Wayne’s Crider on the rise; Warriors nearly knock off nation’s No. 2 team


Huber Heights Wayne G/F Markus Crider (Photo by Nick Falzerano)

Huber Heights Wayne sophomore wing Markus Crider could be among Midwest’s best in 2011 class. The 6-6 Crider played for Wayne against Findlay Prep of Nevada in the Flyin’ To The Hoop event on Monday and he and the Warriors nearly knocked off the nation’s No. 2-ranked team.

KETTERING, Ohio – One of the fastest rising hoops prospects in the Buckeye State hails from a school traditionally known for its football program.

Huber Heights Wayne flexed its muscles on the hardwood Monday against one of the top-ranked teams in the country and sophomore guard/forward Markus Crider made his contribution.

Crider, who stands in at 6-foot-6, had seven points, two rebounds and an assist in the 66-62 loss Findlay Prep (Nev.) in the finale of the Flyin’ to the Hoop Tournament at Kettering’s Trent Arena.

Findlay (20-0) is ranked as the No. 2 team in the country and boasts three Division I college recruits and another D-I prospect.

“I think we battled well,” Crider said. “I think I played well, too, and that shows me I have options to possibly make it big.”

The game featured 12 ties and six lead changes and Wayne (7-3) trailed by just one point with 18 seconds remaining. Coming out of a timeout, Crider’s inbounds pass to Jordan Bazile was picked off by Rasham Suarez, who slammed a rim-rattling dunk for his only points of the game to give Findlay a 63-60 lead and put the game out of reach for the Warriors.

“That is when you’re dealing with young guys,” Wayne head coach Travis Trice said of the late turnover. “Markus wasn’t supposed to take the ball out-of-bounds and he did and we didn’t have any timeouts left. That play was supposed to get the ball into Markus but we were careless with the ball and it cost us.”

Added Crider: “I had the turnover at the end. I thought (Bazile) was going to catch but he didn’t and that was the downfall.”

Crider knocked down two shots in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 57 and 59, respectively, before making the late mistake.

“I was thinking that we just needed to make shots and keep the defense up,” he said.

But Wayne struggled to make free throws down the stretch that proved costly in the loss. The Warriors were 17-of-27 from the charity stripe.

“I am not into moral victories and that was a game I think we should have won,” Trice said. “We played hard and we got great minutes from every single person that stepped on the floor.

“We’re not going to face another team like Findlay Prep and if we can take care of the ball against those guys, score, defend and rebound, our team has the ability and potential to be great.”

Crider was whistled for two quick fouls early in the game and was forced to the bench until the second half.

“I felt kind of emotionless,” Crider said about having to sit out in the first half. “I couldn’t play but I knew my teammates would back me up so when I came out in the second half I knew I could take over.”

Just a sophomore, Crider already has offers from Dayton, Cleveland State and Akron. He is drawing interest from Ohio State, Xavier, Indiana, Minnesota, USC, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Butler.

Ohio State assistant Brandon Miller was on hand for the game to watch Crider as well as Findlay junior guard Corey Joseph.

“I like O-State a lot,” said Crider. “I like the atmosphere. There is nothing like that. (Head coach Thad Matta) is cool. It is pretty nice up there.  “I want to go to a school that runs and plays hard defense.”

Crider attended the Ohio State 72-67 win over Notre Dame earlier this season in Indianapolis. He also said he likes Dayton because it is close to home.

Trice Is Nice

Sophomore guard Travis Trice, son of the Wayne head coach, paced the Warriors with 22 points in the game. He also has offers to Dayton, Cleveland State, Akron and adds Wright State. Trice has interest from Ohio State, Xavier, Indiana, USC, Wisconsin, Illinois, Butler and Southern Illinois.

The 6-0 Trice also got in foul trouble early but the elder Trice elected to keep him in the game.

“I was probably a mistake on my part playing him,” coach Trice said. “But you don’t get this opportunity very often and we were going to put everything into one basket. He was hot and he was feeling it so I left him in there.”

Bird, Watching

Fresh off his team’s win 69-63 over then No. 1 Pittsburgh Saturday, Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino was on hand for the game. Findlay junior guard Cory Joseph is a Louisville prospect and is also getting interest from Connecticut, Kansas, Memphis, Virginia Tech, Texas, Texas A&M, Villanova and Ohio State to name a few.

‘Gopher’ The Gold

Saul Smith, son of legendary coach Tubby Smith and assistant to his father at Minnesota, was also at the game. The Golden Gophers are after Joseph, whose older brother Devoe is a freshman guard for Minnesota. Joseph had 12 points, three rebounds, four assists and four steals in the game.

Basketball Factory

Findlay senior guard Avery Bradley is a Texas recruit and had 23 points, five rebounds, six assists and four steals in the game. Illinois recruit D.J. Richardson netted nine points, three rebounds, an assist and a turnover. Carlos Lopez, a senior forward and UNLV recruit, had five points and a rebound as he battled foul trouble all night.

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