ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In 19 appearances during the 2013-14 season, reserve big man Max Bielfeldt averaged 0.8 points per game and 1.1 rebounds.
Now a redshirt junior and heading into the 2014-15 season with gaping holes in Michigan’s frontcourt following the graduation of Jordan Morgan, early entry into the NBA draft by Mitch McGary, and transfer of Jon Horford, Bielfeldt could be counted on more than just 4.7 minutes a game.
Unfortunately for Bielfeldt, his summer and time in the gym developing will be cut short following off-season surgery.
“Max Bielfeldt has had some hip surgery and he’ll be down for most of the summer,” Beilein confirmed Tuesday. “The plan is (for him) to be on the (Europe) trip but if there’s any complications it would be different.”
Already thin under the basket with only Bielfeldt, redshirt freshman Mark Donnal, and incoming freshman Ricky Doyle on the depth chart, Michigan’s trip to Europe in August could prove vital from an experience standpoint.
Although Bielfeldt is the veteran of the crew despite limited action throughout his career in Ann Arbor, Beilein says the competition would’ve been open regardless.
“It was going to be a, whoever is the best let’s go out there,” Beilein said. “And (Max) knows our things better than Mark but whoever’s going to be the best.
“Mark and he both had really impressive moments this season in practice only. Got to do it when the actually games are going on and that’s what we’ll find out.”
At 6-foot-9, 230-pounds, Donnal will be counted on to be an inside out presence for Michigan with the ability to knock down perimeter jumpers as well.
Doyle, unofficially the same size as Donnal, is already in Ann Arbor working out with strength coach Jon Sanderson and comes in with a strong ability to finish inside and a developing mid-range jumper.
Donnal nor Doyle are known or regarded as elite athletes. Either way, opportunity knocks for both to get on the floor quite a bit leading up to the fall.
“That’s right,” Beilein said. “Ricky and Mark Donnal are going to get a lot of meaningful minutes over the summer. And if Max isn’t back on the trip, really good for them.”
Fellow incoming freshmen D.J. Wilson (6-foot-9, 200-pounds) and Kameron Chatman (6-foot-8, 200-pounds) will also add some size and athleticism to the roster when they arrive on campus at the end of June.