Marquette v Miami

Marquette’s Vander Blue to enter the NBA Draft

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After much speculation, Marquette announced Tuesday that guard Vander Blue has decided to enter his name into the NBA Draft, forgoing his final season of eligibility in Milwaukee.

“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.”

(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)

“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,” head coach Buzz 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 is an intriguing prospect for NBA teams. He’s a terrific athlete that knows how to slash to the rim, averaging 14.8 points, and he was also Marquette’s best perimeter defender this season. But he’s also a junior is college that still hasn’t developed a consistent stroke from the perimeter. His 30.3% shooting from three was his best season to date. It’s gotten better through the years, but he’s a long way from being an NBA caliber shooter, which creates a bit of an issue when he’s projected to be a shooting guard in the league.

He’s a player, however, and he also proved that he’s unafraid of the moment, as he shined during Marquette’s run to this season’s Elite 8.

Draft Express currently projects Blue as a late first round pick, but he’s listed in the 2014 draft.

As for Marquette, losing Blue will hurt. Anyone that watched them play in March and saw just how dominant Blue could be will understand that. But the Golden Eagles bring in a ton of talent on their perimeter — JaJuan Johnson, Duane Wilson, Deonte Burton — and with a front court that will return Davante Gardner and Jamil Wilson, among others, there are still enough pieces on the roster for Buzz to work his magic.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

Brian Gregory
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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.