Sometimes negative situations can yield positive results.
This was supposed to be the year for the Memphis Tigers basketball program. The fans had high expectations. The media had high expectations. Apparently, the players had high expectations, also.
After leaving the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament with a 1-2 record, junior forward Tarik Black decided enough was enough. He simply became frustrated that the team was not playing at the level they were capable of.
It led to the team co-captain walking out of a practice, missing a game, and losing his starting position.
In my opinion, it helped Black, a preseason first-team C-USA selection, and the team.
Last season, Black was the only inside threat the Tigers had. When he got into foul trouble, which was often, there was no one with experience to turn to.
This season, the Tigers have several front court options. Senior forward D.J. Stephens has elevated his game and the team with his energetic playing style. Freshman forward Shaq Goodwin has adjusted to the college game and provides production. Both have become starters.
Having Black come off the bench helps, somewhat, keep him out of foul trouble. It also provides production in points and rebounds from the bench. This means when Black subs in the game, he is not just a player or body coming in to give a player a break.
Now the team just has to keep him healthy. After returning to practice from the holiday break, Black injured his groin. He has been a partial participant in practice since the injury and missed the game against Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.
Black is averaging 10.9 points and 5 rebounds per game.
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.