One of the most improved basketball players in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Western Division this past season, Barton sophomore Andell Cumberbatch is moving on to the next level.
Cumberbatch, who averaged 14.2 points and 8.2 rebounds in 2012-13 for the Cougars, signed on Wednesday to play for St. Bonaventure University, a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
“I think he’s the most-improved (from a freshman to sophomore season) I’ve had in my tenure here,” Barton head coach Craig Fletchall said, “but then again, it’s all based on him — his work ethic, his desire to get better and doing what’s right in the classroom.
“He really matured over the summer and on his way back. The beauty about this level is sometimes freshmen become sophomores, and he took it to another level in the improvement he made on and off the floor.”
Cumberbatch, a 6-foot-4 swingman, completes the signings of Barton’s Big 3 to four-year schools — Algie Key (Alabama), Turon Parker (Washburn) and Cumberbatch (St. Bonaventure).
“I definitely got better,” said Cumberbatch, a native of East Orange, N.J. “I just wanted to put it all out there and try to help my team the best that I could.
“East Orange is about a five-hour drive (from St. Bonaventure). I just wanted to go somewhere where I can play. I want to get to a high level and expand my game, and it’s the best opportunity for me.”
Cumberbatch, an inside-outside threat, had a batch of double-doubles last season during Jayhawk West play, recording nine in 16 games in being named as a first-team all-conference, as well as an All-NJCAA Region VI, performer.
“They want me to come in and play wing for them,” Cumberbatch said of the Bonnies. “They want to utilize my rebounding strengths, too.”
Mark Schmidt, the head coach at St. Bonaventure, located in Allegany, N.Y., paid a recruiting visit to Barton.
“Mark Schmidt came in,” Fletchall said. “They made it to the NCAA tournament two years ago, and Andell saw some highlights on that.
“They’re in the Atlantic 10, one of the five or six top leagues — Temple, Butler, Xavier, VCU — they were ranked right behind the SEC this past season.”
Cumberbatch fit the bill for the Bonnies because of their hierarchy of needs.
“They had a need for a starting wing late in the game,” Fletchall said, “which is what happens a lot with junior-college kids.
“They are on the radar and on the radar and all of a sudden, a scholarship pops up.”