Saturday, March 21, 2009

Vander Blue

Madison Memorial beat Racine Horlick tonight to win the Division 1 state championship in a game that was never close. What an impressive team. I ragged on Jeronne Maymon a little bit on Thursday, but he's a terrific high school player, a man among boys. You'd be hard pressed to find many guys who have had better four-year varsity runs in this state.

Naturally, though, I'm most excited about Vander Blue. To me he was far and away the best player in the tournament. The highlights were his dunks, which were very cool. A Badger comparison for his athleticism? Maybe a shorter Alando Tucker, but not quite as strong.

What I was most excited about, though was his jump shooting. He shoots a true jumper, releasing at the apex of his leap. He's accurate from distance, too.

His game still needs some tightening up, cutting down on turnovers and whatnot. And did you see the haircut (not reflected in this photo)? Dude, 1991 called, its young basketball players want their 'do back.
Think about our guards in 2010-2011: Jordan Taylor and Rob Wilson will be juniors, Diamond Taylor a sophomore, and Vander a freshman. Hopefully that group will end all the carping about us not fielding an athletic enough lineup.


lonebadger said...

I agree about Maymon, man can he rebound or what? But did you notice his demeanor? The guy lookes like he thinks the earth revolves around him. Any time he wasn't touching the ball or calling for it, it looked like he wasn't interested. I suppose being told how great you are for all those years can have an effect on you but c'mon dude. What did you think of Flavien Davis? I'm not sure about him because he is in Division 2. He looked pretty athletic, I'd like to see him against Maymon or Wilson. Oh and I forgot, how about that Junior Lomomba? Was he an impressive freshmen or what? I was extremely impressed with him.

Jim Polzin said...

I see more of Devin Harris in Blue than Alando Tucker.

Scott Tappa said...

I thought someone might say that, Jim, but Vander doesn't seem as fast as Devin. I can see that, too, though. Either way ...

Didn't see Davis play, was at a parade. He was really highly touted last season but apparently didn't play that well over the summer. We don't have a spot for him right now, but you never know.

Anonymous said...

I was in Madison this weekend and heard lots of rumors regarding Vander de-committing and going to MU. Hopefully these are only rumors.

Jim Polzin said...

For what it's worth, I asked Vander on Thursday if his commitment was firm and he said it was. Then I asked him if a lot of schools were still after him and he gave me an odd answer about him being a kid and wanting to have fun.

I'd be worried if I was Bo Ryan because ...
A:) this kid made a monster jump from his sophomore to junior year and might now be good enough to attract the attention of the big-name programs.
B:) I know UW fans don't want to hear this, but if Vander Blue took the time to sit down and watch the NCAA tournament, it wouldn't take him long to discover there are many, many teams out there whose system is a better fit for his game.

I'd love to see him stay in Madison, but I think he'd be better served to play in an up-tempo system like the one he's in at Memorial rather than the (boring?) one he'd play in at UW.

I know, I know, Devin Harris played in the swing and turned out to be a lottery pick.

Vander Blue could be a great player at UW. Of course, many people thought Trevon Hughes would be a great player at UW, too.

Jim Polzin said...

I thought the Blue-to-Harris comparison was more appropriate than the Blue-to-Tucker one because, as you mentioned, Blue has a nice-looking jump shot. Schwalbach has better form on his jumper than Tucker.

Blue isn't as fast as Harris, but not many are. His vertical isn't as good as Tucker's, but not many have that kind of hops.

So maybe a mix between Harris and Tucker. Translation: a pretty awesome catch for UW if it can keep Blue.

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Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in some elaboration on why you think the Badgers' offense would somehow swallow up Blue's talent. Your insta-caveat re: Devin Harris seems pretty damning. Then you've got all-America Alando Tucker who also was far from stifled... Seems like the offense is almost ideal for slashers who can shoot because the balance in the rest of the offense makes them impossible to defend.