Point guard Tre Mann to visit KU in September; Tarik Black signs with team in Israel

Former Kansas Jayhawk Tarik Black (left) signed to play basketball with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel on Monday, August 20. He played for the NBA’s Houston Rockets last season. | RICH SUGG | The Kansas City Star

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Tre Mann, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound senior point guard from Village Charter High School in The Villages, Fla., will make an official recruiting visit to Kansas on Sept. 21-23, Rivals.com reported Monday. He will hold an in-home visit with KU coaches on Sept. 10.

Mann, who is ranked No. 30 in the recruiting class of 2019 according to Rivals.com, will visit North Carolina on Sept. 14. Florida, Tennessee, Iowa State, USC, Indiana, Auburn, Texas, North Carolina State and Louisville are also on his list.

“I grew up in Gainesville, so I was a Florida fan,” Mann told USA Today. “But Michael Jordan was my favorite player because my dad watched him, so I was a North Carolina fan too.

“Oh I still like them, but not as a fan,” Mann added. “It’s all about the fit and the situation. Being a fan of those schools in the past won’t give them any edge because that’s not the case now. I’m just going to look at everything and make the best decision based on where I feel I’ll have the best chance to excel,” he added.

Mann averaged 17.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.9 steals in 21 games this past Nike EYBL season. He hit 38 percent of his threes. Some analysts believe he’s the best outside shooter in the class of 2019.

“There is no timeline for Mann’s eventual commitment,” writes Corey Evans of Rivals.com. “Now with visits set for North Carolina and Kansas, a few others could be scheduled, as could a number of other in-home visits, though it looks to be a four-team race between KU, UNC, Florida and Tennessee currently.”

Tarik Black to play overseas

Former Kansas forward Tarik Black is an official member of Maccabi Tel Aviv’s basketball team. The team, which is located in Israel, announced the signing of the 6-foot-9 Memphis native to a one-year deal on Monday.

“He is a great man and a great basketball player,” Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Neven Spahija said on the team’s official website. “He has a lot of energy and great defensive ability. Offensively, he is capable of dunking everything the guards will pass to him. He also has an extraordinary presence in the locker room.”

Black averaged 3.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 51 games for the NBA’s Houston Rockets last season. He completed a one-year, $3.29 million contract in July, becoming a free agent at that time. The fourth-year pro has also played for the Los Angeles Lakers since going undrafted in 2014.

“I’m excited to be part of a club with a history like this,” Black told Maccabi’s website.

Coaches call KU ‘best team’

Kansas is the pick of more than 100 coaches as the “best team in college basketball in the 2018-19 season,” CBSsports.com revealed on Monday.

In all, 38 percent of the coaches polled by Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander selected KU as the top squad in the country, followed by Kentucky (18 percent), Duke (15 percent), Gonzaga (11 percent), Tennessee (9 percent), Virginia (5 percent) and Nevada and Villanova (2 percent).

“They’ve got enough coming back. Have had some guys sitting. Add that to what they’ve added in terms of their recruiting class, and they’ve got all the makings of a national championship team. When Bill Self likes his team, you’re in trouble. I think he likes this team. Deep, big and can overwhelm you at a lot of positions,” one coach told CBSsports.com.

“Kansas is talented, deep and old. They have to be the favorite to win it all. Dedric Lawson is going to dominate that league,” another coach said.

“They have the best mixture of talent and experience. Plus, they have the transfers that have proven they can play and score at a high level,” noted one other coach.

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