In my ACC preview, I suggested that Jeff Bzdelik was the league coach most likely to get himself fired this season. Wake last made the NCAA tournament in 2010 under Dino Gaudio. Gaudio was fired for his troubles, and Bzdelik was hired after a rambling search process, baffling many. The program that rode tie-dye power to the top of the standings has backslid since then.
If Bzdelik has to win this season to keep his job, things just got harder. 6’10” forward Daniel Green tore his ACL in an exhibition game played in Ontario.
Green didn’t exactly light the ACC on fire last season, averaging just 7.4 minutes per game. But he is 6’10” and 220, in a game frequently dominated by very tall men. With seven-footers Ty Walker and Carson Desrosiers gone, Green had the best combination of size and experience on the roster. Now, freshman Andre Washington will have to make the most out of the minutes that have opened up in the post. From the Winston-Salem Journal:
Washington has missed the last week recovering from a concussion. Neither played in Canada, but Thomas returned to practice without restrictions Monday, and Washington practiced without contact.
Bzdelik said that if Washington experiences no repercussions, he will be cleared for full activity later this week.
Washington might be the rawest freshman on the roster, given he played only sparingly last season at Hargrave Academy. But at 7-feet and 220 pounds, he does provide a physical presence beneath the rim.
“No question Andre was going to be a fixture anyway,” Bzdelik said. “There’s no doubt that to expedite his development he needs to get in there and get minutes.”
The Demon Deacons open their season at home on Nov. 9th against Radford of the Big South.