September 06, 2011
Whatever Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik did to cause his recent string of rotten luck, he better find a way to atone for it.
The star-crossed Demon Deacons coach lost another key player Monday when the school announced that promising sophomore J.T. Terrell has withdrawn from classes after being arrested for a DWI on Saturday. The wording of a statement from Terrell's attorney Mike Grace suggests this was not an isolated incident for the 6-foot-3 guard.
"Due to circumstances surrounding his arrest, along with other recent indicators, it is obvious to J.T. and his family that J.T. suffers from a serious medical condition that requires immediate attention,'' Grace said. "Consequently, J.T. and his family have authorized me to inform the university, Athletic Director Ron Wellman and Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik of his intent, effective immediately, to resign from the men's basketball team and withdraw from Wake Forest University.''
The loss of Terrell is a devastating blow to a Wake Forest program hoping to rebound from Bzdelik's humbling debut season in which the Demon Deacons lost to the likes of Stetson, Presbyterian and Winthrop and went 1-15 in ACC play. Terrell, Rivals.com's No. 53 recruit in the class of 2010, averaged 11.1 points per game as a freshman, second most on the Wake Forest team behind classmate Travis McKie.
Terrell's departure continues the staggering run of misfortune Wake Forest has endured since Wellman made the unpopular decision in April 2010 to fire Dino Gaudio and replace him with Bzdelik.
• Sept. 2010: Center Tony Woods leaves school following an arrest on assault charges involving the mother of his one-year-old child. The former five-star recruit has resurfaced at Oregon this year.
• Nov. 2010: Freshman point guard Tony Chennault suffers a broken foot in the second half of Wake Forest's season opener, sidelining him for more than two months. He returns in January but struggles in all facets of the game, shooting 29.2 percent and posting an assist-to-turnover ratio of less than one.
• Feb. 2011: Bzdelik dismissses freshman forward Melvin Tabb for conduct detrimental to the team, though he leaves open the possibility of Tabb returning to the Demon Deacons for the 2011-12 season provided he met certain conditions. Tabb had previously served a four-game suspension for academic reasons.
• July 2011: Wake Forest suspended Tabb and fellow big man Ty Walker indefinitely for what was deemed at the time a "violation of departmental rules." Once police charged Tabb with theft the following month, Bzdelik kicked him off the team permanently and suspended Walker for the fall semester.
The most important aspect of the Terrell incident of course is that he receives the help he needs to make a full recovery.
In the meantime, his former teammates will attempt to continue the rebuilding process without him. Being more competitive in the ACC would have been an accomplishment with Terrell on the floor, but now the best Wake Forest can possibly hope for is to merely escape the cellar.