Tarik Black Transfers to Kansas


Mar 23, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Memphis Tigers forward

Tarik Black

(10) dunks the ball in the second half against the Michigan State Spartans during the third round of the NCAA basketball tournament at The Palace. Michigan State won 70-48. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

One week after the commitment of Andrew Wiggins to Kansas, Bill Self has added Memphis transfer Tarik Black, according to CBS Sports Jeff Goodman. NCAA rule allows Black to play in the 2013-2014 because he has completed his degree at Memphis and will be working towards a masters degree.

A 6-9, 262 pound power forward, Black averaged 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game in his final year at Memphis. He was ranked 54th overall and the seventh best center in the nation when he was recruited in 2010. He had received offers from Florida, Tennessee, Marquette, and Alabama.

“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,” Self said in a statement released by KU.

“Tarik has played in a ton of big games and certainly has had good experience at Memphis. He’s used to winning and can help us in both of our big positions. He can play the four and the five 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’s commitment means several things for Kansas next season. First, Black can start right off the bat to give Joel Embiid some time to make the necessary adjustments to the college game. Once Embiid is ready, Black will fall into the interior rotation and provide Jamari Traylor and Landen Lucas cushion to develop while serving as the primary backup to Perry Ellis and Embiid. Kansas now has a front-court rotation that consists of Ellis, Black, Embiid, Traylor, Lucas, and Justin Wesley, which leads one to wonder if a redshirt is in order for one of KU’s big men.

In a span of a week Kansas has leaped from being a fringe top 25 team to a top 5 team who will be a favorite to make the Final Four. This is due to both the Wiggins and Black commitments. While Wiggins will provide the “alpha dog” star Kansas was missing, Black will provide the experience and depth the Jayhawks did not have after loosing all five starters from last years team. Fans can probably expect to see a season opening lineup of Wiggins, Black, Ellis, Wayne Selden, and Naadir Tharpe with a second team that includes Embiid, Conner Frankamp, Andrew White, Traylor and Lucus. The hope would be that Embiid would replace Black as the starter by conference season and Frankamp would see increased minutes as the point guard as the season goes on.

Not too bad for a rebuilding year, eh?