ACC’s Top-100: No. 89 Melvin Tapp, Wake Forest


At #90, we have a bit of a mystery. You see I’m not even sure if this kid is even going to be playing this season. Since I haven’t heard a thing about him not returning, I’m including him on our “Top-100 Returning ACC Players” Countdown, but for now I’m knocking him down near the bottom even though he’s potentially could start in 2011-2012.

PLAYER: Melvin Tabb
POSITION: Power Forward
TEAM: Wake Forest
YEAR: Sophomore
TAPE: 6-8, 250
TWITTER: @Mel_Tabb23

2010-11 STATS: 1.6 PPG, 2.0 RPG (.348/.385/.333)

Melvin Tabb couldn’t catch a break during his freshmen season. Even before the season got started, he got knocked out with mono, only to get injured during the season. Later he caused his own misery when he was first suspended, then later kicked off the team for the season.

Since I can’t find a single article or blog post that talks about Tabb transferring out, I’m assuming he’s coming back for his sophomore campaign.

At 6-8 250, Tabb is a boy in a man’s body. I wouldn’t call him a super-athlete, but he has good hands and is nimble with his feet. He’s not a leaper, but he does work well off the boards in one-on-one situations, even against a bigger opponent.

On the offensive front, he doesn’t have a consistent back-to-the-basket move, but he can shoot the mid-range jumper, stretching out to about 12-15 feet.

Of course the real problem last year was he wasn’t on the court enough to show us any of these skills thanks to the injuries and suspensions.

So what’s the deal?

Tabb was part of head coach Jeff Bzdelik’s solid 2010 recruiting class. This was a class that featured one player for each position, meaning if all went as planned, these five could be starting together for years to come.

The other four players (Travis McKie, J.T. Terrell, Tony Chennault and Carson Desrosiers) all did their part. McKie and Terrell led the Demon Deacons in scoring, while Chennault and Desrosiers contributed nearly 20 minutes each off the bench. Only Tabb struggled to live up to expectations.

Looking ahead, Tabb will need to find a way to erase the problems of last year and just focus on the future. Mentally can he do that? I don’t know. I can say the opportunity to succeed is there in 2011-2012.

Thanks to Ari Stewart’s transfer, the Demon Deacons are bare at the power forward spot. Wake only has three other players standing over 6-8. Two are seven footers, Carson Desrosiers and Ty Walker, while the other is 6-9 incoming freshman Daniel Green.

You know Jeff Bzdelik wants a true power forward at the 4-spot. Melvin Tabb is the closest thing to a true four.

For now, you have to believe Wake will go small, run three guards and put Travis McKie at the power forward spot. I don’t think its ideal, but Bzdelik has the put the best five players on the court. Tabb is not one of the five best…for now.

In this video, he’s wearing #85.