A knock-down three-point shooter who won’t make fans groan and scratch their heads every time he rises up lets off a questionable shot? Sign me up.
Spike Albrecht, formerly a Michigan Wolverine, announced his intention to transfer out of the program at the beginning of the month and has since narrowed down his list to seven suitors: Purdue, Wichita State, Indiana, Texas A&M, USC, Milwaukee, and of course, Syracuse. Albrecht was essentially forced to transfer for his fifth year, as the Wolverines have hit their maximum number of allotted scholarships for 2016.
At just 5-foot-11, Albrecht’s vitals don’t scream ‘fit for Syracuse,’ but at this point in time, beggars certainly cannot be choosers. After losing starting guards Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije to graduation and potentially losing freshman star Malachi Richardson to the NBA (Mali declared for the draft, but did not hire an agent on Monday; meaning he can pull out of the draft process and return to school), Syracuse is as thin as could be at the guard position. Those three players were also the team’s top three-point shooters this season.
Albrecht, who has had two seasons cut short due to a hip injury, would be a welcome sight for the SU coaching staff and fans. Although he played in just nine games this season, he averaged over 30 minutes a game two seasons ago, totaling 7.5 points on roughly 40 percent shooting. He, along with fellow transfer target Grant Mullins, could provide a huge boost to an SU backcourt that goes from being the Orange’s strength this year to its greatest weakness.
The Orange currently has four open scholarships for next season. If Richardson returns to school and forgoes the NBA Draft, that number will drop back down to three. The deadline for this is May 24. One of the scholarships figures to go to an incoming freshman like Taurean Thompson or Cheickna Dembele, while the other two could be spent on fifth-year grad transfers. The Orange could theoretically bring in Thompson or Dembele, Mullins, and Albrecht to bolster the rotation next year.
Looking at Albrecht’s shortlist of schools, Syracuse, Indiana, Purdue, and Texas A&M seem like the early favorites. Albrecht is originally from Indiana, so IU and Purdue could get the hometown nod. However, Jim Boeheim can offer Albrecht significant minutes on a win-now roster for next season, which Albrecht may not be able to pass upon. On a team where Tyler Roberson and Dajuan Coleman are the seniors leading by example, another veteran certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Be sure to follow the Fizz on Twitter @OrangeFizz. Should SU pursue Albrecht, Mullins, or both? Is Albrecht’s height an issue for SU defensively, or can his offensive game make up for it? Who do you think is the favorite to land the marksman?