By: David Kay
After committing to Wisconsin at the end of his sophomore year and then de-committing in May to re-open the recruiting process, Madison Memorial senior guard Vander Blue has decided that he will play his college basketball at Marquette.
I spoke with Blue’s grandfather, Art Wilson, early Sunday evening and Wilson told me that Blue made the decision on Sunday after a family meeting; choosing Marquette over Wisconsin and UConn. Blue plans to officially sign with MU during the November signing period.
Wilson said that Blue, who attended Marquette Madness Friday evening, picked Marquette because of the chemistry he felt with the current players on the Golden Eagles’ roster which includes Blue’s former high school teammate, Jeronne Maymon. Former Golden Eagle Wesley Matthews is also a Madison Memorial graduate. Wilson also said that Blue took into consideration the styles of play when making his decision which makes sense since he excels in transition which is more Marquette’s style than Wisconsin’s.
This is a major get for Buzz Williams as Blue is a consensus top-40 national recruit by every major scouting web-site. A 6’4 combo guard who can handle the basketball, run the floor, and was an improved outside shooter during his junior season at Madison Memorial, Blue helped lead the Spartans to a state championship in which he was named tournament MVP.
The addition of Blue solidifies the Marquette backcourt for the next few years. Freshman point guard Junior Cadougan will take a medical redshirt year after rupturing his Achilles tendon during conditioning this off-season and will still have freshman eligibility at the start of the 2010-2011 season. Add in Juco transfers Darius Johnson-Odom who is a sophomore and Dwight Buycks, a junior, and the recent tradition of strong guard play at Marquette will almost certainly continue.
Plus, Williams has already received a verbal commitment from 6’6 wing player Jamail Jones, ranked 61st in the class of 2010 by ESPN.com. Jimmy Butler still has two years of eligibility remaing while fellow wing players Erik Williams and Maymon are freshmen.
Blue’s commitment leaves Marquette with two available scholarships for the 2010 class. With the backcourt and wings seemingly set, it would make sense for Williams to pursue a big man or two to add some depth inside especially with the recent legal issues involving one-time commit Monterale Clark, who will not suit up for the Golden Eagles.
Badger fans are ticked off and deservingly so, because Blue is a tremendous pick-up for Marquette and could really be a college stand-out. Having covered Blue for the past two seasons, I cannot begin to describe how excited I am for him to be joining the Blue and Gold.