- Scott Powers, Reporter
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Peoria Notre Dame senior power forward Max Bielfeldt committed to Michigan over Illinois at a press conference on Friday.
Bielfeldt, a 6-foot-8 power forward, averaged 23 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks for the Irish this season. Notre Dame went 28-0 and was nationally ranked before losing in the Class 3A sectional semifinals.
"It was kind of tough," Bielfeldt said of telling Illinois coach Bruce Weber of his decision. "We’ve become pretty good friends. It was pretty tough to say you’re not going their way. It wasn’t an easy choice. Both schools are great. It came down to everything I experienced up [in Michigan], the players, the coaches."
Bielfeldt is ranked as the No. 74 power forward in the Class of 2011 by ESPN Recruiting and is among the top candidates for Illinois’ Mr. Basketball.
“Bielfeldt was such a huge mismatch for opponents at the high school level due to his combination of size, strength, craftiness and ability to step out and knock down a shot when he had to,” City/Suburban Hoops Report recruiting analyst Joe Henricksen said. “What sticks out is his consistent high level of production. He is such a presence and force, which enabled his teammates to thrive with so much attention paid to him every trip down the floor.”
The decision was especially trying for Bielfeldt. Both Big Ten programs came on with offers late in his recruiting process, and he was torn between them. To add to the drama, his family has long ties to Illinois, including having the school’s athletic administration building named after it.
Peoria Notre Dame's Max Bielfeldt committed to Michigan on Friday.