Kansas defeats Texas Tech, 82-57

  • 7 p.m., March 5, 2014
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Center stage: Tarik Black controls paint in Senior Night rout of Texas Tech

Kansas players huddle together celebrating the programs' tenth-straight conference title following their 82-57 win over Texas Tech on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas players huddle together celebrating the programs' tenth-straight conference title following their 82-57 win over Texas Tech on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self on celebrating KU's seniors and the Big 12 title

Bill Self on celebrating KU's seniors and the Big 12 title

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Tarik Black, Andrew Wiggins and Naadir Tharpe discuss home finale, where Jayhawks go from here

Kansas basketball players Tarik Black, Andrew Wiggins and Naadir Tharpe discuss their home finale, and where the Jayhawks go from here, after defeating Texas Tech, 82-57, on Senior Night, which doubled as the final home game for one-and-done freshman Wiggins.

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Box score

Tarik Black’s Senior Night at Kansas University truly couldn’t have been scripted any better — or gone any better.

Black, a 6-foot-9, 260-pound transfer from Memphis, went a perfect 9-for-9 from the field and finished with a KU career-high 19 points in the Jayhawks’ 82-57 annihilation of Texas Tech in Allen Fieldhouse.

“Tonight ... to want anything more would be ungrateful,” said Black, who gave an 11-minute speech after the game while wearing a “10 straight” Big 12 title T-shirt. “The way the night ended ... we won by almost 30. I had a great game. The team had a great game. It wasn’t a struggle. I can’t ask for more.”

Black, now KU's starting center with freshman Joel Embiid resting a strained back, was able to bask in the glow with 15 minutes left, flexing his muscles at the free throw line for the fans after dropping in his seventh hoop of the night in as many tries.

“That’s the way we practice every day,” said Black, who also grabbed six rebounds in 27 minutes. He was seven points off his career high of 26 points in a game against UTEP last season at Memphis.

“Some practices I rebound some. Some practices I get steals. Some practices I score. I got a couple more minutes tonight (in replacing the injured Joel Embiid). It was one of those nights it just clicked for me.”

Black had a great game with his mom, Judith in the stands. He scored 17 points against Georgetown when she was in Lawrence right before Christmas.

“She’ll definitely be following me the next month. I’m speaking for her without asking her,” Black said with a smile. “It’s what I’m used to. Back home (in Memphis) she’d be in the stands. She’d give me advice. It was the same tonight. When we were walking out she was talking to me. I’m so confident having her around.”

Junior Naadir Tharpe, who had 16 points off 4-of-7 shooting (3-for-6 from three) was impressed with the pivot’s play.

“Nice, nice,” Tharpe said of Black’s effort. “He went out with a bang. He puts in time every day in practice, even when he’s not having a good day. He had a great game.”

KU coach Bill Self praised Black in introducing him to the 16,300 fans after the contest.

“He’s not only a great guy, but did he play well tonight?” Self asked the fans before handing the microphone to Black, who reiterated in his speech how “blessed” he is to be playing one season at KU.

“Tarik was good; I thought it was the most aggressive he’s been all year as far as looking to score,” Self told the media. “Making post moves in there ... they came to trap some. He played very, very well.”

Noted Black: “I just can’t believe it’s over, not the season but the regular-season (home) games. I have played four seasons and it has been a long road leading up to this point, but now it is here. I can’t come back and do Boot Camp. I can’t come back and win conference again. I can’t come back and play those big-time non-conference games. It hasn’t hit me as much as it will in the near future, but it is just puzzling to me right now because it seems like just yesterday I was beginning my college career.”

KU senior Niko Roberts missed a deep shot from the corner in the first three minutes of the game, and finished 0-for-2 from the field, but did can a free throw in the late going to finish with a point in six minutes. Senior Justin Wesley had a block and two fouls while missing three shots in nine minutes.

“It was kind of Tarik’s night, really,” Self said. “He was great and Niko did a good job and Justin played well when they were in there. There were a lot of good things that happened tonight, but more importantly than anything else, the love affair between our fans and players. That was so evident with everybody sticking around to hear these guys talk afterward. It’s always a special night on Senior Night, but it’s a night these cats will remember the rest of their lives.”

The players wore Big 12 title T-shirts and hats after the game and 10 Big 12 title trophies were on the court as backdrop for the speeches.

“No celebration after that game (at Oklahoma State Saturday) because we can’t celebrate after a loss,” Tharpe said. “It was better for it to happen here anyway. To be able to win it here for the seniors, for the fans and everybody to see us wearing our hats, it was great to able to celebrate here at home.”

KU will meet West Virginia in the regular-season finale at 11 a.m., Saturday, in Morgantown, W.V.


Scott MacWilliams 8 years, 3 months ago

What a great game for the seniors!! Too bad we only had Tarik for one year, and I hope he finds a spot in the NBA, or maybe the NFL, as some have suggested. A guy with that much strength and quickness will end up somewhere good. And now he's got his Masters degree, too! What a great story.
Time to reset for West Virgina, (They WILL be tough) and then on to Tourney Time!!


Walter Bridges 8 years, 3 months ago

That's why he could transfer and play immediately... Graduate Memphis and choose a Master's Degree NOT offered by Memphis.


Kevin Jenkins 8 years, 3 months ago

Great job Tarik fantastic last home game. On another note Is Self's son still on the team, I'VE been out of the loop for so long. Just wondering why Tyler isn't playing.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 3 months ago

Tyler was the one in the boot next to Jo at the end of the bench.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 3 months ago

He was injured prior to the start of the season, and decided to redshirt this season. Had foot surgery I'd guess about 3 weeks or a month ago now.

Steve Zimmerman 8 years, 3 months ago

Black owns coach Tubby's nub!! What a night to remember for Tarik & KU nation. Rock Chalk, indeed!!!

Bryce Landon 8 years, 3 months ago

Not only did Tarik Black have the best game of the night, he had the best Senior Speech. He was as much a pleasure to listen to as he was to watch play.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Now let's go take care of business against West Virginia!

Beau Woolsey 8 years, 3 months ago

I would love to see more of A Tarik/Embiid front court lineup. It's been broken out a few times and it's deffinatly intimidating. That's an NBA size front court that few teams could match up against.

Ben Kane 8 years, 3 months ago

does anyone have a link to the speeches?

Len Shaffer 8 years, 3 months ago

Beautiful, just beautiful. What a great way for Tarik to end his one year at KU. At the risk of nauseating people with a cliche, it's great when good things happen to good people.

It'll be interesting to see how much of a let down the team has at WV, as it's hard to imagine them getting too fired up for that game.

Regardless of what happens on Saturday, let's hope that Tarik's great game can inspire him to keep playing at that level in the tournament.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 3 months ago

Loved watching Tarik go to work last night. He played about as well as I could have imagined. Yesterday I mentioned how he can muscle his way in for an easy layup or baby hook shot and he played that game with ease last night. He doesn't have the face up game or the mid range game that Embiid has, but with his size and skills, he doesn't need it. And if he can make free throws with some consistency and defend without fouling, then there's even less drop-off with Embiid out than I'd imagined.

The only thing that we missed last night with Embiid on the bench was the "gunslinger" celebration!

Joe Baker 8 years, 3 months ago

I hope recruits and their parents hear the mature words of a good basketball player who just completed his master's degree and had a great game. Tarik said, "...he (Self) teaches on and off the court. He teaches you basketball and about life." This is huge. How many top coaches, in top programs can say they "teach" on and off the court? Very precious few. We all know the program and coach that actually said, "my job is get them (players), ready for the NBA." It sounds good to a point, but if I were a parent, I'd want to know if the coach cares about my son as a person too. I don't hear too many coaches except maybe Coach K that offers them life lesson off the court too. I just don't hear too many players say that about their coaches. It takes a great coach to teach kids quality lessons off the court too. Life is more than about bball; parents and recruits need to embrace that concept.

LIsten to Wiggins and Black. They weren't here but for less than a year. You'd think they were here four plus years the way they discuss the program. I find it fascinating that most kids come through KU's bball program and leave with a different perspective than most other players from other programs. Look at where Tarik was at Memphis and his issues. Then take a look at him now, listen to him. It's amazing. He and Pastner had a less than positive relationship. Self changed Tarik's life both directly and indirectly. This is the stuff that gets overlooked with recruiting. I would dare say that kids leave other programs with less of an experience than when they came into the program.

It reminds me of the scene in Jerry Maguire when the high profile player saw Maguire and Tidwell hugging at a special life moment in his career. The observing player (Drew Bledsoe) asked Bob Sugar why they didn't have a relationship like Maguire and Tidwell, only to have Sugar try to hug him toward the end of the movie, and the player rejected him as if it were too late. This is what is missing in the ncaa programs, the QUAN, haha. Seriously, Self has a great relationship that is unique to these players and it shows too.

Ben Kane 8 years, 3 months ago

i like the movie reference analogy. I think it is a bit naive to think that there aren't parents out there that are just as hungry for the NBA as their sons and couldn't care less about 'life lessons'.

Joe Baker 8 years, 3 months ago

Enjoy the win guys and then focus on WVU. One game at a time.


Benz Junque 8 years, 3 months ago

I truly believe that the game plan highlighted just how much respect Coach Self has for Tarik Black for what he has done for this team. He kept running plays to him to make sure he had the opportunity to do something special on what was "his night".

I have so much respect and admiration for what Tarik has done here at Kansas this year. Things started out bumpy on the court for him but from all I have heard he never wavered in his drive to be a great teammate and a great leader. He took Embiid under his wing and really pushed him to do things the right way.

Maybe when Black's career is over he can come back to Kansas as a big man coach. He seems to be an eloquent and motivational speaker and has a great rapport with all of the players. And from all of the radio interviews I have heard with him, he has a great ability to explain complicated details in plain, easy to understand terms. He is a very impressive young man and I am thrilled we got the opportunity to have him on this team. He has been a tremendous asset. I hope he is able to lead Kansas to a few more trophy-raising celebrations!

Tony Bandle 8 years, 3 months ago


1] Texas Tech had the look of a group facing a firing squad...turning point in the game.... when TT got off the bus and didn't turn around and drive back to Texas.

2] Saturday won't be quite as easy but keep feeding the post, hitting the jumpers and play tough D and we'll be all right.

3] Interestingly enough, it appears Oklahoma State will be our probable first game opponent in Kansas City on Thursday...payback, anyone???!!

4] I was pleased to see us break 80..I figured at 72 with 6 minutes left and the reserves in, we would not make it.

5] Was Charlie just a tad nervous to see Harbaugh in the house???

6] Trivia Question: Who was the last team to beat us on Senior Night?....Hint, they wore red and became our personal whipping boy for decades.

7] Andrew, though not truly ready for the NBA, is a lot more ready than most OAD' luck would have it, the team of his choice which usually sucks, the Toronto Raptors, just happen to be in first place this year and have zero chance of drafting him.

8] Tarik, thanks for your heart, your passion and your can pitch all that Memphis Paraphanalia because you will always be a Jayhawk!!

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 3 months ago

Tarik, can but won't pitch the Memphis paraphrenalia, he will also always be a Memphis Tiger with a Bachelor's degree to prove it.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 3 months ago

I once was a transfer student myself, and while I will always be and will always identify myself as a Jayhawk, I still reserve a certain amount of pride from freshman year spent as a Pittsburg State Gorilla.

Luca Rossi 8 years, 3 months ago

RockkChalkk Thoughts:

1) Harbaugh AND McCarthy in the house last night. Coincidence??? I think not. Tarik has a lot of paths he can choose once his days at KU are over, his future is bright with every one of them.

2) When AW3 entered the game I realized that at that moment, I had forgotten that he was on the team. Everyone else had minutes in the game and he didn't get in until the very end. Its clear the writing is on the wall but I'd love to know what really happened. I noticed he isn't in the photo above with everyone celebrating. Then noticed he isn't in ANY of the photos. Playing time may be the biggest issue, but I'm beginning to wonder if there are other issues too, perhaps with the social side and/or meshing with teammates. However things shake out, wish him the best.

3) Hoping the hawks spoil WVU's senior night and carry some strong momentum into season #3. RCJHKU!

Tony Bandle 8 years, 3 months ago

1] Luca..GREAT POINT. With Jo Jo out, it was a guarantee that Tarik would get a real Senior Night Game of extended minutes, thus giving the coaches a real look at his "potential football athleticism".

2] Something tells me Jo Jo will be back but we may need a third schollie somewhere, so...........

3] I totally agree but it will be WV Senior Lunch Hour..11:00 CST start time.

Ben Kane 8 years, 3 months ago

  1. yes, tip of the cap to Self on that one.

  2. i don't know what it is but i guarantee it isn't meshing with teammates. it saddens me because i had high hopes for his career at ku and it just doesn't look likely that he will be back.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 3 months ago

Harbaugh's wife is from the KC area and her family is supposedly big KU supporters so I don't think Harbaugh being there is anything more him visiting his wife's family and taking in a game.

Mike McCarthy went Baker so he's spent time in the area as well, but with him visiting after Aaron Rodgers took in a game earlier this season, there could be something to it. We'll have to wait see, but there may be some interest in NFL circles around Black.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 3 months ago

Man, its cool to speculate Tarik-Black-to-NFL, but I've never heard or read anything ever about him as a football player. Did he play football in high-school? Has he ever said anything about the NFL? (We know Self joked about it 2wks ago, but the only thing Black ever said was he hopes he can play in the NBA).

Tarik just needs to "take over" 4-5 games out of our next "9" (score 15+), and NBA scouts will definitely look at him, as he is a slightly bigger version of Darnell Jackson, with a bit more scoring ability. I'm hoping BigTarik is a 2nd round pick for someone, what an awesome person--got my fingers crossed for his success. RCJH, Tarik! Use this KU limelight/free publicity to your advantage whenever you get in the game. Absolutely relentless hustle for just 4-5 more games will make everybody take notice...

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