Pat Forde: Beilein refusing Spike transfer release to B1G school is "height of hypocrisy"

Pat Forde: Beilein refusing Spike transfer release to B1G school is "height of hypocrisy"

Submitted by Sopwith on March 30th, 2016 at 9:11 PM

Pretty much the bad PR you might expect, and I agree. Coaches shouldn't have veto power over transfer destination.

LINK to article titled "Height of Hypocrisy: Michigan Limiting Spike Albrecht's Transfer Options"

Money quotes from Beilein:

"There are 334 other schools he can go to,” Beilein told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday, almost getting the math right on 351 minus the other 13 Big Ten members. “He has a lot of choices."


"Having a kid sit out a year is not like going to jail,” he said. “It’s a slippery slope. I want what’s best for Spike but also what’s best for our program. You train a guy and develop him for four years and suddenly he’s the starting point guard at Michigan State?"

As for Spike's dad Chuck, he seems to be taking it better than I would:

"To be honest, this is kind of what we expected,” he said. “It’s not totally a surprise. I don’t think it’s real fair, but it seems like the norm.

"There’s certain schools in the Big Ten he’d never consider and others he might, I don’t know. If they’re worried about Spike – I think they’ve got bigger problems. But we do respect Michigan and the program, so Spike doesn’t want to cause problems.”

Forde closes with this, which I totally agree with:

Yet here in the real world, a player who will have a degree – and who has already been told he’s not going to have a scholarship in 2016-17 – is still having his future controlled and curtailed by the college. It’s wrong. And at Michigan, where the 2015 starting quarterback was a Hawkeye in 2014, it’s also hypocritical.

MBB: The hidden loss of Spike

MBB: The hidden loss of Spike

Submitted by AC1997 on February 11th, 2016 at 6:59 PM

Last night I sat down to carefully watch the basketball game on my DVR - the safest way to protect yourself from a potential gut-punch loss in the making.  As the lead grew to 19 I had been sucked back in and was watching the game with a smile on my face.  Then that lead evaporated and the bubble bursting loss nearly happened.  Fortunately the team pulled it out and we have continued our trend of being better than all the bad teams but far from a good team.  

What continued to frustrate me, however, is why?  Why isn't this team better?  Why is our defense so bad?  Why do we go through long droughts on offense?  

There have been plenty of armchair analysis posts here and elsewhere this season that have pointed out some of the more obvious contributions:

  • Our best player, senior, captain, and POY candidate has missed 11 games.
  • Our center position has vastly under-performed even the simple task of "catch good pass, complete layup" while also struggling to defend and rebound.  
  • The PF position was finally supposed to have a true stretch four option this year and yet both Chatman and Wilson are now glued to the bench for performance reasons.
  • We are still feeling the recruiting aftershocks of early-departures and being unable to close on some top prospects.  

Ace did a good job today of illustrating one of the ways in which this team misses Caris so much - getting to the rim.  Without question he would help in a variety of ways, especially on offense.  But let's face it - that doesn't explain our defensive woes and it doesn't entirely explain Coach Beilein's inability to overcome those long stretches of bad play on the court.  

What we've sort of forgotten about is the loss of Spike Albrecht to this team.  It is easy to see why his skills as a shooter, ball screen player, and ball handler are missed, there are some other ways that I think may be hiding under the surface.  

  1. Guard Fatigue
    Right now there are only two ball handlers on this team - Walton & Rahk.  As a result, they have to play a ton of minutes.  Irvin has come along as a ball handler and they can use him sparingly at the 2, but let's not pretend that's a great idea right now.  More often you see Dakich come in for a few minutes.....which is not ideal.  

    Rahk has already played more minutes this season than all of last year.  He's averaging over 32mpg since Caris got hurt.  Meanwhile, Walton is averaging a stunning 35.6mpg in that time frame.  For reference, that's more minutes per game than Burke in 2013 or Stauskas in 2014.  

    Perhaps Walton and Rahk are struggling on D somewhat because they're both tired and also very afraid of getting fouls since they have no back-up.  Even though Spike is a poor defender aside from opportunistic steals, he would allow those guys more rest and the willingness to be physical knowing they can sit for a few minutes with foul trouble.  I think our foul aversion, especially by the guards, is a major reason we can't keep people out of the lane.  Yet can you blame Walton and Rahk for not being more grabby or physical when they know a foul likely replaces them with Dakich?

  2. Lineup Flexibility
    Before this season the talk was focused on how this was the deepest team Beilein had ever fielded.  There wouldn't be minutes for everyone.  We should redshirt Rahk and Wagner to give them some extra eligibility.  Now where are we?  

    Last night Beilein played essentially a 7 man roster with only Doyle and Dawkins playing meaningful minutes off the bench.  Even in the run to the final four we were playing more bench guys than that despite a far superior starting lineup.  

    You're seeing Coach Beilein look more frustrated and animated on the sideline.  The reason?  What options does he have!  When Walton has the careless turnover that sparked the Gopher team or the offense stalls for a long stretch....who can he turn to?  When a team starts pressing full court, where are his extra ball handlers?  Spike would have helped solve a lot of those problems (as would Levert obviously).  

  3. Leadership
    Who is the leader of this team?  When you picture the player who is going to take charge in the huddle, want the ball in his hand, get in an opponent's face, or dive for a loose ball.....who do you picture?  I picture Spike.  Last year it was his team and it would have been this year too I think.  He'll probably be a coach in the near future.  Yet he sits in a shirt and tie on the bench instead of annoying the opposing players and fans with his inexplicable and gritty talent.  

I've heard a lot of people suggest that Beilein has hit his ceiling and is unable to recruit 5-star players for us to catch the elite teams.  Perhaps that's true.  But I never had that expectation of him.  I'm old enough to have sat in the front row during the end of the Fisher era and followed the program through a decade of embarrasment.  I don't want to try and keep up with Kentucky and all that comes with those elite recruits.  My expectations for Beilein were to turn us into a program like Wisconsin.  We would be in the tournament every year, we'd run a good offense, we would develop talent as well as anyone, and every couple of years we'd unearth or develop an NBA draft pick that would allow us to contend for a conference title or Final Four.  

What is the biggest ingredient in Wisconsin's success over the years?  Experience.  They always have a bunch of juniors and seniors on the floor.  Right now ours are sitting on the bench in street clothes while the few experienced guys we have left are playing 35 minutes per game.  

We miss Spike.......(and of course we could use Caris back at any time too)

Spike eligible for redshirt and 5th year

Spike eligible for redshirt and 5th year

Submitted by StephenRKass on December 18th, 2015 at 6:35 PM

According to the News, Spike Albrecht is eligible for a redshirt this year, and a 5th year in the 2016 - 2017 season, if he and Beilein mutually desire.

LINK:  So you're saying there's a chance?

This tidbit is buried well below the lede, which focuses on incoming recruits Xavier Simpson and Austin Davis.

Beilein continues to leave the door slightly cracked for a possible return. Albrecht, who had two hip surgeries this spring, remains on scholarship and could actually get another year of eligibility — because he remains just under the 30-percent threshold of games played this season. "I don't think he plans on that," Beilein said. "That's gonna be up to Spike." There's been no actual discussion yet between the two. If UM were to get Albrecht on the floor for even a second on Senior Day, March 5, against Iowa at Crisler Center, he would burn that extra year of eligibility.

It's an intriguing thought. Don't know what Spike has in mind. But if I felt better after rehab, the team was trending up, Beilein would allow it and there was room, and I had another free year of classes, room and board, etc., it'd be very tempting. Unless Spike has grad school lined up, or a clear job path, this looks like a great opportunity. We'll see.

From Spike to Dakich: Maintaining a Legacy

From Spike to Dakich: Maintaining a Legacy

Submitted by UMichStudent2019 on December 12th, 2015 at 3:54 PM

With Spike's retirement, Andrew Dakich has unsurprisingly, once again, dropped his redshirt. Initially, I really didn't think much of Dakich's potential to contribute significantly and consistently to the team. Other than energy, he doesn't seem to bring much to the floor. And is energy really the key trait that this team needs right now? Probably not. But, after watching Dakich play a little bit last year and, more specifically, a little bit today, I've come to the conclusion that there are four main reasons why he has the potential to maintain the legacy that Spike has created. Do I think Dakich can or will play up to the level that Spike played? Absolutely not. But, I think he can at the very least perform up to par and make consistent and potentially significant contributions to the team.

First, Spike serving as a mentor to Dakich is crucial to Dakich's success on the court. Spike is one of the best leaders on that team. His playing abilities are matched by his leadership skills. Like he noted at his press conference, he was not afraid to hold players accountable for their actions. At the same time, he lead by example. He was an incredibly smart basketball player, rarely turning the ball over. He was a playmaker, and, when he needed to be, he was a scorer. His basketball knowledge and leadership skills make him the perfect mentor, and, assuming he works with Dakich, Dakich should be able to develop quite well under his guidance.

Second, Dakich's enthusiasm is vital for his development. While Spike is the ideal mentor for Dakich, his advice means nothing if Dakich doesn't accept the advice. However, Dakich's enthusiasm assures me that he is more than willing to take some advice. Additionally, his enthusiasm likely has a positive effect on his teammates, much like Spike's enthusiasm. In big games against tough opponents, someone needs to be the source of energy for the team, and I think Dakich will be that source. Whether he's performing one of his trademark celebrations on the bench, or getting fired up on the court (after he scored his first basket today, he could be seen/heard shouting either "FUCK YEA!" or "FUCK YOU!"), there's no doubt in my mind that his Spike-like enthusiasm can have a very positive impact on his teammates.

Third, Dakich's style of play is almost identical to Spike's, with the exception being that Spike is just a better basketball player. The way I'd describe the style of Spike is that it is the intersection of unorthodox street ball and strategic basketball. Spike was obviously not one of the most athletic players in the country, but his creativity enabled him to be one of the most versatile. While many players struggle at Spike's height, he had few problems driving to the rim and performing some of the most creative lay ups, or making some virtually impossible passes to set up teammates. He was unpredictable, and his creativity made him a nightmare for defenders. I see a lot of similarities in Dakich's style. Obviously Dakich is not even close to the level that Spike was at, but he plays with a similar street ball/strategic basketball style. Much like Spike, he spends a lot of time moving the ball, whether it be with passes or on his own (preferably the former). I noticed a lot of that today against Delaware State, where he had 4 pts, 3 ast, and even 2 rebounds. The aspect of his game that probably needs the most work is his care for the ball, as he had 2 of the teams 7 turnovers. Regardless, as his skills develop, I think he could have an impact that mirrors, though not at the same level, Spike's impact.

Finally, Dakich has a LOT of support from fans, students and non-students alike. Much like fans loved Spike, fans, at least, based on enthusiasm at today's game, love Dakich. They erupted when he scored today and when he missed, there were on the edge of their seats waiting to explode again. Having the support of thousands of people can be a major confidence booster for players, and with his personality, I think Dakich will be using that support to propel his game to the next level.

Ultimately, I do not think Spike is a replaceable player. As I said before, his style is unique and organic, and I feel that replicating that could be difficult. However, Spike is leaving behind a legacy. He went from lurking in the shadows to a national household name quickly, and had he not been plagued with unfortunate injuries, his potential was limitless. I certainly think that Spike would love to vicariously live out the rest of his season through Dakich. Perhaps I'm being way too optimistic about the situation. But, with all the petty injuries we have right now, and of course, with Spike's retirement, I think it's important to find the positives in the situation. Though Spike's legacy may be over, I think that Dakich has the potential to establish his own legacy. It probably would not be as impressive as Spike's, but I think that it would be great to see the legacy that Spike was trying to cap off with a stellar senior year be maintained by Dakich, under the Spike's guidance.

MBB TMD Preview: Like Spike

MBB TMD Preview: Like Spike

Submitted by JeepinBen on November 13th, 2015 at 11:49 AM

Nice write up from the Daily in their hoops preview coverage.

I had never heard this bit:

After watching Albrecht play in an open gym on campus during his recruiting trip, Beilein invited him and his parents over to his house for dinner. Following the meal, he took them into his home office.
“I was kind of intimidated, like, ‘Oh shit,’ ” Albrecht recalled thinking. “He was sitting there talking, then he paused. I could tell he was thinking, about ready to make a big decision. He’s like, ‘You’re either going to get me fired or make me look like a genius.’ And then he goes, ‘How would you like to come play basketball at Michigan?’ ”
Spike accepted on the spot.

Spike and Caris channel Harrelson and Snipes for Halloween

Spike and Caris channel Harrelson and Snipes for Halloween

Submitted by kehnonymous on November 2nd, 2015 at 5:13 PM

This was RT'd on Ace's twitter but I didn't see an MGoPost about this so thought I'd share.  A classic example of the sly, self-deprecating humor that makes Spike the most eligible bachelor on campus and another example of the likeable bunch of guys we are priveleged to watch represent U-M

Spike Albrecht back on the court shooting jumpers

Spike Albrecht back on the court shooting jumpers

Submitted by BlueCube on August 29th, 2015 at 11:48 AM

Didn't see this posted yesterday but Spike was in the gym shooting jumpers for the first time since his surgeries. I'm sure he has a long way to go, but nice to see him jumping some and this makes me more optimistic he can be on the court for the start of the season.

Instagram embed below.





Spike weighing multiple hip surgeries

Spike weighing multiple hip surgeries

Submitted by Ivan Karamazov on March 27th, 2015 at 10:11 AM

Quick interview from Brendan Quinn over on Mlive with Spike on the hip injury that was bothering him all season.  New info to me was that it is not just one hip, but both that could require surgery to reduce pain.  Touches mainly on the tough decision to potentially miss all of spring/summer, or continue to train through the pain and then most likely play your entire senior season in pain.

First thread topic, so apologies if formatting or link are screwed up.

Crazy MBB Stat

Crazy MBB Stat

Submitted by I Wrote a 4 Wo… on February 18th, 2015 at 10:56 AM

A statistical reason for hope, if you needed any, for basketball next season.

When Caris LeVert & Derrick Walton went down, Michigan was suddenly down 85.4% of their scoring from last season. Only Zak Irvin (15.4 minutes per game), Spike Albrecht (14.7 minutes per game), and Max Bielfeldt (4.7 minutes per game) even played meaningful minutes in 2013-2014.

Next year if LeVert comes back, Michigan will return 92.9% of their scoring from this year while adding Duncan Robinson. Consider the fact that DJ Wilson will be back, as well as the fact that he is one of 6 freshmen, and at least some of them will likely improve going into their sophomore seasons (as some of them have already shown growth) and this team will be downright dangerous next year.

I know hopes are already high for next season for most people but I was pretty surprised by numbers. Aaaaaaaand Harbaugh for football. 2015-2016 will be a good year. 

Go Blue!

Spike Dealing With Lower Body Injury

Spike Dealing With Lower Body Injury

Submitted by Sports on December 11th, 2014 at 4:24 PM

In a Freep interview (sorry) Spike revealed that he has had a lower body injury that is seriously limiting him in games and practice. Surgery may be necessary, but a decision has been made to wait until the offseason, given the operation's long recovery time.