6'9" Tarik Black will be graduating this spring after 3 years at the University of Memphis. He is looking to transfer with 1 year of immediate eligibility.
A Big Man mercenary with major college experience seems like a wonderful thing for Villanova fans and has been talked about in the VU Hoops comments, but it seems the Wildcats aren't even on his radar.
Kansas, Duke, Ohio State, Oregon, Vanderbilt, Florida State, Miami, and Minnesota are all in the picture according to CBS.
But Rob Dauster at NBC says, "Be Wary."
Black is a rotation big, and while it seems that all of the big time programs are interested in his services, he isn't the type of player likely to make or break any team. His value is in his ability to fill a gap for those teams, not necessarily in his ability to star.
CBS Sports' Gary Parrish was somewhat surprised about the level of interest in this player, but offered a very cogent explanation.
Black finished his career at Memphis with an all-too-familar six-point, two-rebound, four-foul effort in a loss to Michigan State in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. The 32 minutes played in that game were representative of his junior year in general and Exhibit A of why this prospect once projected as a first-round pick in the NBA Draft would now go unselected even if the draft were stretched to three rounds.
I'm not saying Black isn't very good or that he can't be very good.
I'm just saying he wasn't very good at Memphis.
But that doesn't matter now because, even at his worst, Black has shown he's at least capable of playing rotation minutes at the high-major level, and who couldn't, at this point, use a big who can play rotation minutes at the high-major level? Answer: Almost nobody.
Villanova, meanwhile, isn't usually a big player in the transfer market. While last season's sudden departures of Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek pushed the program to seek out two transfer guards, that, along with Taylor King, are more exception than rule for the Wildcats.
Instead, Nova has sought to add rotation minutes in the frontcourt through the Class of 2013 -- bringing in Darryl Reynolds from their own backyard to fill that role and perhaps still seeking out another big body to add as a freshman.
Villanova will always prefer to bring players in as freshmen over adding a transfer to be a mercenary for a year. It's a preference of the coaching staff, for admissions, and in many ways for the university community. There will be exceptions, of course, but if rotation minutes are what you need, the benefit of playing Tarik Black for 15 minutes or Reynolds for 15 isn't great.
Except that Reynolds can stick around long enough to play 20 or 30 minutes a few years down the line.