Memphis Tigers were able to escape the road trip to Knoxville (TN) with a victory against the Tennessee Volunteers without the services of junior forward Tarik Black.
If it was not for the early foul trouble for Vols star Jarnell Stokes, Memphis would have had a lot more to handle in the low post area.
The sophomore is listed at 6’8 and 270 pounds. Stokes is a cross between Dwight Howard and Shaquille O’Neal as far as body type. He is thick as Shaq and possess rounded shoulders like Howard.
Stokes clearly the biggest post threat for the Tigers looked like a football player amongst the players. It was quite amusing to watch Tigers forwards D.J. Stephens, Adonis Thomas and Ferrakohn Hall bouncing off of Stokes during the game.
Memphis came into the game with a plan to use weak side help and a rotation of man to man and zone defense to stabilize the Vols offense. With the addition of the Tigers’ speed, quickness and athleticism, the Tigers game plan worked.
Question is how long will junior forward Black be out with his injury?
The Commercial Appeal reported that the plan was to have Black see team doctors Wednesday morning to “double- and triple-check” that the injury is just a strain and not a pull. If X-rays were negative, Josh Pastner said that he expected Black will return by the Tigers home game next Wednesday against ECU.
The front court players are gaining valuable experience in Black’s absence, but in the long run the Tigers will need Black back on the court. He brings elevated post production and size to the squad.
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.