The Michigan men’s basketball team has seen a graduate transfer to a rival Big Ten school in each of the last two seasons. Forward Max Bielfeldt transferred to Indiana in 2015, and guard Spike Albrecht played his final season of college basketball at Purdue last season.
That streak will continue this season with perhaps the most unlikely transfer yet.
Monday, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported that former Wolverine guard Andrew Dakich will join Ohio State as a graduate transfer this season. The Buckeyes’ new head coach, Chris Holtmann, was looking to add backcourt help, and before taking the job at Ohio State had been recruiting Dakich to play for him at Butler.
A former walk-on, Dakich appeared in 49 games at Michigan and scored 22 points. He had planned to redshirt in both the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons, but burned his redshirt both years due to an onslaught of injuries. As a junior in 2016, he played in 24 games and averaged 4.6 minutes per game.
Dakich redshirted the entirety of last season. He was awarded a full scholarship for his final semester at Michigan, video of which went viral.
Dakich had announced in May that he planned to finish his college basketball career at Quinnipiac. However, he was not admitted to the graduate journalism program he planned on enrolling in. Instead, he’ll be returning to the Big Ten, where he’ll have one season of eligibility remaining for Ohio State.
As a graduate transfer, Dakich will be eligible to take the court for the Buckeyes immediately.
“This was just the best opportunity for me, I know I’ll get crushed by some Michigan fans and I get that,” Dakich told Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com. “But if they put themselves in my shoes, I think a lot of people would have done the same thing.”
While Dakich’s defection to the Wolverines’ fiercest rival is sure to rub some fans in the wrong way, that’s not the case with his former coach, John Beilein.
“He was great, he understood my situation completely and I’ll actually be up there this week to work a camp for him,” Dakich told MLive. “There’s no bad blood at all. He’s happy for me to have this opportunity to play at Ohio State for a great coach he respects. And coach Holtmann had the same conversation with him.
“This all happened about a week ago and coach Beilein was great. I have the utmost respect for him and he knows that.”