University of Kansas versus Texas Tech. No, this is not their first match up this season. Yes, they defeated the Red Raiders 64-63 in Lubbock, Texas their last matchup. But the focus is on the fact that it was senior night. And quite the senior night it was for the University of Kansas Jayhawks. Let’s start with the pre game speech: how about San Francisco 49rs head coach Jim Harbaugh providing the Jayhawks with a few words of wisdom before their last home game of the regular season? Secondly, lest not forget the ever committed fan holding up a sign reading “Decade of Dominance”, that was aired during the game tonight, in reference to the (hopeful) happy ending of tonight’s game that would give the Jayhawks their tenth consecutive win of the Big 12 conference. Oh, and the fact that tonight may have been Andrew Wiggins’ last night playing in Allen Fieldhouse? Incredible. One of the best starts to a senior night, correct? Correct, but the best has yet to come.
With the regular season quickly coming to an end, everyone in the college basketball world has remained curious as to how the Jayhawks will continue their stellar second half of a season without their star center, Joel Embiid (who has been out due to knee and back injuries). The answer came tonight with consistent bone crushing screens and blocks that could be heard (and felt) around the world (well, at least in Allen Fieldhouse): Tarik Black. Black, playing as a first year senior for the Jayhawks, spent his last three years of college basketball playing for Memphis. This season, Black was averaging 4.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game for Kansas, practically being swallowed up by Embiid’s gargantuan shadow that dominated the Jayhawks’ offense. Tonight was a different story for the first year Jayhawk. With Joel Embiid watching from the sidelines, sporting a dapper suit with Adidas sneakers, the Jayhawks destroyed the Red Raiders, with a final score of 82 to 57, granting them their tenth consecutive win of the Big 12 conference. Black scored a season high of 19 points, having snagged 6 rebounds along the way and nailing two blocks, scoring his last basket of the game with a definitive dunk over Texas Tech’s defense. Did he flex following one of his baskets? He absolutely did, and he deserved it: he was the star of senior night. Considering the fact that he has not had enough conditioning due to his lack of playing time for the Jayhawks, Black more than carried his own. He was a true force to be reckoned with under the basket, a constant look out for Wiggins and Tharpe.
Tarik Black is also a force to be reckoned with in the classroom. Black, who graduated from Memphis with a degree in organizational leadership, is currently enrolled in the master’s degree program,seeking a degree in African American studies, with a current grade point average of 3.29. The Jayhawks next challenge is West Virginia at their home turf in Morgantown this Saturday at noon. Embiid will not be playing this weekend. Let’s see if Black will bring the same intensity.