UM fan favorite Spike Albrecht picks Purdue

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Spike Albrecht

Ann Arbor -- Spike Albrecht got the Big Ten waiver, and used it.

Albrecht, the popular and now former Michigan point guard, announced on Twitter on Tuesday morning that he will transfer to Purdue.

It kicked off a day of movement for Michigan, which announced later Tuesday that sophomore swingman Kameron Chatman also is transferring. He joins Albrecht, Ricky Doyle and Aubrey Dawkins, who will play for his father, Johnny, the new head coach at Central Florida.

Albrecht, being a graduate transfer, he will have one year of eligibility remaining, and will be able to play right away, in 2016-17. Chatman, Doyle and Dawkins all will have to sit out a year but have two years of eligibility remaining, unless they transfer to a Big Ten school, in which case, as undergraduates, they would lose a season of eligibility.

Purdue, in West Lafayette, Indiana, is about an hour-and-a-half south of Albrecht's hometown of Crown Point, Indiana.

Albrecht looked strongly at several Indiana schools, including Indiana and, reportedly, Butler. He recently cancelled a trip to Syracuse, a sign a decision was imminent.

Albrecht played a little over three seasons at Michigan, but was limited to eight games this past season because the pain in his surgically repaired hips proved too much to continue to trying playing through.

At the time he shut it down for the season, in December, he suggested his career might be over, but as he continued doing rehab, he started leaving open the possibility of playing one more season.

Albrecht's preference was to continue playing at Michigan, but with Derrick Walton Jr. returning for his senior season and Xavier Simpson the prize of next season's recruiting class, Michigan doesn't have a need for a third point guard.

Albrecht will always have his Michigan memories, though -- starting with his memorable performance in the 2013 NCAA championship game, as a freshman, when he scored 17 shocking points, on the strength of five 3-pointers.

For his career, he averaged fewer than four points a game, but was an on-court leader and a good defender. Fans fell in love with his hustle, and even this season, as the pain in his hips remained severe, he was diving all over the floor for loose balls.

At Purdue, he joins a roster that lost four point guards to eligibility expiration, including Rapheal Davis.

Like Max Bielfeldt a year ago, Albrecht heads to one of Michigan's Big Ten rivals. Purdue was 26-9 this past season, but lost to Arkansas-Little Rock in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. There will continue to be big expectations this season, given the Boilermakers' oversized, talented roster.

When Albrecht started exploring a transfer, he was originally limited as Michigan hadn't approved him transferring within conference or to a school that's on Michigan's schedule the next two years.

After coach John Beilein took serious heat in the national press, and after a conversation with athletic director Warde Manuel, Beilein eased the restrictions on Albrecht and fellow transfer Doyle, allowing them to explore Big Ten schools. Beilein said it was his decision, and Manuel confirmed it was the correct decision.

Last year, Bielfeldt had similar restrictions but appealed the decision, and won, allowing him to go to IU, where he thrived. Beilein likely didn't want another fight on his hands, even though he's said he still doesn't like the idea of Big Ten players being able to transfer in conference.

Beilein defended the football team taking quarterback Jake Rudock from Iowa this past season, saying Iowa wasn't on Michigan's regular-season schedule.

Albrecht and his father, Chuck, didn't immediately return messages seeking comment Tuesday morning.