Bielfeldt enjoys visit to Indiana

Michigan graduate transfer Max Bielfeldt finished his official visit to Indiana on Monday, leaving Bloomington with a good impression of how he could fit in with the Hoosiers’ program next season.

The 6-foot-8 forward, who recently won an appeal that allows him to transfer to another Big Ten program, averaged 5.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and logged 14.5 minutes per contest over his 30 appearances for the Wolverines last season. Bielfeldt, who has one season of eligibility remaining, can play immediately.

“The visit was great,” Bielfeldt told The Herald-Times in a text message Monday. “Got to see the campus, meet the coaches and a couple guys.”

Indiana was the fourth and final visit for Bielfeldt, who also made trips to Iowa State, DePaul and Nebraska. At IU, the Peoria, Ill. native would have a chance to add depth to a program expected to open the 2015-16 season ranked in the top 15.

Indiana is in the market for frontcourt help after the dismissals of forwards Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Devin Davis. Bielfeldt knows the league, knows its personnel and could have an opportunity to contribute for a Big Ten title contender. Indiana has two scholarships open for next season.

“Had a 70-minute workout with the coaches and got to see how I would fit in to the program with the development in my game,” Bielfeldt said.

As far as a timetable for his decision, Bielfeldt could announce his destination soon.

“I’m going to go home and figure things out in these next few days,” he said.

37 comments

  1. I really can’t recall what kind of 6’8 player Bielfeldt was at UM. Was he more of a traditional post player like Davis, or more perimeter oriented like Hoetzel? His points-to-rebound ratio indicate he’s more of a banger– albeit in limited minutes– but then Troy led the Hoosiers in RBs (and nobody would accuse him of having a dominant post presence…)

    Can anybody shed some light on where/how he might fit in?

  2. Well, after doing a little research, it seems he might be be a good fit. Seems to be the scrappy inside spot player Davis was supposed to be. Not destined for greatness, but he could be a solid contributor in a backup role.

    If he wants more minutes, IU is probably not his destination. If he wants to be on a team with potential to make a lot of noise– and can accept his likely role as backup 4/5 and senior leader– IU is a great fit.

    The only real downside might be less PT/development for our incoming frosh not named Bryant. That could be a good thing in the long run if they’re really 4-year Indiana guys, but recent history indicates that’s anything but a given. Could also be a recipe for quick transfer. No telling.

  3. My first thought was, “Sure, why wouldn’t we want a contributing role player from Michigan?”

    My second thought was, “Why would we want a contributing role player from Michigan?”

  4. I think at 6’8″ he would most likely get more PT with IU. He damn sure would get all HP’s minutes even though he is the opposite of HP in the fact he can’t jump over the moon but at 245#s he’ll be hard to move out of the way unlike Perea. I don’t know about the other programs he is looking at but at IU he would be a good fit providing experienced post depth we have not had for sometime. I think for the upcoming season he will be near as valuable to IU as Nick Z was for this past season.

  5. Agreed, HC.

    I’m still torn over the dismissals. On the one hand, I believe it was the right move, if if only because it was the necessary move. On the other hand, I thought this would be Hanner’s sixth-man-of-the-year award to lose. Oozing with potential, he was never consistent enough to be a reliable starter. But in a backup role where we didn’t have to rely on him as the only “real” post presence, (I use that term lightly,) I thought he could shine. It really left a big hole to fill. Maybe Bielfeldt could fill it.

    If not, it really has no negative long term ramifications. We have the space for him, without the long term commitment. Either he rides the pine and and provides leadership as he works towards his advanced degree, or he makes positive contributions on the court. At the very least, it maybe prevents us from desperately reaching on another recruit just because we have a spot open. It’s a mostly win-win situation for us. I’m on board.

  6. The problem for HP and Bielfeldt is the same, both are PF,s not post men. Although Bielfeldt will be way more successful with the minutes as a sub there than Hanner. HP as a center moving forward is a waste. Simply MB is a bigger stronger Collin Hartman underneath. I am convinced this is good combination but like you I want to see it work to be sure. This player could be the reason IU dances long into the NCAA tournament against formidable foes..

  7. Read an interesting article on Kevin Garnett today, about how he revolutionized the NBA in many ways. It talked about him being the first player to enter the draft straight out of high school in some 20 years or so (and opened the flood gates that have since been closed…) and how his 9 figure contract had a huge impact on how the NBA now does business. But more pertinent to this conversation, he further blurred the lines between traditional roles on the court.

    Hanner was certainly no KG. But he was one of these ‘tweener big men who wasn’t quite a center, and not quite a power forward. But with his size, length, and athleticism, he was a little bit of both.

    In a sense, KG might have played an indirect role in the downfall of Bobby Knight. RMK was a master at coaching within the confines of the traditional roles, but the game was rapidly changing by the end of his career. As revered as he is, during the last several years of his tenure he wasn’t nearly as effective in this burgeoning world of supreme athletes without a defined role as he had been the previous 25-odd years. He was old school– and damn good at it– but at times seemed reluctant to adapt to the changing times. Stubbornness is not always a virtue.

    But back to HMP, HC. While I don’t fully understand your comment about “both are PFs, not post men’, (I always viewed them as mostly one in the same, but I’ll never be mistaken for a basketball genius…) I though HMP always had the potential to be a very good post player, and dominant at times. Sadly, that never came to pass as a Hoosier. I’d hoped this was the year the lightbulb finally went off, but that ship has sailed. Still, the “anti-Hanner” could be just what the doctor ordered. Hoping a new Max signs on.

  8. The fact he wasn’t a center is proved in the results or lack of he produced.
    RMK indeed, no coach understood BB in the boundaries he recognized better than him. But when those boundaries were pushed he never could create the genius innovation to take advantage as he did with man to man D or motion offense patience to wear down the opponent D. Like you, what do I know, as I still can’t understand why LifeSavers aren’t a $.05 anymore. Nor is there a cent sign on a keyboard.

  9. He’d be an asset because he’s already been far better coached than anything Hanner got at IU….He probably has better awareness inside and moves to help defend. We were the worst defending team in the BIG last year. Any kid of size that has been coached in the other schools of our conference bring a level of defensive(and like offensive) understanding we’re not used to seeing. Heaven, forbid…maybe he’ll even take an occasional charge or give up a foul to prevent an easy, uncontested layup. Another positive: It usually takes Crean about 2 years to destroy everything a really heady player has learned under a quality high school coach…This kid comes from working with a very respected head coach. He may teach Crean and other Hoosiers a few things and he’ll be long gone before Crean can turn his brain to much and his defensive spine weak….

    But this is only a hope…Sometimes I’m beyond amazed at how great role players are soon tripping over shoe laces even after just six months of clueless and purposeless weaves, watching excessive dribbling , exposure to indoctrinated styles that are frantic when calm is to be ordered and show a lack of urgency and focus when a team is in pressure situations and need quick and decisive action, and the continual overall struggles to communicate on defense or play defense with true tenacity and hunger.

    With most quality coaches there is a learning curve and you see more than just “star” recruits slated for the next level improving and making huge strides…Under Crean, the stars pretty much do whatever the hell they want, and quality role players and specialty skill guys develop something quite unique…It’s called the Tom Crean Unlearning Curve of Hoops…One year can bring some contribution…Two years and you’ve been substituted in and out of games in such a dysfunctional pattern of nonsense that it’s akin to mouse trapped in a maze purposely designed with no successful way out….If you were to stay for three years under Crean, you’re basically back in middle school ball, have zero awareness on defense, have lost all confidence in your shot, and your coordination has been seemingly abducted by aliens. But you’re still tired as hell ..The fatigue is actually multiplied when factoring in the frustration multiplier under the Unlearning Curve.

  10. oops…couple typos

    …before Crean can turn his brain to [muck] and his defensive spine weak

    …soon tripping over [shoelaces]

  11. Seems that Bielfeldt would primarily take Hartman’s minutes. That is actually good news as he could be more of a defensive inside presence which IU really needs. Hartman is more of an outside shooter and IU already has enough shooters. In my opinion, IU still needs to recruit another REBOUNDER with size that can play defense. That assumes they do not get Maker who would automatically be a game changer. IU’s success this coming season will be based on dramatically improving their defense which as we all know was one of the worst in college basketball last season.

  12. Has their even been one Scoop or HT entry highlighting the fact(or ‘lowlighting’ the fact) that Crean’s defense was the worst in the BIG? Think that could be related to so many non-NBA hopefuls, the guts of line-ups that bring that steady relief(sometimes even upping the quality of play)when “stars” need a breather, being continually crunched, nudged, randomly penalized/axed? Huh…Think their could possibly be a causal relationship such poor defense? Gosh…I don’t know. Maybe it’s just pothead bad kids that are lazy and just don’t want to invest in learning anything though Crean a supremely gifted leader of young men. Gosh…Never mind. Forget I would ever suggest such harsh evaluations of facts to hit the pages of Scoop.

  13. I’m guessing he will choose Iowa State or DePaul. I think, in the end, it will be too awkward for him to compete against his former teammates two or three times in the season following his graduation. I’m not aware of any fifth year senior who transferred to a school within his conference. If he does, it will be a very unique situation.

  14. Gosh…ya think the Xavier coach would name Remy Abell as one of his best defenders? Gosh…I don’t know. Gosh, ya think Etherington brought some real leadership qualities to Butler that may not always be reflected on the court but in practices and off-the-court responsibility and respect for his uniform…Gosh. I don’t know. Gosh. I’m just always out of line with this sort of questioning how a team can fracture and falter down the stretch of long grueling seasons…Gosh. Gosh, I hope Luke Fischer finally got over his homesickness. Gosh, I hope Jeremiah April’s mom is hearing God calling again for a different school her son to find a home of brotherhood and trust. Gosh. Tom’s the best. Gosh…he’s got a scary stare.

  15. Luke Recker…? Hadn’t graduated, but didn’t he go to Iowa and put a dagger in our heart at a Big 10 tournament? Was Alford the coach of Iowa at that time? Talk about betrayal. Who cares. I doubt the kid is worried one bit about what former teammates think. You go where you can get the best PT combined with national attention. IU will be a highly ranked team next year. He’d be a fool to pass up that offer. Terrible coach, or not, the Big 10 offers great exposure, usually 5-6 teams in the Big Dance…And we have a need for another big body inside…It’s a win-win-win for this young man.

  16. You may recall that Luke Recker transferred after his sophomore season at IU. And he originally transferred to Arizona before ending up at Iowa. IU fans were not very supportive of the way Recker notified Bob Knight (and IU’s Athletic Department) that he was transferring. He waited until late at night, after coach Knight got on a plane headed for Cuba before notifying him by sending a Fax.

    I always thought those transfers crippled his chances to play in the NBA. I think, had he stayed at IU, he would have been better prepared to make an NBA team.

  17. I guess you did, Jeremy. My bad…I’m not sure how many of those stories in HT explored into the thoughts of why the defense has been so bad, but my apologies for claiming you weren’t giving it much coverage. I just didn’t remember many headlines, critical headlines that wouldn’t seem unwarranted(e.g. Season Ends with More Defensive Collapses) that ever found the pages of Scoop. Last(even more pathetic considering we are now in an expanded Big 10 conference) in any team category seems like it would be very rare territory in the history of Hoosier Basketball… Seems like headlines…very big headlines wouldn’t be unusual.

    Just a couple questions as a point of inquiry…Does anyone know the last time a Hoosier basketball team finished last in the conference in defense? Does anyone know where we finished in terms of national rankings in defense…? Does anyone else think that the continual fracturing of the middle a roster can effect defensive play so reliant on familiarity, repetition in communication with trusted teammates..? Does the true heart of a team grow out of the offensive gems/stars or the role players and subs that can often be the gritty guys that do all the little things that don’t necessarily show up in the individual stat columns(e.g. help defense, taking a charge, forcing a guy to go into a trap, getting back on defense, communication and understanding assignments in a zone, overall awareness and just sound on-ball defending, etc). Where do most teams that make it deep into the Big Dance rank in defense(conference and nationally)?

    Should a head coach make any public statements without being prompted(radio broadcasts, press conferences, interviews with HT journalists) that a team under his instruction with a defense last in the conference is simply not acceptable? Did we hear any such statement from Tom Crean…? Is Crean not demanding enough individual accountability when kids get lazy or lack toughness on defense? Lastly, could so much movement and weaving demanded of players in a Crean offense(rather than crafty designed screens and backdoor plays that may not expend so much energy in each possession) be contributing to defensive lapses simply because there must be somewhere a player can gather back his energy or save something in the tank? Do we lose a 1/2 step on defense far too many times because of too many steps on offense?

    Rather than just putting a highlight in a column pointing out our lackluster defense, is there any effort on the part of journalists in Bloomington and Indy(or within any the many blogs and the many commenters on Scoop, for that matter) to probe what may be causing the issues when we have such wonderfully skilled and athletic recruits that certainly have the mental and physical attributes(size, strength, explosiveness, wing spans, speed) to play defense at a level much higher than last in the conference?

    Because if there aren’t any reasons being probed for the horrific showing in team defense(by a coach that should be accountable and those journalists with access that sorta hold the keys to picking his brain), then it sure doesn’t seem like it’s of much importance to be fixed…..and that brings me to complacency and people within IU Athletics that are just way too secure in their employment.

    1. Harv,
      I’m not even going to try to answer all those questions, but here’s part of what Crean said about defense at the press conference announcing Thomas Bryant’s signing, and he did so in his opening statement, so unprompted:

      But what they bring right away, right off the bat, what every young player has to learn, it’s not about coming in and getting your game going on the offensive end. That sounds fun, it’s fun to think, and people in their ears might say that’s the way it goes. No, everybody that has success gets it going because they move the ball, they work extremely hard on defense, they’ll make the hustle plays, that means rebounding, loose balls, 50/50s, whatever it is, and for us we have got to have a better presence defensively. I mean, there’s no question we want to be better defensively. There’s not one coach or player that doesn’t understand we need to be better defensively, and some of that is going to be the length that we provide, but some of that is going to be the change of style of play defensively that we’re going to be capable of going to more and more, and one of the biggest reasons people ask, well, why didn’t you press more. We didn’t press more because at the back line we averaged a blocked shot every 24 possessions, and right away when your rim protection is not good in the half court, the last thing you want to bring is more, easier accessibility to the rim in a pressing situation.

  18. Podunker- Recker didn’t play any hoops in Arizona. Only enrolled one semester. The horrible car crash at the hands a drunk driver likely prompted him to want to be closer to home(and I guess his Dad was living in Iowa at the time).

  19. Why would Bliefeldt go to the effort to appeal for a special waiver allowing him to transfer within the conference if he had cold feet about playing against his former team mates? That makes no sense. Has anything been mentioned of the scholastic needs/options he desires for which each program can offer him? That may offer a clue.

  20. “He waited until late at night, after coach Knight got on a plane headed for Cuba before notifying him by sending a Fax.”

    Sounds like a healthy relationship.

  21. Luke Recker was a bag of vinegar and water.

    I knew people very close to the team then. He used to get mad at AJ Guyton for not sharing the ball enough with him.

    Check out their stats in the ’98-’99 year. Guyton and Recker’s stats are almost mirror images of each other.

    Indiana could have had a special season the next year, but Recker couldn’t share the ball or the spotlight.

    http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/schools/indiana/1999.html

  22. Jeremy-

    Thanks for your efforts…It sounds like Crean is pretty much doing what he’s always done. It’s always about the individual effort rather than something that can also be attributed to bad coaching decisions(rotations, disruptions in lineups, too much probing and energy expended on the offensive end, making it overly complicated by switching between zone and man-to-man within possessions, etc, etc, etc)…It’s always about the individuals on the court rather than THE ‘individual’ on the sideline that never makes himself part of the team in terms of accountability. All confirmed. Thanks again.. …and sorry for my suggestions that you’re sill afraid of Tom’s killer stare(the one Dustin was assaulted with at a Northwestern postgame presser….a.k.a. ‘Smirkfest’).

  23. Why would Bliefeldt go to the effort to appeal for a special waiver allowing him to transfer within the conference if he had cold feet about playing against his former team mates? That makes no sense.

    Exactly. It’s a gift to have commonsense. Clarion always finds the pathway least resistance. Maybe ex-teammates that became his friends at Michigan will actually value seeing his face again? The battles on the court do not have to end friendships…It’s highly possible those things get strengthened through fierce competition and the possible added respect that gets a different window to see each other.

  24. A question please, to close an open loop. I understand the reason Devin Davis was dismissed from the basketball team, and I agree with a hard but necessary decision. Not quite so clear on Hanner M-P, other than his (repeat) offense seems to have consisted of BEING in the same room with DD at the time police discovered the stash. Did I miss another incident between H M-P’s (earlier and apparently first) illegal consumption while driving and his dismissing himself in a later violation? Has Crean detailed?

  25. There was no explanation…And other than Devin’s attempt to impress some girls in a car that ended very badly, there is no official release that exists of Devin having any previous booze or drug violations. The reason they were both removed is because Crean had to look tough considering all the other off-the-court mishaps his prodigies(Yogi, Stan, Troy). There was nothing fair about it. He just got rid of the two players that don’t or won’t likely make much impact next season. Devin’s future is very questionable and Hanner has never lived up to the promise his great physical attributes. He used the “necessary” discipline that had him so back against the wall(what BS) on the two guys that would have the least detrimental effect on the team(the truth obvious to all). He now has some open spots to fill with talent he can get some minimal production. Davis and Hanner(much like Patterson and Hollowell..and Remy…and Creek…and Etherington….and Roth) will be easily forgotten and we can all sleep better justifying short strings of tolerance for those troubled potheads(or whatever excuse fits for the Crean apologists) that did not pan out on the basketball court(whether because of slower than hoped development, scholly crunches, higher level talent that can be snagged in the immediacy, or tragic circumstance inevitability summoning a kid to the bench ).

    It’s the same old movie just different reasons…The continual fracturing of the roster in hopes of new names and new excuses(youth, rebuilding, troubles off the court, etc) to deflect any responsibility or accountability that should come with the man in charge the program.

    Hanner and Devin were not bad young men. I don’t believe Devin had any alcohol in his blood the night he did something goofy and foolish with tragic results(if he did, I don’t remember reading about it..Wasn’t it Holt that just had some traces still under the legal limits?). Far as I know, this was Devin’s first offense with any drugs or alcohol….The NCAA has even changed their rules since Mitch McGary was caught with traces of pot in his blood during March Madness. It is no longer a one year suspension. These penalties were harsh because the heat is on Crean beyond the troubles off the court.

  26. And I do think the person that called the cops knew who they were taking down. That doesn’t mean Hanner and Davis shouldn’t have known there would be nothing fair at this point with the only one truly a back against the wall being their coach. They should have know better than to be set up or take any pot bait. It’s all very strange.. I just think they thought they were untouchable. They didn’t have a good feel for just how low the public’s patience has become with their coach. It’s all on thin ice at this point. and nothing is going to be fair(and this includes the futures of Fred Flintstone and Barney “Bad Ass Saved Us From” Rubble).

  27. Well, then I guess they got what they deserved. But I’m pretty sure that Troy has had more than one incident. Am I, at least, correct on that? And didn’t Stan already have two incidents before receiving a suspension that mainly involved exhibition and cupcake contests? Suddenly, for Davis and Hanner, two incidents is too many. For Stan and Troy, two was too few to warrant kicking off the team. If Hanner and Devin were impact players, do you think it would have been two strikes and you’re out? And if no test was done, it’s all speculation as to how much drinking had occurred. Maybe it saved his life…Maybe the alcohol had some positive effect within the thinning of the blood, metabolic activity, and on how the brain reacts to swelling.

    The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think I’m wrong on this one. Devin got another chance(fate, the answering of prayers to a higher being, whatever you choose to believe) and he’s not shown a lot of maturity in the way he has appeared to take it for granted. Alcohol kills a lot of people on the roads. It also kills many relationships and drives families apart. Crean gave him the hard lesson he needs to accept. There is a point when you have to realize how precious life is….Not just your own, but those around you that may not get the same second chance you were so fortunate to be given.

    I like to believe in second chances…but maybe these two took those chances too far. They let a lot of family members and friends down. They let a lot of people down that stood by them. These two haven’t had it easy. Easy for me to judge. Hanner has been far from home and Devin has had something happen that I can’t assume I’d be nearly as strong to handle…He’s probably shown far more grace and courage under those circumstances than we have any chance to see. It’s easy to find the faults and weekend screw-ups to choose a label… But just watching Devin on the bench last season and watching the way he carried himself and supported his teammates speaks volumes his heart and true character underneath.

    1. Harv,
      Truthfully, Troy and Stan are complicated, because failed drug tests are never acknowledged as such due to HIPAA. But to be suspended such as they were, it would appear to be their second failed test. So combined with the false ID, and Robinson had three incidents. Troy would then have two, and if he fails another drug test, he’d be suspended for the season, at least as I understand the penalties. To follow that up, any player could have failed one drug test, and we’d never know, because there’s no public penalty.

  28. Sounds complicated, indeed. Thanks for the attempts at clarification. Basically, it sounds like a ton of college kids enjoy booze and pot. Not saying I didn’t do my share. Can’t be easy being exposed to so much around you and having to turn away from it all.

    My daughter enjoyed going out for a couple beers with college friends. So thankful that she seems to have no dependency nor real desire to make a habit of any of it. My father-in-law basically implies I’m a lush because I enjoy a beer with dinner. Stay away from heavy liquor and haven’t done any weed since college. There was alcohol abuse in my family and I watched how it could severely change the personality. In the case of the household I grew up, it wasn’t pretty. I literally grew up in a household where booze was finding the most obscure hiding places you could imagine. It’s a wicked beast and it’s sad how many are finding it necessary to abuse. Addiction seems rather random…Maybe it’s tied to other personality factors or environmental circumstances. Some seem to be able to stop while others have their total existence ruled by it.

    Take care Jeremy. You’re a good guy to be so tolerant and respectful in the face of my out of line ways.

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