Maryland should have an easier time against Wake Forest in its ACC opener, given the fact that the Demon Deacons will be without 7-foot senior center Ty Walker.

Walker’s college career ended earlier this month, with one game remaining on the regular season schedule, when Wake Forest suspended him for the balance of the season for violating an athletic department policy. He had missed the first nine games of the season as punishment for violating the student code of conduct.

In his 20 games this season, Walker averaged 4.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. But he performed far better than that in Wake Forest’s only meeting with Maryland this season.

Maryland defeated Wake Forest, 70-64 in College Park on Jan. 11, but had to stave off a furious second-half charge by the Demon Deacons to do so. In that game, Walker grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, blocked a game-high eight shots and scored eight points on 4-of-8 shooting in 32 minutes. Wake’s Travis McKie led all players with 25 points.

Wake Forest (13-17) enters the ACC tournament having lost three of its last four, at Miami, to Duke and at Georgia Tech.

Maryland (16-14) has lost its last three, at Georgia Tech, at North Carolina and at Comcast Center against Virginia.