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Is it time to start feeling sorry for Wake Forest? We go through this periodically: after Carl Tacy left, Wake hired Bob Staack, who came from Xavier and failed pretty completely, leaving after four losing seasons.

Friday's ACC Action!
Teams Times TV
Charlotte @ Miami 7:00 p.m. RSN
School Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.
Duke 0-0 .000 9-0 1.000
Maryland 0-0 .000 9-1 .900
Virginia Tech 0-0 .000 8-1 .889
Miami 0-0 .000 5-1 .833
Virginia 0-0 .000 8-2 .800
North Carolina 0-0 .000 7-2 .778
Georgia Tech 0-0 .000 6-2 .750
NC State 0-0 .000 6-2 .750
Clemson 0-0 .000 5-3 .625
Florida State 0-0 .000 5-4 .556
Boston College 0-0 .000 4-5 .444
Wake Forest 0-0 .000 4-5 .444

Dave Odom did a solid job and pulled off an all-time recruiting coup, getting Tim Duncan out of St. Thomas. But he wore down after a while and fans grew restless. When he left after 12 years - all winning seasons except for the first - Skip Prosser came down, again from Xavier.

Prosser tragically died after six happy seasons in Winston-Salem. He was definitely Their Guy. He fit really well.

Dino Gaudio took over for his boss and was not a great fit. And Jeff Bzdelik, who replaced Gaudio perhaps because of an impression that Gaudio didn't have full control over his players, has been worse.

Granted, he lost a lot of players and that set him back. But facts is facts, as they say: Bzdelik finished 8-24 his first year and 13-18 last year. So far this year, the Deacs are 4-5, which is not nightmarishly bad, but some of the losses are: UConn wasn't too bad, but Iona just nuked them by 26, and Nebraska, which pretty much defines Midwestern futility in basketball, smacked Wake around by 13, at Wake no less.

They lost to Richmond, again, but only by two. But the Seton Hall loss was really dispiriting.

Wake was in control and should have cruised to victory. Instead, they collapsed.

There's no question that this is a young team, but Wake fans are clearly getting impatient. And they let Bzdelik know on his call-in show, so much so that the show will no longer field live calls.

ESPN's Eamonn Brennan had some pointed comments about this on his mothership soap box, and Wake fans fired up their e-mail and Twitter cannons and pointed them at him, too.

It sounds almost like a fan rebellion. And to be fair, Wake has a great basketball tradition. They're not on the level of Duke or UNC, but they know they can beat the blues, and they revel in it. Wake Forest is not that far behind, at least not usually.

We don't have any particular axe to grind with Bzdelik, other than his constantly and not-so-subtly blaming his players for the team's failures. We've heard good and bad, like most anyone else.

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But the fans have a right to be heard and if you start shutting off avenues of expression, they'll just move to Twitter and boards, where Ron Wellman and the radio network can do absolutely nothing about it.

Shutting it down on the radio is probably understandable. It's also probably a disastrous decision.

What Wake Forest fans - and we certainly don't presume to speak for them, but this seems reasonable - what they want is a coach who is young and dynamic, who has shown he can recruit and win at a big-time program, and preferably someone who really knows Wake Forest and the state of North Carolina.

We can think of a guy like that; his name is Jeff Capel and he works for Coach K.

But he was the head man at VCU and then Oklahoma, where he recruited Blake Griffith. His dad was an assistant at Wake and Capel grew up around the program. He went to high school in Fayetteville and knows the state well as a player, native and recruiter.

It'd be different to get an assistant from another ACC school, but once upon a time Vic Bubas worked for Everett Case. Think of how different the ACC would have been had he succeeded Case in Raleigh.

Then again, in 1966, Wake Forest hired Jack McCloskey, who struggled at Wake before becoming a fine executive with the Pistons.

Had they looked down the road a piece, they might have hired a young Davidson coach who came to the Wildcats at about the same time Bubas arrived in Durham. He made Davidson amazingly successful before taking another ACC job in 1969.

Lefty Driesell never made Maryland the UCLA of the East, but he could have made Wake the Beast of the Triad, and it would've been fun to have him in the same state as Dean Smith.


In on-court action Friday, Miami gets Charlotte. When they scheduled them, they probably didn't expect to see an undefeated Charlotte team. The 49ers come in at 9-0, but with a weak schedule. They did beat Davidson, which is pretty good, but otherwise the schedule is unimpressive.

Still, they're likely confident and Miami has traditionally been prone to upsets by lesser teams. And Charlotte may not be that much lesser.