As Albrecht weighs future, LeVert readies for NBA

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 10:11pm

Caris LeVert will not be able to participate in the NBA combine after having surgery on his left foot

Caris LeVert will not be able to participate in the NBA combine after having surgery on his left foot Buy this photo
Lev Facher/Daily

 

In the coming weeks — perhaps over steaks and beers at Michigan men’s basketball coach John Beilein’s home — Spike Albrecht’s future may be decided.

As of now, the next chapter for the senior guard — who still has a year of eligibility remaining after taking a medical redshirt this past season — is up in the air. Two weeks ago, Albrecht announced his intention to leave Michigan and play elsewhere as a graduate transfer. Since then, though, a scholarship spot has opened up on the Wolverines’ roster as a result of two other transfers in Ricky Doyle and Aubrey Dawkins.

Asked on Wednesday before the team’s postseason banquet if he had discussed the possibility of Albrecht returning to Michigan, Beilein said the two had talked, but didn’t indicate any sort of decision.

“We talk almost every day,” Beilein said of Albrecht. “He’s going to come over to my house — as soon as the recruiting period is over — I have a tradition of bringing the guys over for a steak. I might even see if I can give (Albrecht) his first beer he’s ever had in his life if he wants to have a beer with me.”

Albrecht said he has not reached out to any programs and that no coaches have reached out to him directly, though he did say some had reached out to his assistant coaches and former prep coaches.

As for his health status, he feels like he’s getting better and will reevaluate after another doctor’s appointment in the coming month. 

“I’m feeling pretty good, feel like I’m moving in the right direction,” Albrecht said. “But I think my one-year mark (of the hip surgery) is in about a month, so I’m going to wait until then and have another appointment and see where I’m at.”

From a playing time perspective, Michigan would be an unlikely choice for Albrecht if Beilein were to make it available. Junior guard Derrick Walton Jr. will return to handle point guard duties and incoming freshman guard Xavier Simpson is highly touted. If Albrecht looks elsewhere, he says he’ll look for another program in which he can thrive.

“If not here, I want to go somewhere I’m going to play, somewhere we’re going to win,” he said. “But also somewhere like Michigan — where it’s a great culture with good people and coaches — because that was really important to me and that’s why I liked my time here so much.”

Meanwhile, fellow senior and co-captain Caris LeVert is also attempting to recover and play next year, though he hopes it’s with an NBA team.

Meeting with the media for the first time since his March 22 surgery on his left foot, LeVert explained the decision to go through with the surgery after having maintained that his foot would heal on it’s own.

“It just wasn’t healing as fast as we thought it would,” LeVert said. “We kind of let it heal on its own for about six or seven weeks. It wasn’t going as planned, so the doctors here advised me to get a second opinion, so I did that.”

That second opinion came from Dr. Martin O’Malley in New York shortly after Michigan lost to Notre Dame in the first game of the NCAA Tournament in Brooklyn. O’Malley recommended surgery, and after consulting with his agent and others, LeVert opted to go through with the surgery.

LeVert — who has declined to specify what the injury was — says he hopes to be recovered by the middle of the summer, meaning he will not be able to work out at the NBA Combine next month in Chicago. However, he hopes to be able to interview with teams and undergo individual medicals with them leading up to the draft. As of now, he’s predicted to be a mid-second round pick.

Despite finishing his Michigan career with two injury-plagued seasons, LeVert says he’s still excited about the next chapter and the opportunity to be drafted.

“I’m still excited about it,” LeVert said. “(It’s an) experience that you’ll never really go through again — once in a lifetime type of thing, so I’m excited about it. A little nervous as well. But I’m just looking to head into it all positive.”