Albrecht, U-M Praising Effort Plays on Floor

Michigan junior point guard Spike Albrecht is embracing a new role as a starter for the Wolverines. Albrecht discusses that move, getting ready for Minnesota, the competitiveness in practice, and how he and the veterans can create a tougher basketball team.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan junior point guard Spike Albrecht is settling into a new role with the Wolverines.

Fresh off a start in a road win at Penn State, a game in which Albrecht accounted for no points, managing to assemble six assists in 33 minutes of work, it looks like Albrecht will be locked into the lineup for quite some time.

Currently sitting at 9-6 overall including a 2-1 mark to start Big Ten play, Michigan is set to welcome in Minnesota (11-5, 0-3) Saturday afternoon for a 1 p.m. tip.

Albrecht addressed where exactly this Michigan team is at mentally after facing a great deal of adversity early this season.

"We're not where we've been at in years past as far as the competitiveness and sense of urgency," Albrecht said. "But that's something we're getting better at as a team and we've really been working hard at that in practice. The coaches have been doing a great job of making things more competitie.

"A lot of times with a team this young they don't realize what it's like, the grind in the Big Ten and things like that so you've got to keep that competitiveness up so guys don't get complacent."

With more than half the roster consumed by freshmen the Wolverines are being forced to grow up quickly, slowly making progress as each game passes.

Despite some big time performances out of the young crew, the veterans still find themselves showing the youngsters exactly what it takes to win at this level.

"A lot of it you try and instill it as best you can but just preaching things like 50-50 balls, taking charges, things like that," Albrecht said. "And we do stress a lot of importance on that and we reward guys for doing things like that.

"A lot of times might not even show 50-50 balls or guys taking charges in film but those are things that win championships and those are things we take a lot of pride in in film sessions and the coaches really appreciate that."

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