Originally published May 20, 2013 at 04:44p.m., updated May 21, 2013 at 12:03a.m.

Memphis forward Tarik Black transfers to KU

Former Memphis forward Tarik Black will be transferring to Kansas University, the school announced Monday.

Former Memphis forward Tarik Black will be transferring to Kansas University, the school announced Monday.



Associated Press

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.

Kansas University’s 2013-14 basketball team, which is being billed as one of the youngest squads in school history, added experience Monday afternoon: University of Memphis transfer Tarik Black.

The 6-foot-9, 262-pound senior-to-be, who averaged 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds while starting five games and coming off the bench in 27 contests last season, chose KU over Duke, Oregon, Ohio State and Georgetown. He’s taking advantage of an NCAA rule that allows players to switch schools their senior seasons and be immediately eligible, provided they have an undergraduate degree.

Black graduated in the field of organizational leadership earlier this month, thus will be eligible to play in games in 2013-14 — his one and only season at KU.

“We are thrilled he has chosen to play his final year of college basketball at KU,” said Kansas coach Bill Self, who has seven scholarship freshmen, three sophomores and two juniors on the roster, with Black the only scholarship senior. “He will be a huge addition both physically and emotionally, especially from a leadership standpoint, as he will be the most experienced guy on our team entering next season.”

Black hit 58.9 percent of his floor shots (103 of 175, second-best mark on team) last season while logging 20.8 minutes a game for Memphis (31-5). He hit 52 of 116 free throws for 44.8 percent.

“Tarik has played in a ton of big games and certainly has had a good experience at Memphis,” Self said of the Memphis Ridgeway High graduate who was ranked No. 54 in the Class of 2010 by

“He’s used to winning and can help us in both of our big positions. He can play the four and the five (big forward and center), and we look forward to moving him around. He’ll be an impact player that certainly changes the outlook of our team and makes us more versatile.”

Black, who is a Memphis native, played against KU as a freshman. He scored eight points off 3-of-9 shooting (2-of-2 from the line) with four rebounds and four fouls in 21 minutes of the Tigers’ 81-68 loss to the Jayhawks in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

“Tarik had a very good experience at Memphis playing for Josh Pastner,” Self said of Black, whose best season at Memphis came in 2011-12, when he averaged 10.7 points off 68.9 percent shooting. “He was a great high school player under Wes Henning at Ridgeway, and I think his transition will be smooth.”

Black was named second-team All-Conference USA in 2012 and was also named to Conference USA’s all-defensive team. In 2011, Black was named to the league’s all-freshman team after he averaged 9.1 points and 5.0 rebounds. He is expected to be the leader of a young frontcourt that includes freshman 7-footer Joel Embiid, sophomore Perry Ellis, third-year sophomore Jamari Traylor and red-shirt freshman Landen Lucas. Another forward is senior-to-be Justin Wesley, who was on scholarship the past two seasons after arriving as a walk-on.

“Tarik is a very good player. I expect him to have a really good year with Kansas and coach Self. He gets to play for a Hall of Fame coach, and I wish him nothing but the best,” Pastner told the Journal-World on Monday in a phone interview.

Describing Black the player, Pastner said: “He is a banger, a big body. He seals you deep. He’s hard to get around.”

He said Black’s free-throw-shooting percentage wasn’t necessarily a huge problem.

“He hasn’t been a real good free-throw shooter here,” Pastner said, “but he’s made some free throws when he needed to.”

According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Black lost his starting spot after an incident in which he walked out of practice. He never made his way back to that position.

Black had six points and two rebounds in the Tigers’ 70-48 loss to Michigan State in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

“It is critical that I find a program that offers me the greatest chance of taking what I have learned over the last three years to the highest level,” Black said when he announced his decision to leave. He did not comment on his decision to transfer Monday.

“Could I remain at Memphis and achieve the same? Quite possibly. But since as a graduate student I can play ball immediately next year, why not take advantage of this unique situation to gain a new perspective so that I can combine what I’ve learned at the U of M and what I will learn wherever I am next year in hopes of enhancing my versatility as a student-athlete?”

Black at the time said: “I do not consider this a farewell. It’s just a brief intermission until I come back home. I love my hometown and want you to know that wherever I go, my heart and soul will always be right here in Memphis.”

Tragedy in Oklahoma: Self, who was born and raised in Oklahoma, was saddened by the weather-related deaths of the past two days.

“Although excited (about signing Black), our enthusiasm is tempered by what is happening just south of Oklahoma City in Moore, Okla., with the devastation of the storms and all those families involved,” Self said. “We wish nothing but the very best for them and our thoughts are with them.”

Self said none of his family members in Oklahoma were affected by the tornadoes.

The class: The signing of Black to a financial aid agreement means KU’s 13 scholarships are filled for next season.

KU has a recruiting class of Black plus No. 1-rated Andrew Wiggins, a 6-7 guard from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, No. 12 Wayne Selden (G, 6-5, 205, Tilton (N.H.) School), No. 25 Embiid (C, 7-foot, 220, Rock School, Gainesville, Fla.), No. 29 Brannen Greene (F, 6-7, 200, Tift County High, Tifton, Ga.), No. 34 Conner Frankamp (G, 6-foot, 160, Wichita North) and No. 76 Frank Mason (G, 5-11, 180, Massanutten Military Academy, Petersburg, Va.). KU has also added former Arkansas center Hunter Mickelson, who will sit out next season then have two years of eligibility remaining.

Parade honorees: KU signees Wiggins, Greene and Frankamp were named to Parade Magazine’s All-America team. Ottawa’s Semi Ojeleye, who is headed to Duke, was named player of the year.


Ralster Jayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

There we go. Izzo-style bigman. Welcome, Tarik Black!

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 4 months ago

Looks like Jeff Graves incarnate.

I think he will be a lot better. Graves and Self never really clicked. He was much better playing for Williams.

Ted Hume 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm sure a bunch of posters have already said this below, but Bill Self just completed a Championship team with this final piece. This is scary, really, how each element led to the next. Once Wiggins dropped, Black knew he had a chance to contribute a perfect role to a legitimate title team, something that Duke just hasn't remotely assembled this year. God, I can't wait till November.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 4 months ago

It's not scary unless you're Stupidmichael

JakeBarnes 8 years, 4 months ago

I hope he plays as well, is a good as Jeff Graves. We really have an impressive roster on paper for next year. If Self gets all of this to mesh we ought to be hard to stop.

Shaen Allen 8 years, 4 months ago

Watch the Memphis- MSU game. Black got abused by Izzo style big men. He is not one.

rockbrooklynchalk 8 years, 4 months ago

with the addition of black, starting lineup is all but set for next year:

Tharpe Selden Wiggins Ellis Black

JayDocMD 8 years, 4 months ago

I see it starting that way, with Black becoming the 6th man with Embiid starting by conference play.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 4 months ago

Having Embiid ever come off the bench is the kind of coaching luxury that Coach Self has never had before!

Preston Dwiggins 8 years, 4 months ago

What about TRob coming off the bench with the Morris Twins?

lurkerhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Or Arthur coming off the bench for Julian and vis versa? Or Aldrich coming off the bench for Arthur and Jackson?

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 4 months ago

or Kaun coming off the bench for Arthur and Jackson?

VaJay 8 years, 4 months ago

Can you imagine anything scarier to the opposing front line than to see Embiid subbing in??

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 4 months ago

Normally I would agree w/you but I think Embiid will be too raw his first year. He will still get plenty of PT as he is the future here at KU.

Self has shown repeatedly that he goes w/experience over freshman. But if wrong JayDocMD..then Embiid will be a monster at KU.

wrwlumpy 8 years, 4 months ago

Black won't start. Middle of each quarter, like Ellis last year.

wrwlumpy 8 years, 4 months ago

A great question to ask fans to vote for on this site would be, Who will start at Center for the Jayhawks. Or will Greene be a 2nd power forward with Ellis and the 3 guards?

odc213 8 years, 4 months ago

no so fast, Jeff Goodman at CBS might have jumped the starter pistol. Source from Jeff?

gchawk 8 years, 4 months ago

"The rumors of my impending transfer have been greatly exaggerated": TB

gchawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Man I hope so, I hated seeing the headlines a little bit ago where he denied that he was coming to Kansas after reading earlier that he was coming. Tarik has the potential of really helping the team.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 4 months ago

except for last year--talking about real rain . . .

mandomax 8 years, 4 months ago

big, man-body down low, and won't count towards our '14-15' schollies? heck yes. Mickelson is gonna have a fun time guarding Black and Embiid in practice all year :)

David Brown 8 years, 4 months ago

Great post. Thought the same thing as well. Mickelson having a year to get better in practice, get pumped with Hudy, and simply learn Self-ball will greatly benefit his development. Gotta marvel at Self. The incoming freshman class, the transfers, the red shirts.........would love to see that spreadsheet that calculates when certain players arrive, leave; when & where positional needs arise; how many scholarships are available. Talk about a master-plan that constantly changes and evolves.........

Dirtyphog 8 years, 4 months ago

Welcome to the Jayhawk family! Best choice you could've made for your final year in college. From what I've "heard" it was leaked that he picked KU, and hadn't told the other schools and wanted to tell them before, and if thats the case, I like this kid even more..

KUnycKU 8 years, 4 months ago

Can he play next year or will he have to sit out?

jayhawkinATL 8 years, 4 months ago

Play immediately since he's graduated already.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 4 months ago

Days like this is the reason I have my name.

jakejayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Wow, just wow. All year we hear -- rightfully so -- about Kentucky's historical class. And it is true that Kentucky has an amazing class. But who would have ever imagined that WE would end up with a class that rivals the Wildcats? I don't expect Kentucky fans to agree with my analysis but this is unbelievable. Who could have imagined that we would be sitting here looking at the players we now have? Kentucky may still be number one, but we have to be getting close to 1-A.

dylans 8 years, 4 months ago

Jake, I love our guys and will mercilessly root against UK. However, UK signed 6 of the top 20 HS guys from this season; KU 2-3 (depending on the ranking system). If you add Black, Hunter, and Lucas to this class it still doesn't change that. The number of top 100 talent is incredible on KU's team. The number of top 20 talent on UK is believable.

The long term impact will be much greater at KU than at UK do to the large number of likely OADs. The collegiate impact of KU's recruits will be much greater.

And if Wiggins plays anywhere near what the hype would have us believe, he may be the only collegian that needed recruited. I hope Wiggins is spectacular, but he is just a freshman and will have ups and downs. In all his greatness his high school team lost 3 games.

Preston Dwiggins 8 years, 4 months ago

People keep talking about the new recruits of KY vs KU. They're forgetting we have Ellis and Tharpe starting with a combined 3 year's of experience. Now with the addition of Black, I wouldn't trade our team for theirs. A team full of baller's with no experience is good, but a team with baller's, experience and Bill Self is priceless!

dylans 8 years, 4 months ago

I was talking about the newcomers and freshmen only. Tharpe, Ellis, AW3, and Traylor should all be contributors. UK returns Cauley-Stein, Witjer, and what's his face. UK has more perceived talent. KU will have the better coached team and better team overall when it's all said and done.

That's the last time I give any praise to UK f 'em

Benz Junque 8 years, 4 months ago

And you forgot that UK returns a combined 4 years experience in Wiltjer, Poythress and Cauley-Stein. It's OK to say that Kentucky has a really good team next year. It won't kill us. It's called "reality".

That said, I LOVE what Self has done this year. They needed to hit a home run and they hit a Roy Hobbs grand slam off of the scoreboard. We have a great mix to talent, experience, size, strength, shooting, slashing, distributing and defending. KU is right back in the thick of it next year if the youngsters can pick it up on the defensive end. By the time conference season gets here, KU will once again be a beast. Poor Travis For at OSU...

jakejayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Dylans, let me begin by thanking you for the respectful manner in which you replied. And your points are most valid. There are a number of ways in which all of us "experts" can analyze this. Yours is fair. I was looking at the quality, depth, and ratings. Kentucky has three of the top players by position; we have two with Joel moving up. Know what? The fact we can even have this conversation says everything about the job Self and Company continue to do for this program. Would any of us have thought that such an argument would be possible just two weeks ago?

dylans 8 years, 4 months ago

According to RSCI (an average of the major recruiting rankings) KUs 2013 class scores 411 points, 4th all time; UK 2013 557 #1 all time; Duke 2002 #2 421points; and UNC 2006 #3 429 points.

4th best class since 1998 and not the best class of the year!

Tim Orel 8 years, 4 months ago

Which is backwards? Duke should either be ahead with 429, or UNC should be #2 with 429. Nice catch, whatever the result. KU handed that UNC team a real beat-down in 2008 as well.

dylans 8 years, 4 months ago

Whoops, the point total is correct. Duke 2002 #3; UNC 2006 #2

Robin Smith 8 years, 4 months ago

considering the margin of error in recruiting it's perfectly reasonable to think KU's class could be better than UK's or at least comparable

I also actually think KU has the upperhand as a team, when you go through matchups and the fact that there can only be five on the floor at any given time.

Eric J. Baker 8 years, 4 months ago

Agreed. Calipari's system also relies heavily on a very good point guard. It remains to be seen how good that is this year, whereas we have the potential for the best distributing point guard at KU in a long time.

dylans 8 years, 4 months ago

A bruiser down low to show Lucas how to bang. A compliment to Ellis. Someone to take the abuse for Embiid. This is a nice complimentary player and he doesn't negatively impact 2014 recruiting. I hope it all comes together on the court the way it does in my mind.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 4 months ago

That's assuming Lucas doesn't know. It might be that there's mutual learning ahead.

wrwlumpy 8 years, 4 months ago

Remember, Lucas has pumped iron and played for Bill Self in practice for a whole year. Offense and defensive adjustments give him a big head start on both Jo Jo and Tarik. I didn't think there was any way to get better as a team after getting Andrew. Now a 6'9", 2nd team, All-Conference College graduate wants to join the Dream Team.

Justin Steele 8 years, 4 months ago

"The Dream Team" LMAO lets not go all vince young now! we have a tough schedule and alot of new players needing to find out where they fit in HCBS system!

dylans 8 years, 4 months ago

I hope you are correct. All I know of Lucas is he couldn't crack the lineup last season and was told to red-shirt. And last years team was weak in the post.

Lucas was supposed to be the best rebounding big in Europe and the best HS big man in the Pacific NW 2 years ago. I think he will contribute down the road, but expectations should be tempered. He will be a stud as a fifth year senior! IMHO

Gil Ek 8 years, 4 months ago

I say Hudy works him diwn to 245. Think we have a great group of teamates vs, UK all-star team of individuals going after a high draft pick.

Gil Ek 8 years, 4 months ago

I think whoever makes up the 2nd string would be ranked by conference play. I would pay to watch the practices...

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 4 months ago

And by ranked by conference play, I thought you were going to type, would take second in the Big12, which might also be true.

Ken Sedgwick 8 years, 4 months ago

TB gotta new house! Welcome Mr Black, pumped to have you join the Jay hawk nation.

VailHawk 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm cautiously optimistic. How did he go from 2nd team all conference (USA) to only starting five games?

Pitthawk34 8 years, 4 months ago

Good question..but all I know is Dook wanted him Im happy knowing dook is pissed.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 4 months ago

You must have missed the line about him walking out of practice. Maybe it just implied that the doghouse was on the other side of the door.

He seems fairly well spoken, indicating that he has some brains, which could also be why he graduated in 3 years.

ku_foaf 8 years, 4 months ago

He definitely has some brains and is organized if he is a basketball player who graduated early!

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 4 months ago

Surprised more of us haven't pointed this out..I remember when J. Wright was on schedule to graduate in three. Looking back, he should have kept to that schedule.

No easy feat for an athlete to graduate in 3 years. I'm guessing he originally chose Memphis to play for Cal. I could very easily be wrong but whatever events put him at KU in the spot most needing experience, I'm happy for it.

The cherry on top of an unbelievable incoming class!

Benz Junque 8 years, 4 months ago

Look, sometimes players simply clash with coaches. It happens. It isn't always a knock on the player. If Black shows up at Kansas, puts in the work and gives us some productive minutes, it is an absolute WIN for Kansas. If he shows up and is a problem, he will not see the floor and will be gone at the end of the day. There really is no risk of bringing him in.

Best case scenario is that Black wants a chance to prove to NBA scouts what he can do, gets with Hudy and works his butt off to get in great shape, is a great metor to the young bigs and gives us a reliable banger when he is in the game. KU doesn't need him to be an All Conference player. Just work hard, show the young guys some tricks learned through experience, go after rebounds hard and knock down a good % of the bunnies provided by teams freaking out to overplay against Wiggins and it is all good.

Pitthawk34 8 years, 4 months ago

Think Sasha, just a little shorter..more stout...with a bigger bark. This team is being constructed to go head to head with Kensucky..but stronger. Look out Okie lite..we will never go quietly into that good night.

Gil Ek 8 years, 4 months ago

Bruce Weber just SH*t his pants again! What was he thinking?

Boouk 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm not sure a 52% free throw shooter is an upgrade over Traylor and Lucas. Hopefully that improves and he brings some leadership to the table as well.

Pitthawk34 8 years, 4 months ago

His main purpose for this team will be to bang and to rebound basically to be a beast. This is what this team needed.

KatnissHawk 8 years, 4 months ago

The senior leadership and his size are key for this squad. This is exciting.

DanR 8 years, 4 months ago

So far in three years, he's not a leader.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 4 months ago

I expect him to be a leader because of the following observations: 1. He'll be a man amongst boys. 2. He's handled his transfer quite professionally 3. He's already graduated (organizational leadership, no less), which I interpret that he's a motivated self-starter, and 4. he seems to be well educated or at least good at making comments to the media

Steve Reigle 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm still hearing that he denied the report and has not committed anywhere yet. Other reports say he has. So, has he committed to KU or not?

Gil Ek 8 years, 4 months ago

"We received Tarik’s financial aid papers earlier today and we are thrilled he has chosen to play his final year of college basketball at KU,” KU coach Bill Self said. “He will be a huge addition both physically and emotionally, especially from a leadership standpoint, as he will be the most experienced guy on our team entering next season."

Greg Lux 8 years, 4 months ago

I guess this means recruiting is over. We have two teams of players that could give any big 12 team a run for the championship. A luxury any school would love. Now lets all pray we have a healthy fun season that will be fruitful on the championship level. I would bet with our current list of players we will do better with the national tv coverage. I hope the networks bring there high speed replay equipment, because they are going to need it badly with the speed of our upcoming teem. Is it August yet??? I can't wait for Show Time ( aka tipoff ).

Rock Chalk

Gil Ek 8 years, 4 months ago

Is it too early to discuss redshirts?

KCJHawk08 8 years, 4 months ago

Mason won't redshirt. He's the only natural PG behind Tharpe. Other guys can play it (Frankamp), but if Tharpe were to go down, he would be the most well-suited to step-in.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 4 months ago

White will get serious minutes this year imo. I think 12-15 depending of how much his defense has improved. HCBS rewards players who sucked it up as a freshman and sat more than played despite their potential.

Greene and White are both deadly from outside the arc and can stretch the defense and prevent doubling down on Wiggins.

SaltLakeHawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Braennen Greene should redshirt.

He's got Selden and AW3 ahead of him in the lineup.

KGphoto 8 years, 4 months ago

I have Greene ahead of AW. Unless AW separates himself with his defense, Greene’s offensive versatility is too dangerous. He’s similar to McLemore in a lot of ways.

Honestly, considering how young we are, I’m not sure anybody should commit to redshirting (ala Lucas ‘12) before the season. Too many unknowns.

Jim Roth 8 years, 4 months ago

We're going to have to be careful with our use of initials this year: AW3 vs AW#1! Similar positions - it can get confusing.

KGphoto 8 years, 4 months ago

Good point. I may just go with Wigs. Easier to type.

Miguel Colón 8 years, 4 months ago

Man I will say this....MAN FC CALIMARI! I want to stomp him and his over hyped factory into the ground! I want Kensucky bad! I want to beat them 150-45!

Evan Bilyeu 8 years, 4 months ago

This is looking a little bit like 08' roster...

lurkerhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

It's better based on a recruiting standpoint.

KU 8 years, 4 months ago

Maybe based on player rankings. But the 08 team had quite a bit more experience.

Evan Bilyeu 8 years, 4 months ago

Yeah I totally agree the 08 team had more experience and this team has more skill.

Gil Ek 8 years, 4 months ago

And all of this is great recruiting advertising.

Hawk8086 8 years, 4 months ago

This is perfect. We need experienced guys overall, especially up front. He's here one year while the younger guys get some experience and then a scholarship is freed up for the following year so we can keep the pipeline flowing.

Hawk8086 8 years, 4 months ago

I also meant to comment on the fact that it once again demonstrates Self's ability to recruit. Duke needed a big guy pretty badly and evidently recruited him pretty hard!

KUbsee69 8 years, 4 months ago

They say to be careful of what you ask for ... you might get it. Duke will get what they asked for ... on Nov 12th, just not the way they wanted it.

KansasComet 8 years, 4 months ago

Enough talent on this team to sub five in/five out. Not Coach Self's style though, but the talent is there.

Mike Barnhart 8 years, 4 months ago

I used to love it when Coach Brown and Coach Williams did that. Coach Self needs to revive the tradition.

kualldayeveryday 8 years, 4 months ago

With Black This team is truly shaping up to look some what similar to a very successful past KU team (hint hint : the one with the big shot):

07-08 Roster:

Bigs (C-PF):

Sasha Kaun 6-11 Cole Aldrich 6-11 Darrell Arthur 6-9 Darnell Jackson 6-9

Guards/SF: Brandon Rush 6-6 Mario Chalmers 6-1 Russell Robinson 6-1 Sherron Collins 5-11

13/14 Roster:


Joel Embiid 7-0 Landen Lucas 6-10 Tarik Black 6-9 Perry Ellis 6-8 Jamari Traylor 6-8

Guards/SF: Andrew Wiggins 6-8 Brannen Greene 6-6 Andrew White 6-6 Wayne Selden 6-5 Conner Frankamp 6-1 Naadir Tharpe 5-11

We are: 1) Deep as Heck... We can finally sub people out and not have any change or thought go through our heads saying "how are we going to score now?" 2) Fast as heck... Imagine Wiggins, ellis, tharpe and selden running a fast break... Imagine putting a full court press for 40 minutes.... imagine block city from embiid, traylor and wiggins... imagine the next Russell robinson 6'' taller (wiggins)... 3) Scoring machine team ... 3 shooters- Selden, wiggins, ellis, frankamp, white, greene... We actually can match up with Kentucky so well... my starting lineup and rotation....

Tharpe.... Selden.... Wiggins.... Ellis.... Embiid...

Backups to each position:

Frankamp... White... Greene...Traylor... Black/Lucas

kellerman411 8 years, 4 months ago

Embiid is NOT starting. At least not at first and honestly I don't see him contributing all that much this year. I think Black starts.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 4 months ago

Embiid not contributing all that much this year?

I'm curious .. did you watch him play against the top talent in the country?

Have you seen his shooting touch? Have you seen his footwork?

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 4 months ago

See my lengthy disagreement with 411 below.

kellerman411 8 years, 4 months ago

HEM, I'm disappointed. You are usually pretty level headed. This is a FRESHMAN we're talking about. Some of you mention the all-star game... are you kidding me? That was a slam dunk contest... He's going to be good but don't expect him to be dominant as a freshman. Heck, Jeff Withey was pretty darn highly recruited to, 96/100 on ESPN. I expect Embiid's minutes and contribution to resemble Perry's this year with a slight edge to Embiid in overall production. The following year however, look out.

I don't think there is anyway he's OAD... the offense isn't there to warrant a lottery pick. Unless he just goes anyway like Selby.

By the time I'm proven to be correct, this article and message board will be ancient history. You and I will remember it though :)

David Leathers 8 years, 4 months ago

Kellerman, I think the fact that the all-star game was a slam dunk contest is exactly the point that HEM is trying to make. It WAS a slam dunk contest, unless Embiid was under the defensive basket. Those boys were legitimately SCARED to drive the paint against him.

All I have to say is I hope hope hope we play Kentucky this year. Randle will get beat up by Black and Embiid all night long.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 4 months ago

Nah, you can access this stuff for quite a long time. And I'll remember.

With Embiid, what you can see with him is skill and footwork. That's different than highlight reels. You see drop steps, left hands, pivots, a soft shot, dribble drives.

I see how one might suggest he won't start, but to suggest that you don't see him contributing much this season? That's where I think you will be incorrect. I'll bookmark this. And you'll be happy that I'm right!

jhox 8 years, 4 months ago

Embiid might be one and done too. Less than 50-50% chance, but a chance. He will contribute a lot next season.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 4 months ago

No, about an 80 to 90% chance he's gone. The scouts have seen him stuff Randle and every top talent in a great class. Crooked agents will already be trying to get to him. That's a real concern, right?

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 4 months ago

Uh, 411, you better dial 911 with that opinion. Embiid is the BEST center in high school ball, the #5 overall player in a studly class, so you might want to rethink that.

If Embiid can block Julius Randle's layup dunk and knock him and the ball out of bounds during the first two minutes of the Mickie D's All-Star game without fouling him, against Randle, a player that is 99.99% better than most players that Embiid will face, certainly better than any player on any other team in the Big12, and you're saying he won't start? You have a lot of opinion, but Embiid is not raw, in fact, he's nearly superhuman. I would be stunned if he doesn't start because Self knows that the NBA awaits. He'll be drafted whether either one of us believes he's ready. You play the one and dones. Otherwise, why do you sign them? TRob won't happen again.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 4 months ago

Embiid was not selected to the McDonald's All American game. You are probably thinking of the Jordan Brand Classic.

Preston Dwiggins 8 years, 4 months ago

It was the Jordan Brand Classic. At any rate, I'm not certain about Embiid being a OAD. He's only been playing bball a couple of year's. I know volleyball and soccer have helped his footwork, but he needs to learn the game and maybe he will in a year - I don't know. We have quite a talent on our hands and I love it! I think some would have thought Perry Ellis was a possible OAD before the year began, but we will see once the season begins. We couldn't be in a better position right now with all positions. AND...that block on Randle was NASTY!!! I do believe in Embiid : )

Hawk8086 8 years, 4 months ago

Embiid may not start at first (or at all) but we need him to contribute and I think he will. With his athletic ability, I have to believe he will contribute. It might be a different story if we were a veteran, experienced, proven team, but we are not.

Ted Hume 8 years, 4 months ago

yea, I completely reversed my initial evaluation of him as a "project" or development case, as did many people, after watching his reels. He is a special talent and athlete, and should be starting at least by Christmas. Sure, it probably won't be from day one (my guess is Black), but wow, he is going to surprise...

JayHok 8 years, 4 months ago

Two pretty publicized recruiting battles within the last week. Self/Townsend/Roberts minutes ago beat Coach K head to head one one recruit. A few days ago they beat Calipari and Roy head to head on another.

JayHok 8 years, 4 months ago

Throw in Tarik Black to the recruiting class. How does it stack up now against Calipari's class. Black a 6'9" 262 lb 22 year old muscle. Captain of the team his sophomore year. Also after watching the videos I don't see how Embiid isn't top 5. Kentucky is being heralded as the best ever. I'm not so sure after the addition of Tarik. Also just saw Wiggins, Greene & Frankcamp all made the Parade All American team. If an ESPN analyst could crunch the final recruiting battle between #1 and #2 I'd love to see the final outcome after Black. He's a OAD too, just a lot tougher that Calipari's 6'9" OADs. Would make a great summertime article of anybody knows the email of an ESPN writer.

JayHok 8 years, 4 months ago

No. Randle is a great player. Congratulations. Just saying lets see a percentage breakdown of this recruiting class now that Black is added between the #1 class and the #2 class. Use a little imagine here. If Black, strong as he is, was coming out of high school right now, had just finished a year of high school basketball,, what would he be ranked? Would he be top 10? It's a worthy question in terms of college basketball next year because he's a OAD too.

DDDHawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Welcome aboard, Tarik! Glad to have you join the Jayhawk family!

Woody Cragg 8 years, 4 months ago

Likely nothing happening by the NCAA this year as would have effected Wiggins and Black. Now, go out & play some "extreme muscle ball." Im ready to pencil in another conf title AND another #1 seed...just thinkin'.

joeloveshawks 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm as excited as anyone but a bit surprised with the 08 comparisons. That was a battle tested team. This is not at all. I think the talent level is as good or better but that 08 squad was older and tougher. Who is the Chalmers of this team who is ready and willing to be the man? I suppose Wiggins. At any rate...Rock Chalk!!

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 4 months ago

They're very different, but this team's talent is offffffff the charts!

Evan Bilyeu 8 years, 4 months ago

I am really hoping Tharpe will be the one to step up and be a leader, after all he has a lot of pressure on his hands. If he doesn't play well enough there could be a possibility of Frankamp taking his position. A lot of people doubt that he will play well but I really think he will be the one to step up. Over the summer I bet he will really work on his defense and shooting and by the end of the summer he will have a nice shot!

lurkerhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Umm I just don't see it. Tharpe is a true point guard who has had a couple years to understand Self's system and expectations. He's already proven himself to Self. Frankamp, on the other hand, is more of a shooting guard than a point guard. I think he needs to get adjusted to the college game first, and that may take some time. After a year with Self and Hudy, then I think he may provide some good minutes at either role.

Mike Riches 8 years, 4 months ago

Is it wrong to think that Tharpe may be the biggest question mark of this squad??

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

I think Tharpe may be the biggest surprise of this squad !

Mick Allen 8 years, 4 months ago

Look at some video of Mason. If Tharpe "doesn't play well enough" it will be Mason before Frankamp and I love Frankamp. It might be Frankamp that is asked to redshirt if Mason is as good as HCBS thinks he is.

Mike Riches 8 years, 4 months ago

We may look back a year from now and say that Chalmers was the Andrew Wiggins of the 07-08 team...

lurkerhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Just remember that the 05-06 season relied heavily on an incoming talented young roster too and they had to go through some growing pains. They were actually 3-4 after the first week of December, but they did manage to win the next 5 games going into conference play. Also, add to it that our non-con schedule is Self's toughest non-con yet. I just think the hype could be tempered a tad bit.

Hawk8086 8 years, 4 months ago

This team does remind me of the 05-06 team. Prior to Wiggins signing, I would have said that the advantage this team has over that one is Tharpe and Ellis which represents more experience than that team had. The addition of Wiggins gives us another advantage, I believe, over that team. . I have to believe that this young team, even with Wiggins, will lose some of the tough early games, but be much improved by the end of the year and ready, hopefully, to compete with any team.

Mike Riches 8 years, 4 months ago

I don't expect them to lose many early games...I don't know if Wiggins' talent can be overstated, we didn't have anyone remotely close to this talent level in 05-06 (you could argue we didn't have anyone close to Selden's talent level that year either). This team is truly built to live up to expectations...not to mention HCBS is a better coach than eight years ago. I expect KU to play at a very high level right out of the gates! So excited for KU/Duke on Nov. 12!!

Lex Valdez 8 years, 4 months ago

YEA BABY!!!! KU 2013-14 National Champs I could taste it!

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 4 months ago

A lot has been made of Hudy's training, and it has helped make several of our players millionaires. There are exceptions to this thinking, and I think that both Embiid and Wiggins are those exceptions of players who might be able to put on five or 10 pounds, but not much more than that. After all, Kevin Durant can bench just 185, and Anthony Davis doesn't look strong enough to lift that. Can they ball?

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

There is a reason he is leaving Memphis. If this is the kind of "leadership" skills he has, he should not be a captain. I'm glad he didn't publicly burn his bridges with Memphis on the way out the door, but this article gives me a lot of concern about what Tarik Black will actually bring to the table for KU. Will it be the all-conference player he was as a sophomore or the guy who walked out of a practice and skipped a game because he was frustrated as a junior.

Jack Jones 8 years, 4 months ago

"Should not be a captain"?? Whoa, Nelly ~ Let's dial it back a bit and not go completely bonkers.

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

How many upper classmen will KU have next year that play relevant minutes next season? 2, Black and Tharpe and because of that, those two will be expected to be leaders on and off the court and Tarik Black's track record of leadership, he was a captain at Memphis last year, is not great. Can KU use Black's body to pound teams down low? Absolutely, but with his past attitude problems and next year's KU team being one of the youngest in the nation, that playing with fire and it very well could blow up next season and destroy team chemistry.

Jack Jones 8 years, 4 months ago

Hey, Tex~ cheer up, man ~ I can see you are definitely a "glass almost empty" kind of guy. "Apocalypse Now" just doesn't seem to fit this news or, for that matter, this situation. Reality check, one.

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

Go read some of my other posts and still legitimately I'm a glass half empty person. I dare you to do it.

Nick Brungardt 8 years, 4 months ago

I would have to guess Coach Self will keep him in line. At least I hope so..... Still, this is a great addition to our already stacked team. Although we will be very young, I think this team will be VERY good and VERY dangerous as the season progresses.

REHawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Josh Pastner has done a fine job of recruiting and maintaining the winning ways of Memphis Basketball. But he is not yet a Bill Self. Tarik has a final year of eligibility to right his ship and hitch his game to a2014 NBA slot. Definitely, he has picked the right place, people and situation to advance his potential. Long before March we will see how hungry he really is to become a key piece in a solid winning program which, with his help, could reap super rewards. I felt very positive about this squad before his commitment. If Tarik plays to his potential the sky is the limit, come next March and April. What a group of studs in our big man fold! Now every position should be loaded, two to three deep.

DanR 8 years, 4 months ago

I have no idea why Self wanted this guy. He's a three year slacker wanting to ride some coat tails to the NBA. Rotten apple in the barrel.

Dale Kroening 8 years, 4 months ago

How many slackers graduate in 3 years. HCBS will keep Tarik on the right track.

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

Memphis isn't exactly an elite academic school and there's a difference between being lazy in the class room and lazy within the basketball program. Tarik Black's track record in basketball says that he's a lazy player with a bad attitude.

Preston Dwiggins 8 years, 4 months ago

I love when we not only get a recruit to help our needs, but we play defense not allowing other's to get him. It's a nice swing.

Marc Frey 8 years, 4 months ago

I am not worried about Black. I believe there is a world's difference between the basketball cultures at Memphis and Kansas.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 4 months ago

I am surprised that members on this forum think that a backup player at Memphis will come to KU and be a starter. By all accounts Black's production diminished in his junior year from his sophomore year, and he also had some other issues that resulted in going from starter in the first 5 games to not starting the rest of the season, with a couple of game suspensions in between. He never lived up to the expectations and/or hype at Memphis.
As I see it, he will not start and will not have starter-like minutes; he will fill in until Lucas and Embiid are ready to go full time. Any more above and beyond will be a bonus.
I sure hope he proves me wrong.

lurkerhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

At this point, no one knows. Not even Self. We'll get a better picture once they start practicing together on the court.

JayHok 8 years, 4 months ago

Well. Coach K did put himself on the line to lose to Self on this one. I'm not sure the last time Coach K allowed himself a chance to publically lose a recruiting battle when all eyes were on it. I'd say I trust Self and K to know Black wasn't being used at Memphis the way Self or K had in mind. He is a beast. RCJ

Dirk Medema 8 years, 4 months ago

FanToo - Your 2nd sentence is backwards. He was a starter and doing alright when "some other issues" caused him to lose his starting position and his #'s diminished as a result.

He was also a 50 recruit that was all-conference as a soph. That's living up to expectations.

From Self's comments about playing the 4 or 5, he will likely be the 3rd big and first sub in for both Embiid & Perry.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 4 months ago

Dagger, I am not the only one that thinks he underperformed at Memphis; read Gary Parish story and draw your own conclusions:
And this other article:
I do not follow Memphis closely and I seriously doubt any one in this board does; why would we? So I have to rely on what people that do it for a living write.
The second link indicated:
"A change of scenery may help, but don’t count on Black being much more than a piece in a rotation wherever he ends up."
I think this is a good description of how it might play out. Once again, I sure hope he proves me wrong

Lance Hobson 8 years, 4 months ago

Very exciting, but we'll see. They call it March Madness for a reason.

Dale Kroening 8 years, 4 months ago

Black brings depth to the big man rotation as well as some bulk. I dont see him starting, but possibly being the first big off the bench. Some will not agree, but I think Embiid will be the starter at the 5. Yeah, yeah I know Self dont start freshman, but JoJo is the best big on the roster not named Perry Ellis and who is better ??? He held his own in the Jordan Classic and World games against the best competition. Any time that Tarik gets will be earned. Either way, looking forward to the season and arguably one of the most talented rosters in KU history.

LaFriends 8 years, 4 months ago




No offense to HCBS, but I kinda miss Larry Brown.... ;)

Ian Emerson 8 years, 4 months ago

I LOVE how people keep questioning whether Tharpe is a leader or not. Does anyone remember the OKST game? He has absolute Ice in his veins and proved it that game. He may have missed some incredibly tough shots the michigan game but make no mistake, Tharpe will be the perfect point guard for this team

gchawk 8 years, 4 months ago

"Tarik & Tank", close similarities in more ways than one. Welcome to the Jayhawk Nation, you'll never regret the move.

Since79 8 years, 4 months ago

I can't see Black playin significant minutes this season. Other might disagree but will he really beat out Ellis, Traylor, or Lucas who've been here a year already in our system? Or Embiid, who's the top center? I see him as extra muscle for Self to throw around, an insurance policy, just incase injuries happen.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 4 months ago

Traylor and Lucas - Yes

He will play the 4 or 5 (per Coach Self) behind Perry & Embiid. The others will continue to learn and fight for the 4th big minutes. Hopefully, they both keep working for next year with Mickleson (?SP?).

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 8 years, 4 months ago

For those with a short memory and likely were among savaging Ty Taylor when he was a junior he proved them a bunch of numbskulls as a senior. Think we would have won the conference or played for the NC without his great improvement between his junior and senior years.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 4 months ago

Ummm..What? TRob and Withey's improvement were at least as important. Taylor played like Taylor.

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 8 years, 4 months ago

For those with a short memory and likely were among savaging Ty Taylor when he was a junior he proved them a bunch of numbskulls as a senior. Think we would have won the conference or played for the NC without his great improvement between his junior and senior years.?

KGphoto 8 years, 4 months ago

I disagree a little. IMHO Greene > AW3. White may have some bulk and can shoot a 3, but Greene is a better all-around scorer. If AW3 wins the battle it will be due to any defensive skill he gained last year. Brannen will remind a lot of people of Ben. He’s smooth.

Frank Mason is the only other true PG we have behind Tharpe. Bill Self has been calling him one of the most underrated PGs in the country.

I think this team is set. All the schollies are filled. Everybody has a chair and a shot at PT. There are no other recruits on the horizon that might force somebody out, and if you don’t want to fight for minutes on this team you’re crazy. This team has the potential to be special.

Anyway, that’s what I’d say if a kid came into my office considering a transfer.

Steve Zimmerman 8 years, 4 months ago

WOW! Another one-n-done - Welcome to the family, mr. Black!!! You won't regret years from now. you'll be a part of great KU bball history forever!! Can someone post KUMB practice sessions videos please? I can't wait to see these bunches in action!!!!

Steve Zimmerman 8 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for the info. Perkins should be fun to watch - great vision with swell passes. Diallo will find KU's HCBS style the best fit - no questions about it. He's got a pair of strong long arms but definitely can be Hudified to increase his leaping a bit more at KU. He has better motor than TRob. Looks like KU has initiated an offer to Perkins

Jack Wilson 8 years, 4 months ago

kD -- you are the man when it comes to recruiting analysis here. Anytime you get the urge, just start typing. Good stuff.

Joseph Kuebel 8 years, 4 months ago

I honestly think that Wiggins decision to come to KU will put us in a much greater position for future top 3 kids. I fully expect to hear a lot of thunder in future years due to this "one every ten year recruit" (or lightning) in KUs future with top players. As already evidenced in Jahill Okafor's quote saying (something along the lines of) he is going to watch and see if Wiggins is a top draft pick he will most likely pick KU.

John Fitzgerald 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm confused at some of the negative comments toward TB. A few things for you negative Nancy's to understand: all coaches have their own way of coaching and it doesn't work with every player which is possibly why Pastner didn't get the potential out of him, TB graduated in 3 years which shows his intelligence and dedication, TB is huge and will cause problems on the defensive end for anyone who opposes him regardless of their skill level, he has potential and Bill Self is the "potential" guru, we need senior leadership regardless how good he is, he will flat out make every big on our team better after they bump and grind with him in practice, and finally, and most importantly, Bill Self wanted him. I don't know about you guys but I trust Self. If he wants a guy, and gets him, I'm all for it. I mean, let's be honest, he's the one qualified to be the coach anyways, not us. So, please positive and realize next year we will be in for quite a treat! RCJH baby!!!

JayHok 8 years, 4 months ago

Coach K wanted him. Black must be something solid for K to risk losing a highly publicized battle. Everything I've watched online shows a pretty solid big guy. Reminds me of a thicker Darnell Jackson. The kid shot nearly 70% his sophomore year with 12 points and a bunch of rebounds. Coach K and Self know what they see.

wrwlumpy 8 years, 4 months ago

I thought of Darnell too. I still think that the learning curve for those who have not been in the system under Self will be way behind Lucas, who like Ben has played a year in practice against Withey and Traylor and knows the offense and defense. Saying that, Jo Jo and Black could blow away practice. If you want to be a starter this year, you must be, as Self says, "A Stud." Andrew White also will be a year ahead of Greene, but I've watched the film. White is smooth, but a half step slower. More minutes for White early then Greene learns the system and then next year for White.

wrwlumpy 8 years, 4 months ago

I thought of Darnell too. I still think that the learning curve for those who have not been in the system underSelf will be way behind Lucas, who like Ben has played a year in practice against Withey and Traylor and knows the offense and defense. Saying that, Jo Jo and Black could blow away practice. If you want to be a starter this year, you must be, as Self says, "A Stud." Andrew White also will be a year ahead of Greene, but I've watched the film. White is smooth, but a half step slower. More minutes for White early then Greene learns the system and then next year for White.

JayHok 8 years, 4 months ago

KU has two of the top players by position. UK has three. I think I'll take Embiid and Wiggins and mix in some experience with Ellis, Black, Trayler, Lucas as well as some coaching in an actual system run by Coach Self. UK fans are claiming bonus points at having Wiltjer as an experienced player. Cauley-Stein I'll give them. He's coming along. From KU's perspective I love that Wiggins will play the 2. When playing a big team, that leaves Selden, White, or Greene on the other side. Double-teaming Wiggins really should lead to a lot of easy baskets for KU.

Alex Peekeaton 8 years, 4 months ago

I think it is a bit of a stretch JayHok to say Embiid is the top center - ESPN has Embiid at #6 (Telep said based on future upside) and Rivals has him at #25 for an average ranking of ~15; Dakari Johnson is #7 in ESPN and #9 in Rivals which is an average of #8. ESPN and Rivals are the only two recruiting rankings I look at. I will take Dakari Johnson right now, but probably Embiid 2 years down the road. RE: Wiltjer - You realize Wiltjer was 6th man of the year in the SEC? Some kids mature (physically/mentally) faster than others and Kyle is one of those has taken longer to develop physically. He is a lot stronger now than when he stepped foot in Lexington, but still has a ways to go. We shall see how much stronger he is next fall. From a basketball standpoint, he now gets to go back to his position of being a role player of which he excelled on the 2012 NC team. There is no one his size as gifted offensively in the country than Wiltjer. His weakness last year was defensive, but the length of Cauley-Stein, Johnson, Randle, and Lee will limit that exposure when he is in the game.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 4 months ago

BnoBalls, your comment about Wiltjer is laughable; if he is that good, why is it that he did not even start? As far as Embiid, he is the overall #6 player and the #1 center according to ESPN, which updated its ranking after the post season games. Rivals, on the other hand, has not upgraded its ranking in a while and thus Embiid is listed lower than other rankings. Of course you knew that and used it to make your point anyway, which goes to show how insecure UK fans really are.

Sam Constance 8 years, 4 months ago

Wiltjer was the 6th Man of the Year in the SEC?!?

Holy crap, your terrible conference was extra terrible this year, wasn't it? That's absurd and can only be chalked up to two things: he plays for a brand name, and the rest of the SEC's talent pool was god-awful.

Also, I'm struggling to understand how a supposedly "gifted" offensive player could have a pathetic 42.4% from the field when he is 6'10". I guess it's silly to expect any kind of production from a 6'10" guy who is only capable of pulling down 4 rebounds per 24 minutes of play.

Alex Peekeaton 8 years, 4 months ago

Ever??? Who said Ever??? As I said - there is no one as skilled offensively in the country at 6'10. Post footwork horrible? Maybe you should go back and look at tape between him using his left and hook shot. Agree with you on rebounding for his size, but that will come with added strength in off season. Oh yeah, he has a Championship ring to KD!

JayHok 8 years, 4 months ago

No that's cool. It's nice to see some opinions here. I respect your opinion on Wiltjer. Let's use our imaginations for a minute. If UK and KU play for the championship and Wiltjer is on the court, who does he match up on against KU? From what I understand and have seen he's a shooting guard so I don't think I could see Calipari putting him as a 4 or 5. At 6'9" would Wiltjer guard Wiggins who is also a shooting guard. Or would Wiltjer guard Selden or Greene? Very interesting matchups you have me thinking about. Again congratulations on landing Randle. Thank you in advance for your response.

Robin Smith 8 years, 4 months ago

sorry BBALL but Wiltjer is a joke

I'm very very glad he didn't come to Kansas.

Kevin Jenkins 8 years, 4 months ago

Wow, I wouldn't call Black a slacker. He did contributes a he will help out. Who else was out there? Bill has done well. We have all the parts to the puzzle. And a great coach to complete it. After the tournament, everyone second guessed our coach. Look again . I can't wait to see what Coach Bill has as our starting five. But it's not that important when our bench is full of talent

BucknellJayhawk3 8 years, 4 months ago

Just pure curiosity, but I wonder where Tarik would rank if he were thrown into the class of 2013 rankings. As a 22 year old with experience he would be worth more than his original ranlking- heck some of the top 25 don't even get to start or play much (Ellis wasn't very good until later in the season). I'd say (and not that it matters) that he would be up there in the top 25 prospects although his ceiling may not be as high.

KansasComet 8 years, 4 months ago

Landen Lucas redshirted last year, it does not mean he was not good enough to play last year. It means he kept a year of eligibility and practiced with the team, did his weight training and attended class. He did what was in his best interest and the team's best interest. It remains to be seen who will get playing time, and unfortunately injuries happen. This team has a chance to play all out basketball, without the fear of fouls controlling a game. We have a chance to keep the kids fresh this year during games and have some pretty intense practice sessions.

I never worry about recruiting, Coach Self does a wonderful job with that. I just look forward to every year. I enjoy every win, and I get over the losses quickly. This will be another top 5 year for KU. If not, it really doesn't matter, because I am not going anywhere.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 4 months ago

Let me ask you this .. why would you redshirt a guy who could help now, if you have a chance to win a national title? Meaning, if Lucas was better than Traylor for 2012-13, there is nothing logical in sitting him based on an expectancy of better things in the future (that amounts to complete speculation -- that sitting a guy who could play is worth what might occur his 5th season in the program).

Self said a long time ago that he doesn't redshirt guys that would play. I do need to find that quote. I promise you that is not an urban legend kind of thing.

Lucas might have been good enough to play last year, but with the players in front of him, he wouldn't have gotten to play. In my mind, those are one in the same. It's all relative to the talent on the team as to whether you are good enough.

Lucas really is a guy that we should look at for his junior and senior seasons, don't you think? Unranked, developmental. Those are the seasons.

Another question -- what unranked post player has really thrived here? Christian Moody as an upper classman may be the closest (not thrived, I'd say though). KY as a 5th year senior is one. Try anyone ranked lower than #54 (Darnell Jackson). I can't think of one.

Remember that Lucas was the back up plan to Kaleb Tarczewki. The infamous "all in" comment on Tarc evidenced that we were out of the loop on other top bigs, leading to Lucas.

Would you agree that it is either Lucas or Traylor getting minutes? I mean when has Self played 5 post players? Traylor got 9 minutes last season. If you look back, the 4th guy usually gets 7-9 minutes per game.

Lucas will only be a redshirt freshman. Lots of time to develop.

KansasComet 8 years, 4 months ago

First off, every year is a chance to win a nation title, for KU anyway. Now the decision to redshirt is usually a well thought out decision between player and coach. If the coach is honest with the player, and tells him up front there is a chance that he may not play much this season, then taking the redshirt is the right decision. Landen Lucas made the right decision. Andrew White in my opinion would have been better off taking a redshirt as well. The redshirt does not mean that these kids can't play basketball, it just gives them a chance to practice with the team, improve strength and conditioning, mature on and off the court and get deep in the school books. I can't predict what Lucas is going to do next season at this point, no one can. That remains to be seen.

I get the point that you are trying to make with rankings. Lucas was a respectable recruit, four stars if I remember correctly, like Thomas Robinson, The Morris Twins, and Jeff Withey. He may not excel until his third season, that's typically when most of Coach Self's four star recruits take off. Next year is the perfect year for him to learn with a little on-the-job training, and by his 3rd year in the system, which by the way will be his sophomore year, he will be in perfect position to succeed.

I have yet to see you embrace the signing of Andrew Wiggins. I believe you said you didn't want him? I really don't understand why you would say that. He comes from a two parent home. He has a black father in the home, and he is the number one overall recruit. Other than the fact that he could leave school after one year, Andrew Wiggins is everything that you could possibly want. Explain that one to me? Thanks.

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago;_ylt=AusXPb16tOGiGApc4VhwMsTSO5B4

Landen Lucas was an unranked 3 star coming out of high school. Big difference in talent level between him and T-Rob, the twins, and Withey. Rivals is not 100% accurate, but it is a very good indicator of a players ceiling. Most players where Lucas were ranked at a school the quality of KU will amount to a rotation player at best and a possible starter depending on who else is on the team in coming years. We can always hope he overachieves and becomes an NBA prospect, but his career trajectory based on his Rivals ranking says Landen Lucas will not sniff the NBA and will either have to go to Europe if he wants to continue his pro career or he will enter the workforce after he graduates.

KansasComet 8 years, 4 months ago

Depends on which rating service you look at. ESPN has him as a 4 Star and the number in the state of Oregon at his position. By the way Trey Burke was a 3 Star in some rating services and after two seasons is projected to be a top 5 NBA pick. It remains to be seen what Landen Lucas will do on the court, but I am certainly cheering for him to do great things.

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

Recruiting services are not perfect, if there was a perfect one it would put the rest out of business. The production Michigan got from Trey Burke for 2 years is not what should be expected from a player ranked that low because Trey Burke is an exception. When predicting someone's career trajectory, you look at what the majority of players ranked similarly have accomplished, not what the one or two exceptions accomplished. Another strong indicator of Landen Lucas' career trajectory is that hebis the first player in the Bill Self era to voluntarily redshirt as a freshman. Bill Self normally likes his players to get their feet wet as a frosh, and then redshirt their second season to work on their game. I know HEM has a different view point on Andrew White, but this history of Bill Self redshirting players is why I think AW3 is the strongest candidate to redshirt this season. Why didn't Landen Lucas follow this pattern? We can hope he turns out like Kelly Olynik at Gonzaga who took a redshirt year to sculpt his body so he could be an impact player, but that reason doesn't mesh too well with Bill Self's explanation of Lucas and Traylor were very similar skill set which means an aggressive defender with limited offense. All the tidbits out there, or lack of tidbits, paints a picture of Lucas being a 5 year player who may eventually start later in his career depending on future recruiting, but never being more than a contributor for KU. I would love nothing more than for Lucas to be an exception and far exceed expectaions for someone ranked where he was, but the evidence so far does not point in rhat direction.

KansasComet 8 years, 4 months ago

texashawk10, great reply and I enjoy reading it. The reason I brought up Trey Burke is because he was a 3-4 Star recruit, just like Landen Lucas. You said that Lucas was a 3 Star. As I stated before, it depends on the recruiting service. In my opinion, Landen Lucas could develop quite nicely in the next 1-2 years. For some reason, you have all but written him off, without watching him play in a single Division 1 Basketball game. You base your opinion off rivals rankings, but when I mention Trey Burke, you call him an exception to rule? Each individual is different, let's see how things play out before we place this young man in Europe.

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

I call Trey Burke an exception because he has the on court results to say that he far exceeded what his ranking was. He was still only 84th in ESPN's ranking so even going off that, Burke still far exceeded what was expected of his career based off his HS ranking. I am in no way writing Lucas off, but if he only plays to what his ranking is which is unranked in both ESPN and Rivals, then he'll be someone who is in the rotation, possibly a starter, but not a star player. I forget who, but someone on here about this time a year ago did some research about lower ranked players and came up with the 13.3% rule, which I think can be used across the board honestly. The 13.3% rule basically says that 13.3% of players will significantly outperform what their recruiting ranking is coming out of HS. Trey Burke is one of those 13.3% players, Tyrel Reed, and Brady Morningstar can also be put into that category as well. There is also a similar rate of players who significantly underachieve based on what their ranking was coming out of HS. Elijah Johnson is someone who would fit into this category. That still leaves a little under 75% of players who end up performing to the expectation of their ranking. The expectation for an unranked player at a program like KU is someone who will turn into a rotation, could become a starter later in their career depending upon future recruiting, but is only a role player. This is not a knock on Landen Lucas, but the odds say that Lucas is destined to be a role player whose professional future is in Europe if he chooses that route.

Gil Ek 8 years, 4 months ago

And just how good are the ranking systems anyway? What are they really based on? Playing defense? Teamwork? Where was Ben ranked? I like our team and personalities over anyone.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 4 months ago

Holy crap.

This just got scary.

Got my vote for one of the best, if not the best, offseasons in the history of the most historic program in the country.

Rock Chalk.

Ludwig Supraphonic 8 years, 4 months ago

Put Black on this year's team and we beat Michigan. Withey's legs are under him at the end, KY isn't in foul trouble, and the young Michigan Center has a hard time keeping his arms above his head. Role players are invaluable.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 4 months ago

What's the point of writing that especially when it can't be proven to be true?

John Fitzgerald 8 years, 4 months ago

What's the point of being on this site if you can't have a little bit of an imagination? It's a good assumption. Now finish your Wheaties and spread your negativity elsewhere!

Ludwig Supraphonic 8 years, 4 months ago

My point wasn't that, even with poor FT shooting, Black could contribute. I thought we would be granted a change to play the game again.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 4 months ago

This is great. I just hope no one fouls him.

Colby Hebert 8 years, 4 months ago

Landing Tarik Black is HUGE. The 5 was our biggest question mark. All we had there was a redshirt freshman (Lucas) and a raw but highly talented freshman (Embiid)

For as far back as I remember we always had a 5 with experience, they subbed for a year or two behind someone else, then the baton was passed to them. We did not have that this year. Black is our stopgap. A senior, a big body banger with experience.

I do not know if we have ever had such a loaded team. The starting lineups and rotation next year is harder to predict than at any time since I have followed KU basketball.

Wiggins starts because he might have been the number 1 pick in the NBA draft had he been allowed to enter straight out of high school.

I have no idea what Self will do, but

1)Tharpe 2)Wiggins 3)White III 4)Ellis 5) Black

That is not so young of a team anymore. He has that option now. Then you add in the talent of Greene, Selden, Embiid....Unbelievable really. Barring recruiting, Mason will be the PG Tharpe passes the baton to, so it looks like Connor may have to redshirt?

We could field two teams that could challenge for the big 12 title with what we have. It is ridiculous.

702Hawk 8 years, 4 months ago

With Black and Lucas, I think there are going to be more people than just Justin who will be missing a tooth or two.

Colby Hebert 8 years, 4 months ago

FROSH 5: Mason, Selden, Greene, Wiggins, Embiid. (never would happen but I would be optimistic with that lineup by March. It would be like watching someone play NBA Jams).

SELF 5?: Tharpe, Wiggins, White III, Ellis, Embiid (maybe by conference season)

TALENT 5: Tharpe, Wiggins, Selden, Ellis, Embiid.

EXPERIENCED 5: Tharpe, Wiggins, White III, Ellis, Black

I would pay to watch practices of this team. Imagine, Tharpe, Wiggins, White III, Ellis, Black versus Mason, Selden, Greene, Traylor, Embiid, I mean, it is an absolute embarassment of riches.

Robin Smith 8 years, 4 months ago

you are forgetting Frankamp, which is impressive, because he led U17 Team USA in scoring on a roster that featured Jabari Parker, Dakari Johnson, Stanley Johnson, Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow, BeeJay Anya, etc

Colby Hebert 8 years, 4 months ago

Ya, Connor is intriguing as well. I think one of our guards may have to redshirt and wonder if it will be him. Mason I would assume will be our backup ballhandler. I guess it just depends on how Greene and Connor end up ranked in Self's eyes

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 4 months ago

How about this:

Big 5: 1 Seldon 2 Wiggins 3 Ellis 4 Embiid 5 Black Small and damm fast 5: 1 Tharpe 2 Frankamp 3 Seldon 4 Wiggins 5 Ellis

Any way you cut it, Wiggins, Seldon and Ellis stay in the starting 5. I would put Mason on the Small and Fast 5 but believe he will Red Shirt

selfhimbill 8 years, 4 months ago

With teams like this, I wish the games lasted 60 minutes.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 4 months ago

UNBELIEVABLE!!! I just saw the headlines and I'm ecstatic. Best recruiting class at KU ever and just slightly behind UK's best ever class in the NCAA.

I just wish HCBS could recruit.

Joe Ross 8 years, 4 months ago

One never WANTS to replace 4 starting seniors and a potential number 1 NBA draft pick from the prior season, but if you're going to...this is how you do it.

I've been outspoken on occasion about high-profile recruiting misses. But I'll be damned if Coach Self hasn't shut my big mouth. I acknowledge for myself individually as for the larger Jayhawk fanbase that our expectations are unrealistic every single year. But with Bill Self as coach and the heights to which he's taken the program, you'd almost be guilty of being unappreciative if you didn't reward the team with optimism.

Benz Junque 8 years, 4 months ago

The Duke game is so early in the year that both teams will be ironing out some serious new wrinkles. Winning it means no more than losing it.

With the tough non-con schedule that KU has and the youth on this team, I really don't care what their record is when they hit conference play. So long as they have it together for conference play. That will allow them to fine tune the machine heading into tourney time. These young guys will be better in January than they are in November and better in March than they are in January.

KU has as balanced a roster as they have had in a long time. What is great about the roster is that Ku won't need Embiid, Selden, Frankamp and Greene to be awesome Year One. They can develop and grow without the strain of having to bear the load. Just do your job and then grab a seat and catch your breath while the next wave does their job. Shooters, slashers, passers and bangers. KU has 'em all. And given Self's ability to coach defense, KU will be a formidable opponent come tourney time.

Joe Ross 8 years, 4 months ago


I think we see the same reality, but our perspectives about it are different. I think youre looking at it like the glass is half empty. If a person acknowledges the glass is half full, they still make the observation that the glass is not what it COULD BE, but they choose to take an optimistic perspective. That optimism can't be impeached, especially given that we lost SO much. Given also that Kansas basketball undoubtedly has life breathed into it with news in the last week. And given further the level of love fans have for their Jayhawks.

No, it's not lost on us that Kentucky is still in the driver's seat, but nearing the end of the season, Kansas may be the only team capable of beating them (if the kids develop and they learn to play well together). Let them eat cake and enjoy the news!

Mick Allen 8 years, 4 months ago

Whether the glass is half empty or is half full is irrelevant if you are thirsty.

tis4tim 8 years, 4 months ago

Is this signing the "Wiggins Effect" already in play? Time will tell, but should AW have a great year, take us deep into the tournament and become the overall #1 pick in the NBA draft he could go down as one of the most important Jayhawks ever to don the uniform for reasons that go beyond his on-the-court ability.

ku_foaf 8 years, 4 months ago

Tarik sounds like a high quality guy all around. Glad he is at KU!

Justin Steele 8 years, 4 months ago

Does anyone know if we are in the running for Trevor Lacey?

Rob Bedford III 8 years, 4 months ago

All the reports I have seen stated KU was not pursuing him.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 4 months ago

Now that the 2013-14 roster is set, it's time to think of next year!!

!] Gone - Wesley, Black, Wiggins [barring injury, 99.9% sure]

2] Added - AWIII [most likely a "13/'14 redshirt} & Mickelson [transfer year over].

3] Expected back but don't be shocked if not, Embiid and Selden.

4] Ellis - my guess, his last year,

5] Frankamp, Greene, Traylor, Mason and Lucas....all returning, bigger and better.

That will leave anywhere from 3 to 5 schollies available...LET THE POSTINGS BEGIN!!!!!!!

Eric Williams 8 years, 4 months ago

Ellis will be a 3 or 4 year Jayhawk. He might have the talent to leave early, but I'd be surprised if he did.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 4 months ago

Exactly..that's what I meant, 2014-15 would be his last season.

Gil Ek 8 years, 4 months ago

Wish we were playing Mizzu next year! (Did I really say that)

milehighhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Starting five last year vs. starting five next year: Who wins if they were to play right now?

702Hawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Tough call but last year's team wins do to team chemistry and experience.

Rob Bedford III 8 years, 4 months ago

Does EJ open the game with an upper cut to Tarik's junk?

aerohawk 8 years, 4 months ago

I read your post first and thought, "what could possibly be that funny" then I read Rob's post and did the same thing.

okiedave 8 years, 4 months ago

My OSU friends are more scared than Stupidmichael right now. 2nd place in the Big XII was not what Boone Pickens had envisioned for them.

Kye Clark 8 years, 4 months ago

Stoked about this addition. Now, what are the big roster questions heading into next season?

  1. Who backs up Tharpe? This is huge; I think the biggest question heading into next season. Is it Mason or Frankamp? Logic tells you Frankamp based on his high school pedigree, the U17 USA team experience & success, offensive firepower, etc. But the more I hear about Mason (and not just from Self, but also analysts/talking heads), it might be a close competition.

  2. Greene vs. AW3. By most accounts, Wiggins & Selden man the wings next year. Who is next off the bench for those spots? Logic tells us the year in the system AW3 has gives him the edge. If this is true and Greene is forced into much the same role AW3 had last year, does Greene (who is a top #30 talent if you believe the Rivals rankings) patiently wait his turn?

  3. Do the losers of those competitions accept red-shirts if offered?

  4. How does the post situation shake out? Again by most accounts, Ellis & Embiid are locks for the primarily 3 man rotation. Black is the most likely candidate for the third in that rotation. So it's likely Traylor vs. Lucas for the role of 4th big, which by and large isn't a significant role. Both have used red-shirts so both burn a year of eligibility while garnering limited minutes.

  5. Who is the most likely candidate to fill the Merv Lindsey/Milton Doyle/Royce Woolridge/Rio Adams role? The loser of the Frankamp-Mason competition? The loser of the AW3-Greene competition? The loser of the Traylor-Lucas competition? Personally, I hope all of them stay. But let's just guess at the likelihood of someone transferring due to displeasure over lack of playing time. I think either Mason or Greene are the most likely candidates. If Mason can't beat out Frankamp, he's probably looking at two years down the road (after Tharpe leaves) before seeing significant minutes, and there's not guarantees Self doesn't bring in someone else during those 2 years that further threaten Mason's PT. If Frankamp can't beat out Mason, he can still probably get some minutes due to his trey gun at the 2 once Wiggins (and possible Selden) leave after one year. Greene is the other possibility, but I think that's a mistake. Wait one year and he's at least backing up Selden & AW3 on the wings next year, and possibly starting if Selden is a OAD.

And these are just roster questions. The answers to those questions will help put together the rest of the puzzle as to how this all plays out on the court.

aerohawk 8 years, 4 months ago

I say the chance that Frankamp transfers is about 0. He is from KS and grew up a Jayhawk fan. My guess is he is here until he graduates or goes pro.

Gil Ek 8 years, 4 months ago

This is a nice problem to have. Think these guys have seen what a little patience has meant recently, as in last years seniors. Hope we don't loose anyone. Keep hearing people say Mason is so underrated still. Could be Frankamp and Greene red-shirting. Or many other combo's. Think whoever it is will accept a red-shirt here vs. sitting out a year for someone else. We need a good point guard backup more than a scorer. Have tons of scoring options next year. I still think Lucas will surprise many. Think this is the beginning of HCBS's best run yet the next 10 years. The future here is brighter than ever!!!

LaFriends 8 years, 4 months ago

  1. Tharpe, Mason

  2. Selden, Frankamp, AW3

  3. Wiggins, Greene

  4. Ellis, Traylor

  5. Black, Embiid, Lucas

Wesley is new assistant coach.

I think the minutes work here. Frankamp can mix in at the 2 and the 1 a little. AW3 gets a bit of the shaft, but sees the writing on the wall for next year when Wiggy leaves. Embiid and Lucas both get some burn (Lucas actually plays which makes him optimistic compared to last year) and also see Black gone by next year.

All the top recruits have a place. All of them get a year of development --- AND especially a year of success. They all want to be a part of this -- THIS YEAR, and in years to come each with a bigger and bigger role.

aerohawk 8 years, 4 months ago

I don't think there is any way Self uses a 12 man rotation. I think there will be one backup that gets all the minutes that are not taken by Wiggins and Selden. If they play 30+ minutes per game, there are 15-20 minutes available for the third guy. Unless Ellis, Black or Embiid really under performs there will only be a few minutes for a fourth. Tharpe will have one main backup. I say 8 man rotation.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.