Earlier today, after weeks of rumors, we finally got confirmation that Jaevin Cumberland would be joining the Cincinnati Bearcats for the 2019-20 season. Cumberland, who is cousins with American Athletic Conference Player of the Year Jarron Cumberland, was considered one of the more likely potential roster additions once it became apparent that new head coach John Brannen would have to rebuild. Now he is officially heading to UC. There are numerous reasons why Jaevin Cumberland is such an important addition to the team so let’s take a look at what he will offer as a Bearcat.
Prior to last season, Cumberland did not get all that much run with the his former team, the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. In his first three seasons, he never started a game and never averaged more than 9.3 minutes per game. With such limited opportunity, it was difficult to tell just what kind of player the 6’3” guard could be. Oakland and the college basketball world at large got a good indication last year, however, as he became a full-time starter and played 37 minutes per outing.
Like his cousin, Jaevin Cumberland is a player who knows how to score. He averaged 17.2 points per game last season and logged at least 10 points in all but five games, including a personal-best of 31 in a November matchup against Oral Roberts. He is particularly fond of letting it fly from three-point range and you can’t blame him. His sky-high three-point attempt rate of 67.1 percent last year was coupled with a nearly 40 percent success rate on close to 13 attempts per 100 possessions. Powered by that type of shooting, along with his improved foul shooting (85.4 percent on 3.9 attempts per game), Cumberland produced a true shooting percentage of 60.3 percent while his three-point exploits buoyed a 55.9 percent effective field goal rate.
Cumberland’s offensive game is not limited to just hoisting up jumpers, however. He also has a knack for creating offense for his teammates. He displayed that skill most especially last season when he averaged 3.5 assists per game to go with an assist rate of better than 18 percent. His careful decision-making with the ball was evident by an 11.3 percent turnover rate and makes him an an even more difficult player to defend.
Speaking of defense, therein lies a bit of a gap in Cumberland’s game. He finished with 3.8 win shares last season, but only 0.4 of those came on the defensive end. Tasked with defending for longer stretches than ever before, he logged the worst defensive rating of his career (113.1) which countered his 118.5 offensive rating. Oakland as a team wasn’t particularly great defensively, so its not as if he was the lone weak link, but its definitely a part of his game that he can improve. Luckily for Brannen and company, he will be making that improvement as a Bearcat.
UC already seemed to be nearing the end of the roster puzzle with their recent moves, especially in the backcourt, and now with Cumberland in the mix, they can more easily admire their work and look forward to next season.