According to ESPN's Andy Katz, former Memphis center Tarik Black will visit Georgetown this week. Black, a 6'9" 250 pound center, announced that he was transferring from Memphis last month. Since he is on track to graduate this spring, Black is eligible to play his senior season immediately wherever he winds up.
Wherever he winds up remains a hotly contested question, as Georgetown is in the mix with Duke, Kansas and Oregon for his services. The Hoyas, who heading into this offseason were one over the available scholarship limit for 2013, suddenly find themselves with a scholarship to spare next season after the departure of Otto Porter to the NBA and the announced transfer of freshman forward Brandon Bolden.
Black would step in and compete for minutes next season in a frontcourt that is expected to be led by UCLA transfer Josh Smith, sophomore Mikael Hopkins, senior Nate Lubick and junior Greg Whittington. Due to NCAA transfer rules Josh Smith isn't be eligible to play until second semester at the earliest, so perhaps Georgetown is offering Black the opportunity to come in and start immediately.
Whether Black is a good fit at Georgetown is a bigger issue, as he has been somewhat of an underachiever during his career at Memphis. As Rob Dauster noted in his column on Black, "the idea of Tarik Black works much better in theory than it does on the court":
Black has a ton of potential. He's been hyped up for the last two seasons. He's got enough talent that he should have been an all-conference player for the Tigers at least once in his career. And yet, he's never averaged more than 10.7 points in his three seasons. He's never grabbed more than 5.0 boards, and that came as a freshman. His production on the glass went down the last two seasons, and it was never that impressive to begin with.
Was that simply a disconnect that he had with Memphis and the coaching staff and the way that he was used? Was he too distracted playing in his hometown?
Or is this simply who Tarik Black is? A big, athletic center that can do little more than be a big, athletic center?
A change of scenery may help, but don't count on Black being much more than a piece in a rotation wherever he ends up.
But here's the thing: who couldn't use a piece like that? Who couldn't use an athletic, 6-foot-9, 260 lb senior that can step in and play minutes? At the end of the day, Black is big and he's physical and he's, quite simply, the best option available for teams that are in need of a big man.
Though Georgetown already has a somewhat underachieving center in Josh Smith that it will be banking on for big minutes and production this season, it never hurts to have more frontcourt size. This is especially true in the new Big East where Georgetown's main competition for supremacy this season will be Marquette which returns space-eater Davante Gardner.
At this point I would put Black's chances of winding up at Georgetown at slim, simply because he can play more minutes at either Duke or Kansas which both have bigger holes to fill up front.