When the Michigan basketball team hosted Penn State two weeks ago, a number of recruiting targets were on hand to check out what the Wolverines have to offer. Despite losing to the Nittany Lions, the Maize and Blue coaching staff made a recruiting pitch to win over the services of Markus Crider.
"After the Penn State game I was in a room with coach Beilein, Coach Jackson, and a few other coaches," Crider recalled. "They offered me a scholarship and let me know that they want me."
What may sound like a normal recruiting pitch to some, the coaching staff took it one step further.
"They told me that they want me to replace Manny Harris," said Crider. "I was thinking, ‘Manny Harris is a very good player who is getting ready to get drafted to the NBA. Those are pretty big shoes to feel.' But I told the coaches I'd have no problem filling them."
What may sound arrogance to some is instead just a confident young man that is excited about the opportunity that lies ahead of him should he choose to take the Wolverines up on their offer.
That said, it's not like the Maize & Blue are the only ones knocking on Crider's door. His offer list is expanding by the day.
Michigan isn't the only of Crider's suitors to have hosted him on a visit. He's also tripped to a few others that have extended offers.
"I visited Wisconsin when the beat Duke awhile back. Duke was ranked like #5 at the time, and the arena went nuts after Wisconsin beat them. It was a great experience. Madison is a great town."
"I also visited DePaul when they played Detroit. It was an okay visit. They are in the Big East, but right now DePaul is in rebuilding mode with getting new coaches and stuff."
More schools such as Notre Dame are recruiting Crider, but those who haven't considerably stepped up their interest in the 6'6" 203 pound swingman might be eliminated from contention.
"I'm really going to look after the schools that have consistently showed me strong interest.," he said. After this season, I plan to sit down with my parents and come up with a top 5. Programs like Notre Dame have showed second level interest, but I'll be looking at the schools that have showed me first level interest."
It appears as if the Wolverines have increased their level of interest in recent months. Just last week prior to the Wolverines' away match-up against Ohio State, assistant coach Mike Jackson was spotted at one Crider's games. The youngster's Huber Heights Wayne squad sports a record of 9-2, and is in the midst of a state title run.
"We lost to Gahanna Lincoln by 4 points; we only made 4 out 20 free throws that game. The other game we lost was to Montverde Academy, which had the kid (James Bell) going to Villanova. He scored 22 points that game, but I scored 17 against them."
When attempting to describe his game to those who haven't seen him play, Crider made it simple.
"I'm a stat sheet stuffer, a guy that can get you whatever you want," he said confidently. "I can play the 1, 2, or 3. I'm trying to be the next Magic Johnson!"
Speaking of magic, Crider will take his act on the road this spring when he travels on the AAU circuit with the King James Shooting Stars.