ACC Basketball Tournament - Wake Forest v Maryland

Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik: ‘I don’t read the newspapers or the Internet’

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Maryland topped Wake Forest, 75-62 on Thursday in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals, sending the Demon Deacons out on a 13-18 (6-12 ACC) 2012-2013 campaign.

Head coach Jeff Bzdelik has been under a cloud of scrutiny for weeks now, starting with an ad in the school newspaper urging for the school to fire Bzdelik after three underachieving seasons. Before the quarterfinal loss, another ad was paid for by the students, highlighting Bzdelik’s 1-24 record in his 25 road games at Wake Forest. Following the loss, Bzdelik downplayed the frustration of the fan base.

“I don’t read the newspapers or the Internet, and that’s the truth, and I don’t watch sports on TV except for games that I need to watch, so I’ve never seen anything, have no clue about what’s being said,” Bzdelik told reporters. “I don’t worry about things I don’t have any control over. I just do my job and what I know is this: We have built a really strong foundation without compromising any values or integrity at Wake Forest University, and there is a very bright future.”

If Bzdelik does happen to browse the Internet he should avoid, which features his 34-60 record on the site’s home page. To Bzdelik’s credit, the young Demon Deacons team has wins over at the time No. 2 Miami and N.C. State at home, yet there is that 26-point rout from MAAC champion Iona.

After three seasons, Dino Gaudio was canned after a 61-31 record. Bzdelik is trying to sell the fans that a foundation that is being built with his recruiting classes. His 2012 class included Devin Thomas, Wake’s leading rebounder as well as Codi Miller-McIntyre who was fourth (right behind Thomas) in scoring and was second in assists. Bzdelik has a pair of three-star recruits — wings Greg McClinton and Miles Overton. He also locked up Shelton Mitchell, a four-star point guard from the 2014 class.

“You know, we have beaten four out of the top six teams in this league. We’ve lost in numerous close games. As these young men grow up, get bigger and stronger, they’re going to turn those close losses into great wins. They really are.”

Bzdelik may have built the foundation, but the fans seem to have had enough. Several college coaches have gotten the axe already and we haven’t hit Selection Sunday, will Bzdelik be the next in line?

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.