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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Vander Blue Verbals Early

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported late last night that Vander Blue became the first player to verbally commit to Bo Ryan's Badgers for the 2010-11 season. Most had expected Evan Anderson to commit first, but the rumors that Blue would make his choice quickly this spring turned out to be true.

Marquette and Indiana were reported to be the other offers recently extended to the 6'3" guard. Blue was named to the WIAA All-Tournament team as Madison Memorial marched to the D1 title game and will have one more year to team with Jeronne Maymon on another stacked squad before the Spartans truly become Blue's team in 2009. That is probably when his value will truly be judged. Like a number of other Badgers of recent vintage, Blue will now be monitored mercilessly throughout his final two high school seasons. Two other early commitments, Mike Flowers and Greg Stiemsma, both battled injuries after committing to the program and were not as impressive in their final campaigns as you would hope. I hope Blue has better luck.

Garnering commitments so early on a consistent basis is a testament to UW's good reputation as both an academic institution and a perennial basketball powerhouse. It's also a great move for the young men. They no longer have to endure the hounding of college coaches and hangers-on whispering in their ears. A free education is pretty swell, too.

As for Blue, he continued to see his stock rise after leading his team to a 3-1 record at the King James Shooting Stars tournament this past weekend. If Blue can develop his ball handling skills in the near future, he could develop into the point guard that Wisconsin needs in that recruiting class. He already possesses very good athleticism and good offensive instincts, though he needs to become more consistent. Blue said he plans to skip some of the ensuing tournaments this summer to focus on the books.

**Video of NBC15's interview with Blue regarding the announcement**

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