FanPost

Recordings of Jeff Bzdelik Making the Same Excuses at Colorado, as He Has at Wake Forest!

I reviewed all available video of Jeff Bzdelik during his disastrous run as Colorado's "coach", and it turns out that he has been making the same excuses and repeating the same vague platitudes at both Colorado and Wake Forest!

What was already alarming? We all know what a disaster Jeff Bzdelik was at Colorado. 10-38 against Big 12 teams. Barely .500 (24-20) against mid-major teams. 3 years, 1 Big 12 away win. Since Ron Wellman made the disastrous decision to impose the informal death penalty - saddling a college basketball program with Jeff Bzdelik's "coaching" - he's duplicated at least three things (and there are more, I just don't care about the stats. anymore because we all know we've been in the bottom-half of every meaningful statistical performance metric every year since Jeff Bzdelik arrived): No winning seasons. No .500 seasons. His second career 1-15 conference record. Three years, 1 ACC road win. Last but not least: Athlon Sports's only "coach" to occupy TWO spots in its "Absolute Worst NCAA Coaches" list (link to Athlon embedded).

What's new (to be alarmed about)? As you'll see in all of these Jeff Bzdelik clips, it appears that he has been making excuses for his entire major conference career at Colorado through Wake Forest.

At Colorado:

(1) 2008: Jeff Bzdelik Making the Youth Excuse at Colorado After He Finished His First Season Dead-Last in the Big 12 (link embedded)

(A) The Date: October 2008.

(B) The Situation: Jeff Bzdelik has finished his first season in major conference play, in which Colorado went 3-13 against Big 12 opponents and 9-7 against mid-major teams. He now looks forward to his second season at Colorado.

(C) The Empty Platitudes and Pre-Emptive Excuse:

Jeff Bzdelik: "I have my eyes fixed on the big picture here, and the vision is, I want the vision to be clear, the vision is: To win, and to do so without compromising the moral integrity of this great university, my players will go to class, please and thank you are nice words, you can have excellence without arrogance.

. . .

And to build this into a team, that's a well oiled machine, in the future. We are going to be an extremely young basketball team and very inexperienced. One of the goals of recruiting is, to put together the best shooting team in the country

. . .

We'll be able to shoot the basketball from all positions. I think a strength of this team can be its shooting."

(D) Bzdelik's Excuse (Lie) vs. Truth:

(I) "Youth": Colorado was not actually that terribly young. The Buffaloes returned 7 upperclassmen (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) and required the services of 6 freshmen.

(a) The Lie: Jeff Bzdelik lied when he used youth as a shield to insulate himself from criticism wrought by performing very badly at Colorado because he, in fact, had a healthy mix of upperclassmen/freshmen.

(b) Has He Done This At Wake Forest?: Yes.

(E) Bzdelik's Goal vs. the Bottom-Line:

(I) Was Colorado a Good-Shooting Team?: No. Colorado's shooting was anemic - Colorado scored the fewest points per game in the conference for the second out of two years under Jeff Bzdelik (link embedded), was barely the 6th best (out of 12 teams) in field goal percentage (link embedded), and was second-to-last in generating free throws per game (link embedded). The scoring defense was, as you might've guessed, the worst in the Big 12.

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(2) 2009: Jeff Bzdelik Blaming the Previous Basketball Coach for His Team's Poor Performance (link embedded)

(A) The Date: October 2009.

(B) The Situation: Colorado has just endured its second year of Jeff Bzdelik, and Colorado had been historically awful - Colorado went 9-22, 1-15 and had just produced its worst season since 1988-1989 (links embedded).

(C) The Empty Platitudes and Pre-Emptive Excuse:

Jeff Bzdelik: "A couple of years ago when I took this job I said very clearly, that, we couldn't wave a magic wand and have this happen overnight. Uh, Coach Patton did a wonderful job when he was here. I think the last year or two and things [he was head coach before me] just unraveled in a way from a GPA standpoint and a citizenship standpoint and a competitive spirit standpoint that, uh, put us in the state that we were in. My vision is to build this program, with a strong foundation, of young players, collectively molding them, as solid players, as uh, as, uh, as uh, as uh, as uh, as uh, a basketball team, that when they're juniors and seniors will be mature enough, deep enough, and strong enough, and experienced enough, to have success in this year.

As we reflect back on last year, with only one senior and one junior, we weren't deep enough, we weren't strong enough, and we weren't mature enough, to close out games. Their competitive spirit, was awesome. We lost 11 games by an average of 4 1/2 points per games.

...

Their citizenship, is awesome. The culture's in place. We still only have one senior. As we approach this year, I feel like we're poking our head above the horizon a little bit, out of this deep hole, that we [previous head coach Ricardo Patton] had dug ourselves into. And I think we're going to be deeper, we're going to be stronger, we're gonna be more mature, we're gonna be a better basketball team. The winning and the losing will take care of itself. The challenge is a very difficult non-conference schedule, coupled with, with, with, what many consider the Big 12 to be the very best in its history. I'll find out, just as you will find out, as we go along the way, how much, uh, we're showing, improvement.

We've got to do all these wonderful things, but the bottom line is to win, and, we've got to start turning the corner I understand that.

(D) Bzdelik's Excuse (Lie) vs. Truth:

(I) "Blaming the Previous Head Coach" [Ricardo Patton]: Ricardo Patton was fired because after 11 seasons at Colorado culminating in a last-place finish in 2006-2007, Patton had failed to get Colorado into the NCAA Tournament since 2002, and had not advanced beyond the 1st Round of the NCAA Tournament since 1996-1997. In fact, when Patton was fired, there had been no mention of ethics.

(a) The Lie: Jeff Bzdelik lied when he made up a fictitious culture problem that was the previous coach's fault ... which somehow prevented the Colorado basketball team from being good.

(b) Has He Done This At Wake Forest?: Yes.

(E) Bzdelik's Goal vs. the Bottom Line:

(I) Did Bzdelik Perform in Such a Way That Recognized the Importance of Winning?: No. The team went 6-10 against Big 12 teams, and only 9-6 against mid-major teams. Colorado's scoring offense remained in the bottom-half of the Big 12, and the Buffaloes scoring defense was second-to-last in the Big 12. (link embedded).

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(3) Jeff Bzdelik Blaming Youth for the Second Year in a Row (link embedded)

(A) The Date: October 2009.

(B) The Situation: The same as (#2) above.

(C) The Empty Platitudes and Pre-Emptive Excuse:

Jeff Bzdelik: "Anyone who saw us play last year, it was obvious we weren't deep enough, strong enough, mature enough, with only 1 senior, 1 junior. Our players played extremely hard, we lost 11 games last year by an average of 4 1/2 points per game. We just, like I said, weren't deep enough, strong enough, mature enough. We gained valuable experience from last year, with the fact that we had 3 freshman and a sophomore play 30+ minutes a game. We will be better. We're in an unforgiving league called the Big 12. And so we'll just take it one game at a time. We will be prepared. We will play hard. We'll be fearless. We'll see where that takes us."

(D) Bzdelik's Excuse (Lie) vs. Truth:

(I) "Overstating the Lack of Juniors and Seniors/Understating the Number of Sophomores He Had": Jeff Bzdelik emphasized that he had only one junior and one senior on the team (2 players) --- and omitted, the fact, that he had also had a stable of sophomores on the depth chart (5 players) (link embedded here).

(a) The Lie: Jeff Bzdelik lied when he played spin with his roster to give an excuse as to why Colorado's offense did not improve like he said it would under his tutelage and deflected personal responsibility for the team's last-place using his players' age as an excuse from accountability.

(b) Has He Done This At Wake Forest?: Yes.

(E) Did Bzdelik Follow-Through on Colorado Being Better and Better Prepared?: No. As noted, Colorado went only 6-10 against Big 12 teams, and only 9-6 against mid-major teams. Bzdelik's offense finished in the bottom-half of the Big 12 for the third year in a row, and in the bottom-two in defense for the third year in a row.

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Something else endemic to Jeff Bzdelik basketball? Transfers (link embedded, listen to the first 10 seconds).

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Patterns. We have them. Now what to do with them.

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