predicted earlier this week, Spike Albrecht has committed to play for the Wolverines' basketball squad starting next season. This move was not very surprising, as this is Albrecht's biggest scholarship offer, but it's something that may pay big dividends for Michigan in the near future. Albrecht is not Trey Burke and shouldn't be expected to perform the way Burke did this season, but he is a solid player that could get a lot of playing time next year if Burke opts to go to the NBA Draft, which seems very likely.
Albrecht is the kind of player that could do very well for Michigan next year. Not because he is a top 10 recruit and brings amazing talents to Ann Arbor, but because he is a solid player that understands the game. This may sound ambiguous, but when you look at what Albrecht has done, you will likely understand. He is very good with ball control and limits turnovers. Along with that, his mindset seems to always be "pass first" instead of attempting to do the offensive work himself.
Normally, a point guard that can do both of these things would be preferred, but for next season's team, I'm not convinced that's true. Having a point guard like Trey Burke (scoring leader and assists leader) is great, but look at the players that will surround Albrecht. The starting lineup surrounding point guard appears to be: Glenn Robinson III, Tim Hardaway Jr., Mitch McGary, and Jordan Morgan. Obviously, this is purely speculative, but even so, that lineup looks frightening for opponents!
With this in mind, distributing the ball with that lineup shouldn't be that difficult. They should be able to put up a lot of points and create opportunities themselves. Albrecht (assuming he starts if Burke leaves) will still have to make some key plays, but he's going to have a much stronger supporting cast than Burke had this season, which should make the job a lot easier. Albrecht's ability to reduce turnovers and spread out the ball should be some great tools for this team.
This late-season commitment could turn out to be just what Michigan needs if Burke decides to go pro. Beilein has been very good at finding players that other teams don't recruit and making solid players out of them and I think he's going to do that again with Spike. Albrecht did not get the attention many recruits received from big programs and I think Beilein has a chance to prove his coaching pedigree once again.
Fans should be excited and rest a little easier knowing that there is at least some help on the way if Burke does what many predict, and opts to go to the NBA. Spike brings a great skill set to the Wolverines and shouldn't have to carry the entire load himself this season, which should help the transition from high school to college. I expect he'll play a lot this year and have a solid season, whether Burke stays or goes pro.
Photo Credit: NEPS