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Q&A: New Purdue guard addition Spike Albrecht

Provided he gets his waiver from the Big Ten, Spike Albrecht will play for Purdue next season.
Provided he gets his waiver from the Big Ten, Spike Albrecht will play for Purdue next season.

More: Albrecht commits to Purdue | Analysis ($) | Projected Purdue roster

Tuesday morning, Purdue added a needed piece to its projected 2016-17 roster with the addition of Michigan graduate transfer guard Spike Albrecht, who'll be immediately eligible to play his final season of college basketball in West Lafayette, provided he's granted an intraconference-transfer waiver by the Big Ten. caught up with Albrecht to discuss his decision, next season and more. Why is Purdue a good fit?

Albrecht: "I feel like I built a good relationship with Coach (Matt) Painter. He was one of the first coaches to reach out and he's been very honest with me about the situation and I think they have a great culture there at Purdue. I really liked the guys on the team now when I went on my visit. I think there's a good opportunity for me to come in and play and hopefully help them compete for a championship." How would you describe that opportunity?

Albrecht: "It's an unbelievable opportunity. It's a great master's program and Purdue's an hour from my house, so it will be awesome for my family and friends to come see me. Then, Purdue, with all the rich tradition of its basketball history, being from Indiana, I know all about it. It's exciting to come back to Indiana to finish out my final year of college basketball." You have a good deal of important experience and probably some wisdom that comes with it? How do you apply that on a one-year basis at Purdue?

Albrecht: "It'll definitely be different. I didn't know this until my visit but they don't have one returning (scholarship) senior. That's going to be different. But I was the old man on my last two teams at Michigan too. But I've played four years of college basketball, I've been through a lot and I think I understand the grind and what it takes to win at the highest level. I'm hoping to just bring that same attitude and work ethic that I had at Michigan and hope it carries over with these guys and helps us win." How much has NCAA Tournament experience shaped you into what you hope to be for Purdue this season?

Albrecht: "I just think I'm ready for any situation that's thrown at me, especially on the court. Not many guys have played in a national championship game or won a Big Ten championship. I've been to a Final Four, Elite Eights, a lot of big games and anyone will tell you the same thing: Playing in games like that really helps. I think it can help this team with some of these young guys, help everyone keep a calm demeanor." What's it like having 50,000 Twitter followers?

Albrecht: "It's OK, actually. I don't mind it. It drives you nuts at times because everyone wants to give you advice, tell you what you should and shouldn't do. I try to ignore it the best I can to be honest." That's what you get for playing really well in a national title game.

Albrecht: "That didn't hurt, that's for sure." From a health perspective, you're pretty well on schedule, right?

Albrecht: "Absolutely. I wouldn't be trying to play if I didn't feel like I was (going to be 100 percent). I'm feeling really good. When I was at Purdue, their doctors and trainer looked at me and started things in the right direction. I have another doctor's appointment coming up in a few weeks, but everything seems to on track and I'm feeling good and I'm back on the court playing. It's good to be healthy again."

(Note: May 13 is the one-year mark following the second of two hip surgeries, "which is when they told me I should start feeling back to normal again," he said.) The waiver process, I'd imagine you don't want to take that for granted, but with what happened last year with Max Bielfeldt, do you view that as a formality?

Albrecht: "Absolutely." Can you play the 2, too?

Albrecht: "We haven't really talked about it and I'm not too concerned about that. I feel like I can play off the ball, on the ball, whatever they need me to do. I just want to have a chance to play and help the team." Will it be fun playing Michigan or weird?

Albrecht: "It's nothing against Michigan, but it's not going to be any different than any other game. I'm just going to be excited to go out and compete like I would in any game. I love the guys on that team. They're some of my closest friends and obviously I had a great experience at Michigan. It might be weird, to say the least, especially when we go to Ann Arbor, but that's all part of it. I'm fine with it. Me, the coaches, whoever, we all get it and we're all on good terms. I don't think it will be any different." Matt Painter actually said one that he recruited P.J. Thompson because he didn't recruit you and didn't want to make the same mistake twice. What's your reaction to that?

Albrecht: "Yeah, I think he told me that on my visit. ... P.J. is similar to me. People look at us, with our size, and don't think we can play at this level. But if you can play, have a good feel for the game and can help a team win, who cares how big or athletic you are? That's kind of my take on it, and I think I've shown you can have success at this level regardless of how big or fast I am. I'm not worried about it. I'm just excited (Painter) hit me up this time around and I'm getting another opportunity."

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