Well, it’s finally here—the start of the college basketball season. Fans of the Georgetown Hoyas will have to wait one more day as the Hoyas start their season on Tuesday against the Coppin State Eagles. Coppin State, however, will play a game against the Charlotte 49ers at 6PM on Monday night, featured on ESPN+. Perhaps CSU head coach Juan Dixon has something up his sleeve with the back-to-back matchups.
The Hoyas face Coppin State on Tuesday—a day after CSU faces Charlotte in their first game.— Philadelphia Hoyas (@PhillyHoyas) November 7, 2022
Here are the Game Notes ahead of Monday’s Coppin State vs Charlotte game, 6PM on ESPN+https://t.co/O7er4MZFzz pic.twitter.com/LyzQTCVV4U
With the wraparound BIG EAST coverage on FS1, it may be a tough call on which games Hoyas fans focus on, but hopefully some patient souls will offer some quality insight from the first Coppin State matchup ahead of the Georgetown game. Until then, there are a few posts and articles about the Eagles.
- 0 Malik Battle G 6’3” 170 R-Jr. Douglasville, Ga. Alexander HS (transferred from South Georgia Technical College(JC))
- 1 Justin Steers G/F 6’7” 205 R-Sr. Philadelphia, Pa. Greater Hope Christian Academy
- 2 Mike Hood G 6’2” 195 R-Sr. Kansas City, Mo. Shawnee Mission West HS (transferred from Montana State)
- 3 Sam Sessoms G 6’0” 189 R-Sr. Philadelphia, Pa. The Shipley School (transferred from Penn State)
- 4 Nendah Tarke G 6’4” 200 R-So. Gaithersburg, Md. Bullis School
- 5 Greg Spurlock G 6’5” 196 So. Ashburn, Va. Rock Ridge HS
- 10 Kam’Ron Blue G 6’7” 205 R-Sr. Greenville, S.C. J.L. Mann HS (transferred from Fordham)
- 11 CJ Scott G 6’4” 195 Fr. Severn, Md. Archbishop Spalding HS
- 13 Alex Rojas G 6’5” 210 R-Jr. Gaithersburg, Md. Gaithersburg HS (from New Mexico JC)
- 20 Christian Sutton G 6’3” 193 Gr. Atlanta, Ga. Riverwood HS (transferred from American)
- 24 Daniel Titus F 6’8” 210 R-Jr. Sydney, Australia Central Adventist HS (transferred from Neosho County CC)
- 25 Isaiah Gross G 6’4” 210 R-So. Lanham, Md. Eleanor Roosevelt HS
- 33 Luka Tekavcic F 6’11” 200 So. Grosuplje, Slovenia Central Pointe Christian Academy (Fla.) (transferred from Oral Roberts)
- 35 Justin Winston F 6’8” 220 Sr. West Orange, N.J. Immaculate Conception HS (transferred from Robert Morris)
Here are the links:
A redshirt sophomore from Gaithersburg, Md., Tarke led the Nation with 2.94 steals per game while ranking second in total steals (94) which set a CSU single-season record. Tarke averaged 13.4 points per game while also ranking second in the MEAC in rebounds (6.8) and in the top ten in assists (2.7). Earning a reputation as one of the most clutch players nationally, Tarke hit four game-winners in the final ten seconds of games, including three buzzer-beaters, both of which led the Nation.
Tarke also made the second-most free throws in the MEAC while attempting the most and notched seven double-doubles which were also the second-most in the league. He reached double figures in scoring in 25 games, had at least four assists in ten games, multiple steals in all but four contests, and scored a career-high 27 points at eventual conference champion Norfolk State. The Eagles, guided by head coach Juan Dixon who is now in his sixth season at the helm, open the 2022-23 season with back-to-back road games at Charlotte on Monday, November 7 before playing Georgetown on November 8 on FS1.
This season, Dixon and Coppin have one of the best backcourts in the mid-major ranks with Sessoms and 2X All-MEAC player, Nendah Tarke, leading the attack. “I’m looking forward to us doing some special things,” Dixon said. “But most importantly, we have highly quality men both off and on the court and I think that’s a recipe for success.”
To listen to our whole interview with Dixon, click the link: Juan Dixon Interview
Coppin finished 9-23 overall in 2021-22 due to the brutal nonconference slate typical for the program. However, the Eagles went 6-8 in the MEAC and advanced to the MEAC tournament finals, falling to Norfolk State with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.
Since the end of the season, Coppin has lost guard Jesse Zarzuela (14.7 points, 3.3 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game last year), forward Tyree Corbett (13 points, 8.8 rebounds) and guard Kyle Cardaci (7.9 points, 2.5 rebounds) to the transfer portal.
Thus, there should be plenty of shots available heading into the 2022-23 season. Plus, Dixon runs an up-tempo system — the Eagles were No. 8 in adjusted tempo this past season, according to KenPom — and gives his players a lot of offensive freedom. But that wasn’t the reason Sessoms chose Coppin.
“It wasn’t really that because I was playing [close to] 30 minutes a game at Penn State,” Sessoms said. “It was more so my coaching staff at Penn State wasn’t the coaches that recruited me. My two years at Penn State, I had two different coaches and neither one of them recruited me, so I kind of wanted to get back to the feel of playing for the coach that recruited me and wanted me to be his rather than me just being left at a school and a new coach coming in.”
Sam Sessoms of @CoppinMBB was also featured in @PressBoxOnline - the senior from Philadelphia scored over 1700 combined points in his years at Binghamtom and Penn State #AyeeCoppinhttps://t.co/mF8JPfdXio— Coppin Sports (@coppinsports) October 19, 2022
Coppin State men’s basketball graduate student Sam Sessoms recently talked with PressBox about why he transferred to Coppin, the players he models his game after and more. The 6-foot, 189-pound guard scored 1,151 points at Binghamton from 2018-2020 and 556 at Penn State from 2020-2022. He averaged 11.6 points and 2.6 assists per game for the Nittany Lions as a senior in 2021-22. Sessoms is a native of Philadelphia and graduate of The Shipley School...
PB: Considering the tragedy your family went through, do you play with your brother, Sidney, in mind and try to win for him? (Sidney and Sam Sr. were shot in their Philadelphia home last September, and Sidney died at a local hospital.)
SS: He’s always on my shoulder no matter what. Obviously I want to win as much as I can, but honestly, I try not to think like that, like, “I’ve got to win for him.” That’s too much pressure. I just know if I go out there and do the best I can, everything will work out, whether it’s a win or a loss. It would definitely be lovely to win, just for him — because I know he’s up there watching. But for the most part, I’m going to do the best I can and try to win for myself and my teammates and my coaches right then. Afterward, it’ll be just be collateral happiness.
CAN I GET AN “AYYYYY COPPIN”??— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) April 15, 2022
That backcourt of Nendah Tarke & Sam Sessoms is going to be insane.
West Baltimore stand up! The city better come out to watch these boys play this season. Juan Dixon has a special backcourt. https://t.co/r0fdjkaH0W
The Charlotte men’s basketball team opens its 57th season on Monday night inside Halton Arena against MEAC foe, Coppin State. The opening tip from the Queen City is slated for 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+…
SCOUTING THE EAGLES - Coppin State enters 2022-23 missing two of its top three leading scorers from last season in Jesse Zarzuela and Tyree Corbett who averaged 14.7 and 13.6 points respectively last season. - Leading the returners is 2022 HBCU All-American, Nendah Tarke who poured in 13.4 points per game, ranked second in rebounding (6.8 rpg) and led the team in steals with 2.9 per outing. - On the bench, CSU is coached by Maryland all-time leading scorer, Juan Dixon. Dixon is entering his sixth season at the healm of the Eagles and led them to the MEAC Championship game for the first time since 2008 last season. Coppin fell to Norfolk State in the final, 72-57.
HC Juan Dixon on @coppinsports MBB and Sam Sessoms: "Sam came to Coppin State to win a championship and play with Nendah Tarke. It's our job as coaches to put them in that position and do something special."— Glenn Clark (@GlennClarkRadio) October 31, 2022
One of the most impactful transfers in the nation this season is expected to be Coppin’s Sam Sessoms. In two seasons at Binghamton, followed by two more at Penn State, the Philadelphia native has scored 1,707 career points. It took Sessoms just 57 games with the Bearcats to record 1,000 career points and he averaged a school-record 18.6 points in 62 career games at BU. After ranking 3rd in the America East as a freshman with 17.8 ppg, he led the league with 19.4 ppg as a sophomore. Sessoms averaged 8.2 points in his first season at Happy Valley in the CoVID shortened 2020-21 campaign before averaging 11.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists last season.
Not Just a Scoring Threat - While closing in on 2,000 career points, Sessoms is not just a scoring threat and has been one of the top distributors in the Nation the last four seasons. As a freshman at BU, he ranked fifth in the AE with 3.5 assists per game before rank- ing second as a sophomore at 4.8 dimes. IAfter averaging 2.5 assists in his Penn State tenure, Sessoms has recorded 391 career assists, becoming one of a rare few nationally to record over 1,500 points and 350 assists.
MEAC Preseason All-League:— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) October 20, 2022
Nendah Tarke, G, Jr., Coppin State
Elijah Hawkins, G, Soph., Howard
Kris Bankston, F, Grad, Norfolk State
Joe Bryant, G, Sr., Norfolk State
Justin Wright, G, Jr., NC Central https://t.co/dAjmmrDrnX
REBOUNDING: Georgetown has a massive rebounding advantage on this end of the floor. Georgetown rates as a fairly good team on the offensive glass. To boot, they are first-class at converting their second chance opportunities, ranking 25th nationally in that category. The opposition here, Coppin State, should be considered slightly inferior in the category of defensive rebounding, and they’ve similarly struggled in a bad way when attempting to limit foes’ putback conversion rates (ranked 321st in defensive second-chance conversion percentage).
TURNOVERS: The Coppin State defense has a small advantage over the Georgetown offense in the turnover battle on this end. When in possession, Georgetown exemplifies ball-security to a degree slightly superior to the average NCAA team. Their field goal attempt rate is well above-average (rated 57th in the country), while their rating for potential quick points allowed off of steals is more than satisfactory (85th in the country). As for the opposition, the intrusive Coppin State D will typically be up in your grill and can force several turnovers. They are masters at converting turnovers into quick points on the scoreboard (nationally ranked 20th in that category).