Virginia recruit headed to Arizona, prep coach says

By Patrick Klein

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The race to recruit prep power forward Ricardo Crumble, his high school coach said, is over.

Steve Smith, in his 11th year as coach at the prestigious Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., said yesterday that while Crumble had yet to commit to a school, he would be surprised if the 6-foot-7-inch, 225-pound Crumble did not end up in Tucson next year.

The only thing standing in the way of Crumble heading west is a visit this weekend to Cleveland State, located in the city where he grew up and where his family lives.

"He's told Miami (of Ohio) and Virginia that they were out, and he's on the phone with DePaul right now," Smith said. "My gut tells me he's just going to (visit) Cleveland State just to go home. Unless something really happens over the weekend, he'll go to Arizona."

After this weekend's visit, Smith said Crumble would sit down with his family and discuss his options.

Crumble could be the second commitment from Oak Hill for Arizona. Last week, 6-foot-8 forward Stephen Jackson reportedly committed to the Wildcats, but those rumors turned out to be false. However, Smith said all that's left regarding Jackson's decision is a formal commitment to Arizona.

"Steve Jackson has semi-committed to Arizona," he said. "But he'll definitely commit."

Jackson's decision has made at least some impact on teammate Crumble's choice, Smith said.

"The two of them are pretty good friends," he said. "It couldn't hurt that Steve committed."

But perhaps more of an impact on Crumble was his meeting with Arizona senior forward Ben Davis, a 1991 Oak Hill graduate. Crumble met with the 6-foot-8, 240-pound Davis during his recruiting visit to Arizona about two weeks ago.

"Ricardo really liked his trip (to Tucson)," Smith said. "He hung out with Ben, and they have a lot in common. Both went to Oak Hill, both are power forwards, both are about the same size, and they are even born on the same day (Dec. 26)."

With seven scholarships to give away, the recruiting continues this weekend as 6-foot-7 forward Eugene Edgerson, from St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, visits Tucson.

Arizona has already received commitments from Phoenix Shadow Mountain point guard Mike Bibby; guard Quynn Tebbs from Brigham High in South Jordan, Utah, who is completing a two-year Mormon mission in Brazil; and Bennett Davison, a 6-foot-7 forward from West Valley Junior College in Saratoga, Calif.

Arizona head coach Lute Olson is prohibited under NCAA rules from commenting on recruits until after they sign. The fall signing period begins Nov. 7.

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