Bzdelik belongs at Wake Forest
Right now, a large portion of Wake Forest basketball fans are calling for the firing of head coach Jeff Bzdelik after Wake finishes this season.
Photo courtesy of acc.blogs.starnewsonline.com
To these people, I say you are dead wrong.
Yes, Wake Forest has accumulated some horrendous statistics the last few years. Yes, there have been plenty of games in which the Demon Deacon were not even competitive.
However, Wake Forest fans need to give this man a chance.While Bzdelik’s team has lost its share of games over the past two and a half years, this year’s young squad has given me lots of faith in the man behind the clipboard.
Simply put, he is the right man for the job and he should have the Wake Forest community’s love and support.
Last year, I was much more skeptical about Bzdelik and the program. However, there have been numerous indicators that have accumulated to make me believe in the team and its future.
For starters, this year’s team cares. Members of the basketball team made their way to meetings of campus organizations trying to get students to attend games. Senior C.J. Harris even wrote a Letter to the Editor in the Feb. 7 edition of the Old Gold & Black stating how much the team appreciates student support. The Deacs are not just buying into the program, but they believe in the Wake Forest community.
In addition, Wake plays its heart out at the Joel.
The only ACC loss at home this year was against Duke, in which the Blue Devils won in the waning minutes of the game. Many Wake Forest fans went to bed slightly frustrated about the result but not disappointed in how Wake played. When teams play with passion, only good things can happen.
To add to this, Wake Forest is once again becoming a hotspot for top recruits. This year’s freshman class was considered to be a Top 25 class in the country. Freshman Devin Thomas, who is a possible ACC Rookie of the Year candidate, was among those who chose to come to Wake Forest. According to ESPN, freshman Codi Miller-McIntyre was a Top 100 recruit. Shelton Mitchell, one of the 25 best recruits for 2014, has already committed to becoming a Demon Deacon according to various sources. Wake is once again attracting the nation’s premier.
Lastly, and most importantly, these young men act with class. They are visible around campus, they are not cocky or pretentious and they stay out of trouble. Many college athletic programs across the nation are suspect for possible NCAA violations, but Wake is not one of them.
This year’s team is young. They will lose games, and there will be hostile road games where they get blown out simply because they are inexperienced. However, these road losses will turn into closer games and eventually, wins. Wake’s players have had to grow up fast, but it does take time to become accustomed to ACC basketball. There’s no two ways about it.
Bzdelik is creating a system that players believe in. Now, it’s time for the fans to believe as well. Wake Forest basketball is doing the right thing and it is on the right track toward becoming a successful program once again.
Bzdelik deserves a lot of credit for the steps he’s taken in rebuilding the Deacs, and he should be rewarded with a new contract. Let’s keep him in Winston-Salem.