Monday Bullets: Max Bielfeldt, Fab Five & Tennessee

Dylan Burkhardt

  • 2011 Peoria Notre Dame big man Max Bielfeldt will take his official visit to Michigan this week, as he’s headed to Ann Arbor tonight. Bielfelt has offers from Michigan and Illinois and is expected to decide between the two schools. Illinois also may be pushing to use its final scholarship on a point guard transfer from Bradley. The interview and highlights above are from this January.
  • Jalen Rose provided Tennessee assistant coach Tony Jones, one of Jalen’s high school coaches, with a scouting report of the Wolverines. ($) Here’s some more (free) talk from the Tennessee side of things on the NCAA match-up.
  • Despite playing 95% man defense this year, Michigan’s 1-3-1 zone is still a constant topic in the national media. Most recently it’s Andy Katz: “Paging Tennessee? Part of me is convinced the Vols are in position to be the most dangerous No. 9 seed. If the Vols play up to their potential, they could beat Michigan and Duke to get to the Sweet 16. But Tennessee could also lose badly to Michigan and the Wolverines’ 1-3-1 defense.” Despite playing almost entirely man-to-man, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Michigan break out the zone against the Vols, considering their shooting woes.
  • Miss the Fab Five documentary on ESPN? It’s posted in its entirety on YouTube.
  • Brian posts his thoughts on Chris Webber and the Fab Five while Greg Dooley posts notes and quotes from the pre-screening in Ann Arbor.
  • Luke Winn, easily one of our favorite college basketball writers, has plenty of thoughts on the NCAA Tournament brackets.
  • David Brandon posted thoughts on Michigan’s inclusion in the tournament on his blog.

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  • SJWolv

    Am I reading that right, Jalen Rose is helping Tennessee scout us? If that’s the case, I guess he does care more about the Fab Five than his own school. That’s one thing that bothered me about the doc, no one is bigger than the school, including the Fab Five.

    • SJWolv

      Also, the merchandising metric was misleading because they added up two years worth of merchandising sales and compared it against single years prior to the Fab Five. That’s the great thing about numbers, you can spin them anyway you want!

    • jmblue

      I’m pretty sure Jalen still has a lot of affection for Michigan. His Rose Garden foundation brings inner-city kids to every home game. He’s also tweeted a few times following big wins this season.

    • um basketball fan

      Yea I’m still trying to figure out if this is Rose’s way to lash back at not being included in the coaching selection or team in any official way (well duh…. JB’s job is to clean the program up, he’s not going to run the risk of people associating names and reputations), or if it is just a run-of-the-mill procedure that Tennessee would have been given our scouting report either way, and Rose decided to do it because of personal connection? Either way it definitely doesn’t read right. The only the thing I am rest assured about is that the only information JR would have is what any attentive basketball fan could put together themselves. JR has critcized/trashtalked JB on his twitter before if I remember correctly so I doubt he would be privy to anything confidential.

  • Mith

    The 1-3-1 thing drives me nuts.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      One positive is probably that every team will spend some time preparing for it in practice before they play Michigan.

      • Kenny

        I am sure that coaches knows better than those writers who donot watch every tea playing but have to pretend that they know everything. To be fair, 1-3-1 gave Kansas a lot of problems this year.

        • Dylan Burkhardt

          Oh yeah, but we have the ability to play it which means teams must prepare for it whether we use it or not.

          • ZRL

            Unless you are Bill Self and preparing for teams isn’t really your thing.

      • JimC

        Maybe that’s a bonus of running the 1-3-1…it wastes opponent’s time practicing for it……

      • Gary

        It also helps you figure out who in the MSM is actually paying attention.

    • Jeff

      We could pratically turn it into a drinking game name on how many national analysts will bring up the 1-3-1 when they talk about Michigan.

  • Chris

    Quite a few heights and weights have been thrown out for Max Bielfeldt.. Dylan, what do you believe his true height and weight is?

    • Kenny

      Have him stand side by side with Morgan and smotrysz then we have pretty good idea about max’s height.

    • Brad

      one thing’s sure, he doesn’t look 6-8…

  • Rob

    I do wonder if we get in on Richard Peters, another PF/C from Toronto. He is 6’9 to 6’10”, prepped in New Hampshire, and signed his LOI to Oklahoma (who just fired Capel). Would be nice to get in on him AND sell the proximity / number of flights home much like we have Bhullar.

    • Kainkitizen

      Richard Peters is a 2012 recruit that has committed to play for Oklahoma. It will be interesting to see which recruits leave their commitment from the coachless schools right now.

  • Brian W

    Michigan women’s team got left out of the NCAA tournament. Their bad game in the Big Ten Tournament came back to bite them. They should get an NIT bid, though.

    Hopefully Max enjoys his trip to Ann Arbor.

  • matt d

    I have now watched Biefleldt on film 3 times, and I must say that the highlights/film leave something to be desired. I know the college game is not all about athleticism, but to have a highlight film without 1 dunk from a 6’8 guy is slightly disturbing to me. I do like his passing ability, but the film didn’t show any defensive highlights either. In all honesty, I simply don’t think Max will be able to finish when facing B10 competition, he simply doesn’t have the lift. I’ll defer to Coach B since I’ve only seen 3 highlight flims, but in my estimation, Nance Jr. is a much better prospect for the college game.

    • jBdub

      If it makes you feel any better, there’s a picture of him finishing a dunk on this very site. Just click on Recruiting above, then 20011 Recruits, then Max Bielfeldt.

    • Kool Breeze

      Matt D, I couldn’t agree more. Without seeing too many highlights, I would think Coach Beehive is in love with his shooting, not his athletic abiltity (see Evan S.). Beehive loves the bigs who can shoot the three.

  • Brad

    seriously Jalen? I know that he probably didn’t give the Tennessee coaches anything they couldn’t find themselves, but that isn’t cool…

  • buddhafrog

    I trust Jalen – he loves UM like nobody’s business, saying his dream job would be to coach us some day. He’s also probably loyal to his HS coach. I’m sure he’s pulling for UM and whatever “scouting” he’s offering probably is less than the Vol’s would figure out with a little film.

    Anyone read the paid site and can fill us in with a little details?

    One thing I trust is Jalen’s love for Go Blue!

  • wayman britt

    I wonder what Max Bielfeldt’s vertical jump is? Looks like around 9 inches. His whole game doesn’t rely on jumping, but weak jumping ability could hurt his game at the Big Ten level.

    • Johnnyumfan

      Bill Laimbeer and Larry Bird couldn’t jump either. Since you said Bielfeld’s game doesn’t rely on jumping then strength must be his strong suit which is very important in a physical league like the Big Ten.

  • THe One and Only

    Max is a very underwhelming prospect. I am ready to take my e-beatings for that statement, but it is true. I honestly feel like we should bank the scholarship or go after someone who can be a legitimate 5 along with morgan. I feel like after this year we can get some truly elite players and we don’t need to reach on coach b gems. I understand he is good at finding the diamond in the rough…but there comes a point when it would be nicer to you know… just get the diamond that is nicely polished already.

  • jmblue

    Weird about Jalen. I’ve got to assume he isn’t giving them anything really hush-hush.

    • ZRL

      I doubt Jalen knows anything hush-hush. If Tennessee is basing their scouting report based on what a former player who occassionally comes back and watches a game tells them, they’ll be in for a big suprise come Friday.

      • Gary

        Lot’s of 1-3-1 and they only shoot 3’s. What else is there to know?

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    I think the Jalen call was more just a congratulations from a former player to a former coach. I’m sure the scouting was more like…. Darius Morris is good, Zack Novak plays hard and can shoot. Darius Morris doesn’t go left. Pretty simple stuff.

    • Gary

      Oh man! I hope he didn’t give away D-Mo’s weakness!

    • Brian W

      Jalen LOVES trash talk. For context, I’m sure it was along the lines of “(insert name) is going to score on you all day long.” The Fab Five documentary did a good job of summing up his ability to talk trash.

      One other thing that the documentary brought back to life was how much I hated Ohio State back then. I really didn’t like Jimmy Jackson or Chris Jent. For those not old enough to remember Jent, he was a worse version of Purdue’s Chris Kramer. A real pain in the…

    • Azad

      By the way , can we give Morris SOME credit for having finished some plays lefty? He had a nice lefty layup off a spin early in the Michigan state game, and a good lefty finish under the basket against Illinois to bring us back down 2 when we were coming back in the game. It’s coming along…

  • Gary

    For those filling out brackets – this is an interesting site:

    It’s a blindfold bracket, with info about the teams but no team names to avoid bias. It took awhile to get through it, but I am looking forward to seeing how it compares to my regular picks. See if you can pick out Michigan from the description.

    • Beast1530

      It really is interesting! I got OSU, Wisconsin, ND and Cincinnati as my final four based on the blind bracket with OSU winning it all.

      • Beast1530

        I know which one is Michigan but I’m not telling because it’s pretty obvious IMO

        • Charles

          Did anyone else think of Tim Doyle when reading our codename(Sorry if that spoiled it, but I’m assuming if you care enough about UM bball to be on this site, you picked out UM by the 2nd bullet)

        • Jeff

          “Overly reliant on 3-pt shooting”. At least they didn’t say, “runs the 1-3-1 on defense”.

  • Johnnyumfan

    I will trust Beilein’s judgement about Bielfeldt and I wouldn’t put too much stock in watching highlight clips about determining if he can play in the Big Ten. For instance, I saw Larry Nance Jr. play in person and think he is not ready to play Big Ten basketball as a freshmen. LNJ’s skills, like shooting are very limited, and his ball handling is nothing special. Yes, he can jump and has long arms but he is very raw.

    Beilein has seen both players in person and thinks Biefeldt is more skilled and more ready to play.

    Believe me, seeing video clips can be very deceptive. The caliber of the competition Nance Jr. has played may not be the same level as Biefeldt. It is not the same as watching a player in person

  • AG2

    I’ve watched way too much college basketball this year to have been confused by any of the descriptions.

    • Johnnyumfan

      Recruiting is a crapshot anyway. I wont lose sleep if Bielfeldt goes to Illinois. But hopefully with this year’s success, Beilein can get higher quality prospects next year. I know Robinson III is a player for 2012, just like Tim Hardaway Jr. Robinson III scored 39 points against the number 1 team in Indiana, Munster, in an overtime loss.

  • Mason

    For those that’ll be listening to the game on the radio, Frank Beckmann will be doing play-by-play. I assume Shep will be in Detroit doing the CCHA semifinals.

  • gpsimms

    just my opinion, but bielfeldt’s upside is john leuer, which would be fine by me.

    • Tweeter

      really? I think more of Hansborough or Harangody. Leuer seems more liked a skilled athlete that is tall and lean, wheras Bielfeldt seems more like a skilled banger with limited athleticism that is shortish and stocky. I dont see Bielfeldt as ever possessing Leuer’s face up game.

      • gpsimms

        maybe hansborough…he does not seem stocky like harangody stocky. the way faced up a few defenders with jabs steps and jump shots, his release looked quick and reminded me of leuer a little. we don’t see him try to put the ball on the floor too much, but inside it doesn’t seem like he just powers through people, but actually is a little deft getting around them, so i was hoping he could learn some ball skills.

        anyway, it’s anybody’s guess…you’re probably closer to right.

        • Hansbrough? He was a 4x All-American who, now healthy and starting, is putting up 20 and 10 in the league.

  • jBdub

    I think Bielfeldt would be an excellent fit as a banger who would have a year under his belt and be able to step in and help with the dirty work underneath once Zack leaves.

  • Section13Row15

    I’m not a huge Max Biefeldt guy based on what I’ve seen and heard but I trust Beilein that Max brings something to the table that can help us win games. Let’s face it, Morgan was not a guy that any of us thought could step in and play major minutes 1 year after rehabbing from surgery (I played against him in some pick up games his junior year of HS) but the kid worked really hard and found a niche for himself. As long as Max comes in with the same attitude, he’ll probably be a nice addition in a couple years. As far as Tennessee goes, I’m not too worried about this game. They don’t score efficiently (.98 ppp), and our defense has steadily improved this season. They’re an average to above average SEC team. We’ve played better teams all season including in our non-conference. Give Beilein a week to prepare and I think we can beat almost anyone.

  • Dave

    Bielfeldt, if he can be a banger inside, could be a key addition to next year’s class. He does seem stronger and more skilled than McClimans. Ideally, Michigan would get a more athletic post player who’s ready for Big Ten basketball but it looks like that boat has sailed. But as others have pointed out, some hall of fame players haven’t had great athleticism so Bielfeldt, with decent size and skills, could still be a great addition. if we don’t get Bielfeldt, I’m hoping Horford hits the weight room hard in the off season and we target another big for 2011 or 2012.

    • Johnnyumfan

      Same feeling here Dave. Bielfeldt could be a good banger with more skills then Morgan. Bielfeldt seems to have good anticipation off offensive rebounds and good post moves plus and a high BB IQ. He seems to be a player who knows his limits.

      Obviously, his athletic ability doesn’t overwhelm anybody, but I will trust Beilein that he knows if the kid is able to play in the Big Ten.

  • Air Canada

    Thanks for posting the link to the Fab Five documentary on you tube, but it has been taken down. Does anyone know of other ways to view this? Thanks