April 11, 2008

Blue nets first offer

Bo Ryan doesn't have to travel very far to find one of the top shooting guards in class of 2010. Vander Blue, a combo guard from Madison Memorial High School, is actually playing ball right in his backyard.

Thursday night, BadgerBlitz.com caught up with Blue to discuss his first offer, courtesy of the University of Wisconsin.

"Actually, I got an offer from UW," said the Spartan star. "I'd say it was about a month ago when they officially offered me.

"Coach (Howard) Moore contacted my AAU coach. He was the one who actually told me about it. Then I called Coach Moore, he told me that I had an offer waiting on the table."

Moore continues to spend long hours on the recruiting trail, tracking down some of the top talent in the country. Recent verbals Ryan Evans (2008) and Diamond Taylor (2009) established strong relationships with the assistant coach, who is now heading up Blue's recruitment.

"Coach Moore is really cool, I give him a call every once and awhile," said the 6-foot-3, 180-pounder. "I called him not that long ago and congratulated him on the season they had. They ran into a tough one, but we're really cool.

"I make sure to stay in contact, I call him and check up on things, see how things are going, because it's a possibility I might be heading there."

With one offer already on the table, expect other top Division I programs to come calling in the near future.

"Wisconsin is the only offer so far but my high school coach, Coach (Steve) Collins, said that Clemson, Virginia, Notre Dame and Marquette are getting ready to offer me, too," he said. "Hopefully, I will have them by the end of the summer."

Although Blue currently lives in Madison, he didn't grow up a Badger fan.

"I'm originally from Milwaukee and moved to Madison, so I didn't always grow up rooting for the Badgers," said Blue, whose team finished second in the WIAA Division I state tournament this past season. "I like the Badgers a lot since they had Devin Harris. It really doesn't matter what school I go to as long as I'm able to further my education."

Collins runs a similar offense to that of Ryan, something that would allow Blue to feel comfortable if he does eventually select Wisconsin.

"We sort of run an offense similar to the swing, but all of my life I've been an up and down type player. It really doesn't matter to me, I just can't wait to get on that stage," Blue said. "I can adjust to anything, the half-court game or the full-court game because I feel I have the talent to do both.

"Ever since the season I've got a lot stronger finishing around the basket. I feel now, once I have the ball, I believe you're at my will. My mid-range jump shot is looking nice since the season, but I'm still working on my 3-point shot. Once I have that, I have a game that can't be stopped, people can just try to contain me."

Expect and early decision from Blue, who hopes to make a commitment by the end of his junior season.

"I'm pretty sure I'm going to make a commitment and sign by the end of next year after I take my ACT," said Blue, who joins fellow in-state prospect Evan Anderson as known players in the 2010 class with Badger offers. "By the end of my junior year I'll already know what I'm going to do."

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