In a brief three-sentence statement released on Monday afternoon, coach Jeff Bzdelik announced he was suspending the two big men indefinitely as a result of violations of athletic department rules. Bzdelik did not specify what rules were broken or when either player might be reinstated.
The loss of the 7-foot Walker and the 6-foot-8 Tabb would limit Wake Forest's post depth, but neither of these two role players were likely to lead the Demon Deacons into contention in the ACC next season. On a Wake Forest team that dropped 20 of its final 22 games last year, Walker averaged a pedestrian 3.6 points and 3.5 rebounds and Tabb contributed less than two points per game before being temporarily dismissed from the team in February.
If anything, the absence of Walker would only free up more playing time for the young players likely to one day spearhead Wake Forest's turnaround. Tabb has the talent to be one of those players, but two disciplinary problems in less than six months suggest the Demon Deacons might be better off counting on someone else.
The primary downside to the suspensions for Wake Forest is that it damages Bzdelik's optimistic stance toward next year's team. The second-year coach told the Winston Salem Journal earlier this month he's confident the Demon Deacons will be much improved since at the time it appeared they would have all but two players back.
"We are in a very good place," Bzdelik told the Journal. "We are in a very good state of mind. And we are in a very good state physically right now.
"The strength gains our players have accomplished so far, from the end of the season until today, are incredible. Everybody has gained tremendous strength, so we are stronger, we are becoming more skilled, we are growing together as a team."