Bainbridge alumni Tyree Crump finds success as a Bulldog
Tyree Crump may only be a freshman, but his role with the University of Georgia basketball team is very clearly defined. He has traded in his purple and gold for black and red and went from being a Bearcat to being a Bulldog, but his job once he hits the court is exactly the same–shoot, score and defend.
The adjustment to the college game took some time, but Crump found a rhythm late in the regular season and headed into the SEC tournament scoring in six straight games, his longest stretch of the season.
“I had to get in a rhythm and get used to playing,” Crump said. “Once I got in a rhythm, it is going now.”
He recorded his first career start against Tennessee in a key SEC game for the Dawgs. He played 16 minutes in the game and recorded 13 points to help his team secure the 76-75 victory.
“It felt really good,” Crump said. “I knew, in shoot-around, I had been shooting pretty well so I felt like it was going to be a good game. Once I hit my first jumper, I knew that it was going to be a good game for me. It was a big game for me and my teammates.”
The biggest difference moving up to college was the atmosphere according to Crump. The arenas are bigger, the crowds are louder and the pressure mounts once you hit the court under the bright lights.
“It is just different. It is a bigger arena with more people and you just have to go out there and play,” Crump said. “It is just more people than it usually is in high school and it’s better players that compete every night.”
He has had the chance to face off against some of the best players in the country, but the one he said sticks out the most if former five-star recruit and future Top 10 NBA pick Malik Monk of Kentucky,
“He can just fill it up,” Crump said of Monk. “He is a pretty natural scorer. You are just seeing how good you really are. You are going against a guy that is supposed to be a top pick in the NBA, you see what you need to work on and where you stand.”
Crump has also had to learn how to balance a long basketball season and everything it entails with a full course load during his freshman year of college.
“You have to get adjusted because you have school and then you have practice,” he said. “School takes up most of your time and then you have basketball practice. You’ll be a little exhausted, but you have to come everyday and lock in. You have to come in prepared to work everyday. It has to be in your head to work everyday.”
His freshman season is nearing an end with the NCAA tournament probably just out of reach, but the NIT is still a likelihood. He will have to step into a bigger role as a sophomore with the players in front of him graduating in the fall. He is ready to put in the work though.
“Just keep learning, keep playing hard and keep being aggressive and doing what I do best,” Crump said. “I am playing my role to shoot and score and defend. That is the only thing I need to do right now, shoot and defend.”