According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman and the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Cincinnati Bearcats are looking to the transfer market in order to fill the gap that may be left by Jacob Evans as he pursues his NBA path.
NJIT transfer Anthony Tarke told ESPN he has been talking to Texas Tech, Nevada, Cincinnati and George Mason. He plans to schedule visits soon. Sophomore who averaged 15 and 6 this past season.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 4, 2018
While no player could completely replace Evans — and Tarke isn’t going to be asked to come in, grow a manbun, hit clutch jumpers and change his name to Jacob Evans IV — with the Bearcats losing more than a few important pieces from this past season’s American Athletic Conference championship squad, Tarke could help ease the transition.
Tarke is a 6’6”, 205-pound player who can fill in at multiple positions, switching between guard posts and the frontcourt. During 2017-18, his sophomore season, he was a very potent scorer, netting 15.1 points per game, while adding some strong work on the boards as well (6.0 PG). However, he was not nearly the same type of scorer on an efficiency basis, which lends even more credence to the thought that he is not an exact replacement of Evans. Tarke only shot .404/.287/.641 last season, while posting an effective field goal percentage of .455 and an offensive rating of 101.3. He did make 1.4 threes per game, but when you’re making only 28.7 percent of those tries, you are probably hurting more than you are helping by taking so many triple attempts (4.8 PG).
But Tarke is still a guy that can get a bucket, something the Bearcats are always in need of, especially after crumbling in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He scored in double figures 25 times this past season, including nine 20-point showings and a pair of double-doubles. While most of that production came in the less than stellar competition of the Atlantic Sun, those are numbers that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially after we saw a talented scorer come over from a small conference and succeed just last year in Cane Broome.
We’d be remiss in evaluating Tarke’s fit with the Bearcats if we didn’t also cover his work on defense. So far, he has been a pretty average to bad defender, with a career defensive rating of 102.4, although he did have more defensive win shares (1.4) than offensive (1.1) in 2017-18. He could very well become a much better defender in UC’s system, especially if Mick Cronin and his staff can get their philosophy across.
Adding anyone who has had as much success as Tarke at the collegiate level would ultimately be a net positive for the Bearcats. He may not be able to replace Evans, and he shouldn’t be asked to, but he would at least provide an additional scoring option and, with development, become a strong contributor on both ends of the floor.