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Silver lining to the Bzdelik issue.

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by sackman, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    The program is a lot stronger today than it was when Bzdelik showed up here. CU has never really been much of a basketball school. He's helped turn the ship into the right direction, although we still haven't gotten to where we want to be. I think the job is more attractive today than it was four years ago.
     
  2. DBT

    DBT Club Member Club Member

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    Very true. The one thing that chaps my ass is him doing this the week of the beginning of the LOI period. I wonder where he was in recruiting and what effect, if any, this will have on it.
     
  3. Sexton Hardcastle

    Sexton Hardcastle Club Member Club Member

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    yup. That's why I think it's so important to capitalize off of the recent success and bring in a good replacement. I think McClain is a decent coach, but I don't believe he is the answer we're looking for. jmo.
     
  4. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Ever since we hired Tom Apke, the job has been a black hole. Apke, Miller, Harrington, Patton. Finally, with what Bzdelik has done, there is reason to suspect that this could be a very good basketball program with the right guy running things.
     
  5. stampy

    stampy Well-Known Member

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    We've had many seasons where it appeared we were on the verge of turning things around.

    Tom Miller departed and left an all-conference center in Shawn Vandiver behind.

    When Harrington left, he left perhaps the greatest player in CU history behind in Chauncey.

    Patton also left what at the time looked like a lot of talent here, including a potential NBA player in Roby, a senior point in Marcus Hall, and a lot of promising youngsters, but Bz was unable to do much with that crew. Still, it wasn't like Patton "burnt the place to the ground" (to coin a phrase) before leaving.

    I think Bz is a good coach, but he didn't prove beyond a shadow of a doubt to me that he was definitely "the right guy". Since I've been watching this team, the "right guy" has proven to be elusive.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  6. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    - CU administrative support for the program is way up
    - AD commitment to the program is at its highest ever
    - Upgrades have us looking and acting like a big time program (new locker room, new court, chartered flights, strength/conditioning coach, $12 million practice facility)
    - No APR penalties looming (team GPA is around a 3.0 now -- it was 2.0 when Bzdelik took over)
    - At least 2 future NBA players on the current roster

    Bzdelik has certainly delivered for us. If I'm upset, it's because I thought we had him for 1 more year before he moved on.
     
  7. stampy

    stampy Well-Known Member

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    Aside from the team GPA, how much of that should be credited to Bzdelik and how much to Bohn?
     
  8. SECOBuffsFan

    SECOBuffsFan Active Member

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    Winston-Salem Journal says he is wavering on his decision.....that is why their AD came to Colorado....maybe he will see that the grass isn't always greener
     
  9. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I give them both credit. It really has been a shared vision for the program. I believe that's also why Bohn seemed so upset that these Wake negotiations went on behind his back at a time when the vision is so close to being realized.
     
  10. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Another thing just occurred to me. When was the last time we've had a basketball coach get hired away from us? I don't think it's happened in my lifetime. We usually fire them. There's several ways you could look at this, but I'm viewing it as an indication that we hired the right guy to begin with, and that he was doing things well enough to garner interest from a more prestigious basketball school. This is a good thing - so long as we keep the momentum going and hire the right guy to succeed Bzdelik. Look at what happened at Air Force after he left - total collapse.
     
  11. DBT

    DBT Club Member Club Member

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    Funny stuff. I just looked up the "Seven Stages of Grief" on Google:
    1. Shock and Denial
    2. Pain and Guilt
    3. Anger and Bargaining
    4. Depression, Reflection, Lonliness
    5. The Upward Turn
    6. Reconstruction and Working Through
    7. Acceptance and Hope

    I think I went from 1 to 7 in about 2 days, :lol:

    Don't let the door hit you in the ass, Jeff. I think, if Bohn handles this well, which is a big "if", the program can benefit from this. I was never ALL THAT enamored with Bzdelic, only because I've always viewed him as "quirky." Plus, I don't want to have a guy that, year in and year out, you wonder if he's going to seek "greener pastures" or not.

    This program needs a guy with a vision, a passion for recruiting, a motivator, a great game day coach and a committment and love for The University of Colorado. I think Bzdelic had a vision, that was his strength. He did upgrade the talent level, but I don't think he has a passion for recruiting. Motivator? Nor sure. I think he was so so as a game day coach. He definitely has no passion for CU, that is clear.
     
  12. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    One of the single greatest sentences I have ever seen on this board.
     
  13. Bisonic

    Bisonic Member

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    We sure are being generous today.

    First the positives: Bohn does have a vision to grow the facilities to the point where we're competitive again. (Believe it or not, we once were.) He insists on good behavior and good grades from the athletes, and coaches that set a good example. He seems to be excellent with the alums and really good at fundraising.

    The negative: He badly handled Patton's impending exit, and that set this program back a couple years. He hired Bzdelik after NO search, and Bzdelik offered no guarantees as a recruiter, or as a guy that would last here long. (Les Shapiro described him on 1510 yesterday as a good guy, but who never seemed content with his current situation.)

    Bohn has yet to hire a successful coach. (Make no mistake - Bzdelik was not successful here by any measure except potential.) I hope I'm wrong, but I really don't have faith that he has a vision for what it takes for a COACH to succeed here. BZ had elements of that, and so did Patton and Harrington for that matter. But not one was the complete package.

    What is the complete package? Someone who LOVES the program enough to put everything they have into recruiting. Someone who can manage the game well. Someone who runs the program with integrity.

    PS - for those who think the program was in awful shape when Bzdelik took over, I will admit that the talent level was dipping down. But one season before he left here, Patton had CU in the top 25 (for a short time). Patton's failure was IMO that he didn't have the BBall pedigree to make a team better as the year went on.

    Point is, it wasn't that long ago, folks, when our expectations were quite a bit higher than they are today.
     
  14. Mick Ronson

    Mick Ronson Well-Known Member

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    in Ricardo's second to last season we play ATM in the second round of the Big XII tournament in essentially a play-in game for the NCAA tournament--both teams on the bubble. we lost a close one at ATM earlier in the season, but they handled us pretty good in this one. that ATM team with Acie Law plays Final Four bound LSU and Big Baby to the closing seconds in the Sweet 16 or Elite 8, I forget. that Buff team won at Mizzou, at OSU, and beat good/ranked OU and Tech (Knight sr.) teams in Boulder. then Frink got fired and we tanked it a bit down the stretch.

    the Vanright, Silas class had some 3 star types and Vanright was a top 150 player. Jeremy Williams transfers to UTEP and has a nice season this year. Ricardo dogged it with the class that had the 3 7 footers....but, the previous class was solid to pretty good. who recruited Toby Veal, he was a Bz recruit....no?

    it was time for RP to go (2 years before he did finally lame duck it)....don't get me wrong. RP's early teams played tenacious D and had an overachieving quality....which obscured the "what offense are we running" or the "give it to Chauncey" play....after the Morandais/Harrison/Pelle teams it became clear that D was no longer a trademark (esp the laxy perimeter D)....and no real offensive system. Frink gave us one, but that ended poorly. All you had to look at to see Frink's imprint on the O were the very effective out of bounds plays those Buffs ran for 3/4 of a season. well designed, well executed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  15. stampy

    stampy Well-Known Member

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    In addition to all those sophs, he also left a team which included Roby, Marcus Hall (the best point we've had since), and Jackson-Wilson on the roster. If Patton hadn't made his announcement and the team hadn't lost motivation Patton's final year, I see no reason they wouldn't have stayed roughly on the Patton-proven average .500 run rate indefinitely.

    Next year this team has potential, but any claim that the program has greatly advanced to date over the Patton days is a bit of revisionist history, imo.
     
  16. Mick Ronson

    Mick Ronson Well-Known Member

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    and Andy Osborne. Andy was a serious 3 point threat. as good as anyone we've had since Blair Wilson....and a more versatile player than Blair.
     
  17. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Bisonic,

    I agree with your post.

    Regarding Patton (and Barnett / previous football coaches, for that matter)... people need to realize that the old way of doing things at CU was not working any more and couldn't work. With the advent of the Big 12, we no longer could take partial qualifiers. That had to change our recruiting criteria. Further, with the APR instituted, we had another hit to the types of athletes we could have in our programs. Patton's team had like a 2.0 GPA and we took a scholarship penalty (GB's final APR seasons were well below the minimum APR and we'll have scholarship penalties in football, too). Further, the scandal tightened things on recruiting and conduct to almost Ivy League standards at CU. Finally, very little progress was made on facilities or revenue base (other than the Folsom luxury boxes) in the 15 years before Bohn took over.

    Basically, the entire landscape changed and we weren't prepared for it. While Bohn has been focused on growing our revenue base, improving facilities, keeping the budget balanced, and making sure that our house was in order on academics and conduct... he's had to hire coaches with a mid-major mentality. Go inexpensive, work harder, and do things the right way.

    So, what do we get?

    Men's Basketball: Bzdelik. A guy who had 2 straight 20-win seasons at Air Force and put his final team in the NCAA tournament despite the difficulties of winning in basketball at service academies. Very high academic and personal conduct standards. Known for bringing top fundamentals, Xs and Os, and talent evaluation.

    Women's Basketball: KMM and Lappe. Both young coaches who came cheaply for a program that doesn't make money for CU. KMM build a Tulsa program to respectability despite very little tradition or resources. Lappe is a hard worker, strong leader, and willing recruiter who is part of the Ceal Barry coaching tree. Loves CU and is loved by the player and coach alumni of the WBB program. Both demand strong academics and good off-court behavior from their players.

    Football: Hawkins. A guy who had the highest winning % in the country while at mid-major power Boise State. Never had a recruiting violation attached to his name. Reputation for finding "hidden gems" in recruiting. Sincerely committed to developing the "whole person" with his athletes. Didn't require a huge salary.

    Volleyball: Kritza. Young, energetic coach with ties to the state of Colorado. Had the leadership, recruiting savvy, and great system of play to rebuild the Tulane program to new heights even while recovering from Katrina and not even able to practice in their own facilities in the beginning. High character with very high standards for her players. Also came with a relatively low price tag in a sport that is losing money but could some day break even for us.

    I believe that Bohn has a very clear vision for the type of coach that is needed at CU given our current situation. Since we're forced to take chances on people who come somewhat cheap and then ask them to do more with less than their Big 12 competition, we're going to miss on some hires. But I like the direction of the AD and I agree with Bohn's vision (even for the coach profile). I believe that Men's Basketball is on the right track for sustainable success. I believe that Kritza is going to end up building a program that will make her a CU legend. I'm in "wait and see" mode with Lappe, but feel like she could end up being great. And I believe that Hawkins has done some good things for CU football and will either win in 2010 to start a long run here or we'll replace him with a new coach who is stepping into a pretty good situation. (Soccer, Tennis, Track & Field, Golf and Skiing all seem to be in good hands too, fwiw.)

    P.S. This is a rant I've been meaning to go on for a while. I don't expect most people to agree with me, but it's a point of view that doesn't get voiced enough imo. Sometimes, I think that people who support things stay a bit quiet these days because they don't want to deal with being ridiculed as a "sunshine pumper" or one of the nastier monikers.
     
    aik and SpacemanSpiff like this.
  18. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    lol you liked that rant so much had to post it twice eh?

    And I do detect a distinct pattern in Bohn hires... unfortunately that pattern has yet to produce a pattern of wins :huh:
     
  19. Bisonic

    Bisonic Member

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    Good post from you too - good perspective. The only part I have a problem with is the part above that's in bold. I know we're handcuffed about how much we can pay to a coach, but it sure would be refreshing if we had leadership that acted as if CU is a player in Division 1 athletics. We act like Iowa State in our hiring, not like even Kansas State or Texas A&M. When those schools have an opening, they want to send a message that they believe they're in the top group of schools. We send a message that we're trying to hire a below the radar coach that will surprise everyone by succeeding.

    Again, I know we don't have the money. But if a "sure thing" coach costs an extra $1 million per year, why wouldn't our AD consider going out and selling that to alums and Regents? It seems like a non-option for us, and that's why CU is on the down slide as a program. We think small.
     
  20. buffs04

    buffs04 Well-Known Member

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    Epic.
     
  21. buffs04

    buffs04 Well-Known Member

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    By the way, trying to claim that Bohn has a track record of "good" or "correct" hires at CU is nothing but spin at this point. Not one of them has worked out. This "doing stuff the right way" is really nothing more than a gigantic excuse for losing more than you win.

    If running a winning program in even a single major sport truly is impossible without strippers, thugs, and rapes -- and I don't buy this for a second -- then CU should shut down the athletic department. Until then, all of that is just a bunch of BS. There are countless successful ADs in this country that win WAY more than they lose in football and/or bball and don't have a bunch of criminals on their team.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  22. SECOBuffsFan

    SECOBuffsFan Active Member

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    It has been said before and it will be said again...the two biggest hirings made by Bohn

    Hawkins - was THE hot name at the time....there are a number of schools who would have hired him if they had an opening....he hasn't worked out yet but has "cleaned up" the program

    Bzdelik - Had two great years at Air Force and was the choice for most Colorado fans at the time

    If CU went back in time and signed Gary Patterson from TCU and Brad Stevens from Butler, would the programs be better off....we don't know but I bet that there would have been more eyebrows raised at that point because they weren't the HOT guys at that time....Hawkins was the guy around the region and Bzdelik was in the state of Colorado.

    If the football team goes 8-5 and 9-4 the next two years and the hoops team hires the right guy (McClain, Kruger, Boyle, whoever) and he makes it to the Sweet 16, will Bohn get credit for sticking to his guns and not making a rash decision? Probably not. He has done a lot of work to get things to this point.

    This is a new day and age at CU and lets not forget that McCartney had a lot of rough years early. If Duke would have overreacted and fired a guy with a funny sounding name who was losing a lot in the early 80's, where would they be right now? Patience is something that has been lost...there are no easy fixes. We live in a state that is 49th in the nation in funding education....is that Bohn's fault too? He seems to be the scapegoat for everything else. Is CU, the leader in the state for academics, suppost to sell out for a winning program? They did that under Barnett and look where it got them.

    If the football program has another 2 or 3 win season, the course has run out and I bet that Bohn will make the move to replace the football coach. Even with the good things Hawkins has done to improve academics, wins and losses get you in the end. Bohn's one big mistake is the extension he gave to Hawkins, but the threat of Hawkins going to UCLA was out there and Bohn believed in him. Loyalty matters sometimes. It bit Bohn in the butt with Bzdelik, but you have to live and learn.

    BOTTOM LINE - You can do things the right way and win...it just seems to take a little bit longer. Show some patience....it is not as easy as you think it might be.
     
  23. Mick Ronson

    Mick Ronson Well-Known Member

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    Hawkins was the right hire at the time. Dan was going to get a good BCS job somewhere. turns out, while it was the right hire.....it may not have been a _good_ hire. how he could bluster and snort about the Boise Playbook and the offensive system so contrary to fact is something that would seem a part of due diligence and that maybe he needed someone on the original staff with significant BCS experience in a coordinator type role(s)....is hindsight 20/20.

    i don't think there's any question the first Hawkins staff thought they were just going to come in and re-invent the wheel in the Big XII. and it turned out they underestimated what they were up against.
     
  24. stampy

    stampy Well-Known Member

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    I think Hawkins took all the credit for what turned out to be Petersen's talent.

    It reminds me of that old cartoon where Hong Kong Fooey got all the accolades, but it was really his cat doing all the work.
     
  25. Mick Ronson

    Mick Ronson Well-Known Member

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    good analogy. heh. it sure seems to bear out that Peterson was the brains behind the outfit. Hawk is the TE coach, not even ever a coordinator. seems odd.
     
  26. DBT

    DBT Club Member Club Member

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    Why, thank you. Sometimes masterpieces just happen. Who knows how or why?
     
  27. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    you've just saved all your undying loyalty for someone else, we know :smile2:
     
  28. Bisonic

    Bisonic Member

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    Being an A.D. isn't easy, especially at CU. It's never has been an easy job. However they're measured on results just like they measure their coaches. So far the results haven't been there for Bohn, and it's been almost 5 years I believe. (Isn't that about the threshhold for coaches too?)

    I wasn't in the room when Bohn was interviewing Hawkins or Bzdelik, but here's how I think their tenures have turned out so far:

    Hawkins came out of the hiring process believing that he only needed to run a clean program and everything else would work out. (I suspect both Mike and Dan oversimplified that situation greatly. We expect to win here, and we never expected anything but to do it cleanly.)

    Bzdelik came out of his hiring process believing that he had the upper hand and could do no wrong. He wrote it into his contract that we'd break ground on the practice facility, and his behavior these last few days evidently has Bohn over a barrel; there's nothing he can do about JB's evident disloyalty. If he decides to stay, what can Mike do but suffer through another uncomfortable final year, a la Patton.

    In other words, both coaches came out of that negotiation with the upper hand on Bohn, from my perspective. (Then the Hawk extension ... argggh.)

    Bohn's job pays well. Expectations are high. That's the way it goes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  29. MCskid

    MCskid New Member

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    I have a big problem with everyone out there who is stating how much this guy has turned the program around. Close only counts in horseshoe's, hand grenade's and atom bomb's. With him leaving now, on the day loi starts, what ever forward progress he made is now gone. This team is in need of 2/3 high quality big men that can come in and play right away, and now that will not happen. It will take two weeks to get the new guy in and settled, by that time we will be looking at spring singing period leftovers. These type of player's will be projects, more than likely to be unable to provide help next year. We will be looking at an 8th place finish again, at best. Now if buzz had singed a couple of big guy's in the fall we could be having a conversation about how he turned the program around.
     
  30. BehindEnemyLines

    BehindEnemyLines beware the habu Club Member

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    Silver Lining ......

    I don't see it. The person who causes the univ/admin to commit to changes in the athletic facilities leaves. Immediately prior to the spring signing period. Before the cut-off date for declaring for the nba draft.

    I really don't know if any of the assistants can step up and coach well, but what else is there? If the a/d takes any amount of time to make a new hire, the new coach (and possibly, staff) will have zero time to bring in a new class.

    Bend over, CU.......
     

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