Crumble headed for DePaul after Edgerson commits to UA

By Patrick Klein

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Prep forward Ricardo Crumble spent the last three weeks trying to make up his mind about whether to commit to Arizona or DePaul.

Last Thursday, Eugene Edgerson made up Crumble's mind for him.

Crumble, a 6-foot-7-inch forward from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., decided to commit to DePaul last Friday after Edgerson, from New Orleans' St. Augustine High School, committed to Arizona the day before, Crumble's coach said.

"It was probably because of Edgerson," Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said of Crumble's decision. "He was wavering but I think (Edgerson's decision) pushed him over the edge."

Besides Edgerson, a 6-foot-7 forward, Arizona has received commitments from two other players at Crumble's forward position: 6-foot-7 Stephen Jackson, who is Crumble's teammate at Oak Hill, and 6-foot-7 Bennett Davison, from West Valley Junior College in Saratoga, Calif.

The number of forwards recruited by the Wildcats meant Crumble would not be guaranteed playing time, an argument DePaul used when the school recruited Crumble it essentially told him if he chose to be a Blue Demon, he could play right away.

"I think he thought it was in his best interest to go to DePaul," Smith said.

He also said the Arizona coaches were not surprised by the decision.

"I think they expected it after Eugene committed," Smith said. "They said they would have liked to have both, but they understood."

Arizona continued recruiting efforts this past weekend when the team hosted Justin Wessel, from Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Wessel falls into the forward category at 6-foot-9, 200 pounds, but the number of forwards UA has received commitments from does not bother him because of his versatility, his coach said. He will be Prairie's point guard and top three-point threat this season.

"He does not have a problem with the number of other forwards recruited because I think what separates him from other big men is the ability to handle the ball," Prairie head coach Denny Thiessen said.

"He'll be our point guard, he'll bring it down about 90 percent of the time. He'll also play every other position for us this year. He's a great three-point shooter, an excellent passer. He's right-handed but he dribbles much better with his left hand," he said.

Thiessen said Wessel enjoyed his visit to Tucson, and he has tentatively scheduled a press conference for next Monday to announce his decision.

Wessel has visited only Arizona and Western Kentucky. He was still deciding if he wanted to visit North Carolina-Wilmington, Thiessen said.

Thiessen said that he had an idea of which school he thought Wessel would commit to, but would not say which one that was.

Arizona has seven scholarships to offer for next season, and has received verbal commitments from five players: 6-foot-2 guard Quynn Tebbs, from Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah; 6-foot-2 guard Mike Bibby from Phoenix's Shadow Mountain High School; Jackson, Edgerson and Davison.

Arizona coaches are prohibited by NCAA rules from commenting on recruits until after they sign a letter of intent. The fall signing period begins Nov. 7.

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