ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- And then there was one.
That's all that remains in Michigan's 2011 talented recruiting class that saw four players play into their way into the NBA with one more player, the last one left, looking to be on his way himself in Caris LeVert.
However, it was the unsung hero, the unlikely underdog of the 2012 class that will send shockwaves through the program. Senior captain Spike Albrecht announced that he will have to end his U-M playing career after not being able to recover in time after having two offseason hip surgeries. Out of all the good players that came and went in that recruiting class, Albrecht was the guy that will be remembered in his own way.
Now, with LeVert being the only captain left on the court, it doesn't mean Albrecht's presence is gone forever.
"Spike's done playing on the court but his voice will always be heard in the locker room and games like today," LeVert said after U-M's game on Saturday. "He's like an assistant coach out there. He really sees the game like an assistant coach, he's out there giving us advice and telling us things that he sees and stuff like that. On the court, I would say so (being strange playing without him) but he'll always be that voice for us."
LeVert is the lone captain left on the floor now, he knows that, and head coach John Beilein knows that. Beilein pulled LeVert aside after Friday's practice to reaffirm this with him.
Though he doesn't feel added responsibility to step up as a leader, he knows Spike will be courtside to help and lead when necessary. For now, it's going to feel a little different but it doesn't necessarily change anything for him.
"It doesn't really change too much," LeVert said. "Like I said, Spike's voice will always be heard, so Spike will be with us. Knowing that I'm the only senior out there is just a little different feel."