To say the least the last three seasons have been frustrating for Wake Forest, as the move from Dino Gaudio to Jeff Bzdelik has been anything but successful. Bzdelik’s record in Winston-Salem is 33-58, and this season’s team (12-17 overall, 5-12 ACC) has lost nine of its last 11 games heading into Sunday’s regular season finale against Virginia Tech.
Obviously the fans are frustrated, and they should be. Some even went the extra mile in voicing their displeasure, taking out an ad in the school’s student newspaper earlier this week urging athletic director Ron Wellman to fire Bzdelik.
A win over the Hokies would keep the Demon Deacons out of the ACC cellar heading into next week’s conference tournament, and based on the countdown within the ad it’s obvious that the fans behind the move don’t expect their team to hang around Greensboro for very long.
This ad is simply the latest “low” for a program that’s been home to some of the greatest players in ACC history, from Len Chappell in the 1960s, Rodney Rogers in the ’80s, Randolph Childress and Tim Duncan in the ’90s and Chris Paul in the new millenium.
Those legends may not be “walking through that door” to rescue the Wake Forest program from its current run of futility, but it’s obvious that the fans are tired of all the losses. But how much of an impact will the ad have on Wellman, who likely isn’t a fan favorite either since he hired Bzdelik?
Leading scorer C.J. Harris is the lone player slated to depart at the end of the season, so maybe there’s room for optimism in that regard. But given how much Wake Forest has struggled during Bzdelik’s reign, a portion of the fan base looks to have no desire to see whether or not he can turn things around in year four.
h/t The Dagger
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.
The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.
“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.
“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.
“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”
Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.
Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.
Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.
Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.