Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tarik Black strong, physical

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

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



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.

The words “big, strong and physical” appeared on the University of Tulsa’s scouting report of former Memphis center Tarik Black last college basketball season.

“It’s pretty much what everybody else is talking about. His physical presence stands out more than anything,” said former Kansas University guard Brett Ballard, second-year assistant coach on Danny Manning’s TU staff. He was referring to Black, the 6-foot-9, 262-pound forward/center, who on Monday announced plans to transfer to KU. Memphis played, and defeated, Tulsa twice during the 2012-13 season.

“He’s not afraid of contact, likes a physical style of play, is not a threat to make any type of outside shot, an average free-throw shooter, good defender who gives them size, strength — a guy who played a lot of minutes at a high level,” Ballard added.

Black, who averaged 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds while coming off the bench in 27 games and starting five his junior season, scored eight points off 2-of-5 shooting (4-for-7 from the line) and grabbed eight boards with two blocks and four fouls while playing 14 minutes in Memphis’ 94-64 victory over the Golden Hurricane on Feb. 2 in Memphis.

Black scored four points off 1-of-2 shooting (2-for-4 from the line) with seven boards and a steal while playing 15 minutes before fouling out of an 85-74 victory over TU in the Conference USA tournament last March in Tulsa.

“Their team was athletic. For us, he wasn’t the focal point,” Ballard said. “We put on there (scouting report), ‘Don’t give him easy baskets. He struggles at the line (44.8 percent last year compared to 58.9 from the field).’ We wanted to make him earn it at the line. He’s a guy we’d help off of on the perimeter. We were not concerned he’d make a shot from 15 feet.

“I felt he was a good rebounder,” Ballard added. “He has good hands and is not afraid to go get the ball. I feel he’ll be a solid rebounder in the Big 12.”

Black is expected to be a stabilizing force for KU’s young frontcourt. It’s possible he will battle freshman Joel Embiid for the starting center spot while supplying senior leadership either as a starter or sixth man.

“He didn’t start for them, so that makes you wonder, were the other guys that much better?” Ballard said. “To say a guy will come in and be a leader just because he’s a senior is not always necessarily the case. I think it depends on his personality how much of a leadership role he’ll have. He’ll provide experience that is valuable. Hopefully he’ll be a good leader to the other guys.”

Black will be immediately eligible to play in games at KU because of a rule that allows transfers to participate without sitting out a year provided they have earned an undergraduate degree. Black recently earned a degree at Memphis in the field of organizational leadership.

Tulsa benefited from the rule last year. Forward Kauri Black transferred from Northeastern to Tulsa for a final season and was an immediate starter, averaging 7.1 points a game.

“It’s sort of a similar situation. He started half the time at Northeastern,” Ballard said. “He knew how to practice hard and how to go through the grind of the season. He started every game and was good for our young big guys.”

Memphis this upcoming season will also benefit from the rule. Coach Josh Pastner has added George Washington senior transfer David Pellum, a 6-8, 220-pound forward who averaged 10.4 points and 6.1 rebounds as a junior in 2011-12. He sat out last season because of a wrist injury.

“It’s the rule,” Memphis coach Pastner told the Journal-World in a phone interview. “If a kid graduates, you are allowed to continue elsewhere. I support Tarik. He got a degree, and that is the important thing.”

This, that: Former KU guard Travis Releford will be participating in a 30-team draft workout today in Brooklyn, ESPN’s Chad Ford reports. ... Ford’s first post-lottery NBA Draft has KU’s Ben McLemore being selected No. 4 overall by Charlotte. Nerlens Noel will be No. 1, Trey Burke 2 and Otto Porter 3, he says. Ford says KU’s Jeff Withey will be taken at No. 22 and become a future teammate of Tyshawn Taylor with the Brooklyn Nets. ... There’s been some discrepancy in the weight of Black. Until summer measurements are taken, KU will now go with 262 pounds, which is Black’s listed weight at Memphis.


bradynsdad 6 years, 10 months ago

So Ben goes from possible number1 to 4th?

Kevin Huffman 6 years, 10 months ago

Ford also said that MAYBE the Magic might take him over Burke at No. 2 though. He wasn't EXTREMELY decisive on that one.

thomc6 6 years, 10 months ago

Order also depends on each team's needs, obviously.

KUFan90 6 years, 10 months ago

A nice, grounded assessment of Black from Ballard. Im glad Black s in the fold, but like everything else, we need to temper our expectations for what he might do.

He has already been anointed "starter", "senior leader", and practically guaranteeing us a trip to the Final Four. Lets give him a chance to show us what he's got first.

Certainly lots of "potential" on this team for next year which should make it a fun ride!

kellerman411 6 years, 10 months ago

Ben got screwed by the lottery last night. Cleveland already has some nice pieces on the perimeter. If they keep the pick, it's Nerlens all day. Hopefully they trade to Orlando then maybe Ben has a shot.

KemDooKU 6 years, 10 months ago

Ben is making Millions either way so 1st, 2nd, 4th who cares - the second contract is what all these guys getting drafted should look forward to-

FarSideHawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Although I would love for Ben to go #1, I would be equally happy if he goes to Orlando and plays for my all-time favorite Jayhawk - Jacque Vaughn.

Phil Leister 6 years, 10 months ago

The 3 year difference between being selected number 1 and 2 is 1.5 million dollars. Nothing to sneeze at.

craigers 6 years, 10 months ago

I would much rather have Ben go to a place that needs him and he can be successful. I wouldn't want him drafted #1 just to play behind other players.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 10 months ago

Something that every governmental administration in U.S. history has strived for..and never quite attained!! :)

Tony Bandle 6 years, 10 months ago

Normally, I would agree with all of the above posts, HOWEVER, since Andrew has put us in the fight with UK for the best draft classes, having two consecutive #1 picks would be huge for Kansas...especially since the current favorite at #1 is a UK guy.

Still, when it's all said and done, I too wish for Ben to land in the best stiuation possible for his career and his future.

JayHok 6 years, 10 months ago

Note to Cleveland GM. Research the Sam Bowie pick.

Bob Bailey 6 years, 10 months ago

Have been an advocate of 'muscle memory' in shooting free throws. If our coaches take it to heart, Black could be elevated to 75-80%. Scooter Barry confirmed it. Fairly simple to 'teach'. Close your eyes and rely on muscle memory!

Ann Oneill 6 years, 10 months ago

Putting up 1000 a day works if you have the right shooting technique. Hopefully someone from the coaching staff can correct his shot and he'll improve.

Ryan Zimmerman 6 years, 10 months ago

or just have Self not play him the last 3 minutes of a tight game...avoid the trips to the stripe

Tim Orel 6 years, 10 months ago

I'd like to see him put that "Organizational Leadership" degree to some use. Just from the title, I'd like to think he'd be a good leader for this team, but I'm wondering how he will blend in. Any word on what classes he'll be taking? Will he be a graduate student, or will he just be taking classes that don't lead to a degree. Having taken graduate courses, they're rather different than undergraduate classes in that they require quite a bit more reading and writing.

KemDooKU 6 years, 10 months ago

I wish EJ was using his muscle memory near the end of the KU - Michigan game! Oh I hate bringing up painful memories-

FearlessJayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Black can be just what the doctor ordered when it's crunch time and we need someone who won't be afraid to rattle the cage of some players. I hope he can reach his potential in time.

Todd Mobray 6 years, 10 months ago

Just remember, Kevin Young's old coaches at LMU didn't think they had a player that could contribute at school like KU and our coaching staff utilized/coached him into being a starter. Except for Elijah's regression or mis-positioning last year, you dont see too many player regress under Self's staff from all conference to non-starter.

It could have been recruiting, attitude, or lack of coaching at Memphis that led to that fall for Black, but two of the most highly respected coaches in the game thought it was worth risking a one year scholarship on Black.

Based on Self's history, I predict Traylor will start with Tharpe, Ellis, Seldon and Wiggins. He will hope that: 1. Black and/or Embiid can develop into starters over Traylor as the year goes on like Jackson did over Kaun. 2. Black and/or Embiid can have a late season emergence like Ellis did last season. 3. Black and/or Embiid can contribute a surprise half in a big game like Aldrich did in 2008 vs. UNC.

Joe Ross 6 years, 10 months ago

With much respect...

You can't call Elijah's down year as regression. He was thrust into playing a position that was not where he naturally fit, and he was not comfortable there. Self had no one else he could rely on to play that position so Elijah got stuck playing it. That can NOT be construed as regression. To your credit, I like your use of the word "mis-positioning", because it is appropriate in his case.

Secondly, don't underestimate Traylor this year. Inch for inch he has more athleticism than either Black or Embiid. Can four big men--Ellis, Black, Embiid, and Traylor--share two positions (Lucas will get the benefit of being brought along slowly in the style of Jackson, Kaun, Aldrich, Withey and others)? Gosh that's a lot of subs but Self kind of did it in '08 with Arthur, Jackson, Aldrich and Kaun. They will all stay fresh and, hopefully, out of foul trouble. My point is that in Self's system there is no real advantage or added benefit to starting because they will all get used and are all necessary.

Todd Mobray 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree with everything you said jross. I imagine Traylor will start and stay there if he can contribute at all offensively and not get into foul trouble, but even if he doesn't Black seems to offer almost the same skill set.

When Traylor is plugged in, he is a beast. I think if we had a down recruiting year this year, the focus may have been on Ellis and Tharpe staying steady and Traylor needing to make a TRob-like leap in order for us to compete for a league title.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 10 months ago

jross .. respect as well. But tell me, what "skill" do you see in Traylor. Athleticism is one thing. But he is one player that made no real improvement from the first game to the last. I posted that a while back with many replies, but the only improvement anyone could note was his free throw shooting. Skill wins the day in this game. Embiid is a package of "skills" .. can't wait to see that kid progress.

But to your point on Lucas (which is a good one) .. and I think it applies to Traylor .. patience. Self, I am now dead sure, felt Traylor was not ready to be a key part of the rotation. Thus the pursuit of Black. Traylor will likely play the 8 mpg role he did last season.

I hate to always harp on rankings, but Traylor and Lucas are much different than Jackson, Kaun, Aldrich, and Withey -- the latter 4 were all basically top 50 (Jackson the lowest at #54). But that doesn't mean they can't be very good players by their junior and senior seasons.

Jeremy Wilhelm 6 years, 10 months ago

I think people that are high on Traylor believe that his athleticism, combined with his short exposure to the game make him a prime candidate to make a huge leap; the thinking may be that he just needs the reps and his skills will come up to meet the level of his physical gifts. Maybe that's a stretch to believe, but I think that is what people may be seeing/hoping for.

Benz Junque 6 years, 10 months ago

It was a regression simply because a senior who has played 4 years should not have been making such boneheaded decisions, regardless of what position they were asked to play. EJ made freshman mistakes a LOT. That has nothing to do with playing out of position. It was an issue of concentration and effort.

wrwlumpy 6 years, 10 months ago

This came out a few days before Black transferred. I thought this was an insightful article about this years starting lineup and who will play. Seldon is a combo guard with ball handling skills equal to Tharpe's and equal ability in penetration, however, Wayne is gigantic with the passing skills that remind you of Magic. Watch...

Ron Franklin 6 years, 10 months ago

All Black needs to do is set big, strong, wide-based screens for Tharpe and Wiggins to get a step on their guy. That's his role and hopefully 8-10 boards would be icing.

Joe Ross 6 years, 10 months ago

The negative responses re: Tarik Black on other articles surprises me.

Trust're gonna WANT that COWBELL!

DanR 6 years, 10 months ago

Why the surprise about the negatives? Some people have seen him play. I lived in TN for a decade and follow MU and the Vols, and you can't find one Memphis fan sorry to see him leave... and he's a hometown kid.

Seriously, go find some Memphis games on ESPN3 and watch him. He's just not that good... isn't a banger, doesn't hustle. He's a game changer for the wrong direction, a foul machine, and--being a 45% free throw shooter--he's a liability on the floor at any point in the game which is why he didn't start and was used when games weren't on the line. I just hope he doesn't drag the rest of the team down.

The hype and expectations are kind of funny though. We'll see.

REHawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Trust me, DanR, no one player on a Bill Self team will continue to "drag the rest of the team down." Tarik is being offered a golden spoon in his final season of Division One play. If he fails to make the very best of what Kansas Athletics has to offer, that spoon will be ground into a highpowered garbage disposal. I trust in Bill Self to resurrect Tarik's potential. If Tarik chooses to play in Lawrence as he did last year in Memphis, then his game minutes will gradually, if not hastily, evaporate. That said, Kansas Hoops is a very different game than Memphis Hoops. Tarik has grasped an opportunity to leave college basketball in memorable style. Essential role playing minutes are his to lose. Bill Self will not overextend his patience to coddle a senior player who espouses poor effort or weak leadership. Soon, we shall see how hungry he is to fit into a major winning program. I'm betting that Tarik will rise to the occasion.

Benz Junque 6 years, 10 months ago

Perry Ellis was first big off the bench last eyar and gave us 6ppg and 4rpg. I can 100% guarantee that Black will be better than that and that's all we need. He is also a very good offensive rebounder, an area where KU has been very weak in recent years.

I fully expect that a season spend working with Coach Andrea Hudy will have Black in the best shape of his college life by the time the ncaa tourney gets here. I wouldn't be at all shocked to see him drop 20 pounds by then.

There were times where when we brought a big off the bench in to sub for Withey or Young that there was a complete lack of any productivity. All Black is being asked to do is to be better than that and to bang shoulders with the youngsters in practice to toughen them up a bit. Ellis played too soft last year, so I look for Black to be a key part of changing that. Going against wafer thin Young last year wasn't exactly forcing Ellis to learn to be strong with the ball, with his positioning and with his moves to the rim. Try that weak-a$$ stuff on Black in practice and Ellis will get plowed into the wall.

TMJhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

There's no doubt a big horse like Black can save a game once on a while. I remember Venon Vanoy in the mid 60's. It wasn't always pretty but he could terrorize an opposing team. Black has a higher skill set as well as the muscle

Michael Lindsey 6 years, 10 months ago

TMJhawk, you sparked an old memory. When I was at KU, a friend said she needed another player for a co-ed volleyball game. I volunteered thinking it would be a breeze. My biggest recollection is being across the net from Vernon Vanoy and you wanna talk about being spiked? Lemme tell you I think the ball bounced off my head and hit the ceiling in old Robinson a few times.

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

There's a name I hadn't heard for a while ! (Vernon, actually). He was a beast !

Tony Bandle 6 years, 10 months ago

Worst decision ever to go play football..if you remember, he was named the Big Eight Basketball Sophomore of the Year. Never was the same after joining the football team and never really excelled in either sport!!

JJHAWK 6 years, 10 months ago

I remember the chant well. It rang thoughout the field house.

"Kill Vernon Kill. Kill Vernon Kill." And he was big enough to do it. In todays age not politically correct but sure was fun then!

JayHok 6 years, 10 months ago

Duke fans are not very happy with Self right now. Coach K is not happy either. He got so mad yesterday he agreed to be the USA olympic coach even though it exhausts him during the regular season.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 10 months ago

Any day you can simultaneously piss off Duke, UK and North Carolina fans is a good day indeed!! If you can add in K-State fans, it gets upgraded to a "great day"!!!

Jack Wilson 6 years, 10 months ago

Mizzou .. marching toward the destiny that defines their athletic department. That coveted women's softball title. Grrrrr .. Tigers!

eric poncharello 6 years, 10 months ago

Black will have to earn his playing time. I don't like the fact he quit on his team during practices, although I know Richard Scott would leave basketball practices sitting in the hallway of Allenfield house sulking, but, he would always go back.

Jonathan Even 6 years, 10 months ago

These next couple years is going to show exactly how well KU can develop big men without Danny Manning. The level of talent is all over the place with NBA expectations and project role players. Jeff Withey and Kevin Young continued to exceed expectations this past year. Ellis didn't play well til the post season but I think we can all conclude that we had unreasonably high hopes for him.

I think we will continue to see post players closing in on their potential under Bill Self. Five reasons: strength and conditioning program, expectations and demands to be better, work harder; coaching experience (with an assist from Danny for 8 years), toughness, and the high low system.

And Wiggins and Selden will also be fun to watch.

monkeehawkSL8 6 years, 10 months ago

Conner F will be spending time with Tarik @ the free throw line daily. Tarik will develop a perfect stroke and by years end will shoot above 75%, ice in his veins. He may become so good that he will chosen to shoot tech's. ( on seniors night )

I hope that this remarkable team that has been built develops a bond that surpasses
08'. I hope they take care of each other, hold each other accountable and set a new bar in being coach able. I hope that every athlete in the nation in any sport thinks " I want to have what the Jayhawks have".


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