During July, highly touted prospects like Tarik Black often find themselves playing in front of crowds lined with big time college coaches. While it would be easy to get nervous in front of college basketball's decision makers, the 6-foot-8 power forward from Memphis (Tenn.) Ridgeway keeps the same approach to lessen the pressure
Although, after a few weeks off, Black says he is still trying to find his groove during the evaluation period.
"Like always, it's play as hard as I can, do as well as I can and really come out and try to win," said Black. "It's all about finding your groove. I hadn't been in out in a few weeks so I'm trying to find it. Once I find it, it's over."
A gregarious and outgoing kid off of the floor, Black is an intimidating, physical and athletic kid on it. Because of that, he's drawn the admiration of college coaches from all over the country, even if he politely refuses to list which coaches are the ones watching him.
"I talk to a lot of them so it's just like regular folks watching," says Black of the coaches watching him. "I've got good relationships with a lot of them so it makes it less of a pressure situation."
It isn't that he's trying to be difficult, Black is just careful avoid forgetting somebody on his list. As it stands, he insists that he's still open to anybody that wants to get in on his recruitment.
"I don't know, colleges keep on coming in and I want to leave it open," said Black. "Everybody is calling, calling a lot."
Among those schools making frequent calls is Mike Anderson's Missouri program. Black admits that he feels like he's the Tigers guy, but he's also aware that he's got to dig deeper.
"A lot of schools I'm talking to say that I'm their guy," Black told Inside Mizzou. "But, that's their job to do that. I've got to see who really means it."
According to Black, he's getting closer to narrowing things down and he plans to cut his list to five and set up visits after the summer is over. When he visits, it's going to be all about how much of a family atmosphere there is on any campus.
"How the players and coaches are will be important," said Black. "How much chemistry do they have together and how hard are the players willing to work? I want to know how much of a brotherhood they have before stepping in."