Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ex-Jayhawk Black signs two-year deal with Rockets

Kansas center Tarik Black drives to the basket through defenders during the Jayhawks win against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels Friday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

Kansas center Tarik Black drives to the basket through defenders during the Jayhawks win against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels Friday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.


Basketball notebook. ...

Former Kansas University center Tarik Black has signed a two-year, partially guaranteed contract with the NBA’s Houston Rockets, the Houston Chronicle reported on Wednesday night.

The team earlier issued a news release that did not indicate the length or monetary terms of the deal.

Rockets beat writer Jonathan Feigen of the Chronicle indicated on Twitter there was “a small amount (of money) guaranteed on a two-year deal.”

Feigen added: “He’ll obviously be a longshot to make team, but could be a good RGV prospect.” RGV is Rio Grande Valley of the NBA Developmental League.

Playing five games with the Rockets at the 2014 Orlando Summer League, Black averaged 10.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 20.0 minutes per game. Black also averaged 4.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in 16.0 minutes a game in eight games for Houston in the Las Vegas Summer League.

“Just woke up and found I can put it out that I have signed with the Houston Rockets. All glory be to God. An awesome organization #LetsWork,” Black wrote on Twitter on Wednesday night.

New Rivals rankings: KU recruiting targets Jaylen Brown and Malik Newman had their No. 2 and 3 Class of 2015 rankings flip-flopped in’s new list of the top 150 high school senior players.

Brown, a 6-7, 200-pound senior 6-7 small forward from Wheeler High in Marietta, Georgia, who will be attending the Oct. 10 Late Night in the Phog, jumped a spot from No. 3 to No. 2. Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, Georgia, Georgia Tech and others are on his current list of schools.

Newman, a 6-3 shooting guard from Callaway High in Jackson, Mississippi, fell one spot to No. 3. He actually had a great summer, earning MVP honors for USA Basketball’s gold-medal winning Under 17 world championship team. He’s considering KU, Kentucky, UConn, Texas A&M;, Mississippi State and many others.

As far as some other players who are considering KU ...

— Diamond Stone, a 6-10 center from Dominican High in Milwaukee, jumped from No. 6 to 5.

— Cheick Diallo, a 6-9 forward from Our Savior New American in Centereach, New York, fell from No. 5 to 6. He’ll be visiting KU on Sept. 19-21.

— Ivan Rabb, a 6-9 forward from Bishop O’Dowd in Oakland, fell from No. 4 to 7.

— Stephen Zimmerman, a 7-footer from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, who will be attending Late Night, fell from No. 7 to 10.

— Late Night visitor Carlton Bragg, a 6-9 forward from Villa Angela St. Joseph in Cleveland, fell from No. 9 to No. 14.

— Jalen Brunson, a 6-1 point guard from Stevenson High in Lincolnshire, Illinois, stayed at No. 15.

— Brandon Ingram, a 6-8 forward from Kinston (North Carolina) High, who will attend Late Night, improved seven spots — to No. 18 from No. 25.

— Late Night visitor Tyler Dorsey, a 6-4 combo guard from Maranatha High in Pasadena, California fell to No. 19 from No. 18.

— Caleb Swanigan, a 6-8 forward from Homestead High in Fort Wayne, Indiana, improved to No. 16 from No. 20.

Meanwhile, Ben Simmons, a 6-8 forward from Montverde (Florida) Academy, and originally from Australia, remains the No. 1 player in the class. He’s committed to LSU.

“Simmons is very versatile. He has the strength to post up and score on the low block and the skill to step out and make jump shots out to the 3-point line,” writes Eric Bossi of “He is a fine passer, good ball handler and remarkably consistent. At the highest level of basketball, Simmons is currently a bit of a tweener because he lacks prototypical size and length for a power forward and isn’t a ridiculous wing athlete. But he is highly skilled, works hard and has earned his status as the top player in his class.”

Twins tattoos: Marcus and Markieff Morris of the Phoenix Suns are letting fans pick their next tattoo. They have three options that fans can vote for with the hashtags #Dogs, #GMA and #FOE on Twitter. Take a look at the tattoos at our All Eyes on KU blog.


Jack Jones 3 years, 7 months ago

That's terrific news about Tarik. All any of us can ask is for the opportunity ~ and he has created that opportunity for himself with his performance up to this point. Well done, Tarik ~ and very best wishes going forward.

Martin Rosenblum 3 years, 7 months ago

Watched him in several games in Vegas last month. He had the most hustle and intensity of any other player on his team, regardless of the lineups. He was usually the first to be on the floor and was very animated during timeouts. He tried to become involved in plays down low as well as in the open court. I can see why Houston is giving him a chance.

Aaron Paisley 3 years, 7 months ago

Tarik played pretty well in the summer league. I didn't think he was going to make the team after the Chris Bosh deal fell through. I do think Black will primarily be a D-League player until the Rockets trade Terrance Jones at some point.

Chris Bruning 3 years, 7 months ago

A true definition of hard work pays off! Congrats Tarik!!

Jack Wilson 3 years, 7 months ago

Tarik is one of those guys that it would have been nice to have from day one.

Suzi Marshall 3 years, 7 months ago

He sure would have been. The guy is first class all the way. Many of us Houston area 'Hawks were all over the Rockets to sign Black, especially after his strong summer showing.

Mike Riches 3 years, 7 months ago

Something tells me Tarik would agree with you.

Suzi Marshall 3 years, 7 months ago


When referring to guys like Pierce, their last year of play should be after their name...i.e. Jayhawk Pierce ('98), Wiggins ('14)/

Kit Duncan 3 years, 7 months ago

There are no (ex)-Jayhawks. Once a Jayhawk always a Jayhawk!

Len Shaffer 3 years, 7 months ago

There are very few Jayhawks who I've rooted for harder than Tarik. It would be so great to see him make the team.

Kevin Whelan 3 years, 7 months ago

Way to go Tarik! My wife and I really enjoyed following you at KU last year. Nobody had more hustle than you did! Hoping all goes well for you in Houston. Hope you have fun! You'll be successful at whatever you do. When you return to Memphis, I know you'll be a great example and mentor for young people, whether it be coaching or other endeavors. I remember you eventually wanted to go back to Memphis and be involved in working with youth. God bless you and all you do. We look forward to watching your progress with the Rockets.

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