Michigan basketball program picks up a commitment from forward Max Bielfeldt
Max Bielfeldt has ties to the University of Illinois. But he’s going to play basketball at Michigan.
The 6-foot-8 forward from Peoria Notre Dame announced Friday at a press conference at his school that he selected the Wolverines over the Illini.
“I just clicked with the players, that was pretty big,” Bielfeldt said at a news conference shortly after his commitment. “And the coaches, too. I enjoyed their campus.”
Bielfeldt is the third commitment in the Class of 2011, joining guards Trey Burke and Carlton Brundidge. He is also the third commitment in the late signing period for Michigan in the past two seasons, joining forwards Jon Horford and Colton Christian from a year ago.
What Bielfeldt brings to Michigan is a tenacious rebounder who can shoot and create scoring opportunities under the basket.
“He’s very, very fundamentally sound,” said Brian Snow, a recruiting analyst for Scout.com. “I was at a tournament earlier this year where in three games he scored over 100 points, and he really didn’t miss many shots in the process.
“Very smart player, knows what he can and can’t do. Rebounds the ball well. Just a fundamentally sound, savvy basketball player.”
Before the season, Bielfeldt had offers from mid-major schools and interest from Illinois, where his family has its name on the athletic administration building. Midway through the season, though, Beilein and Illinois coach Bruce Weber both showed more interest in him and offered scholarships.
“Around the basket, if he’s one-on-one around the basket he’s going to find an angle to the basket and score,” Bielfeldt’s AAU coach for SYF Players, Wayne Brumm, said. “He has an uncanny ability around the basket.
“On the perimeter he can shoot it with anybody. He’s not a guy that’s going to beat you off the bounce. A pull-up is not in his repertoire, but he can catch-and-shoot out of the 3-(point) line. He’s an excellent catch-and-shoot player.
“He’s a very, very physical rebounder, surprisingly athletic off of two feet.”
According to ESPN, Bielfeldt averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds this season for Peoria Notre Dame, which went 28-1 this season.
His family connections, for a while, made Illinois his leader. Slowly, his focus shifted to Michigan.
“It wasn’t an easy choice,” Bielfeldt said. “There were a lot of things about both schools. Everything that I experienced (in Ann Arbor), players, coaches, I just enjoyed that.”
He'll join a frontcourt that will return sophomores Evan Smotrycz, Jon Horford, Colton Christian, Blake McLimans and Jordan Morgan.
His commitment also closes the Class of 2011 for Michigan and leaves the Wolverines with one scholarship left for 2012 because wing Glenn Robinson III has already verbally committed for that class.
VIDEOS OF MAX BIELFELDT FROM YOUTUBE