Wednesday, April 04, 2007

CU Lands Their Top Target

Can I get a hell yeah? The long drawn out CU Mens Basketball search is over. Finally.

After suffering through one of the worst seasons in years due to a lame (duck) coach and a boatload of freshmen, there's a very bright light shining down on Boulder and the Coors Events Center. The worst kept secret over the last five months in Colorado has finally come to fruition. Jeff Bzdelik, formerly of the Denver Nuggets and Air Force Academy has agreed to a 5 year contract to become the 17th mens basketball coach in CU history. The Buffs have found a gem.

Let me give a little back ground on my perspective. I was fortunate enough over the last 2 seasons to see roughly 15 AFA games that Jeff Bzdelik coached in person at Clune Arena in Colorado Springs. He won 50 games in the two season he was at AFA. That's right, 50 games at a service academy, unbelievable stuff. Bzdelik's teams are disciplined, run a specific offense (Novel idea isn't it Ricardo?) and are tough as nails on defense. This AFA team beat the likes of Texas Tech, Long Beach State, UNLV, Wake Forrest, Stanford and Colorado. And by beat (for the most part) I mean they absolutely kicked their asses. All this done with future soldiers, not players with future NBA aspirations.

The most common concern I've been hearing in the media and among CU supporters regarding this hire is "Can Bzdelik recruit?". I think it's a valid question. My answer is yes, he will be able to recruit. Bzdelik's lengthy NBA resume alone speaks for it self. High School kids all believe they are headed to the NBA and Bzdelik knows what it takes to get there. In his press conference this morning, Coach Buzz stated, quite emphatically, "I love recruiting. I really enjoy it."He's not going to have any problem convincing a kid to come to CU to play in the Big 12 and to live in Boulder for a few years.

The next most common thing concern seems to be "Is he using this as a stepping stone or is he here for the long haul?". To that I say, either is fine by me. If he's using it as a stepping stone (and last time I checked, the CU Mens Basketball job was not exactly UCLA) then that would mean he had success while in Boulder and left the program in better shape than when he got there. Bzdelik has stated numerous times that he loves the state of Colorado. Smart man he is. He has turned down numerous jobs out of the state and his hiring at CU mark his third consecutive job within the state of Colorado. He says he and his family love it here. So whether it's a stepping stone go back to the NBA and get that last year needed for his NBA pension or if he settles in and coaches CU for 15 years, the program is in good hands.

Georgetown proved that a modified Princeton offense can work with great athletes, and I expect the players to buy in to what Bzdelik is preaching and be in the post season next year. (Okay, so by post season I mean NIT, but still it's better than anything that's been happening in Boulder recently)

Oh, and it's pronounced Buzz-DEL-ick.

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