Thanks to J.P. Mundy from Blogger So Dear for taking the time to sit down with us.
TT - Jeff Bzdelik hasn't had the best time as Wake's head basketball coach. Is he gone after this season?
BSD - The guy inherited a dumpster fire under dubious circumstances and faced a lot of attrition his first two seasons. Then last year the Deacs underachieved and finished 13-18. This season was front-loaded with cupcakes to boost the win total, and for a while it looked like the boys might be turning a corner. That ended with the home loss to Georgia Tech and they still haven't recovered. Wake Forest has now lost five straight games and is in danger of not reaching last year's six-win total in the ACC. They would have to finish the regular season with 18-19 wins and win one game in the ACC Tournament for there to be even the slightest argument for retention. I think he's gone.
TT - What is the primary reason for Wake's struggles? Recruiting? Bad coaching? Injuries?
BSD - Ultimately, Jeff Bzdelik's biggest sin is the fact that his quirky personality just doesn't connect with people. The fan base, media members, etc. Now, he's a very nice guy and extremely smart. He would rather just teach the game and leave all the minutiae to someone else. Unfortunately, that's not what a D-1 head coaching job is. Wake Forest needs a CEO who can matriculate a chicken dinner just as well as he does the sideline. His recruiting has been so/so, but what's more concerning is a tendency for his teams to come out flat after halftime and not respond well to adversity. The white flag is very close to coming unfurled for this team.
TT - How do Wake fans view the realignment marry-go-round? Will they miss Maryland or say good riddance?
BSD - Six months ago and you had folks wistful for the traditional ACC. Now, people have bought the idea that "Hey, Rick Pitino is coming!" Ultimately, I think both Maryland and the ACC win. Maryland will replenish its bottom line (even if it means getting pounded in football for five years) and the ACC gets to be the best basketball conference in America again. In the meantime, y'all need to pony up your exit fee. Where's our check?
TT - If you're drawing up a gameplan against Wake, what would the focus be?
BSD - Attack the post. Rotate guys inside and push Devin Thomas around. Rinse. Repeat. Also, force Codi Miller-McIntyre to take jumpers. If a contested Miller-McIntyre jumper is what the Terps get out of a Wake possession, they will be doing just fine. It's really simple to gameplan Wake, simply because they are so limited offensively.
TT - Who you got on Tuesday? What would Wake have to do to pull the upset?
BSD - I think the Terps probably win this one by double-digits, especially if they get out to a hot start. As I mentioned, the white flag is probably close to coming out, and as I heard in the media room the other night, "They're done." Indeed, they are. For Wake Forest to have a shot, they are going to have to do what worked in the early ACC season: Miller-McIntyre getting to the rim and Devin Thomas getting a touch on every offensive possession. "Pass the ball around and someone shoot" is not the greatest strategy right now. Or ever.
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