The Wolverine

June-July 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 136 of 139

S couring stories from the national media, one might think the Michigan basketball program was reeling. Three sophomore trans‑ fers — Aubrey Dawkins (to Central Florida to play for his father, Johnny), Ricky Doyle and Kam Chatman — and a graduate transfer in Spike Albrecht (Pur‑ due) were signs of a basketball apocalypse, some suggested, with one Sporting News columnist even calling Albrecht's defection U‑M's latest "night‑ mare." Forgive Michi‑ gan head coach John Beilein if he doesn't see it that way. The Wolverines took hits from earlier‑than‑expected NBA defec‑ tions by Trey Burke, Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III, he noted in his postseason press conference, and over‑ came a season‑ending injury to Caris LeVert for the second straight year to win 23 games for only the sixth time in the last 20 years. The Wolverines re‑ turn five starters and a few key bench players and should take another step forward, he insisted. "All programs have these dips," he said. "But we're back on the rise." Not according to Sporting News' Colleen Thomas, though, who wrote that Albrecht's transfer was "another blow to the Wol‑ verines' outlook." Forget that Beilein opted to let him go, noting that the Wolverines didn't need an‑ other point guard and that the coach wasn't in position to make an emo‑ tional decision to keep him even though he "loved the kid." And while you'll never read a bad word about Albrecht here — he was by far the favorite to cover in his four years at U‑M — he is coming off double hip surgery with no guar‑ antees he'll ever be as healthy as he once was. It only made sense to move in an‑ other direction. "We're going to keep looking at the grad transfer market and see what's out there and anybody that can come in, but he has to fit," Beilein said dur‑ INSIDE MICHIGAN   CHRIS BALAS U-M Hoops Is "Back On The Rise" John Beilein said he "loved" Spike Albrecht, but it made sense for the two to part ways after this past season with the latter headed to Purdue as a graduate transfer. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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