And does Coach Bzdelik Coach Up-Tempo, or Slow-&-Clunky? KenPom Knows!

All after the jump.

It took a while, so if you disagree please don't just accuse me of being some kind of fifth column. Many people who used to comment here at BSD such as DaDeacs & Grand Tanyon Sturtze, and provided valuable evidence and discussion are now gone because of such accusations & inconsistent treatment by MRickman & RA that still haven't been answered or accounted for. This question remains for RA or MRickman to answer:

Since when does someone like GTS get a threat-to-ban for calling RA "kid" but OldDeac can call all of us "spewers of stat. swill" and Josh can say those things [insults documented in that thread], & neither of them are threatened with a ban?

Anyway, don't drive me off too, and the people you already drove off like Grand Tanyon Sturtze and DaDeacs & the few that tenuously remain despite the inconsistent treatment both deserve a direct, specific response that's accountable for the glaring discrepancy in conduct regulation that goes on here. With that request for an answer and disclaiming caveat, does Coach Bzdelik coach up-tempo as RA said? Or does he coach a slow-&-ponderous style of offense?

It seems to me that unless one holds up the coach's haphazard attempt to play at an up-tempo pace in his first year at Wake as an irrebuttable trump, the KenPom evidence unequivocally indicates that Bz's capacity is strictly limited to coaching a slow-&-clunky, rather than an up-tempo, style of basketball.


Because here's what I've got:

In 2005, Air Force ranked dead last (9th out of 9 teams) in the Mountain West in Adj. Temp.

In 2006, Air Force ranked dead last in the MWC in Adj. Temp.

In 2007, Air Force ranked dead last in the MWC in Adj. Temp.

In 2007, Colorado ranked 2nd in the Big 12 in Adj. Tempo.

Pause: There's a probable reason for this outlier when you compare it to the rest of Bzdelik's stops & account for Adj. Tempo. Under Ricardo Patton (the head coach that preceded Bz at Colorado) in 2006, Colorado ranked first in the Big 12 in Adj. Tempo. Under Patton in 2005, Colorado ranked first in the Big 12 in Adj. Tempo. Under Patton in 2004, Colorado ranked third in the Big 12 in Adj. Tempo. Under Patton in 2003, Colorado ranked third in the Big 12 in Adj. Tempo. So I think it's pretty safe to say since KenPom accounts for Adj. Tempo. in sometimes disjunctive half-cycles (in the first half of the calendar-year 2007 Colorado was following Ricardo Patton's style, while in the second half of the calendar-year 2007 Colorado was following Jeff Bzdelik's style), that it's plausible to very likely that a significant factor for the 2007 outlier is that for approximately half of 2007 Colorado played under a different coach who habitually played at a fast-pace that had Colorado first in Adj. Tempo in for the prior two years, and third in Adj. Tempo for the two years prior to those. Unpause.

In 2008, Colorado ranked dead last in the Big 12 in Adj. Temp.

In 2009, Colorado ranked dead last in the Big 12 in Adj. Temp.

In 2010, Colorado ranked 7th in the Big 12 (7th out of 12 teams) in Adj.Temp.

So literally every team that Bzdelik coached prior to being handed the Wake job, except for one KenPom year (2007) that was half Ricardo Patton's, and the KenPom year 2010 when Colorado was ranked 7th, finished dead-last in Adj. Tempo.

I think these are pretty glaring cites that demonstrate that Bzdelik naturally plays at a slow tempo, and that when he came to Wake, he pressed because his reputation preceded him that his offenses were slow & clunky (Princeton-y), and when everyone started writing that, he started saying really bemused, psychologically compensatory things like this (direct link here):

Bzdelik, said he will mold his offensive and defensive schemes around the talent on hand. In his past two head-coaching positions, at Air Force and Colorado, he used a modified form of the Princeton offense, which has traditionally been employed by teams seeking to overcome a deficiency in talent and ability.

"Princeton is in New Jersey," Bzdelik said yesterday. "We're in North Carolina."

Bzdelik was clearly sensitive to the connotation.

"Everybody talks about the Princeton offense," Bzdelik said. "I've been coaching a long time. I'll take the talent I have and adjust it to what we need to do.

"I don't know where people get all this stuff, like, ‘What are you going to do, hold the ball?' No we're not going to hold the ball."

"Are we going to pass the ball to one another?" Bzdelik asked, rhetorically. "Well, yeah. You know what? Everybody passes it.

This is where, like when relativity breaks down into the quantum world, we don't have KenPom to rely on and have to start using analytical skills to parse out what could be causality. The most plausible, rational explanation for Wake's uptick in Adj. Tempo this year that contrasts so wholly with Bzdelik's entire KenPom record, is that he indeed wanted to prove to people that he was wired to coach more than teams that had to compensate for unathletic, poorly rated recruits by playing at extremely slow tempos and that he was capable of coaching athletic, highly rated recruits.

But I think he encountered two problems: One, he has never been able to coach defense at the college level, ever. Two, he has no experience coaching athletic, highly rated recruits (because he has never been able to recruit them and usually settles for lesser ones), so whatever he thought he could do, he indeed pressed, got his team (us, Wake Forest) to uptick its Adj. Tempo, and achieved a dramatic reversal in his KenPom history, but at what cost?

I think it further reinforces that he's not prepared to coach at this level, to coach highly rated, athletic, fast recruits in the Atlantic Coast Conference. That is, unless we want someone who's going to learn on the job while younger (by over 10 years), more successful coaches like Steve Donahue, Tony Bennett, Brian Gregory, and Brad Brownell "do work" rather than learn it. I'm just not prepared to endure this kind of learning curve.

I don't think Wake Forest has the luxury of time to wait on someone who's 10 years older than these younger, more successful counterparts to catch up with them while they're already "there" (in terms of track [they can adapt to ACC competitive imperatives like generating the right balance of quick style and/or teach players like ... how to play defense better than Bzdelik was able to with any of his teams that had his own recruits] & recruiting records) and moving on every year Bzdelik is trying to catch up.

He's too old, his KenPom history shows that he's pressing, and he's never had to recruit well because - well, the only time his team won was with a previous AFA coach's recruits. Like a piece I recently put up (that was eerily accurate about many peoples' ambivalent and/or negative stance towards the quality of recruits that Bzdelik was seeking out compared to our ACC counterparts) said (direct link here):

What has happened at Air Force since Bzdelik’s departure? The Falcons have lost 31 of their past 32 regular-season conference games, and there are plenty of villains to be found in the wreckage.

Bzdelik resides near the top of the list. He inherited five players — Nick Welch, Dan Nwaelele, Antoine Hood, Jacob Burtschi and Tim Anderson — who had been or would be first- or second-team all-MWC.

In his two seasons at the academy, Bzdelik didn’t recruit one player who approaches that quintet in talent.

“Jeff Bzdelik didn’t do a lot of personal recruiting,” AFA athletic director Hans Mueh told me last year. “He just didn’t. I don’t know what to make of that. It just is.”

So in sum, unless we're prepared to endure a coach who's older than his new rivals by over a decade, has alienated much of the fan base, has never recruited very well, and is pressing unsuccessfully to compensate for his KenPom pace rating inadequacy, I don't think it's worth keeping him & hope we move on for both our sakes.

I'd like to hear how the coach's offense is up-tempo? And/or how this coach would work out accounting for the obvious KenPom learning curve he's going to have to adapt to at a much older age than his counterparts, in order to get to where they are already at right now & moving on from?

Or just nice comments. It's a really frustrating fact that many of us have done alot of hard research and brought to light innovative analytical points that hadn't been discussed or covered, and the lot of us who provide so many separate, distinct, and discrete histories, metrics, and analytics have been threatened with being banned for calling an admin. "kid" while commenters who call us "spewers of stat. swill" and garner conduct-related complaints from 4 people in a single thread never receive threats-to-ban, or warnings to our knowledge. Nice comments or warrants plus evidence please. I hope this enlightened us closer to a conclusion. Musings and thoughts?

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