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Basketball Recruiting

Rising Top-10 sophomore TJ Crumble talks recruitment, game

January 18, 2024

When it comes to rising sophomore talent across America, TJ Crumble is up there with the best of them.

The Top-10 recruit out of Richmond Heights (OH.) has been on a tear all season long at his new school.

Crumble, formerly of Lutheran East, where he helped lead the program to a state championship despite just being a freshman, is now starring as a sophomore for Richmond Heights.

He most recently competed at Flyin’ To The Hoop where he was one of the event's top performers, recording over 20+ points and ending on the All-Tournament Team.

He has convinced outlets to rank him amongst the Top-10 prospects in the 2026 class and deserves to be in that conversation. The 6’8, 215-pound wing, has asserted himself as one of the best two-way talents in his class and has drawn suitors very early.

Crumble has taken multiple visits, including to Cincinnati, Wisconsin, and Michigan State, amongst others. In addition, several new programs have entered the fro and will be recruiting the talented sophomore. discussed recruiting and hoops with Crumble in an interview on Thursday morning.

Which schools would you say are making a heavy push early on?

“As of right now, I’ll say Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio State are making the heaviest push out of the schools that offered.”

And are any [new] schools entering the mix this season?

“Iowa and Houston have offered and started recruiting me this season. Minnesota, UCLA, and Michigan State are the ones recruiting me the heaviest of who have not offered.”

What’s a school like Notre Dame pitching? Staff is new, rebuilding a culture, what’s the early pitch?

“Coach Shrews has been successful at every stop he has been at. He is a great coach and the ACC is one of the top basketball conferences. Notre Dame has great academics, which would set me up great for my post-basketball life. Some of my dad’s work colleagues have graduated from Notre Dame which is some great connections as well.”

How about one of the new interests, Michigan State, your thoughts on them and an early pitch?

“Coach Izzo is a legendary coach who has had a great amount of success throughout his coaching career in the Big 10 which is a conference I like a lot. Coach Izzo and the staff care about their players and recruits even outside of basketball, and my former teammate Jesse McCulloch who’s committed there has told me nothing but good things about them. They also have a great family atmosphere. They are showing the most interest of who hasn’t offered.”

Thoughts on Illinois?

“I love them. I'm a huge fan of how they go about their basketball workouts, lifting and players eating habits. It’s very interesting and thought out. I also have a very close relationship with Coach Frazier and he’s a very personable guy. I also like Coach Underwood a lot and I like how he goes about the little things to advance a player on the court.”

Visit-wise, are you done for the season?

“Yeah as of right now I have no visits planned for the rest of the season.”

How has your game improved this season?

“My motor has had a massive increase and I’ll say I’ve become a better rebounder and have added on to my growing mindset.”

Did anything you worked on this summer translate to the court this season?

“I think what has shown the most of what I’ve worked on in the summer is my perimeter defense and my stamina and running. Running past defenders, getting finishes, rim running, and blowing by defenders when I’m on the perimeter to get to the finish or a midrange continuously has gotten way easier and I’ve become more efficient with it as well.”

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