In October at Big Ten Basketball Media Day, Purdue coach Matt Painter told the Daily he recruited point guard P.J. Thompson because he was a similar player to then-Michigan senior guard Spike Albrecht.
Now, next fall, Painter will get the real thing.
Tuesday morning, Albrecht — who received his release from the Wolverines on March 29 to play a fifth year as a graduate transfer — announced on his Twitter account that he will be staying in the Big Ten and joining the Boilermakers next season.
After former Michigan forward Max Bielfeldt decided to play for Indiana as a fifth-year transfer a year ago, Michigan coach John Beilein initially restricted Albrecht from transferring to other Big Ten schools. But Beilein eventually rescinded the limitations and gave Albrecht free rein to transfer within the conference after facing backlash.
Albrecht’s basketball career, derailed at Michigan by nagging hip injuries that limited him to just 69 minutes his senior season, will continue in his home state of Indiana. Though the 23-year-old hasn’t played in a game since December, he established himself as a reliable backup in his career as a Wolverine after his breakout performance in the national championship game as a freshman, averaging as many as 7.5 points per game in a season and posting a career assist-to-turnover ratio well over 3-to-1.
Painter didn’t even recruit the undersized Albrecht in high school — he only knew who he was because of his older brother, and he only saw him play in a game because he was there to scout future Michigan teammate Mitch McGary — but now, over five years later, he will get the chance to make up for his mistake.
“(Recruiting) is an inexact science,” Painter said in October. “You are going to make mistakes. You know, Spike Albrecht’s been great. He fits (the Wolverines’) system and what they do and what they run. Spike Albrecht could play a lot of places, he’s got a lot of winning qualities.”