The Marquette Golden Eagles have announced that Vander Blue is leaving the program and entering his name in the 2013 NBA Draft. The move comes as a pretty big surprise to those who have followed his career closely.
It is not that Blue isn’t a terrific player or anything. In fact, I more than most think that he is as good a college player that there was in the country this past season. Many experts also felt that if Blue were to return for his senior year that he would be the front-runner to win Big East Player of the Year.
Still, none of that really matters as he has decided to go pro. Oddly enough, even mock draft folks don’t even have Blue anywhere on their boards. Some, however, do have him listed in the 2014 NBA Draft — as a late first round selection.
I am not sure if Blue will even be selected in the first round of this year’s draft. He is a very intriguing player, but he has very limited range and is not consistent hitting shots from beyond the arc. Really, Blue is most effective going to the basket with the ball, which is something that doesn’t always translate well to the pros.
Someone must have told him that he was going in the first round, though. It would have been too risky to declare early entry if all he was projected to do was go in the second (first round gives guaranteed contracts. Second round … not so much).
This is obviously a huge blow to the Golden Eagles basketball team. Buzz Williams is going to have to quickly figure something out, as a player like Blue is not very easily replaced.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone