Freshman point guard after own notoriety at Ohio State
Noopy No More
Freshman point guard looks to play “his game” and add name to record books
By Ryan Zimmerman, Ohio State Athletics Communications
His teammates call him “Noopy.” Coaches and scouts say he’s a natural leader. He sees himself as a winner.
Throughout his basketball career, Ohio State freshman point guard Anthony Crater has been nothing less. A heralded recruit out of Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., Crater led his team to a 31-4 record, a New England Class A title and a national final four appearance during his senior season. He transferred to Brewster after three seasons at Flint Southwestern Academy in Flint, Mich., where his teams played in two state final fours and claimed three city league championships. A two-time All-Michigan performer, Crater was named the Michigan Class B Player of the Year after his junior campaign and was nominated for the McDonald’s High School All-American team as a senior at Brewster.
After so many victories and personal achievements as an athlete in high school, many would expect success to go to a player’s head. However, that is not the case with Crater. Despite all of his personal accomplishments and triumphs on the court, he is quick to recognize all of those who have helped him along the way.
“I was lucky enough to play on some great teams in high school,” Crater acknowledged before taking to the court for practice. “You should always put team success first. I’ve always thought of myself as a winner, and that is more important than receiving awards or anything like that.”
Noted for his quick instincts, vision and ability to create plays, Crater was brought to Columbus by OSU coaches who saw him as the next in line to inherit the role of point guard, a position that has seen a number of great players during the Thad Matta era. While many freshmen would be intimidated by names like Brandon Fuss-Cheatum, Tony Stockman, Mike Conley Jr. and Jamar Butler, Crater embraces the legacy they created.
“I really don’t feel any pressure to live up to anyone’s expectations,” Crater said. “I’m just going to go out and be me and play my game. Hopefully, that’ll be good enough to get the job done.”
Having grown up in Flint, a city known for producing great Big Ten players, Crater was groomed at a young age for success. Meeting players like Mateen Cleaves and Morris Peterson made a huge impact on his early basketball career. Since arriving at Ohio State, he has had the opportunity to meet a number of OSU legends, but several conversations with Conley, who himself enjoyed great success as a freshman, have resonated with him.
“Mike told me to go into every game fearless and to put everything you have on the court for 40 minutes. He’s encouraged me to just play the way I know how to. If you can do that, you should be successful.”
Teammates also see the potential in Crater.
“Noopy’s a smart guy,” sophomore guard Evan Turner said with a grin. “He’s going to be a great contributor for us because he understands the game and he works hard to be the best he can be. I think he has everything you need to be a really good player.”
Although he appreciates all of the praise and support he has received from coaches, players and the media, Crater is not expecting the transition from high school to college to be a cake walk. He will be the first to admit that there are many aspects of his game that need improvement.
“I know there are a lot of things that I have to get better at to get to where I want to be, especially my outside shot and just my overall strength,” Crater recognized. “That’ll just come with time and more practice and work in the weight room.”
While Crater looks forward to many wins throughout his college career and beyond, there is one thing he would like to lose- his nickname.
“One of my aunts gave me that nickname when I was little and I’ve never liked it,” Crater said laughing. “Hopefully by the end of my career people can look back and see all the great things Anthony Crater contributed to Ohio State.”