Vander Blue declares for NBA Draft

Photo by Danny Alfonzo/ daniel.alfonzo@mu.edu

Photo by Danny Alfonzo/ daniel.alfonzo@mu.edu

After a breakthrough 2012-13 season during which he blossomed into an offensive juggernaut, Marquette junior Vander Blue will forgo his senior season enter the NBA Draft.

Blue led Marquette in scoring with 14.8 points per game last season. He struggled for consistency in his first two seasons, but took a major step forward as the go-to scorer in last year’s offense.

“I’ve had three great years here and appreciate everything Marquette has done for me during that time to help me develop,” Blue said in a press release Tuesday.  “At this point I want to pursue my dream.  I’ve prayed about it and discussed it with my family and think this is the right decision for me at this time.

Coach Buzz Williams said he respects Blue’s decision and wishes him all the best at the next level.

“As a program, we are all very thankful for everything Vander has done to help our team over the last three years, but more importantly I admire the growth he has made off the floor as a person,” Williams said.  “He has had success in each role that he has played every year he has been here, and has continued to improve.  We will always be grateful for his contributions and wish him nothing but the best in his professional career.”

Blue, a native of Madison, decommitted from Wisconsin to join the Golden Eagles in 2010. He thanked the coaches and fans for a memorable three year career in Tuesday’s release.

“I really want to thank all of the coaches and staff at Marquette for helping me become a better player and a man,” Blue said.  “I also loved and appreciate the support shown by Marquette fans across the country during my career, especially during home games at the Bradley Center.”

Blue’s announcement marks the fourth Marquette player to defect this offseason. Juan Anderson, Jake Thomas and Jamal Ferguson were released from their scholarships in the past two weeks with the intention to transfer.

He is the first Marquette player to forgo his senior season to turn pro since Dwyane Wade did so in 2003. ESPN’s Chad Ford ranks Blue as the No. 77 player on his “Big Board.” That would make Blue undrafted, as the NBA draft only has 60 picks.

Marquette now has just 11 players on scholarship for 2013-14, two under the NCAA limit.

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