Report: Max Bielfeldt to Announce College Decision on Friday

Dylan Burkhardt

33577_1512611732947_1164009845_31160354_8084204_n_thumb[1]WCIA’s Aaron Bennett is reporting on Twitter that Peoria (IL) Notre Dame big man Max Bielfeldt will announce his college choice this Friday after school. Bielfeldt has narrowed his list of college choices to Illinois and Michigan and has officially visited both schools.

Bielfeldt led Notre Dame to a 28-1 record, was named to the Class 3A All-State First Team and averaged 23 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks per game.

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  • I’m guessing Michigan, since Illinois took that transfer, right?

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Illinois informed Max that they do have a scholarship for him if he wants to join. Even after taking the Bradley transfer.

      • Hmm, I guess it’s a toss-up then. Hopefully he decides to go with Michigan, it seems like Beilein made it clear that he wants him as part of this class. First team all-state with 23 ppg and 11 rpg, how could I argue?

      • Kenny

        I guess if Max goes orange, Richmond will be gone, otherwise, the latter might get a second chance.

  • Dustin

    That Class 3A All State First Team that Max is on is no joke. The other four players on it are all on the ESPNU Top 100 and two of them are McDonalds All Americans, including Anthony Davis who is a top 3 prospect in the country going to Kentucky.

  • Tom

    Spoke to a Chicagoland coach that saw him at a tournament and was concerned with his overall athleticism. Was not convinced that he could contribute at UM. But, that after all, is the beauty of Beilein if he turns him into a great 4…

    • Beast1530

      Not sure if he plays the 4. Sounds like he’ll play the 5 if he were to go to Michigan.

      • j-turn14

        When I see him play, I see a 6’8″ Zack Novak. How good would Novak be if he were 6’8″?

        • Tweeter

          fringe nba player? That would be my guess if Novak were 6’8. Still would not have the quickness to guard the 3 position, but with his shooting ability, game awareness, and toughness, he would definitely get a shot.

          • Tweeter

            that said, while Bielfeldt may possess some of the atributes of Novak, their games are not very similar. Granted I have limited knowledge of Bielfeldt’s game from highlight tapes, but he seems much more like a post player that can step out shoot on occassion rather than an outside shooter that can bang inside.

  • Eddie

    Pardon my ignorance but how do you pronounce his last name?

    • Paul

      Bee-ul-felt…at least that’s what I gathered from watching the interview with him earlier this week.

      • c beabout

        You better figure out how to pronounce his name. Illini fans have gotten word the he is going to go to Michigan unless he changes his mind at the last minute.

  • snoopblue

    I think Michigan has a good shot. It seems like Weber will be on the hot seat next year. On the other hand, Michigan actually has great expectations and a need for a player his size. Coach Beilein is hands down one of the best in the business in maximizing potential. The wild card is his family connection to Illinois. GO BLUE

    • Ferramamos

      On the hot seat? For making the tourney every single year?

      • UM Hoops Fan

        In the last four years (i.e., since Beilein has been at Michigan), Illinois has two NCAA tournament appearances (same as Michigan) and one tournament victory (one less than Michigan). The two years before that, he made the tourney both years and won a game combined. I don’t know whether he’s on the hot seat or not, but he hasn’t been tearing it up, especially as of late, compared to what Self had going, and considering it’s the only major program in a state with a good amount of talent.

        • betheballdanny

          I live in Chicagoland, and there’s a lot of UofI fans that want him gone. They think his runner-up team wasn’t actually his (it was Self’s), and that he hasn’t done much to live up to expectations. Short of Kenpom ratings (18), most think that they didn’t live up to expectations this year.

  • Tweeter

    I know I said it before, but I will say it again. I really like this kid. In the college game athletic deficiencies are easily hidden as opposed to the NBA game where it is all one on one. Plus I dont think you can ever sell toughness and want short, and he appears to have both.

  • Brian W

    If Max Bielfeldt can be the Michigan equivalent of Brian Cardinal, I’d be very happy since he was a very good college player and a decent pro. A gritty player with the ability to be clutch would be a great addition.

    2013 point guard Monte Morris had a triple double with 17 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds on Tuesday while leading his team to a win. Flint Beecher is making its second consecutive semifinals appearance and plays today in the game against McBain…

    Since it’s not obvious as to what will happen with Max at this point, I think it’s safe to post that Larry Nance Jr. had 21 points and was named co-MVP of the Greater Akron Boys Basketball Coaches Association (GABCA) Senior All-Star Game yesterday. He was named to the All Ohio second team also.

  • Kainkitizen

    It’s getting interesting with Max and other possibilities for future teammates. It wouldn’t hurt me to see Max come to Michigan and give some tougher, stronger, competitive, low post presence to our team, especially for practice time and foul trouble time next year. Bacari will do good things with developing his low-post skills and talents for the team to be successful. It looks like he just needs a little more leg strength for jumping. The video’s of him parle’ his not so good jumping ability with 2 handed barely over the rim lay-in’s. That’s why he probably developed a 12-15 foot jump shot and that’s the attractive part of his game that Coach Beilein loves about him.

    If Max does commit to us, does coach still ask Nance Jr. to come has the 2nd preferred walk-on for the 2011 class? Sounds like Nance Jr has some game and would really be helpful to build the team with even if its practice time and garbage time next year. I bet Coach Beilein would love to have both Max and Larry with Trey and Carlton. Coach did say he wants to get bigger, quicker, and faster.

  • Justin

    I’m not too excited about him.

  • Anthony

    Dont really want this kid and its nothing personal against the kid, and he might turn out to be a great player. I think belien should bank this scholarship and go for more of a great athlete. I think with the roster being set at least for next season he can really take his time, and try and land a high level recruit.

    If michigan gets this kid im ok with it because i trust the coach, but would rather see the scholarship saved for next season…

    • Mith

      There’s something to banking the scholarship. WIth some surprise national exposure this year and so pretty decent expectations for next year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some dividends in recruiting.

  • maizeandbluebasketball

    When he commits to Michigan/Illinois, do you expect his grade will go up on ESPN? I would think they would re-evaluate giving him a two star rating when he is looking at two high-major schools.

  • paul r

    seems like the Roster is awful full next year. with nobody leaving and CB, Burke, the lefty preferred walk-on, and possibly Max coming in. not sure there are enough black shoes and sock to go around

    • bird

      Among their schools of interest, I saw both Max and Sai had three Ivy League schools listed. We might could challenge Northwestern for the conference’s smartest team. (I can hear them scoffing from Evanston.)

      • Kenny

        we are already the conference’s smartest team. And NW can be proud of being the ugliest.

        • Beilein’s Bricks

          We’re definitely the richest team in the Big Ten. Sons of NBA players plus Bartelstein and Vogrich who are from some of the richest suburbs in Chicago. If we add Max from an absolutely loaded family, I’ll take the combined income of our players’ parents versus everyone else’s. I wonder what Jalen thinks of this….well, if they can play, I don’t really care what their socio-economic backgrounds are.

  • mitch

    Im not real excited about Max either. Could be a solid player, but is more of a 4. At UM the 4 is asked to go outside. He does have a little mass wich we don’t seem to have much of. If he signs, I hope he is All Big-Ten!

  • JimC

    Tourney resumes today! After the loss to Duke…can’t root for OSU…maybe Wisc…hate the Big East, so I’m joining the Jimmer army. GO JIMMER!

    (where is the generic UMHoops NCAA BBall tournament persistent open thread)

  • Polisci

    It seems to me that Beilein is the type of recruiter who will always take an actual commitment from a real live person right now (assuming they are good enough in his mind) rather than wait on the mythical commitment of some fictitious player in the future.

    In other words, Beilein subscribes to the “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” philosophy. Thus, I would expect that if Beilein has a scholarship to give, he will always be looking to give it and never “banking” it for some future date.

    • Mattski

      And you base this presentiment on. . . ?

      • DoubES

        I agree with Polisci’s point, and I would point to both Colton Christrian and Horford as examples. Both were players recruited around this time last year, and both were recruits that at least some of us expressed a lack of interest in and a desire to bank the scholly.

        I think Beilein does go with a bird in the hand philosophy as long as he thinks the recruit can contribute, and I tend to agree with that way of doing things. Transfers and injuries are unfortunately quite common (or maybe Darius decides to make the jump after next season), so I wouldn’t be surprised if we have 3 schollies to give out for 2012 recruits by this time next year

  • JB…

    I’m really hoping we get him. I am pretty confident that Coach Beilein has a better idea of who we need than we do.

  • Tweeter

    There was a lot of talk about how Duke failed to attack our 1-3-1 and instead opted to run clock against us in the second half, so I decided to chart their possessions and see what really happened.

    From the 10:30 mark on, anything prior to that they clearly were not running clock and honestly I do not remember us playing much zone either. They had a total of 14 possessions against the 1-3-1. They also had a few possessions against man and some transition opportunities.

    In the first 9 possessions, from 10:30 until the 4 minute mark, Duke either shot or turned the ball over prior the shot clock reaching 17 seconds everytime except once. That one time they shot a jumper with 12 left on the clock. They scored on three of those possessions (one layup by Kelly, and twice making two free throws off fouls caused by penetration). They had two turnovers, missed two wide open threes, and missed two guarded jump shots.

    At the four minute mark, we finally see them slow it down. With a 6 point lead and the under 4 timeout coming, Coach K clearly tells them to slow it up. They get 5 more possessions against the 1-3-1. The first they miss a jumper w/ 5 on the clock but Kelly gets an open putback. The next they appear to be looking to attack early but dont seem to be able to get in the right setup. They miss an open three with 10 on the clock. The next possession they hold the ball for the first twenty seconds then get a shot clock violation. The fourth they end up shooting and missing an open three with 14 on the clock. The final possession Irving makes the runner with 9 on the clock.

    So what does this all mean? The criticism that they failed to attack our zone seems unfounded for two reasons. One, they did attack it and found little success when they did. Two, they were better when they slowed it up and ran clock against the zone than they were when they attacked early. In the final five possessions they scored at a better rate, turned it over less frequently and missed two wide open threes. Adding on to that, they also shortened the game quite a bit by slowing it down which may have been critical since their defense was really struggling to stop us over the final ten minutes.

    • Jeff

      It always amazes me, in watching sports, how someone can throw out an idea that doesn’t have much merit, and a bunch of people will say, that sounds good, let’s go with that. Then they repeat it so much it just becomes generally accepted. Duke not attacking our zone was a good example. Beilein’s system not working in the Big Ten was another popular one that’s been around.

      • Alex

        It’s a marketing concept also. Repeat an idea so much and people will forget the source. This bodes well for future 1-3-1 use.

    • ChathaM

      Thanks very much for that analysis. I was listening to the game on the car radio, and when M was down 10-12 under the 10 minute mark, I remember thinking that if Duke were going to continue jacking up shots in the first 15 seconds of the shot clock, that this game was far from over. It’s tough to get a good impression of a game from radio, but I’m glad to hear that I wasn’t crazy in my thinking.

  • georgeesq.

    IMO, Bielfeldt’s main problem is that he’s not fluid. He appears to have the strength, touch and footwork to finish inside and can, reportedly, shoot from the outside – not something that, at his size, he’s called upon to do much in high school. If you think about Morgan’s game, he would be dynamite if he could shoot the 15 foot jumper. Max can do that. The question is whether the S & C staff can loosen him up and make him a more fluid athlete.

  • MHoops1

    A comment on the “bank the ship” school of thought–it’s nice in theory, but in practice, it only makes sense if there is someone to bank it for who is a realistic get. For ’12, who is that? Many of the top midwestern bigs (Costello, Perea, etc.) have already committed elsewhere, and those who haven’t generally do not list UM or, in the case of guys like Hare, are generally viewed by those with knowledge as being very likely out-of-state bound. The notion that our success this year will sudenly turn guys who haven’t had any previous interest in Michigan into guys who would run through a brick wall for a scholarship offer seems more pie-in-the-sky hope than reality. The truth is that the recruiting bump from this year is far more likely to be felt in the class of ’13 than it is next year. By that time, a guy like Max will be a junior.

    You can debate whether Max will play a key role at Michigan–there’s room for argument on both sides of that debate. However, there seems to be a lot less room to argue that we shouldn’t hope he comes because he’ll be taking a spot from a great player. Between John Beilein, Jeff meyer, Bacari Alexander and lavell Jordan, they’ve scouted and talked to players and know where we stand. If there was a star out there much better than Max who likely wanted to come this year or next, my strong guess is they would have offered that guy instead of Bielfeldt. That they offered Bielfeldt instead speaks volumes.

    • Tweeter

      agreed. Especially with your last point. Beilein has been terrific throughout his entire coaching career at finding recruits. Its hard to argue with his track record.

      One other point that I am not sure that some of the people who are critizing the decisions to offer Bielfeldt have considered, is that Michigan is set up to make a major run next season. Why not add whatever help you can for next season? I am not sure I completely buy that as a great reason to offer a particular recruit, but if you are in to winning right away, then it makes sense assuming you believe the player can contribute (which is hard to argue since he was offered a scholly by two major programs).

      • georgeesq.

        I don’t think that they are looking for Max to help next season. If he does, great, but I think that Horford improving and potentially, McLimans, are the more likely hope for next season.

        • Tweeter

          I would be surprised if they were not thinking about him contributing next year. I don’t think it makes sense to offer a kid as late as they did if you planned on just redshirting him or using him as an emergency option. Especially considering that you have three centers in the class in front of his, why add another at this point in the recruiting game unless you expected him to play.

          • georgeesq.

            This sort follows on what MHoops1 posted re: why we’re not banking the schollie for 2012. We don’t have a likely 5 prospect on the radar for 2012, a class where we might want one. So we take Bielfeldt now. If he can contribute next season, great. But, if not, redshirting him makes him the equivalent of a 2012 recruit in the post.

    • BlimpyBlue

      Well said MHoops1. Another important thing to remember is that the system Beilein’s teams run really value players that are experienced with practicing and running the offense. Even if there are players in the 2012 class that we could bank the scholarship for, that may not be the right decision for the program because somebody like Bielfeldt with one and two years of experience may be more of a contributor that somebody a year younger.

  • Section13Row15

    Did anyone bother to read the Forbes article that Chris linked to the website? It doesn’t really reflect on Max’s character at all but it’s pretty sketchy to say the least.