Buff Zone: Interest in Bzdelik is not a bad thing


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Oct 31, 2008
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Woelk: Interest in Bzdelik not a bad thing

By Neill Woelk (Contact)
Saturday, July 18, 2009

News that the Minnesota Timberwolves have an interest in Colorado basketball coach Jeff Bzdelik should be welcomed by Buff fans.

This isn't a case of Bzdelik chasing an opening in a desperate attempt to get out of Boulder. Neither is it a situation in which he's trying to create some leverage and hold his administration hostage in hopes of receiving a contract extension.

It's nothing so nefarious or complicated. It's simply that a man whose coaching abilities are well-respected across the nation is always going to attract attention when a vacancy occurs.

Minnesota's interest is actually an affirmation that CU has the right guy in the position. A coach who has won barely 33 percent of his games at CU in two years must be doing something right if he's still drawing interest for one of the top 32 jobs in the world in his profession.

Not that Buff athletic director Mike Bohn is doing handstands today in celebration of the news. The last thing Bohn needs on his plate is a coaching search, particularly with the season just a few months away.

But even Bohn has to admit that having folks interested in your coaches is much, much better than the alternative.

CU's current staffers have also had feelers from other programs. Bohn has been approached at least twice by other schools, and after his second year here, Dan Hawkins fielded inquiries from a variety of programs.

Not that you ever want your school to become a perennial steppingstone. (Ask Wyoming about this). But you do want coaches who are coveted by other teams. Think USC would want a coach whose name isn't mentioned with every major opening? Think Oklahoma would rather no one be interested in Bob Stoops?

Of course not. Coaches who are wanted are successful coaches.

As for Bzdelik, the gut feeling here is that he'll stay.

When he took the job, he knew what kind of mountain he faced. One needs only go back a few paragraphs to see the list of folks before him who tried and failed to make CU a viable basketball program.

The task has only become tougher as the Big 12 continues to flex its basketball muscles. And, as the stakes become higher around the league, so does the level of questionable ethics. That makes Bzdelik's job even tougher because he refuses to cheat.

But, he can coach -- witness the interest by two NBA teams in the last year. He's also stepped up the level of talent, and he's fought tooth and nail to improve facilities for his players.

We're betting that fans will be pleasantly surprised next season by the improvement in his team, one that will still have just one senior. Things will be even better a year later.

And in the meanwhile, don't be surprised if other teams continue to express an interest in Bzdelik's services.

It's not a bad thing -- and definitely better than the alternative.

I think there is more interest in CU basketball on this board than their own, if they even have one, that is.
Neil Woelk is a bit of a cheerleader for the Mike Bohn AD at CU....and has yet to write a critical word about Hawkins or Bzdelik despite the fact the former has yet to have a winning season and the latter has two basement finishes in the conference.

to me, were i a CU fan, i think even the slightest possibility that Bz would leave demonstrates how vulnerable this program is to being a long-time, "butt of jokes" doormat. with Bz's total rebuild and player attrition (at least 3 guys who would have started each of the last 2 years) they don't even have a roster of 12 legit D-1 players in year 3. i think they win 6 maybe 7 conference games this year but all their future is tied up in Bzdelik....because he's gutted the program from the inside out.

and on the Steve McClain angle, i always liked his Wyo teams. he was a former assistant to Billy at TCU.