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Marquette's Vander Blue heading to NBA

By Jeff Goodman | College Basketball Insider

In one of the more baffling, head-scratching decisions of the offseason, Marquette junior guard Vander Blue has opted to leave early for the NBA.

The 6-foot-4 wing had a terrific season for Buzz Williams and the Golden Eagles. There's no debating that. He averaged 14.8 points and helped lead Marquette to the Elite Eight. However, he'll likely be taken somewhere in the second round in June's NBA Draft -- or he might even fail to hear his name called altogether on June 27.

“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 statement. “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."

Blue had emerged as Marquette's go-to guy this past season after being a complementary piece his first two years in college. He's athletic, but his perimeter shot is suspect. He shot 30 percent from beyond the arc this season.

Blue's departure is a significant hit for a Marquette team that also lost its starting point guard, Junior Cadougan, and senior wing Trent Lockett -- who averaged seven points per game after transferring from Arizona State a year ago. Three players also decided to transfer, although the lone one of note is Juan Anderson.

Williams still has his two-headed monster up front in Davante Gardner and Chris Otule, and also brings back Jamil Wilson. He also welcomes in a freshman class that has been ranked in the Top 10 nationally by just about every recruiting guru in the country. It includes point guard Duane Wilson, wings Jajuan Johnson and Deonte Burton and junior college forward Jameel McKay.

When we did the Top 25 (and one) a week ago, Marquette checked in at No. 10 with the assumption that Blue would be back in the fold. That number is certain to change with our next update, but as long as Williams is running things, the names might change -- but the success likely won't.

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