An unexpected start for true freshman point guard Spike Albrecht cast the Indiana native into the new and bright lights of Crisler Center Thursday night.
"Yesterday, or two days, ago Coach told me," said Albrecht. "They just told me you've got to step up and that's what we did as a team tonight without Trey."
And step up he did. Albrecht finished the night with 16 points and 6 assists, nearly leading the team in both categories aside from fellow freshman Nick Stauskas who poured in 17 to lead the Wolverines.
Albrecht looked poised, comfortable and in total control of the offense for Michigan, a major positive as the Wolverines hoped to find a true back-up point guard to keep sophomore Trey Burke fresh as the year goes on. Heading into the exhibition, not many could have predicted this type of performance, not even his head coach John Beilein.
"He surprises me everyday," said Beilein. "I'm just telling you he just plays out there and I said yesterday he makes you smile to watch him play and everybody just says ‘how'd he do that'—and I don't know either. He just has a presence out there."
"I'll make a football analogy," added Beilein. "The Doug Fluties, the Joe Theismans, the Joe Montanas, they don't pass the eye ball test for an NFL quarterback but somehow they get thing's done. He certainly doesn't pass that test but he continues to be productive."
Despite the tremendous production in his debut, Beilein joked that there's no debate over the starting point guard for the Wolverines once Burke returns for Monday's second and final exhibition against Slippery Rock.
"There's no point guard controversy," said Beilein. "Although we have had some times where we can put them both in the game. That's a pretty good line up as well."
To watch video of Albrecht after the win over Northern Michigan, press play below.
Albrecht shines in spot start (w/video)
Scout Mass Preps Top Stories
The Opening Finals 2016 Official RosterThe official 2016 roster of the Nike+ Football The Opening Finals featuring the participants selected from The Opening Regionals...
Scout FootballSunday at 9:23 PM
Spring Scout: Illini offensive lineIllini want to get bigger, stronger and physical on the offensive line
Illini InquirerSunday at 12:37 PM
NFL’s most penalized playersAdding to our look at the penalty report from 2015, we explore the top five most penalized players in the NFL last year.
Scout NFL NetworkThursday at 12:59 PM
NFL’s most penalized teamsThere is a reason coaches preach discipline on the field, as the most penalized teams in the NFL last year were watching the playoffs instead of participating in them.
Scout NFL Network05/18/2016