After having both of their seasons cut short by injury, senior guards Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht will be honored at Michigan’s Senior Night on Saturday, a final sendoff for a duo whose careers will not get the storybook ending they had hoped for.
Neither player will be able to play when the Wolverines host Iowa at 8 p.m. Saturday, but both Albrecht and LeVert spoke to the media Wednesday about the subdued atmosphere surrounding their final game at Crisler Center.
LeVert’s season was pronounced finished on Tuesday via a press release, in which the senior guard stated, “There is still some discomfort that does not allow me to help this team the way I want.”
LeVert has played just 11 minutes since injuring his lower left leg on Dec. 30, and Albrecht played in eight games this season before ending his career to allow his hip to recover from a lingering injury.
With both players finishing their careers on the bench, they have had to adjust to being unable to contribute on the court. Still, they have hopes that their team will be able to extend its season into the NCAA Tournament, albeit without them.
“I’m excited for senior night,” Albrecht said. “Obviously it’s going to be bittersweet. I wish I could be out there playing, but it’s all good. Hopefully we can get this win so we can get into the tournament.”
Added Levert: “It’ll be a fun night for our guys. We’re definitely still competing for something. We’re right there. So hopefully we get a lot of fan support.”
“Coach B has really encouraged Spike and myself to take on more of a coaching role throughout the process,” LeVert said. “And like I said that’s rewarding to see guys step up and play well in big games and things like that. I think that has been the main thing keeping us going — just helping the guys out any way we can.”
LeVert will now take time to heal before beginning workouts to prepare for the NBA combine. According to LeVert, his professional future played a “small role” in his decision to shut it down for the rest of the season. Despite the questions that still surround his basketball future, LeVert is focused on finishing his academic career.
“For me, I could have gone to the NBA last year,” Levert said. “But I really wanted to come back, get my degree, win some games in college first, but that wasn’t what God had on the table for us.”
Albrecht’s health will determine whether or not he will attempt to continue his career as a player, but he says he cannot make a decision on the future until he is fully healed. Albrecht has gotten to the point in his recovery where he is able to do some things on the court with the scout team but still is unable to do everything he wants to on the court.
Although it isn’t the end either of them envisioned, both LeVert and Albrecht are trying to focus on the moment and their time at Michigan rather look back at what might have been.
“Obviously, I’ll remember the runs we had my first two years,” Albrecht said. “But I think, more than anything, (I’ll remember) the fans and how well they treated me my four years here. It’s been an unbelievable experience. I felt like the fans really embraced me from day one.”