'Difficult decision' for Crumble, coach says

By Patrick Klein

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The reports of Ricardo Crumble's commitment have been greatly exaggerated.

The 6-foot-7-inch prep forward from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia was reported in Sunday's Arizona Daily Star to have verbally committed to DePaul, but his coach said yesterday Crumble has yet to make up his mind between DePaul and Arizona.

Oak Hill head coach Steve Smith said after Crumble visited the Chicago school two weeks ago, he told the Blue Demon coaches he would attend DePaul, but Smith said Crumble also verbally committed to Arizona coaches after he visited Tucson in late September.

"He's not wishy-washy, he's just trying to make a very difficult decision," Smith said. "As of (Tuesday) he does not know. His decision depends on the day of the week. He told me he wasn't sure and he knows the verbal stuff is not binding.

"I told him it was his decision. I just prefer he does not tell two schools he's coming."

The problem for Crumble, Smith said, is the number of people trying to help him make the decision. Crumble is from Cleveland, and the relative proximity to Chicago as opposed to Arizona has his friends and some family from home telling him to go to DePaul.

The only advice Smith had for his player was to talk to his mother.

"He has a lot of people telling him what to do, and a lot of people back home want him to go to DePaul," Smith said. "His mom and his grandma have told him it's his decision, and those are the people he should he listening to.

"He wants to keep everybody happy."

Smith said three weeks ago that he thought Crumble was a lock to be the second player from Oak Hill to commit to Arizona this year, following 6-foot-8-inch forward Stephen Jackson. While DePaul has since entered the picture, Smith said he still thinks Crumble will end up in Tucson.

"I think deep down he still wants to go to Arizona, and I think he's wavering that way," Smith said.

While it is usually an unwritten recruiting law that once a player makes a verbal commitment, other schools back off, the longer a recruit who publicly limits his choices waits to make a decision, the more curious and hopeful other schools become.

That was what was starting to happen with Crumble, whose mother, Smith said, had received several calls from schools that were still interested in him.

"Right now there is no other school, but the longer he waits, the more schools jump back in," Smith said. "I wouldn't rule out anything happening between now and Nov. 7 (the first day of the fall signing period)."

Arizona coaches are prohibited under NCAA rules from commenting on recruits until they sign a letter of intent with the school.

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