Max Bielfeldt Picks Up Illinois Offer

Dylan Burkhardt

Peoria Notre Dame Lombard Glenbard East BasketballAccording his AAU coach, Gavin SullivanMax Bielfeldt received a scholarship offer from the University of Illinois tonight. Bielfeldt was a candidate for Michigan’s final scholarship offer but it’s worth noting that the 6-foot-8 post player has strong connections to the University of Illinois. For example, the athletic administration building is named after his grandparents.

6-foot-7 combo forward Larry Nance Jr. appears to be the other primary target for Michigan’s final scholarship in the class of 2011. Our scouting report and video from Nance’s game last Friday can be found here and Joe also interviewed Nance last week.

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  • Tweeter

    Interesting… Well that probably speaks to Bielfeldt’s abilities and good for him. It also probably means, as you hinted at, that Michigan does not have much of a chance with him. I would love for UM to get Bielfeldt, if the coaches felt he was good enough which now seems like it probably is, just because he sounded like a really good kid.

    However, I still think Nance is the better fit, assuming he is good enough. This team could really use an athletic wing player more than they could use another big man.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      It will be interesting to see whether they make a move for Nance, or sit back and see if anything else comes up. Maybe decommits from other schools with coaching changes?

      • grandchamp

        I’d like to see us wait it out. Maybe our coaches bluffed on Max to pressure Illinois to use a scholarship on him?

        • Tweeter

          not sure what that really gains you. I think its more likely that they really like the kid both as a person and player, but just were not sure yet whether or not that was the best use of the scholarship. Ofcourse, they could still offer him now and see what happens. I looked over at an Illini blog and apparently someone over there had just talked to Max and he is ecstatic about the offer (dont know how reliable that person is though).

          • Dylan Burkhardt

            Per Brad Sturdy from the Illinois Rivals site… Max is very excited and will talk it over with his parents. No time frame.!/Sturdy32

      • Tweeter

        i suppose that is true. However, I dont think they will sit on Nance if they feel like he can play. If they are unsure, then they probably will. This staff has shown that they like to take their time in evaluating players which is probably for the better.

      • georgeesq.

        Dylan, it occurs to me that Weber is looking for a few glue guys to set an example for some of the top 50 kids he brings in – in light of his recent comments on McCamey and others. You have to believe, as well, that the family connections helped move Weber in that direction.

  • Tweeter

    Ugh on another note, Kansas goes down big tonight to KSU which sucks because it both hurts our rpi and gives another bubble team a big signature win. At least Syracuse finally won a game.

  • Kenny

    Interesting. Bielfeldt is a nice kid but at most a marginal for high major. I thought that he will head to Ivy League but Weber might feel some pressure from his administration especially when he lost 6 of last 9 games.

  • grandchamp

    I just feel like we are getting to the point where we shouldn’t have to mull over offering a player. With the sudden success with such a young team and the facility upgrades coming next year. If a kid doesn’t jump off the page enough at you that he is a must offer then I feel we should be passing at this point. Just my 2 cents.

    • Eric

      I agree completely. While I trust Beilein, as the program is on a high right now I think we should hold out and bank the scholarship for next year.

  • I disagree completely. We are certainly not at the point where we are winning consistently enough to have the luxury of our pick of the litter, if that’s what you’re implying. Players develop late, players get overlooked and, especially considering our lack of depth at the 4, we can certainly use more bodies there. Nance Jr. seems like he’d be a great option.

    People get too caught up in the momentum of this recent win streak, and if you’ll recall people were calling for Beilein’s head during the 6 game losing streak. We have an extra scholly to hand out this year, so why not try to find an under-the-radar late bloomer?

    • Jeff

      I don’t think they’re saying we can get the pick of the litter, but the recruiting should naturally improve as the program improves. While it’s true that expectations should be tempered for this season, given the makeup of the team and it’s performance this year (plus the facilities upgrades), the program appears to be in the best shape it’s been in a dozen years.

  • Brian W

    Here’s an article from about Max picking up the Illinois offer. “Bielfeldt gave no answer to Weber, he said, but plans to attend the Illinois-Michigan game Wednesday at Assembly Hall in Champaign and meet with the coach about the offer.”

  • sven

    He won’t want to play for the Illini after we embarrass them in their own house.

    • Mattski

      That’s the spirit!

  • Mike

    I dont get a vote, but if it were me this would make the decision a little easier. You bank the scholly or you snakeoil somebody. I do trust Beilein though, and if he wants Nance he may turn him into Tim Hardaway. This is John Beilein. This is what he does.

  • Mattski

    Is some of the unspoken subtext here whether Smotrycz is going to be a major contributor?
    I’m curious about what people think; obviously, he isn’t going to become super-quick. . .

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Smotrycz has a huge role on this team going forward. That’s not really the question.

      The bigger question is backing him up. Novak is a senior next year and after him there is really only Colton Christian that’s equipped to play the four.

      • Kenny

        Several possibilities at 4 after Novak as of now
        1. Colton Caterpillar will become Colton Butterfly
        2. Glenn Robinson III ready to step in as a freshman
        3. Take Nance, get him ready in a year

        There have been a lot of talk of the needs of athletic wings. But in a big picture, if Morris leaves earlier, we must add a PG or a combo guard in 2012.

      • Mattski

        So you don’t think they may be a little disappointed in his progress?

        • Dylan Burkhardt

          Smotrycz? Nah. I think he still has a bright future. Gotta remember he’s a true freshman.

        • UM Hoops Fan

          He’s a true freshman shooting 38% from 3, playing the 4 and 5 in the B10. Can he improve on things, like rebounding and staying out of foul trouble? Sure. But he’s doing just fine.

  • Johnnyumfan

    Nothing against Bielfeldt but I think Nance has a greater upside anyway and Beilein badly needs another athletic wing player next year. Nobody was doing backflips last year when 3 star prospect Tim Hardaway Jr. was given a scholarship and look at him now.

  • Kenny

    Alex Legion in trouble again, kicked out by Isaiah Thomas.