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Frustrated Tarik Black back with Memphis after one-game absence, talk with coach

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(US Presswire)

Losing forward Tarik Black would have been a big blow to Memphis' hopes of earning coach Josh Pastner his first NCAA Tournament win, but it doesn't appear that will happen.

Black missed Thursday's win over UT-Martin because he was frustrated with the game and the team's performance so far this season. The Tigers were 3-2 before beating UT-Martin.

But after taking a night off to get his mind right Thursday against UT-Martin, he was back with the team Friday following a morning meeting with coach Josh Pastner, who was happy to have his co-captain as well as second leading scorer and rebounder back.

Pastner said indicated there will be some punishment for Black missing the game, but it will be handled internally. The preseason All-Conference USA first-team selection said he just reached a point where he needed to step away for a night.

"It was a buildup of things, just being honest. I'm not one for really complaining or stressing my issues and things that are on my mind," Black told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "That can be a blessing, because that's a leadership quality. You have to endure things, keep pushing, keep moving and keep motivating.

"But at the same time, it can also be a burden because you go home everyday and you're the one that's dealing with something and nobody else knows. ... At some point, I'm only human, so it's going to come out. It just so happened that after this three-year period it came out."

Memphis is 4-2 after beating UT-Martin without Black. The Tigers don't play against until hosting undefeated Ohio on Wednesday.

Kyle Ringo covers Colorado and the Pac-12 for the Daily Camera in Boulder. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleRingo

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