Ann Arbor, MI. Michigan basketball has announced that two players, Senior point guard Spike Albrecht and Sophomore forward Ricky Doyle, will transfer. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman first reported Albrecht’s transfer late Monday night, and the team announced Doyle’s transfer mid-day Tuesday.
Michigan’s Spike Albrecht told ESPN he was granted his release today and plans to play next season elsewhere as a grad transfer.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 29, 2016
Albrecht, a co-captain for Michigan this past season along with fellow senior Caris Levert, sat out most of the season following complications after offseason surgeries to both of his hips. Albrecht was a fan favorite following his 17-point performance in the 2013 National Title Game against Louisville, and he continued to be a key role player for the Wolverines for his entire career.
Last season, Albrecht was named co-team MVP after he averaged 7.5 points per game and ran the team in the wake of Caris Levert’s season-ending foot injury. Albrecht is just the latest key graduate transfer from the Michigan program. Forwards Jon Horford and Max Bielfelt also used the graduate transfer rule to play the next season, with Horford contributing at Florida and Biefelt becoming a key player for Indiana this past season. As a graduate transfer, Albrecht will be eligible to play immediately next year.
While both Head Coach John Beilein and Albrecht would have liked for him to remain in a Michigan uniform next season, it quickly became apparent to Albrecht and his family Michigan would not be an option. Michigan is already over the 13-scholarship limit for next season, and the Wolverines have both talented point guard Derrick Walton and highly-touted recruit Xavier Simpson slated to contribute next season.
Due to Albrecht’s desire to play for a contending team and to receive playing time next season, it was clear Michigan would not be a fit. Beilein did not grant Albrecht his unconditional release, meaning Albrecht can transfer to any school, except other Big Ten schools.
While Albrecht’s transfer was somewhat expected in Michigan circles, Michigan’s announcement of forward Ricky Doyle’s transfer today was much more of a surprise. Doyle, a sophomore from Fort Myers, Florida, had a solid freshman season for the Wolverines. However, this season Doyle struggled on both ends of the floor and eventually lost playing time to fellow forwards Mark Donnel and Mo Wagner.
— Michigan Basketball (@umichbball) March 29, 2016
Doyle released the following statement on his transfer, stating: “My time at Michigan has very special to me and my family. Coach Beilein took a chance on me and I will forever be grateful for that. It was a difficult decision for me to make, however, I just feel this is the best decision moving forward. I will forever carry a special place in my heart for the Maize and Blue. Go Blue!”
Doyle’s transfer is certainly a surprise, but his departure will bring Michigan down to the 13 allotted scholarship spots for next year. For those curious about a potential Albrecht return in the wake of Doyle’s transfer, keep in mind Michigan is still at their scholarship capacity. Doyle will sit out the 2016-17 season, per NCAA rules.