Buzz Williams brings in two star recruits

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Marquette men’s basketball coach Buzz Williams flaunted his extraordinary recruiting skills once again Wednesday, as the team announced its 2010 recruiting class, ranked No. 25 in the nation by Scout.com.

The leading prospect on the list is Madison Memorial guard Vander Blue. Originally giving a verbal commitment to Wisconsin, Blue grabbed headlines by reversing course and verbally committed to Marquette in late October.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard is the No. 22 prospect in the country according to Rivals.com and the No. 9 shooting guard in the country according to ESPNU. He also already has a leg in the Marquette program, having played alongside freshman forward Jeronne Maymon at Madison Memorial.

Jamail Jones

“Jeronne has always looked at Vander as a little brother,” said Tim Ritchie, Madison Memorial’s Athletic Director, after Blue verbally committed to Marquette, “and those two will work well together.”

Williams described Blue and Maymon’s relationship the same way and said the two grew up together and talk every day, which he said could only help Blue acclimate.

As one of the top players in the state, Williams said Blue will likely make an immediate impact in the Golden Eagles’ backcourt.

Vander Blue

“I think he solves a lot of problems for us on the floor,” Williams said. “Having one player being able to step in and fulfill what we’re going to miss from (Maurice Acker and David Cubillan), that’s the thing that’s probably not talked about enough.”

Blue led Madison Memorial to a 26-1 record last season and averaged 17 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.5 steals per game, while shooting 51.9 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from 3-point range and 66.7 percent from the free throw line.

Despite Blue’s paltry assist totals, Williams said he still sees him as a point guard but would use him however it helps the team.

“He can really score, and that’s probably been his meal ticket up until this point in his career,” Williams said. “But I think that his mind is probably that of a point guard. I don’t know that he’s a full-time point guard every single possession as a freshman, but I think as his career unfolds I think that’s what he will trend toward.”

The Golden Eagles also signed Jamail Jones to a National Letter of Intent Wednesday. Like Blue, the 6-foot-6, 205-pound small forward verbally committed to Marquette prior to the early signing period. Jones is the No. 65 prospect in his class according to Rivals.com and No. 61 according to ESPNU’s Top 100.

Williams insists Jones is not as well known because he is not from the area and compared him to a former Marquette swingman.

“The first time I met him I thought he was Wesley Matthews,” Williams said.

Jones averaged 17 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and three blocks per game last season at Green Forest Christian Academy in Decatur, Ga. It is this versatility that brings Williams to the Matthews comparison.

“He makes his team better,” Williams said. “He doesn’t do anything great but doesn’t do any bad, just really, really solid.”

With six days of the early signing period left, Williams indicated that his staff will be working as hard as it can to sign a few more recruits.

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