LAHAINA, Hawaii — Dave Odom told me this before the tournament tipped:
“I don’t think there will be a team in this tournament better coached than Colorado,” said the former Wake Forest and South Carolina head coach, who is now serving as the director of the EA Sports Maui Invitational. “There may be several teams in this tournament that have more talent, but not better coached. He will get the maximum out of his team.”
Odom, of course, was talking about Colorado head coach Jeff Bzdelik.
There is no question the Buffs were well prepared for Gonzaga, seizing a 15-point lead before an impressive offensive barrage was slowed down by the Zags’ zone defense and too many whistles from the zebras.
Bzdelik is the one who came up with the game plan. But the third-year head coach was unable to be here for the game after flying to Chicago to be with his ailing mother.
Even in defeat, CU fell 76-72, I was very impressed with how associate head coach Steve McClain handled his bench and the big stage.
It’s clear that CU men’s hoops has two quality head coaches. Too bad McClain doesn’t know as much about football.
The longtime Wyoming head coach does know how to address the media after a tough defeat. Knowing Cory Higgins and the other players he brought to the podium were listening closely to every word he said:
“What I like is that it really hurts. Because the kids expected to win.”