5-star player visits Tucson

Last weekend Arizona hosted two top recruits in the class of 2007. This past weekend the Cats hosted a five-star recruit for the 2008 class and by all accounts it was a great visit.

Anthony Crater is ranked as the nation's third best point guard in the 2008 class and a Scout.com 5-star performer. The 6-1 Crater is out of Flint Southwestern Academy in Flint, MI, the same town current Wildcat commit Laval Lucas-Perry calls home.

Point guard could be a need position for the 2008 class as J.P. Prince would be a senior and Nic Wise would be a junior before a freshman in that class would step on campus. The Cats have commits from Lucas-Perry and Jerryd Bayless in the 2007 class, but both are considered combo-guards, and may be destined for the wing spot.

Crater was in town over the visit and according to one of his high school coaches, Carlos Fordham, it was a positive experience.

"It was an unbelievable visit," Fordham said. "He had a great time. He really enjoyed meeting the guys and getting to know Coach Olson. The weather was also great. It's 45 degrees right now in Michigan." In fact weather and the current players were something Fordham kept coming back to. He mentioned weather on at least two other occasions in the interview and had great things to say about the players.

"He got to meet the current basketball players," Fordham said. "He got to play some pick-up. He loved the tempo and pace that they play at. He loved the arena and campus. It wasn't an official visit but he got to do everything.

"He saw the arena, the weight room and got to play pick-up. He really enjoyed competing with guys like Mustafa Shakur and Jerryd Bayless. He got to see what these guys got."

It was a football weekend and Crater was able to experience one of the larger crowds in recent memory.

"He went to the football game," his dad explained. "USC is a top caliber team so he had to enjoy that. The place was jam packed and the crowd was great. He got to tailgate before the game with the team and coaches."

Bayless was down for the weekend as well and Crater got to not only meet the Phoenix guard but he also got a chance to meet a few former Wildcats.

It is the Wildcats' tradition of pro players that is a major selling point for Crater.

"Arizona has great facilities. A great tradition of preparing players for the pros and that is what he is looking to do long term. Arizona players are prepared for the NBA and that is his goal."

Crater has been interested in Arizona but the visit has really helped their chances in landing the Michigander.

"It really enhances his interest about Arizona basketball," Fordham said. "They are definitely in his top-three. He loves it."

Fordham said that Arizona, Ohio State and Illinois make up Crater's top-three, but that may be because they are the only three schools he has visited. He has a visit to Michigan planed for October seventh and is trying to visit Kansas and Florida before the start of basketball season.

An early commitment is not out of the questions. A decision could come as early as this spring or as late as next fall.

He wasn't quite ready to pronounce Arizona the favorite, but after gushing about the weather one more time Fordham added.

"They may have the edge right now."

Correction: In the first draft of this story I misidentified the relationship between Crater and Fordham. Fordham is one of his high school coaches and a close family friend. They are not related.


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