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 FireBz.com, 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 NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne