Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pitt Blows Wake Out of ACC Tourney: Is This the End for Bzdelik?

The University of Pittsburgh quickly ended Wake Forest's ACC Tourney run with a 84-55 blowout win Thursday afternoon.

And no sooner than the end of the game, the speculation on the future of Wake head coach Jeff Bdzelik hit overdrive.

Sources tied to the Demon Deacons tell OSG Sports Bdzelik is likely to step down from the job within the next couple of days.

After going 17-16 this year, the Deacon fan base and alumni have grown quite impatient. Mind you, they ran off Dino Gaudio after going 61-31 with 2 NCAA Tourney bids in three years.

Bzdelik hasn't been even close to that.

While Wake showed some spark beating Notre Dame Wednesday in their ACC opener, they were down 14 to Pitt by halftime and never got any closer.

Already, there is speculation Wake will run at Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall, though our question is at this point is Wake a better job?

Others who may be in:

Dr. Brett Reed – Lehigh:  This could be a great fit.  Reed has led the Mountain Hawks to two NCAA tournament appearances including the upset of Duke in the first round in 2012.  Lehigh has a similar academic makeup as Wake Forest.

Mike Lonergan – George Washington:  Another solid candidate who has had some success at Vermont and has rebuilt the program at G.W.  Lonergan won’t wow the fan base but he appears to be a good fit as well.

Shaka Smart – Virginia Commonwealth:  Is this the right program to get Smart out of the mid-majors to the ACC?   Smart has $1.5 million guaranteed annually from VCU and his contract runs through 2028.  Looks like Smart might be content in Richmond.

Tommy Amaker – Harvard:  He’s a Mike Krzyzewski protégé who’s rehabbed his coaching career at Harvard after a mediocre tenure at Michigan.  Would Amaker be willing to go up against his mentor each year?  

Tubby Smith – Texas Tech:  He has ties to North Carolina.  Smith played at High Point University and was a high school coach in the Tar Heel State.  Smith is 62 years old and has a great resume but he just finishing his first year at Texas Tech so the timing may not be right.  Smith would be worth pursuing though.

Mike White – Louisiana Tech: Has won conference championships the last two years ( 2013 WAC, 2014 C-USA) and is considered a hot commodity within the coaching circles.   White coaches a fast tempo offensive game and a tight man to man defense.  I’m willing to bet White is on top of the list.

And finally--

Bobby Hurley – Buffalo: In his first year as head coach Hurley has led the Bulls to the MAC Eastern Division title.  Hurley has a legacy in the ACC.  It would be a high risk/high reward type of move but one Wake Forest might need to make. 
Ben Howland – Former UCLA head coach:  To old, too much baggage.
Bobby Lutz – NC State assistant coach:  Lutz can coach and got the max out of his players during his tenure as the head coach at Charlotte.  Would hiring Lutz excite the fan base?

Stay tuned, the College Basketball Carousel has only just begun...

Highlights from today's Pitt win over Wake come from our partners at the ACC Digital Network:

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