As Wellman decided, while many names were mentioned by the client - fans - and the media, the search appeared to head straight for Bzdelik. Fans may never know for sure if he made a run at Brad Stevens before he signed an extension, or Brad Brownell.
Wellman again dug a hole here by saying a big reason he fired Gaudio was because he wanted someone who could succeed in the postseason. Bzdelik’s résumé is mostly empty when you look at his postseasons as a college coach.
Bzdelik's also setting off alarms in recruiting. Under the prior two coaches, Wake stepped up its recruiting presence, and itself in front of many players listed among the top in the country. While Wake didn’t land all of them, the talent level picked up.
Coming off this disastrous season, fans want to know that more talent is coming into the program. But so far, Wake’s presence with the top names has disappeared almost entirely. In addition, fans have watched top local talent, with whom Wake once was involved, leave for other schools, such as Quincy Miller (Baylor), Deuce Bello (Baylor) and Tyler Lewis (N.C. State).
Five recruits are committed for the next two years, and the list of other offers for those recruits was underwhelming: Tulsa, Wichita State, UNC-Wilmington, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Marshall. Yikes. Winning doesn't come recruiting "sleepers." Wake fans are extremely sensitive to this, because they lived through it with Dave Odom. Odom rarely even approached top talent & instead aimed lower, and got a slew of mediocre talent and an almost constant transfer list. No surprise that Odom’s greatest success came with his highest-ranked recruits, such as Rodney Rogers and Randolph Childress.
Wellman recently defended Bzdelik, saying he didn’t care about the number of stars, which wasn’t exactly what the client wanted to hear. He also brought up Tim Duncan as an example of a player who flew under the radar but led Wake to success, which was ridiculous, since Duncan’s scenario (unknown high school swimmer from Virgin Islands signs with Wake over Delaware State and becomes NBA legend) may never be played out again. In the current basketball world, a body and talent like his no longer goes unknown.
For every Alec Burks (a three-star recruit of Bzdelik’s who blossomed at Colorado), there usually are several misses when you recruit at that talent level. Soon after Wellman’s declaration that he knew Bzdelik was recruiting players with whom he could win, the Deacons landed Codi Miller-McIntyre for the Class of 2012. The opening sentence in the Winston-Salem Journal was this: "Codi Miller-McIntyre flew under the radar into an ACC program Thursday, when he committed to play basketball at Wake Forest." That’s not exactly a confidence boost for the client, either.