Michigan's Albrecht says senior season over amid hip issues

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Spike Albrecht arrived on the national scene in the biggest game imaginable, scoring 17 points in the first half of the NCAA championship game in a blur of 3-pointers and clever drives to the basket.

An anonymous freshman then, he went on to become one of Michigan's undisputed leaders whose senior season has now been cut short by hip issues.

Albrecht can list a number of accomplishments beyond that one cameo at the Final Four.

"There's been a lot of great moments in my time here at Michigan," he said. "My sophomore year, we won the Big Ten championship outright, got to celebrate with the fans on the home floor after we beat (Indiana). Going to the Elite Eight, things like that. I've had countless memories here."

Albrecht announced Friday that his playing days at Michigan are over. The 5-foot-11 guard had bilateral hip surgery in the offseason, and he still isn't back at full strength. After starting 18 games last season, he's averaged only 8.6 minutes in 2015-16.

Albrecht and coach John Beilein met with reporters Friday. Beilein said there was concern about Albrecht's long-term health if he kept playing, and Albrecht said he never really felt right after basketball activities ramped up again.

"I really started to notice it as soon as we started practicing, even early in October," Albrecht said. "It just continued to just carry on and carry on. Here we are in December."

Albrecht was a freshman on the Michigan team that lost in the 2013 national title game to Louisville. He averaged 2.2 points per game as a backup to national player of the year Trey Burke, but the NCAA Tournament that season was like a dream for him. He made 9 of 10 shots from 3-point range in that tournament, and he made four 3s in the first half of the title game.

"I think I showed people that you can't ever let someone tell you what you can and can't do," Albrecht said. "My whole life I've been told I wasn't good enough, I wasn't big enough, I wasn't strong enough, fast enough, things like that. But I never really let that faze me."

The undersized Albrecht remained a fan favorite for the Wolverines, flashing enough creativity and shooting ability to remain a key player. His feistiness never subsided. Albrecht took only two shots Tuesday night in Michigan's blowout loss at SMU, a game attended by former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura.

Albrecht made one of his 3-point attempts and missed the other.

"Afterward he said, the second one he thought was in. He was going to turn and look at George W. and tell him a little bit about that shot. That's who he is," Beilein said. "He's got that stuff in him. We're going to miss it a lot, but we're going to embrace what he gave us."

Beilein said Albrecht will remain around the team in some capacity.

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