Wake fans congregate at Blogger So Dear. I don't know where the name comes from, but they're a Wake blog and are enjoying football season more than me, and that makes me weep for all humanity.
Wake's inability to win on the road in the ACC seemed to get the natives a tad restless with Coach Bzdelik. How does your fan base feel about last year's results?
Wake's inability to win, period, has the natives restless. When a team goes 8-24, 13-18 and 13-18 in consecutive years it tends to sour a fan's mood. Do that on top of unrest stemming from the termination of one head coach and the hiring of another, and you've got a raging dumpster fire. Unfortunately, the understandable displeasure of the fan base has been taken to extremes by some sections of the fan base (read: billboards, FireBz.com).
What's the biggest piece you've lost since last season?
C.J. Harris served as a team captain for 3 of his 4 years at Wake, and twice was named third-team All-ACC. His scoring will be sorely missed, as he finished his career with 1,613 points. More than anything, his steadying presence as a seasoned veteran will be missed most.
Who is the player who needs to step up the most this year?
My guys who work with me at BSD might disagree, but for me it has to be Travis McKie. I used to think I felt sorry for him, having to go through the turmoil that has surrounded the program since Jeff Bzdelik's arrival. Now, I just think it's time he showed that he can maximize his talent. I don't know that he's a great player, but he's certainly very good and is a vital weapon for the Demon Deacons. At times last year it looked like he would get lost, and almost shut it down, and that's simply not in his nature. In our conversations this offseason, he has talked about the work he put in with coach Randolph Childress and all the little things he did to prepare for his senior season. I think he has a lot riding on this season, personally and professionally.
Who is the player UVa fans ought to look out for the most?
Welcome to the Codi Miller-McIntyre Show! He's been given the keys to Dad's Benz (or Prius, as it were) and the squad will go as far as his sophomore leadership will lead them. He's a talented player who is quick to the bucket and possesses great instincts. In talking with him, he said that he had to become a student of the game in order to be a better, more complete player. Many think he has a chance to become the next great ACC guard.
What's your outlook for the season? What's a success, what's a failure, and what's something you can live with?
I'm not the guy you want answering this question (just ask around), but I'll give it a shot. Success for this team, this year, I believe is 18-19 wins, finishing .500 in the conference and winning at least one game in the ACC Tournament. Failure is anything resembling the past two years. Personally, I can live with 17-18 wins provided they're hovering around .500 in the conference. Granted that will mean that they have to have at least 9 wins before they open ACC play at home against the north carolina tar heels. I think the team is much more talented than what they showed last year, and I look for them to build on that going forward.