Spike Albrecht to leave Michigan as graduate transfer

Dylan Burkhardt

As first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, Michigan point guard Spike Albrecht has been granted his release and will play elsewhere next season as a graduate transfer.

Albrecht played only 8 games as a senior before announcing his ‘retirement’ due to prolonged recovery from procedures on both hips during the offseason. The 5-foot-11 point guard had been a two-year captain for the Wolverines and was one of their best players down the stretch after an injury plagued season in 2014-15.

“Ending my career like this just wasn’t going to sit well with me,” Albrecht told MLive’s Brendan Quinn. “I was going to regret that for the rest of my life if I didn’t try to get out there and give this another try.”

Michigan has four incoming freshmen for three spots next season and the best of the bunch, Xavier Simpson, plays point guard. Albrecht requested and was granted a fifth-year after missing this season due to injury, but realizes there might not be a spot at Michigan.

“That’s a long shot. And really, I don’t even know if they’d want to bring me back because they’ll already have two very talented point guards on the roster next year,” Albrecht told MLive.

Albrecht was obviously hobbled by hip injuries this season and last, but in an in-depth conversation with MLive he said he was encouraged by his health and ready to give this a shot for one more season.

“We were both just kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place,” Albrecht told the Michigan Daily. “Because I didn’t want to leave Michigan, obviously, but at the same time I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to play a fifth year and get my master’s paid for. So it was a difficult conversation, but I think he understood, and it was kind of tough for both of us, but he just wished me the best.”

This will be the third year in a row that Michigan loses a fifth-year senior to transfer. Most recently, Max Bielfeldt left Ann Arbor for Indiana, earning Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year honors in Bloomington.

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  • gobluemd16

    Wow. I guess I just can’t imagine wearing any colors besides Maize and Blue. I am sure he won’t transfer to another Big Ten school after what happened with Max, but if he is healthy, he is going to really help another team. And it will kind of stink to watch it from afar. Nonetheless, best of luck to Spike.

    • Really tough spot given his health… can you gamble on a spot for him next year without knowing if he can get back to playing at a high-level again? I’m not sure, especially with X coming in.

      • Mattski

        The optics won’t be good, though. . . especially for those currently happy to pile on. Oh well, it’ll keep the forum cranking.

      • gobluemd16

        And there may not even be a spot available.. I just think last year was a huge mistake, regardless of Max’s performance this season, because we had an available scholarship.

      • gobluemd16

        After Ricky’s transfer announcement, if another guy leaves the program I will be upset that we didn’t give a spot to Spike, regardless of the PG situation. As this year shows, injuries happen. From a leadership, depth, and public perception, I think would have been the right move.

        • Slim33

          Spike wants to play and play a lot somewhere, let him gooo

      • AA7595

        All depends on whether we’re at 13 or not entering the season. If we are, it’s fine; if not—and if it’s an absence that could’ve been predicted (like one of the freshman bigs doing a prep year)—then letting Spike walk will be difficult to defend.

    • mikey_mac

      If a B1G program has a spot and offers him, I hope he takes it, for his own good … Can’t beat that level of academics and athletics.

  • jblair52

    3rd year in a row counting Jon Horford.

    Since Walton is a Senior next year, probably best to get X most of the backup minutes anyway.

  • Chillax

    Oh well…I’m still looking at Doyle

  • Tony DeMaria

    It makes perfect sense and I’m not really upset at anyone involved, but the situation still sucks. Would have been awesome to still have Spike on the team next year, keeping at least one guy from the NC game run on the team, but he deserves the right to finish his career after a disappointing year with injuries. I won’t even be mad at him if he transfers to another big ten school unless its Sparty or OSU.

  • robpollard

    Not sure how we could have kept a spot for him — we needed him this year, in 2015-2016, and unfortunately for all involved, he wasn’t healthy.

    Next year, guards will be Walton (30 min), MAAR (30 min) and X (20 min) — that’s all the (small) guard minutes. That has to be Beilein’s plan, as he can’t count on someone who said this about his hips: “It’s a genetic thing,” Albrecht said. “My dad has really bad hips. He needs two hip replacements. I sure as hell didn’t want to go down that road. … I’m not saying that it could have gotten there, but you never know.” We’ve had too many seasons severely diminished by season-long injuries.

    And on the flip side, with those guards, why would Albrecht stay? He is definitely a good enough player to get 20-25 min a game at most Div-1A programs *if* he is healthy.

    Hope it works out for Spike, as long as he doesn’t transfer to a B1G team.

    • MAZS

      Unfortunately (because I cannot abide Crean), Indiana again looks like a very good fit. Yogi is gone–and the expectation was that transfer Newkirk–not a game changer– would take over.
      Plus, of course, Spike is from Indiana. [caveat: I have no idea whether IU has any openings, but that has never stopped Crean in the past]

      • Indiana_Banners

        Honestly he makes much more sense for Purdue than Indiana.

        And now is a curious time to talk about Crean while Beilein is trimming his own roster. Pot, kettle, etc

        • MAZS

          Whoa–you think that is Crean’s only negative. He owns the full panoply of douchey behavior. Too little space to list them all here

  • GTFOmycourt

    I read that Spike will not be allowed to play for another Big Ten school. How is that fair? Why shouldn’t he be able to play wherever he wants? Anybody else have an opinion or insights on this?

    • He has to appeal if he wants to play in the Big Ten, similar to Max.

      • GTFOmycourt

        Ok. Is that a formality? It doesn’t seem fair.

    • GTFOmycourt

      Actually, I think I misinterpreted someone and Spike can play for another Big ten school.