Coming into this season, fans wondered if Memphis Tigers junior forward Tarik Black could stay on the floor and out of foul trouble. No one imagined there would be a question of him playing period.
The team started the season with high expectations. Josh Pastner was entering his fourth season as head coach. The team was returning a core group of experienced players. With that, the media and coaches selected the squad as a preseason Top 25 team.
The squad started the season undefeated with a 3-0 record including winning their exhibition game. However, the wins showed that the Tigers had some things to work on especially heading into a highly competitive Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
The Tigers left the tournament with a 1-2 record. The performance was not only disappointing for the fans. It was also disappointing for Black.
After returning from the Bahamas, Black temporary left the team to deal with some internal issues and did not play in the game against Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks.
“What am I frustrated about? Man, outcomes,” Black said to the Commercial Appeal. “It’s all about the pursuit of greatness. A lot of guys I know on this team, we’re not playing ball for the fame or just for the notoriety. It’s because we want to be great. We came together because we saw our chance to make history here, and it’s just something that hasn’t been adding up over two years.
“I believe this program will get better. I believe we’ll fulfill our capabilities. But after two years, that greatness just hasn’t been achieved and it just was really weighing on me.”
After taking time to get his thoughts together, Black is back on board. In his second game back, he led the team in scoring against the Austin Peay Governors with 18 points and added six rebounds in 22 minutes.
Through games played on Dec. 8, the preseason C-USA first-team selection, leads C-USA in field goal percentage with 65.2 percent.
Patosha Jeffery is the Memphis Tigers Featured Columnist at Rant Sports. Be sure to follow her on Twitter: @patoshajeffery and add her Google + to your circles for all of her latest articles and thoughts.