For four years Spike Albrecht represented the Michigan Wolverines, but after a year plagued with injuries he's going to be able to take advantage of the 5th year graduate transfer rule and join the Boilermakers this season.
According to Albrecht's twitter, he's excited about the opportunity to play again, but in a Purdue uniform.
Excited to announce that I'll be playing my 5th year for Purdue University!! #BoilerUp— Spike Albrecht (@SpikeAlbrecht) May 3, 2016
Though he's well-known around the conference, there are many questions surrounding Albrecht heading into this season. Will he be healthy once the season begins? What can he bring to Purdue in terms of production? What impact will he actually have?
All justifiable questions, but there's no doubt he's one of the more interesting stories in the Big Ten.
Let's take a quick look back at his Michigan career for a moment. This is a guy who had his best year in his junior season where he averaged only 7.5 points per game and 3.9 assists. Yet, his career average through four years is just 3.9 points per game and two assists.
These numbers show he's not really a primary contributor and won't be dominating the box score on a nightly basis.
So why is a guy whose statistics as underwhelming as those so well regarded within the college basketball landscape. It's pretty simple: Statistics don't tell the whole story.
Despite his best statistical season being that junior year, his claim to fame came in the 2012-13 campaign as a freshman.
He became a household name for this memorable performance in the 2013 NCAA National Championship game by coming off the bench scoring 17 first half points. The same day he became more known for his famous tweet after the game at model Kate Upton.
Albrecht has shown to be someone who can step up in crucial moments and obviously has no lack of confidence in himself. Those are the traits he must bring with him to Purdue.
Playing in only eight games last season though due to a nagging hip injury. The injury was devastating enough to him where he chose to take a step away from the game to rehabilitate. His hard-work and overcoming these type of obstacles are what's led him to this moment.
In a teleconference with members of the media Purdue's head coach Matt Painter discussed Albrecht and what he sees in him.
"He's always been a team guy. Everything that we did in the recruitment of him, he was very conscious of his situation. [He] was very grateful of everything coach [John] Beilein has done for him, so that to me really was something that was appealing to me recruiting."
According to purduesports.com this is what the 2016-17 roster looks like as of right now:
|2||Jon McKeeman||RS SR||Guard||6-1||190||Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll|
|3||Carsen Edwards||FR||Guard||6-0||175||Humble, Texas/Atascocita|
|5||Basil Smotherman||RS JR||Forward||6-6||230||Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North|
|11||P.J. Thompson||JR||Guard||5-10||188||Indianapolis, Ind./Brebeuf Prep|
|12||Vincent Edwards||JR||Forward||6-8||225||Middletown, Ohio/Middletown|
|14||Ryan Cline||SO||Guard||6-5||190||Carmel, Ind./Carmel|
|23||Jacquil Taylor||SO||Forward||6-10||240||Cambridge, Mass./Beaver Country Day School|
|24||Grady Eifert||SO||Forward||6-6||221||Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger|
|31||Dakota Mathias||JR||Guard||6-4||200||Elida, Ohio/Elida|
|44||Isaac Haas||JR||Center||7-2||282||Hokes Bluff, Ala./Hokes Bluff|
|50||Caleb Swanigan||SO||Forward||6-9||250||Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead|
|55||Spike Albrecht||SR||Guard||5-11||175||Crown Point, Ind./Northfield Mount Hermon [Mass.]|
With the loss of star player and Big Ten defensive player of the year A.J. Hammons, history says Albrecht will most likely not come close to producing like Hammons. What they do have in common is what he'll bring to Purdue and that is much needed experienced leadership.
He enjoyed a couple of deep tournament runs at Michigan and now with this Boilermakers team he has a chance to do the same under a familiar type of role.