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Posted on Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

Michigan basketball program picks up a commitment from forward Max Bielfeldt

By Michael Rothstein

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 “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.


Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein



Sun, Mar 27, 2011 : 3:12 a.m.

What's the expectations for Dumars? Is the coaching staff expecting him to be a legitimate competitor for some good playing time next year? Does anyone see him playing an important role next year?


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

Good selection. I think the team needs a good rebounder, like Morgan, who can put the ball in the basket at the offensive end. I like to see two good rebounders on the floor at the same time, guys who can get the ball out quick to get fast breaks going.

Jim Nazium

Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

Great addition Coach B and welcome to Michigan Max! You'll fit in Great here. Best of luck to you! Go Blue!!!


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

Congrats and welcome Max to Michigan BB.. I think with his BB smarts,and his potential to grow stronger and taller Max has a great upside! He's got a good frame already ,and with strength & conditioning at the B1G level ,he's not done growing he's also a very young man.I'm guessing he can be a presence in the paint !! Good luck and go blue..


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 11:42 a.m.

Here's hoping he gives Michigan a piece of the puzzle we've really, really needed. An inability to compete on the boards has definitely hurt us.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 10 a.m.

This guy is one pure PF. Which is what the team needs - a role player who can contribute well on his proper role. Watching the youtube, the guy will blossom more in the succeeding years.

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 1:22 a.m.

Rebounding is all about positioning and tenacity. Some of the league's top rebounders are shorter than 6-8. He's solidly built, and, given the interest from Ivy League school, has some brains, too.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 12:55 a.m.

Think Zack Novak with an additional 3-4 inches of height. Could be his replacement if he can play good defense, plus should be able to bang in the post. It would be nice to get an athletic big man, but hey, this is the Beilein system.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 11:41 p.m.

Looks like he knows how to play, but going to have problems transitioning to bigtime hoops because he has absolutely no elevation. Looks like his days of double digit rebounds appear to be coming to a end.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 4:37 p.m.

Bill Laimbeer had 0 vertical and ended up with over 10,000 rebounds in The NBA. It's all about body positioning and Bielfeldt has a body that won't be easily pushed out of position.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 2:22 p.m.

Comments like this are so ridiculous!! No one knows how a player will develop!!! There were a lot of people saying that Jordan Morgan would be a bust before they saw him play a minute of ball!! But he was a huge contributor this season! I swear some people just gripe to hear themselves gripe!