Memphis' Tarik Black Named to Preseason All-Conference USA First Team

By Patosha Jeffery
Spruce Derden-US Presswire

For the 2011-2012 season, Memphis junior forward Tarik Black was named to the All-Defensive Team and garnered second-team all-conference honors following a season in which he started all 35 games for the Memphis Tigers. Now he can add 2012-13 preseason All-Conference First Team to his collection of honors. The 6-9 junior from Memphis has added nearly 20 pounds to his frame during the off-season and is on track to hit the 1,000-point milestone for his career.

Joining Black with preseason all-conference honors are Tigers junior guards Chris Crawford and Joe Jackson and sophomore forward/guard, Adonis Thomas, making the second team.

Last season, Black was the Tigers’ third-leading scorer (10.7 ppg) and second-leading rebounder (4.9 rpg). The Memphis, Tenn., native added 53 blocked shots and shot 68.9 percent from the floor, shattering the Tigers’ single-season field goal percentage mark. His 68.9 field goal percentage led Conference USA in 2011-12 and also was the second-best field goal percentage mark in C-USA history. Black also had 18 double-figure scoring games and four double-digit rebounding contests a year ago.

Crawford, a 2011-12 All-C-USA third team pick, averaged 9.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists last year. One of the league’s top perimeter defenders, Crawford led the Tigers with 63 steals and was second on the team in blocked shots (27). He also led Memphis in assists (134) for a second-consecutive season. The Memphis, Tenn., native finished 2011-12 ranked among Conference USA leaders in assists (8th), steals (2nd) and assist-to-turnover ratio (4th).

Jackson, the first back-to-back C-USA Tournament MVP in league history, was second on the team in scoring (11.0 ppg) and assists (131) in 2011-12. He netted double figures 17 times and led or tied for the team lead in assists 13 times. The Memphis, Tenn., native shot a team-best 83.7 percent from the free throw line, which ranked third in C-USA. Jackson finished last season also ranked among C-USA leaders in assists (7th), steals (9th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (7th).

Thomas is a preseason All-C-USA second team pick despite playing only two league games a year ago. He missed most of the second half of the 2011-12 campaign – including 14 of 16 conference games – with an ankle injury. He averaged 8.8 points and 3.2 rebounds, while shooting 48.6 percent from the field, 40.5 percent from the arc and 70.8 percent from the free throw line. Thomas, a Memphis, Tenn., native, did return for the 2012 postseason, but played only limited minutes.

Memphis kicks the season off on November 7 with an exhibition game against Christian Brothers University at FedExForum.


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