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Terrell’s departure latest blow to Wake’s hoops program


Mike Miller

Whatever Wake Forest did to anger the basketball gods, it better find a way to appease them before the season begins. Or it might just be another miserable year.

Freshman J.T. Terrell announced Monday that he is leaving the program following his arrest Saturday for driving while impaired.

The 6-3 sophomore played in all 32 games, started 18, was second on the team in scoring (11.1 per outing) and accounted for more possessions used and shots than anyone else. When Terrell dropped 32 points on Iowa in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, it was the most points by an ACC freshman last season.

He was one of the cornerstones of coach Jeff Bzdelik’s rebuilding project that will undoubtedly take even longer now.

“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,’' Terrell’s attorney, Mike Grace, said in a statement released by the Wake Forest sports media relations department.

Terrell’s departure is the latest in a series of rough times for Wake. The historically awful ACC season was followed by allegations of a sexual assault by former players, which didn’t help the school’s image. Frontcourt players Melvin Tabb and Ty Walker were suspended indefinitely in July for a violation of departmental rules. (Not to mention this horrific incident.)

At some point, the Deacons will enjoy better moments. It just won’t be soon. Not with the lack of overall returning talent and middling incoming players. (The 2012 class looks promising.)

For now, Bzdelik is just trying to work with what he has. And that won’t include Terrell.

“We wish JT well as he seeks to turn his life around,” Bzdelik said in the release. “He is at an important crossroads in his life and needs to devote his full attention to recovering.”

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