ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Good friends on and off the court, Spike Albrecht told Andrew Dakich of his decision to end his Michigan basketball career on Thursday night in an hour-long conversation before the news broke of Albrecht’s retirement on Friday morning.
A sad moment for Albrecht and U-M basketball, indeed, but also a new opportunity for Dakich, who was at the time redshirting his junior season with the plan to eventually to play as a graduate transfer somewhere else for his fifth of eligibility in 2017-18.
But with Albrecht out, minutes were available on the court this season, an opportunity Dakich says he couldn’t pass up.
“It was a no brainer after he went down,” Dakich said. “Coach (John) Beilein pulled me in and told me what was going on with Spike. I said the same thing last year, really anyway that can help the team to contribute as best as I can.”
By last year, Dakich is referencing when Derrick Walton Jr. went down, and he asked to burn his redshirt under the same scenario. However, when asked if his plan is to redshirt again next year as senior, Dakich admits that’s not his ideal plan.
“I didn’t want to redshirt,” Dakich said. “I just thought it was going to give me a year to have and maybe go play somewhere else or play here. But at the same time this is sort of dream, I’ve always wanted to try to play in the Big Ten. Now I am getting my opportunity.”
In his first game action this season, Dakich finished with four-points, on 2-of-3 shooting, with three assists in 20 minutes played in U-M’s 80-33 rout of Delaware State on Saturday. Afterwards he said he played with a different attitude altogether than the 13 games played in his sophomore campaign.
“Last year I peed down my leg every single game,” Dakich said. “But this year, the quote I always say, ‘The fear of failure is not there anymore.’ I was always last year scared of my own shadow, to be honest. It was kind of evident to a lot of people, and evident to myself.
“But this year I am playing with confidence,” he added. “I have nothing to lose. More importantly, just enjoying it. I had a blast out there today. I really didn’t have a blast year.”
And his first shot, of course, was a make.
“I didn’t want to shoot it today,” Dakich said. “I just wanted to get other people open. But it was nice, it was fun to see that first one go down.”
Michigan (7-3) plays host to Northern Kentucky on Tuesday at 7.pm.