Bielfeldt Adding Stability To U-M's Bench

Senior forward Max Bielfeldt scored 12 points and nine rebounds in Michigan's 58-44 win over Nebraska on Tuesday night.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- For the first time in his Michigan career forward Max Bielfeldt is playing significant minutes as a senior. And while his production may be a surprise to some, with injuries depleting U-M’s roster, he has added much needed stability the Wolverines’ frontcourt rotation.

On Tuesday night, Bielfeldt finished with12 points and nine rebounds in Michigan’s 58-44 win over Nebraska.

But it was how he scored his points and got his rebounds that was impressive.

The 6-foot-8, 245-pounder brought energy to the Wolverines both offensively and defensively. He shot an efficient 6 of 9 from the floor, including a highlight dunk in the second half off a Spike Albrecht no look pass. And also led U-M with a game-high four offensive boards.

And the Cornhuskers, well, they didn’t have an answer for Bielfeldt’s energy.

“I thought Max Bielfleldt getting 12 [points] and nine [rebounds]was critical in the second half,” Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. “Even when were down 10 or 11, he would give them an extra possession. Or just out hustle us to a rebound. That was tough. I thought he out scraped us that way.”

Even after a productive night, Bielfeldt didn’t have high expectations individually coming into the game, but was more focus one playing a team game.

“I didn’t come in tonight and was like, ‘Alright Max, you’re going to get a double-double tonight,” Bielfeldt said. “We’re just playing a really good team game.

“I think just everyone is going in there doing what their responsibilities are. It’s just paying off so well.”< Due to an illness, Michigan would be without Mark Donnal against Nebraska. So U-M’s three man rotation of Ricky Doyle, Bielfeldt and Donnal would be cut to two.

“I think with the three man rotation you know there is less time to be had per person,” Bielfeldt said. “We knew with Mark sick tonight we knew me and Ricky were going to have to take a pretty big load. I think we were just ready for it. We knew someone had to get the rebounds and just play for Mark. Those minutes were just to be had.”

In his past three games, Bielfeldt is averaging 9.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, with 3.7 of his rebounds coming on the offensive end. Michigan record is 2-1 during that stretch, only losing to No. 6 Wisconsin 69-64 in overtime on Saturday.

“We see this in practice every day,” sophomore Zak Irvin said. “I’m just glad that he’s showing it now. That’s three consecutive games he’s played well for us. He just got to keep that going forward.”

Reclassified as a senior to start the season, Bielfeldt’s career at Michigan is closing in at the end. But don’t tell him that, he’s not approaching his recent success with an extra burning desire.

“It’s not like I feel like there is flame behind and I got to start doing stuff,” Bielfeldt said. “Honestly, I’m feeling good. The team is playing good. This is a lot of fun.”

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