Jarron Cumberland purchased two University of Cincinnati shirts today. His family already some Bearcats apparel too.
The well-wishes and congratulations were plenty for Cumberland on Wednesday morning and early afternoon after he announced his verbal commitment to the UC basketball program.
Wilmington basketball coach Mike Noszka was at Cumberland’s house earlier today and he could sense the excitement and relief after Cumberland made his verbal commitment this morning to UC.
“UC was his last visit,” Noszka told Cincinnati.com. “I think he feels really good about it. UC was great to him.”
The Bearcats offered the 6-foot-5, 215-pound guard in August 2014. Cincinnati.com saw UC coach Mick Cronin at Wilmington’s game against Taylor County (Ky.) at the Flyin’ to the Hoop in January 2015.
Cumberland was traveling to California with his King James AAU team and got back home late Tuesday night. He will leave soon for the Peach Jam July 6.
Cumberland also had offers from Xavier, Butler, Purdue, Florida State, West Virginia and Nevada during the recruiting process. Michigan and Indiana showed strong interest and the Wolverines were close to offering.
Cumberland visited UC the last weekend of June and said he always enjoyed the way Cronin treated him. There wasn’t too much pressure with the Bearcats coaches and they remained patient.
In the end, that paid off. Cumberland sees himself as a natural fit at UC.
“I hustle and put the ball in the bucket,” Cumberland said. “I am just a tough guy. That’s what UC is all about – toughness.”
Cumberland, a four-star recruit, averaged 24.5 points for Wilmington in the regular season in 2014-15. Wilmington, a Division I program, had a 24-2 record last season.
Proximity had a lot to do with Cumberland’s decision to verbal to UC, Noszka said. Cumberland will sign with the Bearcats in November.
“Jarron felt really at east with coach Cronin,” Noszka said. “(UC assistant coach) Antwon Jackson was outstanding with Jarron. He did a great job. He really cares about the kid.”
Cumberland, rated No. 77 nationally in the ESPN Top 100 for the 2016 class, is an outstanding passer with a high basketball IQ. He also has a unique ability to compete at the highest level even when the chips are down, Noszka said.
I noticed Cumberland’s toughness in the Flyin’ to the Hoop game in January. His ability to score is one thing but I was also impressed with his strength.
“The innate ability to compete,” Noszka said. “He is not going to back down from anybody.”
Cumberland is one of eight returning varsity players for Wilmington this upcoming season. Wilmington’s non-league schedule includes Moeller, CovCath, Columbus Desales, Lakota East and Springfield.
Wilmington will compete in the Flyin’ to the Hoop Invitational in January against an opponent to be determined and against Middletown in the Play-by-Play Classic and play Cleveland Heights in the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic at Wilmington College.
Noszka understands Cumberland will have the spotlight but he knows his standout is used to carrying a heavy workload in front of local fans that will watch him at UC.
“For Jarron to make this decision to stay in Ohio and go to UC, it speaks volumes about coach Cronin,” Noszka said.