Five Big 12 Newcomers Better than Tarik Black
5 Newcomers Better Than Tarik Black
Kansas Jayhawk senior forward Tarik Black, a transfer student from the Memphis Tigers, was named the preseason Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year. Black was a high energy reserve player for the Tigers last season, scoring nearly nine points per contest off the bench. Unlike battery mates Andrew Wiggins and Perry Ellis, Black has failed to live up to the preseason expectations.
In fact, Black can barely manage to stay on the court. The senior is averaging nearly the same number of fouls (3.25) as points (3.8) and rebounds (3.3). The combination of Black and Wiggins was supposed to reload the depleted Jayhawk roster that lost five starters last season. Freshman Joel Embiid has had a good freshman year that has masked Black’s struggles.
It appears that the voters were operating under the assumption that any player wearing a Jayhawk uniform would post grand numbers simply because they played for Kansas when they voted Black as the Newcomer of the Year. In the first month of the college season, it seems that the voters will a little too hasty in their selection process.
Thanksgiving Day could have been the day for Black to bust out of his season-long slump. Black had had a pretty decent game against Towson six days early, and looked like he would break his trend of ineptitude in the early going. For the majority of the first half, Black actually led all scorers in points.
Black would finish in the afternoon with seven points in Kansas' 87-78 victory over Wake Forest. After a strong start in the first half, Black was a non-factor for the Jayhawks in the second half.
Black may have received the hype, but he is nowhere close to being the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. The Big 12 Conference is chalk-full of talented transfer students that are doing more for their team than Black. Unfortunately for Black, the most consistent part of his game in college has been his ability to get himself in foul trouble. If Black can, by some miracle, manage to fix his foul issues, he could crack the top five for best newcomers in the Big 12. As of now, he currently sits on the outside looking in of my top five newcomers to the Big 12 Conference.
Jack Dooley is a Big 12 Basketball writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JackDooleyOCS and Facebook.
5. Robert Turner/Texas Tech: 11.9 PPG 2.6 RPG 2.6 APG
Robert Turner, head coach Tubby Smith’s first recruit at Texas Tech, has been the x-factor for the Red Raiders this season. Turner struggled against South Dakota State and Pittsburgh, going 1-15 from the field. These two games are outliers in a phenomenal season for Turner, who has shot 40 percent or better from the floor in five of his first seven contests.
4. Remi Dibo/West Virginia 9.1PPG 3.4RPG 1.0 APG
Remi Dibo has fit in nicely with the West Virginia Mountaineers this season. He is currently second on the team in three pointers made behind Eron Harris, and boasts a 44 percent average from outside. Dibo was recruited by head coach Bobby Huggins because of his ability to defend and grab rebounds. His 6-foot-9 frame creates matchup nightmares for opponents who have to account for both his shot and his size.
3. Ryan Spangler/Oklahoma: 10.8 PPG 7.8 RPG 1.6 BPG
After one year at Gonzaga, Ryan Spangler returned home to Norman. The sophomore is part of head coach Lon Kruger’s project to bring scoring back to the Oklahoma Sooner lineup. Spangler had a rough night against the strong frontcourt of Michigan State, but his motor kept the Sooners in the game throughout the contest.
2. Kenny Chery/Baylor: 12 PPG 2.4 RPG 5.1 APG
Kenny Chery is coming off a nearly flawless effort in the Maui Invitational. Chery seemed a little puzzled in the first half against Syracuse on how to attack their 2-3 zone, but has kept the Baylor Bears running on high-octane. Replacing Pierre Jackson’s metaphorically large shoes was the largest question mark coming into the season for Baylor. It seems that Chery has answered the bell, resulting in a seamless transition at point guard for the Bears.
1. DeAndre Kane/Iowa State 16.4 PPG 8.4RPG 4.8APG
DeAndre Kane played extremely well in the absence of star Melvin Ejim in the Iowa State Cyclones’ first two games. Instead of Kane’s production tapering off with Ejim returning to the fold, Kane has gotten better. The Marshall transfer is my top pick for Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. Kane has shown that he can be the No. 1 option for the Cyclones, can facilitate, and isn't shy about getting rebounds.