Black graduates, chooses Kansas over Duke in second recruitment
Duke’s frontcourt rotation for next season will not include 6-9 center Tarik Black.
A former Memphis player who had been considering a transfer to the Blue Devils, Black signed with Kansas on Monday.
Since he had received his undergraduate degree from Memphis, Black is eligible to play immediately in the upcoming season. In addition to Kansas, Black had visited Duke, Oregon and Georgetown.
Duke’s coaching staff, including head coach Mike Krzyzewski, visited Black at his Memphis home in April.
Black is the second major addition to the Jayhawks roster this month. Last week, Kansas signed Andrew Wiggins, a 6-7 guard considered the nation’s top incoming freshman.
Duke, coming off a 30-6 record and an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance, had sought Black to add depth on the interior. Duke’s top post player, All-ACC center Mason Plumlee, has graduated and is projected as a first-round pick in next month’s NBA draft.
Without Black, the Blue Devils will count on 6-8 sophomore Amile Jefferson, 6-7 senior Josh Hairston and Mason Plumlee’s brother, 6-11 redshirt sophomore Marshall Plumlee.
Two of those players, Marshall Plumlee and Josh Hairston, are recovering from off-season surgeries.
Plumlee, hampered by a stress fracture in his left foot, had surgery to repair it last month. He still has one to two more months of recovery time ahead of time, which means his summer work will be severely limited.
Hairston suffered ligament damage in his right thumb during the season, but it didn’t cause him to miss any games. He had surgery last week and has five to seven more weeks of recovery time ahead of him.
Hairston and Jefferson received the most playing time for Duke last season. When senior forward Ryan Kelly was out two months with a broken foot, they split time starting in his position.
Hairston averaged 2.6 points and 2.1 rebounds a game, playing in 35 games with six starts. He led Duke by drawing 21 charging fouls against opposing players.
As a true freshman, Jefferson played in 32 games with seven starts. He averaged 4.0 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
A slender post player who weighed 195 pounds this past season, Jefferson’s athleticism is expected to fit in well with the up-tempo style Duke plans to utilize this season.
Slowed by his foot injury, Plumlee played in 19 games averaging 0.1 points and 0.6 rebounds a game.
The Blue Devils will count on incoming freshman Jabari Parker, a 6-8 forward, is also known as a superior athletic player. He comes to Duke with the ability to score inside as well as on the perimeter.
The Blue Devils will also have 6-8 forward Rodney Hood available. Hood sat out the 2012-13 season as a transfer after playing his freshman season at Mississippi State.
Duke returns its starting backcourt of junior point guard Quinn Cook and sophomore shooting guard Rasheed Sulaimon.
Just because Black picked Kansas doesn’t mean Duke won’t see him on the court this season.
Both expected to be ranked among the nation’s top five teams, Duke and Kansas face each other Nov. 12 in the Champions Classic doubleheader at Chicago’s United Center. The second game that night will feature Kentucky and Michigan State.
Kansas coach Bill Self said Monday that Black has the skill and experience to help his team in the post.
“Tarik has played in a ton of big games and certainly has had good experience at Memphis,” Self said. “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.”