Michigan Offers Max Bielfeldt

Dylan Burkhardt

110310_limestonepnd09-881x700[1]First reported by Greg Stewart of the Peoria Star, and confirmed by our Joe Stapleton, Michigan has offered Peoria Notre Dame big man Max Bielfeldt a scholarship. Bielfeldt has already visited Michigan unofficially and Illinois officially and wants to take an official visit to Michigan before deciding between the two schools. Bielfeldt also told Joe that Illinois wants an answer sooner than later. Look for more from us in the coming hours but here’s more from the Star:

Michigan began recruiting Bielfeldt in earnest after the holidays. Coaches from the Wolverines staff have attended a handful of Irish games, with the scholarship offer coming from Michigan head coach John Beilein last week. Bielfeldt said he had the offer from Michigan when he made an official visit to Illinois on Feb. 26. He was asked by Michigan, however, to keep it quiet until Beilein could inform other recruits they were no longer in the Michigan picture.

“Initially, Michigan wasn’t going to offer until after the season,” Bielfeldt said. “But I guess when I got an offer from Illinois, it changed their time table.

“He told me they decided they needed a big more than they needed a guard,” Bielfeldt said of his conversation with Beilein. “He wanted a chance to talk to the other players they were recruiting before this got out.”

Bielfeldt confirmed that this development made Illinois and Michigan the only two schools he is now considering. He didn’t give a timetable for any decision, however, saying that he still wants to make an official visit to the Ann Arbor campus before he decides.

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  • Phil Connors

    Dylan, what other players do you think Max is refering to? I wasn’t aware of any other guards that the coaches were going after.

    • gpsimms

      phil? phil connors?!

      it’s me ned. ned…..ryerson.

      • Tweeter

        Hey, how ya doing? thanks for watching.

        • gpsimms


  • Kenny

    He may not be a star but he will fit into this Michigan team very well, much better than the one Weber has at Illinois. Beilein can simply point to Novak to show how he can be successful at Michigan. Fact that he has not committed to Illinois and want to visit AA again smells like he would be the 3rd member of 2011 recruiting class. IMO, would be a very solid addition but a red-shirt candidate.

    • Tweeter

      dont know why you think he would redshirt. He already has the body to bang at this level and his skill level while not where it could be in another year, is not bad for a center. To me this smells more like they do not think McLimans can contribute at the 5 and Horford will still be developing next year.

      • Kenny

        He might have body to play defense but he has a lot to learn about the offensive system, plus there is not much need for him to step in immediately.

        • Tweeter

          disagree about the need to step in immediately. There are other options right now at the 5, but none have shown to be more than a couple minute place holder for Morgan on a consistent basis. Still think the team needs an athletic wing more than another 5, but thats just me. I also have crazy optimism about Horford will become.

  • the_white_tiger

    Seems like Beilein’s decided he wants Bielfeldt before everyone else in this class. For how well his recruits have panned out so far, I’m going to go with Beilein’s opinion of him.

  • Brian W

    Interesting. Bacari Alexander has done a great job with Jordan Morgan this year, so I’m sure that helps. Hope he enjoys his second visit to Michigan.

  • KAB

    MSU is playing pretty well tonight…

    • JimC

      Plus they’re playing Iowa. It helps. Just sayin

      • the_white_tiger

        Didn’t help the first time MSU played them.

  • KAB

    Yea,we also want them to win.

  • JimC

    So Scouts has him rated as a 87 / 2star.
    Is that accurate? Are there better rating services?

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      That’s ESPN’s rating but I believe the evaluation was done a while ago. Max has had a huge year numbers wise and has led Peoria Notre Dame to a 27-0 record thus far.

      The one different between Bielfeldt and Nance is that Bielfeldt also picked up a high major offer from Illinois. Nance is still at the MM-level in term of options.

      • lavell99

        I like the 27-0 part. Is there any other division one kid on that roster or is Bielfeldt pretty much driving the bus?

        • Tweeter

          Did a rivals search and no other players listed from that school in any of the next three classes, so I am assuming that he is the main guy.

          • Amzngcandn

            Notre Dame has another 6-8 kid to go along with Biefeldt but even still Biefeldt has put up monster numbers all year long.

  • mike the original

    I say he picks us:

    “They always said they’d be really supportive of my decision and where I’d fit best,” he said. “Growing up, I was always at Illinois games and a huge fan. As I got a little older, I noticed the whole Big Ten tradition and history there. I’m more of a Big Ten fan than just Illinois.”

  • KAB

    Iowa St. up 10 on Colorado.

  • Anthony

    Hmm i would have rather banked the scholarship unless another big is transferring i really wanted hare next season does that mean they will not have any scholarships for next season ?

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      If Michigan takes another 2011, they still have at least one to use in 2012… assuming no other attrition.

    • Tweeter

      i would trust beilein here. He has a terrific track record for finding gems that other top programs did not want. If he and his coaches believe that Max can play, then they deserve the benefit of the doubt.

      I am sure he understands the scholarship crunch for next year and has a good feeling of the players that are out there next year, so this offer tells me that he believes Max is a bigger priority than those guys.

      Plus this team looks like they are going to be ready to compete at a very high level next season. Max can immediately help off the bench at the 5 and you never know what Darius’ or Tim’s draft status is going to look like after next season.

      • lavell99

        Yeah, that’s a fair point. Beilein has definitely done enough to prove he’s got a keen eye for talent.

  • lavell99

    Man, this is a bummer. This guy’s probably going to commit. I was really fired up to get Bhullar…or as I like to affectionately refer to him…..The HamBhurgullar. I suppose The HamBhurgullar could still be in the 2012 class.

    • Tweeter

      love the nickname, but I wouldnt be disappointed with Max. He is a terrific kid from the sounds of his quotes and coaches plus he can play. Probably does not have the upside of some other kids, but could be a Brian Cardinal/Tyler Hansborough type player.

      • gordie bell

        Bielfeldt seems more like a Jordan Morgan clone to me.
        I can’t see the big 7’4” kid being a good fit for what M wants to do, I would rather bank the schollie, or offer Nance than get the Big Fella.

  • Mattski

    Incredible game between FSU and North Carolina!

    I think Bielfeldt just believes he’ll get a better education–and have way more fun–in A2.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Big time shot by Harrison Barnes.

  • Tweeter

    this bubble is getting softer by the day.

    • yeah FSU loss, Colorado loss, Maryland loss. These are all good things.

      • Tweeter

        Plus Southern Miss, Memphis, Dayton (they were prolly already dead) and Marquette is down midway second half.

  • Kainkitizen

    This means that if Coach still wants to have Nance Jr. part of the team, he would have to be a preferred walk-on. I believe Coach does ask Nance Jr to come as a preferred walk-on. I don’t think you can pass on him with his father being who he was in his playing days. He’s got the pedigree already build into his DNA.

  • I heard somewhere that Bielfeldt is visiting officially for the MSU game on Saturday, is this true? If so, hopefully the environment of the “most important game in this rivalry in a long time” will be enough to sway the young man in favor of the Wolverines.

    Rumors questioning Weber’s job status are floating around out there, I’d be cautious if I was recruited by Illinois as well.

    • Kenny

      Weber has a bad year but I doubt that he is in really trouble. The kid wants to play for Beilein because he fits in better and has better chance to contribute.

  • KAB

    I think FSU is pretty much in the dance.

  • billiam

    I’m still “meh” on this kid until further information comes out. All we’ve got now is Coach B’s word. While I like Coach B (like….a lot) I’ll wait until further video and evaluations. But until I’m proven wrong, I don’t want another 2* on this team. (Note: Novak and dougless were also 2*, so it’s not everything, but it’s a pretty good indicator.)

    If he makes it to a 3* then I’m ok, or if he outplays his stars I’m ok. But until one of those two happens, this is not a pick-up we should be excited about.

    Mr. Negative

    • Tweeter

      yea just completely disagree with you here, but you are entitled to your opinion. Im not saying we should blindly follow Beilein, just that he deserves the benefit of the doubt in regards to finding recruits.

      • BeileinsBricks

        True, however our best players have been the higher rated ones. Manny and DeShawn were high four stars. Darius was a four star on Rivals. Tim Hardaway was a top-100 player on ESPN. Every team needs role players, however if we are taking a center project, I would prefer him to be taller (6’10” or above). If shorter, I’d prefer our center to be more athletic. Beilein isn’t perfect, and I’m just afraid it could end up being a McLimans reach, but time will tell.

        The good news is, if he commits, we’ll definitely have the richest team in the Big Ten. This kids’ parents are absolutely loaded. Him, plus all the NBA kids plus Vogrich and Bartelstein who’re from the North Shore in Chicago. Our team will blow away all other teams when it comes to net worth.

        • Tweeter

          again, i would not call this kid a project. And just to comment on this star/rating thing, I think people that use that as a metric to evaluate recruits are using a bad metric. Tell me how many high level D-1 offers Hardaway had? What about Morris?

          This kid has an offer from Illinois. That is very telling. Yea maybe he doesn’t have elite/nba level athletic ability, but there are probably more players that have been stars at the college level that did not have that type of ability than there are players who have had it. Beilein is not trying to build an all-NBA first round draft team, he is trying to build an NCAA championship team.

          • once again, agree completely with you here. People often base their entire evaluation of a player solely on his rankings, and I think this is a case which shows how flawed of a metric that truly is.

            Have we not learned to trust Beilein by now as a fan base? He’s won at every level, and proven the doubters wrong in just about every way possible. Let the man work.

          • Sam

            Just to clarify, Darius Morris had offers from just about everywhere in the country and Tim Hardaway, Jr. also had a fair share. I will tell you for sure that both of them had more than two total high D1 offers. I’m not saying I am completely against this, I’m simply saying that this would be very questionable. I have learned to trust Beilein though. I just think that Horford is going to develop into a great center and we shouldn’t be taking a big until 2012, but that is just my opinion.

          • Tweeter

            re:Sam. Hmm, I just went off rivals and scout when looking at DMo’s offer sheet (obviously these might not be accurate as they sometimes are not) and while certainly there were many schools that offered him, I am not sure that I would call any of them elite. The Kentucky offer is not listed on either of those sites, but I do recall now Dylan mentioning he had a Kentucky offer before he committed so I will trust that. But it was not like he was a sure fire, offered by everyone, type of player. Hardaway was not even at that level in terms of recruiting. He also had several other D-1 offers, but nothing that jumped out at you. As I recall only Minnesota was really high on him, but I could be wrong there.

            My point was not to put either of these guys down, as they are both great players and were both highly respected players coming out of highschool. I was just responding to the comment by Beileinsbricks that our best players are the “highly ranked” ones and that Beilfeldt is a “reach.” I just disagree with using that formula as a way to judge potential players and think that what schools offer a particular player is more accurate most of the time.

            I do agree with you in regards to the potential need at center, but as I stated in a previous post, that is mostly due to my belief that Horford has a ton of potential that could show up at any time. However, looking at the other side of things, I can also understand the view that we do not have great depth at center as neither McLimans nor Horford have shown they can play for more than a couple minutes if that.

            As I see it, this is a team that is ready to compete for a Big Ten title next season and just in terms of pure depth this year, I would say center is probably our weakest spot. I really want this team to add another athletic wing, but the team has shown they can get more than get by with the rotation of Novak/Smotrycz at the 4 and Hardaway/Vogrich at the 3. While the team has not really shown they can get by with the Morgan/Horford/McLimans/Smotrycz rotation at the 5.

          • Sam

            I think you need to give the kids some time. Far too many posters on here are always clamoring for freshmen to come in and have some amazing impact right away. This is rarely the case. Yes, Tim Hardaway, Jr. has played some fantastic basketball this season and Jordan Morgan is starting to come into his own. But if you think a guy like Bielfeldt is going to come in and start playing 20 minutes a game right away, you are dead wrong. I don’t see any way he breaks the two-deep at all next season if he commits. We are going to have plenty of depth as it is right now to compete for a Big Ten title next season without any more 2011 commits. Just look at the roster and you will see we have at least two adequate players at every position, some even more:

            1. Darius Morris, Trey Burke, Stu Douglass
            2. Stu Douglass, Zack Novak, Matt Vogrich, Tim Hardaway, Jr., Carlton Brudndidge
            3. Tim Hardaway, Jr., Zack Novak
            4. Evan Smotrycz, Colton Christian, Zack Novak
            5. Jordan Morgan, Jon Horford

            I truly feel that all of these guys will be Big 10-ready come next season (except for maybe the freshmen). The leap from freshman to sophomore year is almost always the greatest, and I expect more of the same this offseason.

          • Dylan Burkhardt

            Morris never had a Kentucky offer. Some of his big offers were Oregon St, USC, Washington State as far as I remember.

          • Beilein’s Bricks

            I’m not fully married to the ratings system, but more likely than not higher ratings correlate with higher performance in college. Frankly, 2 or low-3 star players typically correlate with projects that take time to develop, especially when they come to high-major conferences. No shame in that. Morgan is a 3-star that bore fruit and quickly, so that’s an example that dispels my statement. While on the other hand we have McLimans. Before we offered McLimans, we offered Will Barret his slot and he turned us down and went to Princeton where he’s averaging less than two points a game for the second year in a row. So Beilein isn’t perfect.

            Our more highly rated players were noticed by at least one of the recruiting sites, and were not complete unknowns. True that Hardaway and Morris didn’t have huge offers from the who’s who of college basketball, but they had pretty good ones. I think Florida came after Hardaway after he committed and blew up his Senior year, but he or his Dad turned them down. Where would the team be without Morris and Hardaway?

            There’s just a misrepresentation out there that Beilein has been winning with solely unknown 2 stars. He’s been winning when he’s had good players. Pittsnoggle was a 4-star. Gansey was less known before college (though I think he was Mr. Basketball in Ohio?), but he had an awesome first year at St. Bonaventure before the welding scandal forced him to transfer. Dasean Butler was a 4-star on Scout and was rated the 15th best small forward. You can add Manny, Deshawn, Darius and Tim H Jr.

            Again, I’m not opposed to taking Mr. Bielfeldt, especially if the coaches think he’s a must-have recruit. Just have some healthy skepticism, but will fully welcome him if he comes into the fold and hope for the best.

    • Kenny

      No one was excited about no Novak. While he is not the best player, he is the soul of this team. Max could just be this type of guy.

      • billiam

        I agree with you there and tried to make my note of this more obvious. My bad. There are plenty of great guys out there who were rated low, and poor college players who were rated highly. Given all that, I think we’d all take a 5* guy over a 2*.

        I’m not saying this guy CAN’T be good, just that I don’t see him being a good player next year. This is important because….

        We don’t need another role player at the 5. Morgan has shored that duty up, and Horford will likely be his back-up next year. Where does that leave Beilfeldt? At the 4? We’ve already got Novak and Smot there. I guess he could be a back-up to Smot at the 4 in two years, but then that’s a sign that we’re giving up on Christian. See what I mean?

        I guess it’s not ONLY the stars. My belief is that this kid will be a role player at the 4/5 and we already have role players there. Since we don’t need a role player, why get one?

        Still love Belien, and still negative Nancy,

  • grandchamp

    Would have been nice to have a scholarship available for the end of the season and coaching changes come. I do trust in JB though and he maybe possibly know about some attrition that we have no idea about as of yet.

    • paul r

      he has not accepted the offer yet.. things may still change here. stay tuned

  • Johnnyumfan

    Kainkitizen may be on to what could happen. Get Nance as a preferred walk-on. Beilein may like both Nance Jr. and Bielfeldt, but has only one scholarship to offer.

    Ofcourse, that depends on which offer Bielfeldt takes, Illinois or Michigan. Beilein must feel that Nance Jr. might still be there if Bielfeldt turns down UM. There is a risk that Beilein could lose both prospects.

    I bet JB wants a decision soon from Bielfeldt, just like Weber of Illinois.

  • Fred_Ex

    The only thing that really attracted me to Nance Jr. was that he used to play as a smaller player until he hit a growth spurt. That means he is probably used to playing around the perimeter, which fits a 4 well in Belein system. Sim Bhullar is just a freak of a player, ESPN has him at 7’4″ 330 lbs. Wow! When you get into that kind of size it seems you usually lose some athleticism, but man it has worked.

  • JD

    I really hope Coach Beilein sees Max as a guy that can come into the rotation immediately. While I expect that Horford will improve before next year, we’ve seen what has happened in games that Morgan gets into foul trouble. Horford is inconsistent and McLimans is just over-matched and makes me cringe with his refusal to shoot anything inside of the 3 point line. To have 2 solid back-up options to Morgan next year would be great.

    I was more a fan of Nance Jr., with his leaping and shot-blocking ability but M.B. getting an offer from a good program like Illinois makes me think that maybe there’s something to him being a diamond in the rough.

    • Tweeter

      I was also more of a Nance guy in terms of these two, not based on any player ability, just based on what I thought the team needed more. However, I like both these kids and will not be disappointed in either joining the program. In terms of MAx for next year, I don’t think Beilein would offer unless he felt he could play immediately. It just does not make any sense to offer a kid this late unless you believe you absolutely need a player right now for depth (Christian) or you know he can contribute right away.

      I do also buy some of the lack of depth issues you raise at the 5 though. If McLimans has proven anything, its that he just is not a 5, at least not right now. Horford has shown a lot of flashes of potential but he has been very inconsistent and also very foul prone, which has limited his playing time.

      • Kenny

        Horford and Christian were taken late last year. While Beilein intended to play Christian, Horford was taken more as a project.

        Nance is an intriguing prospect, while the potential is clearly there, he does not have the hop and the length Nance sr has.

  • Dford

    Max is having a stellar year and is a very fundementally sound looking prospect! He has the type of skill set that translates to a productive B10 player with the body to match. Coach Beilien has to believe that he can contibute right away and that Larry Nance jr would be more of a Colton Christian type of project at this point. How else could you explain passing up on a very atheletic 4 with handles and a high ceiling, with pro blood running threw his veins? I really believe that Nance jr, with the right coaching, could be that THJ under the radar type player that just developed a little later while learning to adjust to his new body. Also the way Coach Beilien has groomed THJ so brilliantly, I would have liked to see him take Nance under his wing the same way, proving that he can develop nba talent to future high level talented kids that question his system and methods. However with the way this team has performed Coach B has earned some space to cupid shuffle a little bit and we just have to two step right along with him until we’re not feeling the music ya dig!!!

  • Kainkitizen

    Hey Johnnyumfan, Yeah that’s what I was thinking. It all depends on if Max commits to us. If he does, then I believe Coach still wants Nance Jr and will ask him to come as a preferred walk-on. Nance Jr could always come in and red-shirt, learn the system, put some weight on, and be part of Small Dogs class. It would be hard to pass on both Max and Larry. They have basketball talent and skill that Coach likes in his players that can really make an impact with furthering the success of the basketball team. Max reminds me of just a bigger Novak. He will come in show his size, skill, and muscle for the team and play 12-15 minutes a game. It could be to help the situation with the size disadvantage when Novak plays the 4 against the taller teams such as Illinios and Minnesota. It’s just an energy buster for Novak to play defense and contribute on the offensive end when he is looked upon to play the 4. That’s why his number fell during that stretch of games, his legs just didn’t get him the lift and balance for his shot to fall.

    • billiam

      Do you want Novak to be subbed by Bielfeldt or by Smot next year? I think Smot’s the prototypical 4 in this offense, and Bielfedt would be a 5 type guy.

      • sven

        I don’t want Zack to be subbed by either because he should be playing the two next year. Smot will be back starting at the 4. A year of strength and conditioning will do him a world of good.

  • JD

    One good thing I just saw about Max is that he’s 94% FT shooter. You have to like that in a big man.

  • sven

    Max has gone head to head with one Big Ten signee and another commit.

    Illinois signee Nnanna Egwu is 6’10 220lbs. He’s rated a 4* on Rivals, Scout, and ESPN. In their head to head match up Max had 26 points and 13 rebounds. Egwu had 6 points and 5 rebounds.

    Max also had 39 points 13 rebounds against 6’9 235lbs 2012 Purdue commit Jay Simpson. Simpson had 6 points.

    • Sid

      I fail to see how this is any more relevant than expert analysis based on youtube clips and bloodlines. If I could neg you, I would.


    • Mith

      Yikes, those are monster numbers. This guy might be better than what he is rated at.

    • Kenny

      If you have the film on these two games, the doubters might get convinced.

      It is good to know that Max plays good competition. One concern about Nance is his level of competition has not been high although he might play 1 on 1 with his daddy every day.

    • billiam

      Sven, I stand corrected.

  • JimC

    Can Alex Legion re-de-re-de-re commit?

  • Section13Row15

    I kind of like some of those measurables against other Big 10 future players. Didn’t Trey Burke have some good games against D-1 commits this summer? I don’t think Beilein would’ve offered Beifeldt if he didn’t think he would commit to U-M if offered. I’m not a huge fan of this offer because I think we already have a few Beifeldts on the team already (McLimans, Smotrycz, Christian, Novak (to some extent)), but if he fits in well with the team and works hard to get better everyday, who knows? Alex Legion was highly rated and look what happened to him. I wish Alex had just shut everyone else out during college and worked hard at improving his skills rather than worrying about where he was going to get the most playing time. He might have been a 3 or 4 year starter for U-M had he stuck it out – and our lone senior this year. I’m not a fan of redshirting either unless there’s an injury. Don’t you wish McLimans was a sophomore instead of a freshman? Just opens up another scholarship a year earlier. That’s all I have, good discussion though! Let’s get rowdy on Saturday!

    • gpsimms

      i’m pretty glad jordan morgan is a freshman instead of a sophomore.

      don’t you wish peedi had one more year of eligibility? it’s usually helpful for big men.

    • Polisci

      Nope, I don’t wish McLimans was a sophomore rather than a redshirt freshmen. Two reasons: First, he can still get better and by the time he is in his last year he will be like 25 years old. Second, 5th years are not guaranteed, see Anthony Wright.

  • Kainkitizen

    Anthony was a leader in the locker room and had his moments on the court but i don’t think belien could save him and the scholarship he had for another year of nothing. Wish him well playing in the Mid-American Conference this year.

  • Nick

    Does anyone have an update on Max’s status? Has he been on his official visit yet?