Dec. 10, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team held a media roundtable on Monday (Dec. 10) prior to hosting Binghamton on Tuesday (Dec. 11) in the final game of its three-game homestand at Crisler Center.
Michigan's five freshmen have seen quality minutes in the first nine games. Each opponent brings a different look and allows the Wolverines to learn Coach Beilein's complex offensive and defensive system.
Freshman guard Spike Albrecht has played in all nine games, giving Trey Burke rest when needed, but the two have also seen minutes together. After suffering a knee injury in preseason, forward Jon Horford has returned to give Michigan quality depth at the four and five spots.
Albrecht has committed just one turnover while dishing out 10 assists in 67 minutes of action this season. In U-M's win against Arkansas (Dec. 8), Horford came off the bench and recorded four rebounds, three blocks and one steal in 10 minutes.
U-M Freshman Guard Spike Albrecht
On the importance of getting reps in early non-conference games ... "They're definitely big to get everyone playing together in games, especially last game against Arkansas; they really pressured us. And also getting used to playing in front of big crowds and stuff like that."
On the most important things he's learned at the college level ... "I'd have to say defense -- adjusting defensively and all the different switching patters and being in the gaps, and also really communicating. We have to talk a lot both offensively and defensively."
On having several other talented players on the team to help him improve ... "It makes things a lot easier. It makes everyone better, having teammates like this around you. Having guys where you can drive, one dribble and kick, and they can knock down shots, it's great. It makes me and Trey's (Burke) job so much easier and helps us rack up some assists too."
On handling the mental aspect of the college game ... "For freshmen, I think confidence is big. You have to go out there and have confidence in yourself. Coaches show confidence in us by putting us out there, so we have to go out there and execute and do our jobs."
U-M Junior/Sophomore Forward Jon Horford
On the depth at the four and five position ... "It gives you an advantage because if you have guys who come in and contribute, especially if anything happens to the guys in front, if anyone needs rest, or in any situation, having more options is better for us."
On the importance of doing the little things to help the team ... "That's what it's all about. It's about playing your role and doing the little things because the little things, I believe in the end, are what are going to help us win championships. Everyone on the team is willing to do that kind of stuff and everyone has been doing that stuff all season."
On having other forwards helping him recover from his preseason injury ... "They help me every day to get back, and I try to help them get better. We try to help each other out and at the end of the day, hopefully we all get where we want to go."
On the mental aspect of stopping runs by other teams ... "It's all about staying poised, staying composed and not letting anything rattle you. Everyone did a great job of that against Arkansas. Even though they brought it close, it didn't feel like they brought it within one, it felt like we were still up 10."
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423