Monday, May 20, 2013

They said it … about Tarik Black


Tweets and other comments regarding new Kansas University forward/center Tarik Black, a 6-foot-9, 262-pound senior transfer from the University of Memphis, who is immediately eligible to play in games his final season following his graduation from Memphis.

Jason King, “Black is a unique player because he’s a senior who hasn’t come close to reaching his ceiling. He’s big and mean and physical — an intimidating figure who will make anyone’s All-Airport team. His arrival in Lawrence couldn’t come at a better time for a KU squad that is young and inexperienced in the paint. The lack of consistency (and, sometimes, effort) that kept Black from peaking at Memphis won’t fly with Bill Self. But if Self manages to get the best out of Black, he could end up being the country’s best offseason addition. In some ways I think Black is similar to former KU standout Jeff Graves, the x-factor in the Jayhawks’ run to the 2003 NCAA title game. Black doesn’t rebound quite as well as Graves, and it’s no secret he’s a poor free throw shooter. But he’s a smart player who runs the court extremely well and is a bully in the paint. This is just what the Jayhawks need. I see Black averaging 20-25 minutes per game as one of Kansas’ top three big men along with Perry Ellis and Joel Embiid.”

Dick Weiss, New York Daily News: “Additon of Memphis center/fifth year transfer Tarik Black makes Kansas a potential Final Four team again.”

Adam Zagoria, “Kansas now has five guys up front in Joel Embiid, Tarik Black, Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor and Landen Lucas. Depth to avoid foul trouble.”

Hoops News: “Tarik Black reminds me of former Kansas forward Darnell Jackson. Numbers won’t be huge, but can be very important to their success.”

Jon Rothstein, CBS Sports Network: “Tarik Black adds depth for KU next year. They’ll need it. Jayhawks will play 11 potential NCAA Tournament teams before Big 12 play begins ... Big men that will practice for Kansas next year: Tarik Black, Perry Ellis, Joel Embiid, Hunter Mickelson, Jamari Traylor, Landen Lucas. Wow.”

Roger Kuznia, Sporting News: “One thing Black will have to work on is his propensity to foul. Through three seasons, he reached or passed the four personal fouls mark in 44 percent of his appearances. As Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy notes, “If that’s not a record, it ought to be.”

Memphis coach Josh Pastner, to (on Black and Antonio Barton both graduating and leaving to play elsewhere for a final season): “They’ve graduated and got their degrees. They have every right to explore other options. They did their job, and we did our job. They graduated. That’s a big thing. You graduate, you have options. I’m OK with that.”


MinorThreat 7 years, 6 months ago

Graves did some nice stuff sporadically, but I don't recall him being a "standout"...

Steve Zimmerman 7 years, 6 months ago

Black has a more polished resume than that of Graves or Jackson. It's not a fair comparison, no offense. Black will be a monster under the basket. This is just great!!! Now, we'll be even more unbeatable.

Cmill1221 7 years, 6 months ago

He stood out in late March and early April when Wayne went down with a shoulder injury!

Adam Tyler 7 years, 6 months ago

16 points and 16 rebounds in the national championship game......

ChicagoGman 7 years, 6 months ago

I was at the game and didn't even know that....

All I can seem to remember is missing 18 or 19 free throws as a team....makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

KansasComet 7 years, 6 months ago

Does not push Lucas out of the picture. Remains to be seen as to what will happen.

ChicagoGman 7 years, 6 months ago

All these big guys in the picture and beating each other up in practice can only make us better.

archercc 7 years, 6 months ago

It only pushes them out of the picture if Black is better. They have been playing in the system and have the advantage of chemistry with the few returners. I don't doubt that if they work hard they can get minutes.

Ted Hume 7 years, 6 months ago

I also feel pretty strongly that Lucas will be pushed out of the rotation entirely for one more year- but hey, he's still only a redshirt freshman, people! What's so bad about not getting minutes until his soph. or junior campaigns? I mean, come one, Releford didn't get any real minutes for 3 years here, counting his redshirt season, and look at what he was for us those last two years.

LAJayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Competition, competition, competition. There is nothing in the world better to get guys to play up to their maximum potential than knowing someone else is waiting to take all of their minutes.

All 4 of those guys pushing each other to be the big(s) that see the floor the most will do one and only one thing for us next season: help win basketball games.

There are very, very few things better than good competition at every position. If Lucas earns his way onto the floor over Black, that would likely mean very, very good things for KU basketball.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

I count 5....not 4.

Ellis, Traylor, Black, Embiid & Lucas.

Unless, you're saying Ellis is already locked in and will get significant "Starter's minutes" and you're talking about a battle among the other 4 for minutes.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

Don't forget injuries happen - i.e., Z. Peters last year.

Brad Farha 7 years, 6 months ago

Graves was huge. He gave us toughness and size inside that we lacked in 2003. Wayne was injured, so and we needed Graves inside to help Nick.

ku_foaf 7 years, 6 months ago

He definitely played a part in the NCAA tournament games.

Patrickulating 7 years, 6 months ago

One more basket somewhere along the way and he would have been tourney MOP. His jersey would be hanging in AFH.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

Dude, that was because he backed up Simien. When Simien went down and they had NO CHOICE but to rely on him as the starting C along side Collison, he came up WAY BIGGER than we would've / maybe even should've expected.

Check out his numbers in some of the '03 Tournament Games - particularly in the Champ. Gm., he had something like 16 pts. & 17 Rebs. or something like that.

Ashwin Rao 7 years, 6 months ago

You are not allowed to sneeze on opponents. That is bad manners. :)

Michael Pannacciulli 7 years, 6 months ago

Felt it would be hard for him to choose anyone else after Wiggins signed. Excited he is coming to KU. Will be nice to have an new enforcer down low to bully anyone who comes in the paint. I for one am pleasantly surprised with Bill's haul this year. A+.

David Brown 7 years, 6 months ago

Gotta love Coach Self and his staff for what they are bringing to KU next season: talented freshman, red-shirted players, transfers. Constantly traveling to watch prospects, meet players/parents, scanning the various conferences for players leaving. Putting all the pieces together as they become available. All coaches do those things of course, but Self seems to do it best! Next season will be FUN! So much change in personnel, so young and inexperienced, so much potential, such a challenging schedule. Wow, can hardly wait to watch Self mold this group and see the results.

ccarp 7 years, 6 months ago

Imagine what Hudy might have done with Big Gravy. I can't wait to see the results she gets from Black. He already has the strength to go hard and throw it down.

Benz Junque 7 years, 6 months ago

I am genuinely surprised to see Black coming to Kansas. He figured to get more minutes and a more prominent role at Oregon. It's good to see a kid make the decision to fight for minutes at a place where he thinks he has a better shot at winning and a better chance to develop his body and game. GREAT pickup for KU. What an amazing haul for Coach Self and staff.

I think this year will officially put to rest any chatter about Self's recruiting misses! This should easily go down as one of the greatest KU classes in their storied history. I am super excited to watch this team develop through a nasty non-con schedule, hit their stride as the rotation solidifies in Big 12 play and flourish come tourney time. If even half the young guys develop into solid contributors this year the sky's the limit.

Ted Hume 7 years, 6 months ago

call it the Wiggins effect. who wouldn't want to be part of that for one special year? beautiful.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 6 months ago

The Black signing is perfect.

-When Embiid is ready, Black is first big off the bench. Until then, Black starts next to Ellis. Makes sense.

-Black gives us a big body .. think Darnell Jackson-esq as mentioned in the article. He can be the banger, protect Ellis and Embiid. He shot nearly 55% in his three seasons. Not overstating it here hopefully, but Black could really thrive in a setting like this with significant skill around him.

-Permits Traylor and Lucas to be what they are .. developmental guys that could impact their junior and senior seasons. Let’s be careful not to expect more from them. Traylor probably wouldn't have played last season if Peters didn't have his issues. As I’ve mentioned over the past few weeks, Self’s pursuit of Black tells us what he thinks about their readiness to be in the rotation for 2013-14. But this is what should be expected. They aren't disappointing if they don't play. Traylor will likely be the 4th big this season, unless Lucas unseats him there. This is exactly what Traylor or Lucas is suited for.

-More on Lucas – this will be his freshman season. Unranked guy. No pressure. He can sit the bench, work in practice, and get better. Top ranked guys enter more “game ready” for this level. Great example is KY .. as a 5th year senior, he was better than hot-shot top 30 guy Ellis in Ellis’ freshman season. But Ellis was coming on at the end. It took KY much development to get to that point. It will take Ellis much less to be at the same level. Guys like Lucas just usually need some more time. Heck, there is an outside chance he could start in 2015-16 (his junior season). Different type of players than top 50 guys.

-The Mickelson signing could push both Lucas and Traylor out of a three man post rotation in 2014-15 (Mickelson/Ellis/Embiid – assuming neither Ellis/Embiid turn pro). From a practical perspective, as I’ve mentioned before, I wouldn't be surprised to see one of them transfer – depending upon recruiting. The scholarship/playing time battle is clearly between the two of them. We won’t play 5 bigs.

-Black allows Self to have a scholarship open for next season. Right now he has two – Wiggins and Black.

-Black secures the post area -- our biggest weakness. And makes us a clear national title contender.

Vernon Riggs 7 years, 6 months ago

We played with 4 bigs in 2008. Black and Traylor together average over 12 fouls per 40 minutes of play. We won't be soft in the paint. Ellis with this type of muscle playing next to him will have a HUGE year.

Shaen Allen 7 years, 6 months ago

Don't confuse number of fouls with aggressive play. Sometimes it's stupid play. With Black, that is often the case.

Woody Cragg 7 years, 6 months ago

Another great summation HEM. If Black can bring the work ethic to play for Self, our ceiling is the clouds. Graves & Jackson come to comparison for some, but Jackson was a raw kid when he came to town & Jeff was an experienced college (JC) banger. While Darnell's progress was much greater, Graves was a great contributor when Wayne was badly injured, and he worked his way out of Bill's outhouse with tremendous work, also great physical pain & suffering administered straight from HCBS. If Black can do this type of dirty work we should make another run at the NC, and I still like what we have on the bench. Our "B" squad could probably take out a KSU or several other small bumps in the road. This roster is darn near balanced as the 05-06 talent that won it all in 08. But inexperience could derail this highball train like the first two years of the NC team Black is a heckuva holecard in this year's poker game. Who gets the redshirt now HEM? Maybe big Jo will be a OAD if we cut down the nets again, but that's a tradeoff I'm sure many of us would welcome. IMO Perry will be a just a monster scoring machine with all the talent around him. Point drouths should not be a problem for this team, and our rebounding just got a whole bunch better with Black in the fold.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 6 months ago

Thanks .. and you make a great point about how inexperience might be a concern come tourney time. As a KU fan, everything causes us concern come tourney time, right?

On redshirts, the loser of the Mason/Frankamp duel would make the most sense. Ball handling being the trump card behind Tharpe. I know some have mentioned Greene or White -- but it would not bode well for White if he redshirted. If he's behind Greene now, I can't imagine why he would not consider transferring. I don't see how Greene is ahead of White ... Greene might be an interesting choice there to redshirt. We have Wiggins, White, and Selden in the 2/3 mix. Wiggins leaves after the season, Greene takes that rotation spot in 2014-15 as a freshman; Selden leaves after 2015-16 -- a "TAD" has kd speculated -- and Greene starts as a sophomore. But if that competition is not clear cut (Greene vs. White) there may be no redshirt there with winner take all for the rotation spot as the season goes along.

If I had to bet, Mason is the only redshirt with Greene being a less than 50% possibility.

Woody Cragg 7 years, 6 months ago

As reluctant & impatient as Bill is playing inexperienced guards, very well may be Mason or Conner F. But Conner can flat shoot the friggin lights out. I would think he'd be more likely to get PT because he could be such a weapon. With good ball handlers on the floor also, opponents will have to think long & hard about trying to play zone cause he's been deadly from what I've seen. Green or some one else likely will be asked. Though Traylor has valuable exp & a serious motor, could he still take a redshirt since he was ineligible his freshman year?

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

I really DOUBT that EITHER Conner of Frank end up with a redshirt.

They could really use Conner's shooting & Frank's ballhandling. Probably Frank's only REAL chance as I have a feeling with this past season's recruiting success we're destined to get a promising PG in next year's recruiting class (even if they'd have to share w/ Tharpe - eh, maybe they'd even beat him out) - i.e., Ty. Jones, McLaughlin or Josh Perkins. I'd be surprised if they don't get ONE of them.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

I still keep thinking that AW III will get the redshirt.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

I wouldn't say that Mickelson starting over either of them would be "a given". They'll have had MULTIPLE years in the system by that point & honestly NOT have been all that much lower rated than Mickelson was when he came out anyway. Also, seem to be a bit of a contrast in style as Mickelson would be our one capable outside shooting big (along with Ellis). I don't know how much would trust his inside play as of yet.

Robert Brock 7 years, 6 months ago

-Black allows Self to have a scholarship open for next season. Right now he has two – Wiggins and Black.

Two? Just enough to fit in Okafor and Jones!

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

Wouldn't it be three?

Isn't Wesley currently STILL on scholarship?

REHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Jason King hit the nail on the head in stating that Black's occasional inconsistency and lack of effort won't fly with Bill Self. If Tarik roars into Lawrence with the focus and tenacity to make the most of his opportunity with Jayhawk coaching and training, he could become the absolute stud that Jeff Graves was in that national championship game. I prefer not to fight the crowds, choosing to watch Kansas games via TV. But I would pay some decent dollars to watch a dozen Oct./ Nov./Dec. practice sessions. The developmental progress of this current lineup: WOW!

REHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Anyone else notice the discrepancy in Tarik's weight, articles yesterday/today?

Benz Junque 7 years, 6 months ago

That is the case for every football/basjketball player pretty much ever.

JHWK 7 years, 6 months ago

When we all saw the schedule for next season with the team we 'had' I think there were many among us - myself included - who thought there may be some potential slaughters coming. Now this makes HCBS and the scheduling team look like they knew something the rest of us didn't! Black's addition gives us such a balanced attack with our blossoming PG No Fear Naadir, two slashing drivers in Wiggens and Seldon, a 3-point specialist in CFrank and now another inside space-maker in Black.
What an arsenal! Rock Chalk!

KemDooKU 7 years, 6 months ago

I don't think Lucas will ever be a star for KU - nothing against him but he is not very athletic and has about a two inch vertical - that being said he is a Hoss that can take up space in the middle but it may be another year before he ever gets an serious minutes. Black seems like a guy who will fit nicely at KU for just one year but I am glad it's just one year-

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Nothing personal KemDoo, and I know little about Lucas, but "they" said pretty much the same thing about Withey.

texashawk10 7 years, 6 months ago

Big difference betwen Wirhey and Lucas. Withey was a top 40 player out of high school and Lucas was barely a top 150 player. Hopefully Lucas becomes an impact player, but his Rivals ranking projects him out to be a rotation player. I know Rivals isn't the be all end all, but it does give an accurate picture of a player's career trajectory. There absolutely are exceptions of plauers who significantly over or under achieved to their rankings, but that's what an exception is though and is not a trend to be applied across the board. We can all hope for Landen Lucas to have a similar impact that Trey Burke had, but to expect someone ranked that low to be an impact player of that caliber is very rare and should not be expected.

justinryman 7 years, 6 months ago

It looks like KU and Self are getting some transfers now after the work they do with Mr. Kevin Young.

Yes Kevin had a motor that dosent' stop, but he went from a nothing to a starter at KU and gave this team a huge boost when it needed it.

Guys see how he develpoed and know they too can get better and have options at the end of college that will include playing basketball for money.

jay381 7 years, 6 months ago

Good point. I have seen Black play in person (live in Memphis) and IF Self and motivate this big man he has a high ceiling. I know one thing we will not see one shot and no rebound offensively if Black is in the paint. He is an absolute beast in the paint and will slam that rebound and score. Something never really clicked in Memphis be it the coaching staff, perhaps he should have left the community he grew up in as he was so highly ranked and recruited out of HS expectations were unrealistic, or the style of play. Obviously Self thinks he can and I trust his judgment. If so we will be able to go man to man in the paint with the likes of Michigan State.

Woody Cragg 7 years, 6 months ago

Very similar to what Big Clyde Lovellette said about guys coming at him in the lane way back.....if they get up off the floor they'll think twice before they ever do it again. Not an exact quote, but close none the less.

jay381 7 years, 6 months ago

I have seen this guy in person and it not only will be a barrier but more like a re-bar reinforced concrete pillar. If motivated (for whatever reason the youthful Pastner could not motivate him) he can run the court very well for a man of his size get set up in the paint and also get a lot of charging calls. The guy has the talent and if Self can motivate him great use of the remaining scholarship this year.

Marcia Parsons 7 years, 6 months ago

One of the articles I read said Tarik walked out of practice at Memphis because the others players weren't playing hard. Maybe motivation won't be an issue.

jay381 7 years, 6 months ago

You could be correct. For whatever reason (see my prior post) it was almost an oil and water mix here. The one thing going in my belief he will work at KU is Bill Self. This was Josh Pastner's first coaching job and he was barely 30 years old. He was a recruiter (very little on court coaching) for both John Calipari and also Lute Olsen when he got the job. His job 1 was to salvage the remains of the debris left by Calipari and he did keep the program above board and somewhat restore the image. He is no Bill Self at this stage of his career. The kid has an unbelievable upside in the paint. I really hope for everyone we get to see in next year. If we do everyone will be impressed. I am ready now the first game.

Brak 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm thinking we should start Traylor and Black and just let them beat the crap out of opposing big men until halftime or they foul out then send in Ellis and Embiid and let them score at will. All I know is this is going to be a fun team to watch and the season can't get here soon enough.

Shaen Allen 7 years, 6 months ago

I graduated from Memphis, so I follow the Tigers. While I'm happy that the Jayhawks have added more frontcourt help, Black is not the bruiser that he appears to be. He routinely gets outhustled and outmuscled on the boards. I do think that he has potential to help if Self can find a way to get the most out of him, but I do not expect him to be a star.

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for your input sdallen24. I imagine that Coach Self ran through a lot of scenarios before he signed Black, and one of them probably involved Coach Hudy. She will add any necessary strength and/or bulk and Coach Self and team can probably take care of the hustle problem. If not, he will have a well deserved seat and title of Bench Cheerleader.

Woody Cragg 7 years, 6 months ago

Another small (yeah right) factor involves Bill's boot camp & tearing the guys all the way down to build em back the way he wants them. If they can endure that 2 weeks & still be subserviant/coachable, they're on the right track for coach. Many times the assistants become the liaisons to the kids when the physicality is more than they think they can take. The role of the assistants is tremendously overlook IMO. Another huge reason why I miss Danny Manning. He was steady as a rock, day in & day out.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

I don't know that any of us have illusions of him being a star. Heck, I think we'd be happy if he averaged the 8 pts., 5 Brds. & a Block that he did at Memphis.

I don't think we're just going to have two starters that dominate ALL the minutes in the paint (though Ellis will certainly get the most).

joeloveshawks 7 years, 6 months ago

Ok. Now that the roster is all set, is it for sure someone is going to have to red-shirt? I just can't see all of these guys getting meaningful minutes. I think it is obvious who won't red-shirt...Wiggins, Tharpe, Selden, Black, Lucas (he just did), Ellis, Traylor (already has), Embiid, Wesley.

I really don't think AWIII will either as it may be his year to shine backing up Wiggins. My guess is Mason but I suppose it could be Greene or Frankamp. That would be pretty wild, though. I highly doubt too many kids that are ranked in the top 30-40 coming out of high school take red-shirts.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

Greene's the highest ranked of the 4 you mentioned and brings TOO MUCH to the table - from all accounts could play at least "1" - "3" if not even the "4". Sounds like he could well be one of our top 3 or 4 ballhandlers. Until we see him in person we won't know but it SOUNDS LIKE we could trust him defending moreso than AW III. I think Greene will be the main backup to Wiggins most honestly.

I think if there's even a REMOTE CHANCE of a redshirt it would serve White III most well.

Here's where he'd still play a vital part in the future. If we have as much success as we hope to - Selden COULD actually be an OAD :(. If it turns out that way, Greene slides to be the starting SG in '14/'15 and White III can step right in as the starting SF. He gets all the time he could want to work on his defense this season - heck, he'd probably be guarding Wiggins and/or Greene and/or Ellis in practice.

I have high hopes for him, BUT I think it would be in his best interest to redshirt THIS season.

I honestly would be VERY surprised if it was Mason as we REALLY have no viable backup PG. Frankamp?!?!?!? As if!!!! I think this Mason's one and ONLY turn to REALLY SHOW that he could handle at the VERY LEAST backup PG duties. The following year I have a feeling we're looking at landing a top 30-35 ranked PG in this next Class (Class of '14).

jgkojak 7 years, 6 months ago

GUARDS 1. Tharpe 2. Greene 3. Mason SGs 1. Selden 2. Frankamp SFs 1. Wiggins 2. AW III PFs 1. Ellis 2. Traylor 3. Wesley Cs 1. Black 2. Embiid 3. Lucas

On the one hand, you can see Mason possibly red-shirting. On the other, one injury and we're relying on Evan Manning for some possible late-game minutes.

ParisHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Question for HEM and others who yearned for Randle:

Right now, would you trade Wiggins and Black for Randle, straight up?

Of course we all wanted Randle, and rightly so, but things have worked out pretty darn well without him.

Jeffery Barrett 7 years, 6 months ago at least 1 game next season.

Scott MacWilliams 7 years, 6 months ago

Regarding Black's post-grad development, how much can we expect from Hudy given he's already a senior, and pretty burly?? I have no idea... What if he needs to maybe even lose 10 pounds or so to be a bit quicker, less foul-prone?

Is he a Hudy project or just needs some footwork drills, any ideas out there?

Any way you slice it, he looks like a great addition to a young team. Sounds like he might be a bit like Alonzo Jamison, too. He was fun to watch, and was not one to be trifled with...

Rock Chalk, New Hawks!!

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

All right this is my prognostication:

Tharpe / Mason

Selden / Frankamp

Wiggins / B. Greene / A. White III (Redshirt - no elig. lost)

P. Ellis / Traylor / Wesley (mop-up)

T. Black / Embiid / L. Lucas (given more chances early but might gravitate to mop-up as the season progresses - kind of like White III & R. Adams last season)

Essentially, see us going 9 or 10 deep. Honestly, think of the 10 that I speak of Frankamp might actually be 10th. Him or Mason, if Frankamp shows that HE can actually spell Tharpe.....I'd be surprised if he can do so more adequately than Mason however. Still think there'll be times when we'll want Frankamp's shooting though. I don't think Traylor will really see any MORE minutes than he had last season.

The "5" spot should be interesting to see if Embiid will steal time for Black. I just hope that we get 2 years from Embiid (and not just one) is one of my biggest concerns for the future of the team.

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