how it reads.

    • Benny

      No. We needed another PG whetehr Burke stays or not.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/UOPIDV6VFMTQRX3HOCWFWILYOI chris f

        I’m just saying hints within the article, but yes we do need more ball handlers, I guess this kid can take Brundridges few minutes.

        • SamGoBlue

           I don’t think anyone, including Dylan, knows at this point if Burke is staying or going. The latest news is that after he was 100% set to go, he may have had a change of heart and is now re-considering the decision.

  • Flwolve

    Now Burke’s definitely headed to the league because he’ll be scared of losing his spot to Spike.

    • South Florida Maize Rage

      lol is this serious?

      • Flwolve

        Have u seen Spikes video?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/UOPIDV6VFMTQRX3HOCWFWILYOI chris f

          It’s really not that impressive, especially for a highlight video (you could easily assemble a video with Burke against D1 top notch schools in which he would look significantly better then Spike does against high schoolers), and I know people don’t like to take recruiting sites too seriously, but the fact he doesn’t have a single profile on any major site despite playing on a AAU team with two top 30 players is quite telling.

          • Flwolve

            Sarcasm doesn’t really come across well on a message board but the highlight video is extremely unimpressive. I would be stunned if Spike started next season and will be mildly surprised if he even plays significant minutes.  Maybe in a few years he could contribute but it would be very surprising to see a kid with his skillset playing a significant role as a freshman.  JMO, but this is Reed Baker all over again.

        • BigChet

          Its weird how nobody misses a shot or has a turnover in a 2 minute highlight video….Oh wait, that’s ’cause its a highlight video!

    • bensant

      I’m not sure which video you saw, but the one I saw he looked more than adequate.  He was hitting long 3′s, distributing the ball well, and driving and finishing against bigger, more athletic players.  No one’s saying he’s a 5 star recruit or will ever be our starting pt. guard, but to say you would be surprised if he even plays significant minutes or even contributes in a few years, is hard to believe.  You’re basically saying you know more than coach Beilein, and that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.  

      • Flwolve

        I think even JB would admit that this is kind of a reach scholarship.  There’s virtually nobody left out there so JB had to grab somebody.  Spike might be the best of a very, very limited pool of available players right now.  

    • P-nickel

      I doubt that

  • The old man

    From a basketball family, his  brother scrored 22 against Michigan State a couple of years ago while playing for Toledo

  • Colby84

    So does this affect Della Valle? I am hoping we find a more athletic guard to go along with Spike, we could use some explosiveness in the backcourt.

    That is if we take another guard, I am assuming Burke is gone.

    • Guest

      Even with Burke coming back, JB would still take ADV. He has more schollie to give and need more G on the roster.

      • Mr_Sledge

        I disagree.  Wait to see what Burke does and save the scholarship.  Unless we can get at least a 4* for 2012, I say we start playing for a high profile player in 2013.  I can easily see THJr/Burke gone after next season and if the hype is correct, I only see both McGary/Big Dog Jr here for two years.  We can’t afford to just be taking guys because we have scholarships.

        • Colby84

          I agree, ADV is not as intriguing now that we have Spoke. We need a defender and take it to the hoop guy who could play PG if possible to combine with Stauskas. Nigel Williams-Goss from Findlay Prep is considering Harvard and we should get in on him.

        • Guest

          GRIII is a one and done candidate as well as McGary if both has outstanding freshman year.  I am already counting THJ leaving after next season.  If Burke return, it’d be his last year at Michigan.  That’s 4 players.  ADV is worthy of a scholarship and other high major D1 schools are recruiting hard.  JB will take ADV even if Burke is coming back.

  • Wayman Britt

    Welcome Spike.  We all know Spike is not a H.S. All American or 5 star, but he does fit the needs of this team.  Currently we don’t need another high scoring player, not enough shots for everyone.  I don’t think Spike will mind if he isn’t getting his. 

    I just hope he can play some defense and is quick enough, looks like his handle and passing  is okay.  Remember a team needs role players. 

     

  • ChathaM

    I have no special insight, nor do I have a crystal ball that can predict how this will all play out. I just wanted to step back and discuss how utterly crazy this situation is…

    If we rewound things a year and a half, and said that Darius Morris would bolt to the pros after the season, but that his freshman replacement would help lead us to a share of a Big Ten championship, I don’t think many of us would have believed even that. Add to that, though, the rumours that our freshman PG was seriously considering bolting as well, and that we’d see things like a photo of our freshman PG’s dorm room as support that he’d be leaving…well, I don’t think that ANY of us would have believed that. Ah, but we aren’t done. Not one, not two, but three players would leave the team. But, that’s OK because we have such a huge influx of talent coming in, and we’d end up bringing in a pass-first PG to potentially replace our stud freshman, and distribute the ball to our talent-laden roster.

    I don’t know what all of this means, but I do know that this isn’t your big brother’s Michigan basketball program. I’m hoping that off-season craziness (but maybe not quite this crazy every off-season) is the mark not of a program in some disarray, but of a program which is growing so quickly that talent redistribution is necessary on a yearly basis. 

  • FLiPCiTyBLuE

    Good glue for the program with the addition of Spike. It would be fabulous if ADV also receives and accepts an offer to become Michigan’s 5th commit of 2012.  

  • MGoTweeter

    Welcome Spike!  Really happy to have this kid aboard as his offensive skill set is a great fit here.  Whether or not Trey goes pro, Michigan has plenty of talent to contend in the B1G and make a run in the tourney.  Definitely going to be more of a learning curve for next years team with all the new pieces coming in, but it’s a lot easier to learn when you have talent and the guys coming in have that in spades.  Hopefully Trey decides to stay but either way next season should be exciting.  

  • ForeverBlue

    I completely agree with the ball dominant PG play we’ve seen the past few years as being out of character for a JB coached team.  Beilein loves the kids who think the game so to read that Spike is a cerebral player is a plus.  If he can play some defense, he will be just fine as a fifth scoring option on a team with legit scorers all around him.

  • Dave P.

    Does anyone know the progress of Jordan Dumars?  I know he transfered into Michigan a couple years back, but have not heard a word about him since.  I always thought he was going to be a good fit, but maybe I based that on his dads talent.

    • Justingerstung

      Jordan dumars is no longer part of the program if I am correct. He transferred out last season. JB and his staff will get the most out of their talent if they come in with a good attitude. Trey or no Trey I give the staff credit for keeping positive an focused on what you can control.

      • sane1

        Dumars was a walk-on who was not expected to contribute significantly. Basketball-wise, the name was all he had in common with dad. He quit basketball due to injuries, but I believe that he is still a student at Michigan.

        • Dave P.

          Thanks for the info

  • Morga2aj

    Congrats Spike! Welcome to U of M! I think he will be a nice addition and provide some much needed depth and be the “pass first” gaurd that will distribute to the talented front court. Im real excited.

    Hey guys.. do u think there is any chance that Dennis Norfleet would maybe suit up for the hoops team after football season. Ive seen some of his highlights and he is pretty darn good. He was all area in detroit and he is a gaurd so that has to count for somethin. Would it be up to Brady Hoke?

  • FGCU Maize Rage

    In related news, ESPN bumped GRIII up to a 5-star on their final rankings, #18 overall FWIW. Looks like we finish 2012 with the best recruiting class in the B1G along with MSU and Indiana.

  • kainkitizen

    I have no issues having Spike, Commit.  He will be a fantastic PG in Coach’s system with the opportunity to have very highly skilled teammates to pass the ball too for scoring opportunities.  He will be a different pg to defend coming off the bench, hoping Trey stays.  It will be quite an adjustment for the defense to guard from trey being a scoring threat, to Spike being a pass-first PG.  Welcome to your new Home, Spike.

  • Bill

    Love his passing, put it where the guy will be not where he is. Excellent vision. Looks like a real point guard. Trey is not ready for NBA but if he goes good luck.

  • ChocoJoe

    How do you pronounce his last name?

    • A2JD

      I’m guessing ALL-breckt

  • GoHope4Tay

    I have been a faithful follower of this site for close to 3 years I believe, but till now i have only read others thoughts and opinions and never took the time to add my own. I was given the opportunity to play D3 basketball for 4 years and I can’t tell you how amazing it was and also how much I miss it. I say all this in hopes of giving my thoughts and opinions it least a little credibility :)

  • GoHope4Tay

    I can honestly say I didn’t see Trey Burke leaving after 1 year. My best friend who I’ve known since I was 5 (I’m 29) is a die hard Sparty and he mentioned the thought of Burke leaving after his 2nd year about a month prior to the Dance. My response was, “I can honestly see him staying all 4 years, so there is zero doubt in my mind he is back next year.” The reasons I felt that way were the fact he is considered right on the borderline of being too short of a PG  to have success in the NBA. Secondly, the maturity I saw him play with game in and game out led me to believe he was plenty smart enough to realize the cons far outweigh the pros if he left after year 1. Thirdly, while I do feel he had an incredible freshman year far surpassing anyones expectations of him, I strongly feel that the level of success he experienced had ALOT to do with the offense JB runs which catered to every one of his strengths. Had he played on nearly any other D1 team that doesn’t run an offense that spreads the floor giving him bigger than usual lanes to drive on his own or using a ball screen in the middle of the floor giving him the choice of either shooting, driving and/or penetrate n’ dish….he would not have had close to the success he had this year. I felt that his maturity and bball IQ would allow him to understand that unless he plays for the Suns and they run the same offense that they have run every year that Steve Nash has been there, he will struggle. 

    I hope so badly that Burke stays. I myself have played PG all my life and it was beyond a pleasure to watch TB play this last year. I grew up loving to watch Jalen play, could never get enough of seeing Earl Boykins play at EMU. I enjoyed for the most part watching Horton play…just think how much better Daniel Hortons numbers would have been if he played for JB in the last 2 years. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed watching TB play more than ALMOST any other player ever. Who’s my All-Time favorite you ask? Jason Williams :):) Mostly during his Sacramento days. I honestly could go to YOUTUBE and watch his highlights for hours on end. Im sure there are people who dislike him for more than a few reasons however I could never get enough of him. 

    sorry, back to topic….Hope to God TB stays cuz in my mind his success was a product of JB’s offense being perfect for him and he won’t find the same offense at the next level therefore making a mistake if he doesn’t stay. Just my two cents…sorry for the lengthy post, I had a lot on my mind :)

    - Wherever u go, GO BLUE!

    • MGoTweeter

      dont know that I am necessarily disagreeing with your point on Burke’s success in the offense, but in some ways I’m sure I am.  I think Burke would have been successful in almost any offense but he did thrive at times in Beilein’s suddenly point guard oriented offense.  However, he really only thrived at being a scorer.  Morris was far more successful at getting others involved and creating shots for other players.  Whereas Burke was much better than Morris at scoring off the pick and roll.

      In today’s college game, the pick and roll has become the primary play and most teams run some version of a spread look.  Some teams do it to spread the floor to get their bigs involved, while others are more similar to Michigan in terms of spreading the floor for their guards.  Duke is great example of a team where Burke would fit in perfectly.  Florida, Louisville, Missouri, Kansas are others.  So I don’t think Burke’s success was specifically just because of Beilein.  In a lot of ways I think the fast development of both Morris and Burke hurt the overall development of the Michigan offense.  Both of those guys were so good in the pick and roll game that often the Michigan offense just bogged down into a series of picks for the point guard while other players just watched.  I thought last season (2010-11), the team was better about running other stuff specifically iso’s for Th Jr, but still often failed to go to other options often enough.  This season, especially towards the end, the offense was terrible in that regard.  

      I love the fact that Beilein knows how to get his best players the ball in good situations, but I also hate the fact that too often it comes at the expense of exploring other options.  I wish the team would throw it into Morgan more often or let ball movement take over and look for back doors.  You can always go to the pick and roll at the end of the shot clock but I think that play took over too much early in the clock to the detriment of other options.  

      None of this is to say that I don’t want Burke back next year, just that I hope that the offense evolves and becomes more dynamic.  

      • GoHope4Tay

        MGoTweeter…all great points. I didn’t think about the offenses run by the teams that you mentioned, but you are right, TB’s success wasn’t solely because of JB’s spread philosophy. However I do think that a large part of TB’s success had to do with not only the spread offense but more so the skill sets of the players he played with in JB’s spread “O”. With Novak, Stu, Vogrich, Evan and for the most part THJr…these guys needed a player to make shots for them and TB fit that role beautifully. I do wanna give credit where credit is due and give Zack and Stu big time props for developing the ability to create shots for themselves even if it took till their senior year to be able to use it effectively although not as consistent as I’m sure they would have liked. Back to topic – So comparing the skill sets of Michigan’s guards and forwards to other teams who run the same type offense I notice that each team has it least 1 player other than the PG that can penetrate and make shots for himself and for others consistently. Because of this it is my opinion that TB had more opportunities to be successful (and to fail) than Rivers (Duke). This is because Rivers wasn’t the only player on the court for Duke that could penetrate and get his own shot or a shot for a teammate with less than 10 seconds left on the shot clock, while for us TB was. 

  • Fresh

    on another side note……..it seems like Amedeo Della Valle has been pushed to the back burner for now, but Texas A&M got another commitment today from a JUCO point guard…….i dont know there schollie situation but if Beilein is still going hard after him i would say this bolsters our chances a touch

    • sane1

      Pushed to the back burner on message boards does not mean that the coaches have pushed him to the back burner. He’s supposed to visit this month.

  • dustindbo

    ESPN finally made a recruiting page for Albrecht. Rated him a 79 and a One star and the 30th ranked senior in Indiana

    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/159948/spike-albrecht

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/UOPIDV6VFMTQRX3HOCWFWILYOI chris f

      I wonder if he will end up hurting our class ranking lol

      Rivals just put up a page too, and gave him 3 stars, which really makes no sense, if hes a legit 3 star why has he not had a page all along?

  • John

    I’m very happy about this commit. I am still very puzzled though, I have no idea how the MVP of that league could not at least have some decent offers.

    • rlcBlue

      He was MVP of the league tournament.

      • John

        Well thats very true. It still is confusing to me how that happened even if it was just the tournament mvp. That is still extremely impressive considering that  league is full of all stars.

        • rlcBlue

          No kidding – Brewster had 6 four-star seniors; Spike’s team had one 3 star junior and a couple of 2 star seniors. Very impressive…

  • A State Fan

    Unrelated, but i’m watching the replay of the Nike Hoops Summit game, and Gary Harris just passed it to Mitch McGary for a layup. In my mind i was like, “Nooo!”

    But I’d rather see Harris and McGary play than these other guys, no one on this all-star team wants to pass

  • dustindbo

    ESPN lists Tim Hardaway Jr. as “on the fence” in terms of leaving for the NBA. I don’t think they have any credible source saying Tim is even thinking about the draft. Probably listed him just because he’s a top underclassman.

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/7782277/a-look-college-underclassmen-decided-undecided-nba-draft-college-basketball

    • sane1

      THJ is going nowhere. His dad has already made that clear. ESPN is out to lunch on this one.

  • GoHope4Tay

    While I feel Travis Trice is a good amount better than Spike, I can see Spike playing the same type game and style as Trice. I went back and looked to see what his recruiting ranking was and he was a 3 star. In regard to Spike’s recruiting ranking I would give him a solid 2 stars.

  • KingKongBundy

    This move had to be done to grab any guard they could get.  Albrecht is a solid kid with good academics and high character.  They shoulda put more effort towards CB.

  • boo

    please youtube: hitler hates ohio state….its funny and true.

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