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Ole Miss Fans Turn Their Eyes To Memphis’ Black

tarikblackTarik Black was supposed to be all that and a bag of chips for the Memphis basketball program.  Turns out, he never quite lived up to the hype.  Scheduled to graduate this spring, the forward now plans to transfer to another school.

Memphis coach Josh Pastner said he believes Black “wants a little change of scenery.”  As a graduate, he will be eligible to play anywhere this upcoming season without having to sit out as a transfer.  The only roadblock is Memphis’ decision not to allow Black to transfer to any program that’s on the Tigers’ schedule next season.

Now let’s connect some dots.  Ole Miss is losing big men Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner.  Oxford is about an hour and a half from Memphis.  And if the Rebel/Tiger rivalry isn’t kickstarted in 2013-14, Andy Kennedy’s program might provide the perfect fit for Black, and vice versa.

Certainly, Black’s name is already popping up on Rebel messageboards.

Black walked out of practice on Pastner this past season and he saw his role reduced as a result.  After starting 55 games during his freshman and sophomore seasons, Black started just five games as a junior.

Below are the Memphis’ native’s averages during is Memphis career:


  Season   Minutes  FG %   Rebounds   Points
  2012-13   20.8   58.9   4.8   8.1
  2011-12   25.6   68.9   4.9   10.7
  2010-11   22.6   52.8   5.0   9.1


The power forward is listed by as the 60th pick of the 2014 mock draft.

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WOW Headlines – 1/2/12

Northwestern defeated Mississippi State 34-20 in the Gator Bowl on Tuesday
South Carolina defeated Michigan 33-28 in the Outback Bowl on Tuesday
Georgia defeated Nebraska 45-31 in the Capital One Bowl on Tuesday
Louisville defeated Florida 33-23 in the Sugar Bowl Wednesday
Georgia LB Alec Ogletree will turn pro early after a 13-tackle performance in the Bulldogs’ bowl game
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin says he’s in no rush to hire a new offensive coordinator
New Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon says the staff Bret Bielema has assembled “is going to be unbelievable.”
Florida receivers coach Bush Hamdan is leaving for a spot on Arkansas State’s staff
Tennessee DL Daniel McCullers will stay in Knoxville for his senior season
Alabama C Barrett Jones was back from an injury at practice on Tuesday
Memphis basketball coach Josh Pastner says he will no longer schedule Tennessee
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UM Announces Football, Hoops Deal With Memphis; Memphis Says “Not Exactly”

Ole Miss announced today that it will begin a four-year football series with Memphis beginning in 2014.  While that series is reborn, the Rebels’ upcoming nonconference games with Clemson have been nixed.

More interesting is the fact that UM announced that Memphis had agreed to start a basketball series when the schedule permits.  But Gary Parrish of says Memphis hoops coach Josh Pastner said that’s “absolutely not” the case.  Instead, he says Memphis has agreed to “talk about” scheduling Ole Miss:










Pastner has been very clear that he doesn’t want to give Arkansas, Ole Miss, Tennessee or any other local SEC school any type of entrance into Memphis’ fertile recruiting grounds at all.  So stay tuned.

Here’s an updated story from Parrish.

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Memphis’ Pastner Doesn’t Want To Play UT

Memphis coach Josh Pastner isn’t interested in scheduling Tennessee.  Or Ole Miss, Mississippi State or Arkansas for that matter.  But his boss sees things differently — at least when it comes to playing the Tigers’ cross-state rival.

“I have no desire to play Tennessee,” Pastner told Knoxville radio station WNML-AM/FM yesterday.  “I don’t think it does us any good.  I’m just being honest with you.  For us, it’s a game that, I don’t know why we play it, but we play it because the athletic director wants me to play it and he’s my boss and what he says goes.”

In the past, Tennessee has threatened to not schedule Memphis in football if the Tigers refused to schedule the Vols in hoops.  The Memphis football program needs the exposure and money that comes from playing UT in football.  And Tennessee needs the recruiting exposure in West Tennessee that playing the Tigers in hoops brings.

“(Athletic director RC Johnson) feels it’s great for the state of Tennessee,” Pastner said.  “A lot of people want it in the state of Tennessee, and so I understand that. … I’m OK with it.  Look, my athletic director, I think he’s the best.  I mean, the absolute best.  If he tells me to do something, I totally believe in chain of command.  He’s the boss.  If he told me to go play Ole Miss, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi State and anyone else, I would do it, because he’s the boss.”

We get it, Josh, the AD is the boss.  For Mike Anderson and Arkansas — who also want to schedule Memphis — they now know who they need to woo.

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Memphis’ Pastner Doesn’t Want To Give Arkansas (Or Tennessee) A Foothold

Soon after Mike Anderson was hired at Arkansas, a report surfaced claiming that his Razorbacks would play a game at Memphis next season.  Well not according to Tiger coach Josh Pastner.

“There were some talks with Coach (John) Pelphrey and his staff, who had reached out to us,” Pastner said.  “Originally they had talked about playing here and then returning it in Little Rock, or returning it in Fayetteville.  There were talks, but nothing more than that.”

And the gist?  “Arkansas really wanted to play us.  If I was in Arkansas, I would want to play us, too, but if you (tried) to pin me to it, I would not do the game.”

Of course not.  Memphis is a recruiting hotbed and the Razorbacks only want in so they can lure some top prospects out.  John Calipari — while at Memphis — pushed for the Memphis-Tennessee series to be moved to Nashville… with the obvious intention of keeping the Vols out of the Bluff City.  So Pastner knows the score.

“The bottom line is, where I stand, a lot of these teams want to recruit in Memphis.  Why do I want to help them out?  We play Tennessee, but if it was up to me I’d like to get rid of that series,” Pastner said.

“Tennessee wants to recruit people in Memphis.  Arkansas wants to recruit people in Memphis.  Ole Miss wants to recruit people in Memphis.  Mississippi State wants to recruit people in Memphis.  People want to recruit our young men in Memphis because, to me, it’s the top or one of the three best cities in terms of basketball talent.”

That might be overstating it a bit, but Pastner’s right in believing there’s nothing in it for him to allow SEC programs to gain a foothold in his city.

Luckily for Tennessee, the Memphis administration wants/needs games with the Volunteers in football in order to raise the Tigers’ profile in that sport.  That gives UT enough leverage to keep the basketball series running as a home-and-home battle.  It also helps UT’s cause that the state legislature wants the Tigers and Vols to play.

Without those built-in advantages, Arkansas will likely have to do a bit more work it wants to gain entry to Beale Street.

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