By Chuckie Maggio
Andell Cumberbatch made a splash in his Bonaventure debut, earning fans in the process.
Cumberbatch led all scorers with 23 points on 10-15 shooting in the Bonnies 102-57 exhibition win over Mansfield. Cumberbatch scored 21 of his 23 points in the first half of play, while he sat for most of the second.
“Andell (Cumberbatch) did everything we needed him to do,” said head coach Mark Schmidt. “Scoring, rebounding, and helping to move the ball around.”
Although Cumberbatch played exceptional on offense, his defense needs to be more consistent.
“He needs to improve his defense,” said Schmidt. “That’s one area he can improve on, and we need him to get better on the defensive side of the ball. Overall, he responded well to the nerves of the first game.”
Cumberbatch attacked Mansfield every chance he could. His aggressiveness became evident from the beginning of the game.
“I wanted to put pressure on Mansfield’s defense and contribute the best I could on both sides of the floor,” said Cumberbatch. “I was just trying to get my feet wet and help my team win in my first game.”
Cumberbatch’s versatility makes him a great offensive threat. He made plenty of layups, but he was also 2-4 from three and made several mid-range jumpers.
The Bonnies may have won by 45 points, but the team has plenty of room for improvement.
The exhibition game served as a tune-up game for the regular season.
Bonaventure had an opportunity to showcase their new roster against a weaker opponent, but Schmidt won’t be satisfied with a win over a Division II school.
“We need to improve on everything,” he said. “Running the floor, transition defense, containing shooters from three, rebounding, everything. It’s all about improving as a team.”
Coach Schmidt knows that future opponents will not turn the ball over as much as Mansfield did on Saturday afternoon. The Mountaineers had 35 turnovers, which resulted in 51 Bonaventure points.
“We’re not going to force 35 turnovers every game. The defense is going to need to be better against Division I teams that can protect the ball,” said Schmidt. “We’re not going to get 35 extra possessions in the Atlantic 10.”
Saturday provided fans a chance to watch Cumberbatch play in his first game for the Brown and White, and he played fantastic.
When the regular season begins against South Dakota, Cumberbatch should continue to give Bona fans a reason to cheer.