Tag: Tarik Black

tarik black

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers helps Kansas senior Tarik Black generate NFL interest

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Kansas senior Tarik Black was a solid frontcourt role player for the Jayhawks last season, as the 6-foot-9, 260-pound forward averaged 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds on 69 percent shooting from the field in 13.5 minutes per game.

Now that he’s exhausted his college eligibility, Black will likely look over his professional basketball options but could the forward be better suited for a potential career in the NFL?

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers thinks that Black should give it a shot.

In an entertaining story from Yahoo‘s Eric Adelson, Rodgers met Black last January after the former NFL MVP attended a Jayhawks game after meeting Kansas head coach Bill Self in an airport.

It just so happens that Black’s favorite NFL team is the Green Bay Packers.

“Green Bay is my favorite team. (Black) told him, ‘Hey, I understand you’re hurt; we need you healthy. We need a championship.’ Then (Rodgers) says, ‘You should help me win it. Come play some tight end.’ So I say, ‘Give me a contract and make it happen.’ ”

Black thought the whole interchange was a joke.

Apparently Rodgers did not.

The Packers passer went to Self and said, “I want to throw balls at him and see what he can do.”

From there, Rodgers threw to Black and came away impressed with his football ability. The two exchanged phone numbers and Black texted Rodgers a month later to see if Aaron was serious about his interest in the forward’s potential football pursuits.

“Just wanted to see if you were serious,” Black wrote.

“I’m definitely interested,” Rodgers wrote back. “If there’s something I can do, let me know.”

Rodgers put Black in touch with a Green Bay Packers scout and the two spoke over the phone. Adelson also notes that three NFL teams have shown interest in Black through his agent Chad Wiestling, including one NBA team that called on behalf of an NFL team from the same city to get Black’s phone number.

Since former college basketball players like Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham have successfully transitioned to NFL tight ends, it’s no surprise that Rodgers is looking for any kind of big red-zone target that he can find.

Could Black potentially play in the NFL? That’s hard to say. Black certainly has the size and strength to give it a shot, but at least he got to catch passes from his favorite team’s quarterback.

Andrew Wiggins, No. 8 Kansas roll past No. 19 Texas

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On February 1 in Austin, Texas No. 8 Kansas didn’t play its best basketball, falling to the Longhorns 81-69 in a game they trailed by as much as 20 early in the second half. The Jayhawks shot just 38.5% from the field as a team and Andrew Wiggins struggled, making just two of his 12 shot attempts. The rematch offered both the Jayhawks as a team and Wiggins individually a shot at redemption, and Bill Self’s team took advantage.

No. 19 Texas may have led 8-5 at the first media timeout but from there it was all Kansas, with the Jayhawks rolling to an 85-54 victory. Kansas was very efficient on offense and they were tough defensively, limiting the Longhorns to 34% shooting on the night. The win puts Kansas three games up on their closest challenger in the Big 12, which in all likelihood means that they’ll win their tenth consecutive Big 12 regular season title.

Kansas went from down three to up 28 by the end of the first half, shooting 63% from the field with Wiggins serving as the catalyst. Wiggins was assertive offensively and it paid off, as he shot 5-for-7 from the field and scored 15 of his game-high 21 points in the first half. As a team Kansas scored 1.39 points per possession in the first half, and given the amount of talent at Bill Self’s disposal they aren’t losing when performing that well offensively.

The contributions came from many players, with reserves Frank Mason and Tarik Black combining to score 23 points off the bench. Mason made six of his seven shots and scored 14 points, and with Naadir Tharpe (five assists) shooting 1-for-9 from the field those points were important. As for Black, his emphatic dunk provided two of the nine points he scored while also grabbing five rebounds in 15 minutes of action.

Given the issues he’s had with foul trouble throughout his career Black won’t be a 30 minute per game player, and given the presence of Perry Ellis and Joel Embiid (13 points, seven rebounds and six blocks) that’s fine. But the senior needs to be productive when on the floor if Kansas is to make a run at a national title, and he was against Texas.

With the number of young players in the rotation there’s still progress to be made in Lawrence. And their two games at Texas are a prime example of what can happen when things click for this group. In the first meeting there were issues on both ends of the floor, especially in regards to the quality of shots they were taking. There were no such problems in the rematch, and the Jayhawks rolled as a result.

Kansas center Joel Embiid on track to play Tuesday at Texas Tech

Joel Embiid
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After not practicing in the days following Kansas’ loss at Kansas State on Monday night, freshman center Joel Embiid did not play in the Jayhawks’ 95-65 win over TCU on Saturday afternoon. With Embiid being a key figure for Kansas, the time off could prove beneficial down the line as the Jayhawks need their big man to be healthy in order to make a run at a national title.

On Sunday Embiid returned to practice, and according to multiple outlets he’s on track to return to game action when the Jayhawks visit Texas Tech on Tuesday night. According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, Self stated that Embiid “should play on Tuesday.”

Without Embiid senior Tarik Black moved into the starting lineup and accounted for seven points and one rebound in nine minutes of action, with foul trouble plaguing the Memphis transfer. The star of Saturday’s decisive victory was Perry Ellis, who finished the game with 32 points (13-for-15 FG), eight rebounds and five assists.

Ellis, averaging 14.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game this season, has averaged 17.3 points and 7.0 rebounds over the last six games for the Jayhawks. Ellis has been one of the Big 12’s most improved players this season, but it can be argued that his progression’s been overlooked in some circles due to the presence of Kansas’ highly-regarded freshmen.