This isn`t what Jeff Bzdelik`s first Colorado recruit signed up for.
Obviously, Cory Higgins is not happy about dealing with a coaching change entering a senior season the talented All-Big 12 guard believes has a chance to finish with an NCAA Tournament run next March.
"Angry," Higgins said when asked what his emotions were on Wednesday, the day Bzdelik was introduced as the Wake Forest head coach. "But you`ve got to move forward. I only have one year left, so I don`t have time to be angry. I just have to move on."
Higgins said there is a chance some of the younger players might transfer out of the program, depending on who is hired.
And the timing of the coaching change could also prevent CU from signing some key recruits capable of bolstering the team`s glaring weakness -- rebounding.
Not surprisingly, Higgins joins his teammates in the locker room campaign for CU associate head coach Steve McClain to take over the program.
"It`s no secret. We`ve expressed to many people that we`d like coach McClain to be here," Higgins said. "For me, the most important thing in trying to keep him here is to keep everybody together."
When asked if he would be back next season, Higgins replied: "I should be."
Levi Knutson said the senior class is doing its part to keep all of the players focused on returning to CU for the 2010-11 season.
Alec Burks, the reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Year, has hinted that he might have other plans if McClain is not retained.
“That would be too bad,” Knutson said on possible player attrition. “That's why as seniors we're trying to keep the team together as best we can. Obviously, everybody will make decisions for themselves, but we're trying to keep the team together.”
CU athletic director Mike Bohn said McClain is an official candidate and will be interviewed. However, the search committee will be doing an extensive search to find the right coach for the long term.
McClain told the Camera that he turned down a the chance to go to Wake Forest with Bzdelik as an assistant to remain in Boulder to pursue the head coaching position at CU.
Bohn said McClain and his staff are free to sign any recruits who want to come to CU. At least one recruit will be making a visit to campus this weekend.
“With the uncertainty right now it's going to be hard to get the recruits that we want in here,” Knutson said. “We're going to try to keep all our guys together the best we can in that locker room so that when a coach is named we have a solid group of guys who have had some success this past season together.”
Rod Higgins, Cory's father and the general manager of the Charlotte Bobcats, is one of the big names in the basketball world who contacted Bohn after Bzdelik's departure.
“We have a good relationship, and I expressed my feelings towards the situation,” Cory Higgins said of his conversations with his dad. “I can be completely open to him, and he just told me to keep an open mind and that you don't always get what you want and have to move on. ...
“He's not going to be involved (in the coaching search). Right now, he's just a parent and that's it.”