Out with the old, in with the new. This is a common refrain in the MEAC.
Coppin State coach Juan Dixon only returned four players from last season's squad. HBCU coaches usually have to do some deep diving to get transfers from other Division I schools or JUCOs, but this year a potential star may have fallen right into Dixon’s lap.
Anthony Tarke was a star at NJIT. In 2016-17 he won the ASUN Freshman of the Year award and followed that up with a First Team All-ASUN season the next year. Wanting to take a step up in competition, Tarke transferred to UTEP.
He did not get much playing time in El Paso and decided to put his name back into the transfer portal.
That is when former Quinnipiac and Coppin State players, Aaron and Andrew Robinson — who knew Tarke from high school — stepped in. Just like Tarke, the brothers used their last season to explore other options. Tarke’s brother Nendah was working on his college decision as well. You can see where this is going.
The Robinsons now run their own college basketball podcast and website, “All Facts Media.” Over the summer, they were reaching out to transfers and prospective D-I athletes, helping them through the process. Former teammates such as Kevin Marfo and Rich Kelly even announced to the world via the All Facts Twitter where they would play during the next season. All Facts ended up playing a critical role in getting the Tarkes to Coppin State.
BREAKING— All Facts (@AllFactsMedia) March 29, 2020
Quinnipiac Grad Transfer Rich Kelly (@richkelly2222) has committed to.... pic.twitter.com/hRbFahVtKX
“When we started recruiting Anthony Tarke, we were able to come across Nendah Tarke because of these two young men that just got on the camera,” said Juan Dixon during a recent postgame press conference. “I know [Anthony Tarke], one of the things he wanted to do was play with his little brother. Just like those two guys did.”
It appears to have worked out for all parties involved. The Tarkes have been stars, with Anthony possibly a first-team all-MEAC player and Nendah a contender for MEAC Freshman of the Year.
The Robinson brothers were in attendance for Coppin State’s recent game against top-100 squad UNC Greensboro. Against all odds, the Eagles won that game 85-80, in their most impressive home victory of the Juan Dixon Era.
Anthony dropped 34 points and had a key takeover sequence down the stretch. This included a rebound, put back, blocked three, dunk, steal, and layup and-one, all in sequence. His brother had a nice game as well, scoring 20.
“It was a heck of a game for the Tarkes, but we’ve got to keep building.” Dixon said postgame.
Anthony’s scored double-digits in three of the four games since and had quite possibly his best effort in a season-opening loss at Duke. He scored 22 against the mighty Blue Devils, picking up nine rebounds.
Coppin State now enters MEAC play with a huge target on its back. After being picked fourth in the East division of the league, it’s clear the Eagles have the talent to do more than that.