'Terrific Three' is region's gift to U. of Michigan basketball

2012-11-19T17:00:00Z 2012-12-18T20:42:05Z 'Terrific Three' is region's gift to U. of Michigan basketballAl Hamnik, (219) 933-4154
November 19, 2012 5:00 pm  • 

Michigan had its 1991 "Fab Five" recruiting class of Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson.

It's been downsized a bit with the "Terrific Three."

Freshmen Glenn Robinson III (Lake Central), Mitch McGary (Chesterton) and Spike Albrecht (Crown Point) are the Duneland Athletic Conference's contribution to Wolverines' basketball this 2012-13 season.

And they're already making their mark.

The 6-foot-6 Robinson and teammate Tim Hardaway Jr., both starters, were featured in a Nov. 19 Sports Illustrated story on the sons of former NBA stars.

The 6-10, 260-pound McGary is nicknamed "Monster" because of his in-your-face style of play.

Albrecht started in place of all-American guard Trey Burke, who was suspended for the Nov. 1 exhibition game with Northern Michigan, and responded with 16 points, six assists and only two turnovers in 31 minutes of an 83-47 win.

"It's taken a while but I'm fortunate enough to land here. Coach (John) Beilein and the other coaches found something they liked in me," said Albrecht, who came from Northfield Mount Harmon Prep in Massachusetts.

"I always wanted to play at the biggest school I thought I could play at, and I wanted to stay in the Midwest. My family didn't get to see me at all last year on the East Coast and they've already been up to a few games this year. They love it."

Albrecht's role hasn't changed from those hero days at C.P.: pay hard, play smart, shoot when open.

"I'll use a football analogy. The Doug Fluties, the Joe Theismanns, the Joe Montanas ... they don't pass the eyeball test for an NFL quarterback but somehow they get things done," Beilein told

"(Albrecht) certainly doesn't pass that test, but he continues to be productive."

The perimeter-based Wolverines' lack of size last season, according to Beilein, knocked them out of the NCAA Tournament.

"I'm trying to get in better shape so I provide the team with energy and enthusiasm," said McGary, who fearlessly dives for loose balls every chance he gets despite foot problems.

"One of my main jobs is to clean the glass. They say it's hard to keep 'The Monster' off the glass."

McGary played three years at Chesterton before transferring to Brewster Academy in N.H., where he helped lead the team to a 33-1 record.

"I've always played a high level of basketball and the DAC helped me do that," McGary said. "It's been a slow progression (to Monsterville). I was never always this big. I was tall but lanky my freshman, sophomore and even my junior year.

"I've put on a lot of muscle. I love contact."

Glenn Robinson III, meanwhile, has been all that was advertised.

"I'm starting to get used to the college scene and playing on a bigger stage," said The Times 2012 Player of the Year. "It definitely gets crazy. We got two classes a day, study hall, then the rest of the night goes to basketball and studying after practice.

"There's a lot of things to do in one day. Those are some of the consequences that come with it and hopefully it'll all pay off at the end."

Robinson is the team's third-leading scorer at 13.3 ppg., and shooting .652 from the field.

"The transition has been pretty smooth. I'm playing a little bit at a 4 and having to defend the 4 can be hectic at times," Robinson said. "But I think that's something I can maintain with the body I have and the size that I have.

"I really like the offense I've been put into. Playing with Tim Hardaway and Trey and Spike makes it that much easier to score."

In an interview with, Beilein said: "Glenn's learning what he can and can't do. He's a very efficient player. His team loves him and they find him.

"He has instincts, both offensively and defensively, that you don't coach. He just does it."

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