Michigan announced on Dec. 11 that senior point guard Spike Albrecht would be out for the season, as the formal release painted a picture that the 5-foot-11 fan favorite was finished with college basketball.
After two offseason hip surgeries, Albrecht just couldn’t get up to speed to play all the way through the 2015-16 season and his quotes in the season-ending announcement made it sound like he was retiring.
“This has been the toughest decision I have ever had to make,” Albrecht said in the release. “After taking a hard look at what is best for me, and this team, I will be stepping away from the game that has meant so much to me.
“I am so thankful for what Coach Beilein, the assistants and the medical staff have done for me during my career and in particular over the last year while I was dealing with this injury. I just have a little more to go and I really need to take the proper time to finish my rehab.”
But according to a report from Mike Hutton of the Post-Tribune, it sounds like Spike is considering a medical redshirt so he could use his final season of eligibility. Hutton spoke with Albrecht’s father, Charles, who said that it was a possibility.
“Based on what the doctors have told us,” said Spike’s dad, Charles Albrecht, “I think he’ll play.”
Albrecht is eligible for a medical redshirt. A player who has completed less than 30 percent of his season can apply for one. That’s the plan, according to Charles Albrecht.
If Albrecht elects to use a medical redshirt, it would create an interesting dilemma for Michigan and its senior point guard. As noted by Dylan Burkhardt of UMHoops.com, the Wolverines are already one over the scholarship limit for next season if everyone returns and all of their signees in the 2016 recruiting class come aboard.
The Wolverines have signed a point guard in the next class in four-star Ohio native Xavier Simpson, so it’s not as if Michigan would need Albrecht again to be a backup for senior Derrick Walton Jr. But with Walton (and Albrecht) battling so many injuries the last two seasons, it might be wise for Michigan to examine a scenario in which all three point guards are on the roster as a precautionary measure.
That scenario would mean Michigan would be two over the scholarship limit if Albrecht and everyone else returns but there is plenty of time for something to change that would open up some roster spots.
It would make for an intriguing offseason storyline if Albrecht plays another season of college basketball, and if he leaves Michigan, he would be sought after by a number of programs as a graduate transfer. I’ve lobbied in the past for the NCAA to grant Albrecht permanent eligibility, but one more season would be fine by me.
Albrecht has appeared in 116 games for Michigan the past four seasons and averaged 16.6 minutes per game.