ANN ARBOR, MI – JANUARY 22: Spike Albrecht #2 of the Michigan Wolverines brings the ball up the court during the first half of the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Crisler Arena on January 22, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines defeated the Hawkeyes 75-67. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Spike Albrecht has been a fan favorite and cult hero among Michigan basketball fans ever since his improbable 17-point breakout in the first half of the 2013 NCAA championship game against Louisville. Obviously feeling confident after that performance, Albrecht earned even more notoriety for tweeting Kate Upton following the Wolverines’ 82-76 loss.

When you’re hot, you’re hot, right?

Albrecht became an important bench player for coach John Beilein during the next two seasons, coming off the bench to provide an outside shooting touch and stability at point guard when the team needed to settle down or take control of a game. Last season, the 5-foot-11 Indiana native averaged 7.5 points and nearly four assists per game, emerging as a significant contributor and looked to be a key reserve for a Michigan team eyeing a return to contention in the Big Ten and a return to the NCAA Tournament this year. 

But Albrecht’s career stalled this year after a genetic hip condition required two surgeries. Doctors shaved down the ball-and-socket joints in both hips to fit in place better, in addition to repairing a torn labrum and fracture in his right hip. Albrecht only played in eight games this season, and rumors were that his recovery from those hip procedures wasn’t going well and he might not be able to play the rest of the year. Those fears were confirmed on Friday, as Albrecht announced that his playing career at Michigan is over. 

“This has been the toughest decision I have ever had to make,” Albrecht said in an official press release from the school. “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.”

Albrecht would seemingly be eligible for a medical redshirt and thus a return next season. But he reportedly hasn’t been able to practice, and after playing at a high level for the past three years, surely knows what it would take to get back to that level of performance. Obviously, Albrecht doesn’t see himself getting there and has decided to move on. 

One thing that could surely provide some consolation after making a difficult decision is hearing from Upton. Did those two ever get in touch after the 2013 NCAA title game? Maybe not, but this would be an excellent time to reach out and throw a guy an alley-oop. If not, Albrecht has some additional time on his hands now to try and rekindle that correspondence.


About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.