Thursday, April 25, 2013

Basketball recruiting notebook: KU courts Memphis transfer Tarik Black

Memphis forward Tarik Black dunks against Michigan State forward Adreian Payne (5) in the second half of a third-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament Saturday, March 23, 2013, in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Memphis forward Tarik Black dunks against Michigan State forward Adreian Payne (5) in the second half of a third-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament Saturday, March 23, 2013, in Auburn Hills, Mich.


Tarik Black, a junior power forward from the University of Memphis who has announced plans to transfer, is being courted by Kansas University and Duke, among others.

He will be immediately eligible next season, following his graduation in May.

KU coaches were slated to visit with the 6-foot-9, 262-pounder on Wednesday night — a day after Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski met with Black in Black’s hometown of Memphis. reported that Black has also met with coaches from San Diego State.

Black averaged 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds a game off 58.9 percent shooting (103 of 175) last season. He hit 52 of 116 free throws for 44.8 percent. He started five of 32 games, averaging 20.8 minutes a game for the (31-5) Tigers. He was ranked No. 54 nationally by in the recruiting Class of 2010.

Wrote Matt Giles of “Though his playing time was limited, he has shown the potential to carve out space on the interior and grab a plethora of offensive rebounds, posting an offensive rebounding percentage of more than 10 percent in his three seasons in Conference USA. There were reports that Black recently met with the ACC program’s (Duke) coaching staff, but Gary Parrish of clarifies: ‘Duke put a fullcourt press on Tarik Black yesterday. Mike Krzyzewski, Steve Wojciechowski, Nate James visited his home.’”

Labissiere offered

KU and Kentucky have offered a scholarship to Skal Labissiere, a 6-9, 200-pound sophomore power forward from Evangelical Christian School in Cordova, Tenn., reports. Labissiere, who is originally from Haiti, is ranked No. 6 in the Class of 2015 by

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Labissiere was 13 when his house crumbled in an earthquake, leaving him buried in rubble. His father dug him out and Labissiere was not able to walk for a few weeks. He moved to the U.S. later in 2010 with the help of “Reach Your Dream,” a non-profit organization that helps international youths enroll in schools in the U.S. to pursue a college education. For the full story on Labissiere, click here.

Freeman available again

One-time KU recruit Allerik Freeman has decommitted from UCLA and reopened his recruitment. Freeman, a 6-4 shooting guard from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., is ranked No. 81 in the Class of 2013 by

“I think Al just wants to exercise all due diligence in making this major life decision with the change in circumstances at UCLA,” Findlay Prep coach Todd Simon told

UCLA recently hired New Mexico’s Steve Alford to replace the fired Ben Howland. Freeman chose UCLA over KU, Ohio State, Duke, Villanova and others.

“He’s a powerful scoring guard who uses his strength and body to finish through contact around the rim. He is also solid in the mid-range, and makes shots along the baseline as well. Freeman has also improved his ball-handling and penetration ability,” wrote Jeff Borzello of


gabrial1997 12 months ago

i hope wiggins does not read this blog because you idiots that call him a drama queen will surely steer him from becoming a jayhawk! thanks again.


swinglow 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.


JayHok 12 months ago

I'm a fan of Tharpe. That said how great, in Self's terminology, could KU be if we added a Derrick Rose type point guard in the next year or two. The 2014-2015 lineup is looking amazing. Tharpe will do great but the other positions are so incredibly stacked it makes me wonder if Self is hunting a top shelf PG. If Self could ONCE beat Calipari for one of these premier point guards especially in the next year or two, well, you get the idea. Once Calipari is beaten on a bigtime player and it goes viral on the web Cal's house of dominoes will begin to fall. I really believe that. Wiggins, though not a PG, would be a huge shock to us all but that would be an example that would be a symbolic moment for recruiting. But a top tier PG stolen from under Calipari's thumb would be oh so sweet for the college basketball in general especially if done by Self. And if done in the next year or two, in Self's terminology, a good season really could become great. That KU lineup for the next couple years is beginning to look sick. As I see it from now on its up to the fans to really push the team through the NCAA tournament. We've given away enough NCAA championships in the last four years. Let's use those experiences to inspire and push this fantastic group of players so we can have another truly great season really soon. 2008 has been too long.


TheFloater 12 months ago

A little out of context, but what's the chances of Selden being a OAD?


DanR 12 months ago

This pretty much sums it up:

"...Duke, Kansas, Ohio State and at least 20 other high-major programs are all lined up and working like they're the last 25 dudes in a bar with just one moderately attractive girl. Closing time is in 15 minutes. Somebody just yelled last call."


bennybob 12 months ago

Well, in case we didnt already know. 90% of what you read in the recruiting world is complete BS. here's exhibit A:

I'm so upset with Tyus over that article. I just Spent 3 hours with him and my brother on Saturday playin call-of-duty and he all but admitted to me hes going to Duke. No clear leader my A**. Also, after Tubby Smiths firing, whatever sliver a chance Minnesota had at keeping him in state vanished.

I wish there was some way i could get in touch with the coaching staff and tell them to stop wasting there time and focus resources on more promising prospects


jaybate 12 months ago

Anyone that looks at that image of Tarik and wonders whether Self and Consonants really want this guy may be suffering a bit of blindness.

This flipping guy is a beast! And he was exactly what our team last season was missing. A moving screener the size of a right offensive tackle in foot capable of straight drive blocking and releasing for screen blocking. Its the new D1 game. Body blow, body blow, body blow.

Unless Justin Wesley adds 30 hard pounds, KU definitely needs the guy!!!! No way is Landon ready to be an enforcer without a backup enforcer.

The problem is Tarik's 44% FT shooting someone mentioned. But KU's staff has been having success probably using Andy Enfield's shooting mechanics training to bump our brick FT shooters to tolerable level. Frankly, if I were Tarik, I would transfer to Enfield at UCLA and see if Enfield can fix his shooting. No, pretend I never said that!

Here's the thing: Tarik would be perfect rotating both positions in the paint for KU. He would complement Perry fabulously in the age of the moving, pile driver screen; this is why both Self and Consonants want him BAD!!!!! And he would be exactly what either Landen, or Joel needed at the other slog. And imagine how TOUGH KU could play for short stretches with Tarik and Jamari!!!!

Tarik Black is a brain-rattlingmoving screen waiting to happen, whenever he comes in. We need that!!!!


Reuben_J_Cogburn 12 months ago

Hate to say it folks, but I firmly believe we'd be better off without Wiggins. With these super star OADs, nothing follows but drama. Admit it, we got lucky with Ben McLemore. The kid was a class act and an unselfish player. Humble and down-to-earth.

Let Wiggins go where he doesn't have to play team ball. Let him go where we can be sure he won't be tweeting insults if the coach benches him for being a show-boating idiot.

Have you people seen our recruiting class? They're starting now to project Embiid to be a one-and-done. Seldon will be spectacular, and we have a host of talented roster players and incomings. It will be a roller coaster of a season, but incredibly exciting.

....and we'll be good....very good....again.

Wiggins is making a spectacle of this process, and we shouldn't want a slice of it. If Calipari wants him, let it be. Self is a basketball coach, not an agent.

We won the national championship with zero one-and-dones in 2008, and we made it to the NC game last year with zero McDonald's All-Americans. It can be done.


Tony Bandle 12 months ago

Mr. White, Mr. Greene, Mr. Black...all we need is a Mr. Brown, a Mr. Blonde and a Mr. Pink and we're in!!!!


Joe Baker 12 months ago

I think most want Wigs regardless of their opinions. I think others are optimistically hopeful. Let's just expect the worse, and hope for the best. Let's not hold our breath, but we all know there's life after losing a top recruit. Self has proven that over and over. KU always manages to have a better than expected year in spite of the recruiting loses.

I thought he would announce or tweet today or tomorrow. If he's so tired of the drama, I'd end it by making a decision. He needs to get away from his coach, parents, friends, and fan bases to make a decision. He knows, but so many people are in his ear every day. I don't think he goes to FLSt and knows it's going to disappoint his parents, so he delays. I don't think he goes to uk or he would've announced already. Calipari has been working overtime on Wigs, which tells me he hasn't given Cal any indications toward uk.

I really think it's down to KU and UNC.


Steve Gantz 12 months ago

Kind of funny seeing comments like we wouldn't want Wiggins and all his prima donna ways. We wouldn't want the #1 rated player in the country? I want the #1 player in the country to come to KU, why wouldn't I? Lots of prima donna's have come along and did great in college. Some guys with attitude know how to back it up in a positive way on the court. In addition, Self has a way to humble those guys who try to become bigger than the program.

Does anyone know when Wiggins is going to announce?


702Hawk 12 months ago

The great part of this incoming class is if we don't get any of these kids we are still going to be great. In fact I kind of want to stay were we are and even out the classes. Next year we will only have one potential scholarship graduating unless Black comes. I would love to see this young core get a ton of pt and develop. I hate seeing kids transfer.


texashawk10 12 months ago

Not a fan of Black on next year's team because of his character issues. 44% FT shooting is just lazy and a lack of work ethic/discipline. A 2 guard is a bigger need for KU and Lacey or Freeman fill that need very nicely for Self. Both are competent enough ball handlers to put iut there with Frankamp and not have to worry about turnovers like this past year. I would be nore in favor of Freeman because he's likely a 4 year player as opposed to a two year player like Lacey is. I'd be happy with either one of them, but I think Freeman has a little more upside long term than Lacey does for what KU's needs are.


Kevin Huffman 12 months ago

I keep thinking that it's no possibility but just imagine if we DID get Tyus Jones & J. Okafor & what '14/'15 could look like (also could DEFINITELY see Tr. Lacey coming to us):

Ty. Jones / Tharpe / F. Mason (Redshirt?)

Selden (OAD & gone?) / Tr. Lacey / Frankamp

Br. Greene / White III

P. Ellis / Traylor

J. Okafor / Embiid / L. Lucas

Wow!!!!!! now THAT would be a team I'd roll out tehre against ANYBODY!!!!! Only thing I'd be worried about is any chemistry issues with Tharpe taking on a lesser role in his Sr. year compared to next season. Would definitely be guaranteed more time if Selden were an OAD. I think if that would all unfold that F. Mason would be VERY WISE to then redshirt.


yellowjeep 12 months ago

Trevor Lacy from Alabama is also transferring. Word on the street is that KU is showing interest in him. We have a deep guard pool already but if Self&Co are after him I trust their decision.


nuleafjhawk 12 months ago

This fellow, Tarik, looks kind of angry.


Woody Cragg 12 months ago

sniper60-I think Perry could play some at the 3 also, & another bruiser at the 4 would be a better option than a lanky, longer, KY. We just don't know what Wesley can bring to the table at this point. No matter who they fill a spot with, it'll be rough riding for him till he "gets it." The level of success Kevin achieved was remarkable-not to be expected with all transfers. Alot of that success was on the staff, but more was that Kevin was a very special young man who bought in 100%. Guys with makeups like that don't transfer every day.Just proves that desire can be darn near as important as physique. JMO.


Joe Ross 12 months ago

I see these "player inventory" posts all the time!


Mel Clare 12 months ago

I think we could use another big guy.we have Embid, freshman who is 7'0 230, Ellis soph 6'8 225, Traylor 6'7 and 220 or so and Lucas who is 6'10 and 240...........

We have lots of shooting guards, PG's and wings..........Frankamp, White, Greene, Tharpe, Seldon ect................. we need another guy who is 6'8 or 6'9 to bang down low............Traylor is not tall enough IMO.

Lucas and Embid are going to be C's........

Ellis, Traylor and someone else as PF

Selden and Greene will be SF's

White, Frankamp and again Greene will be SG's

Tharpe, Frankamp, Selden will be PG's.........

Just would like another big...........


Ludwig Supraphonic 12 months ago

Obviously, the coaching staff believes Black can provide some needed minutes. We sure don't need him at crunch time with 45% FT shooting.


Bret Eckert 12 months ago

Black is finishing his degree in 3 years. All be it at Memphis. If Duke and Kansas want a guy. He must be worth his salt.


soapisurfriend 12 months ago

I also noticed the in-homes with Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor went really well. That's good news because those two are likely a package deal. I know they both really like Coach Self and Jones raves about AFH. Okafor tweeted a picture of his dad and Self and it seems like they had a good time.


jaybate 12 months ago

Black = good add despite baggage, because Self could afford to throw him overboard at any moment. Black would understand this. If he signed, he would be a stellar citizen, unless he were suffering a personality disorder. Black is a bull. A bull needs a good brahma rider. Self is that rider. Josh Pastner? Not.

Freeman? Don't know enough, except that he fits the bill physically.


Brett McCabe 12 months ago

For all of those who are obsessed with Rivals rankings, the kid from Memphis was ranked in the top 60 nationally and couldn't crack the starting lineup or shoot over 50% from the line.

I'm not sure who actually compiles these rankings but it is clear that they have absolutely no idea what they are doing.


southwindjay 12 months ago

I don't think we will get Wiggens and I'm not sure we want the side show that would come along with it.

Bill is a player developer not an AAU All star handler.

I would rather see us pick up a few of these guys. I am done with one and done I just don't enjoy that brand of basketball.


KansasComet 12 months ago

Recruiting is one thing I rarely concern myself with at Kansas. Coach Self always seems to get the players that he really wants. He gets players that fit the program. We will be a top 5 team again next year.


mahkmood 12 months ago

Concerning Labissiere being offered a scholarship by UK (and KU)... seriously, how many months does Greasy Cal have left until he puts UK under probation. The guy should've been banned from NCAA coaching after Memphis. Makes me want to puke every time I read about another top recruit associated with Calipari.


mahkmood 12 months ago

I wouldn't be that interested in a guy that shoots 44% from the line (Black). Maybe he could improve, but otherwise he would be a liability in tough games. Compared to Self and Coach K I know nothing, so if Bill and K wants him, it probably makes sense to sign him.


Ashwin Rao 12 months ago

Does Freeman get to play immediately as he is leaving due to Coaching change?


KEITHMILES05 12 months ago

Why Freeman would sign to play for Ben Howland compared to the other schools offered is beyond me.


Jack Jones 12 months ago

No doubt that's possibly true based on the voluminous number of comments on this board ~ fortunately, our coaching staff has a more rational perspective.


Alex Wishart 12 months ago

This is all nice news and all but I think all we really care about at this point is Wiggins.


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