Articles

Vander Blue

PG Marquette 6’3” 200 lbs 07/17/92

 

 

 

Offense: Blue’s niche is clearly as a Scoring guard/playmaking wing, and despite being much improved this season he is still largely a work in progress, which is an issue given his junior status

 

At 6’4, he has good size for a shooting guard, and has a lot of offensive potential; Blue is explosive with good quickness, and moves very fluidly on the perimeter. He is certainly not and point guard but is very comfortable with the ball in his hands

 

Blue can create for himself off the dribble and uses his body well in shielding defenders on drives to the hoop. He is capable of creating opportunities for teammates, but is not yet a good passer, and lacks good vision—at this point he is pretty much just a scorer on the offensive end.

 

The one area where Blue does show an ability to pass is in the drive and kick, as he is good at finding the open man when the defense collapses in the paint, but needs to make these decisions more quickly. Despite this, he needs to improve distribution skills because he has the potential to be a guy who can demand the ball at the offensive end.

 

Blue needs to improve his efficiency as a scorer, but he certainly has the potential to do so. He is capable of scoring in a variety of ways and his playmaking ability creates opportunities for teammates as long as he is aggressive. To this point, his aggressiveness level is decent, but he could stand to assert himself more sometimes on offense; he disappears and becomes tentative during some possessions over the course of games.

 

When there is a shot to be taken, however, Blue steps up; he is usually Marquette’s go-to guy when they need a bucket, and seems to enjoy this role. At this point his go-to move is the pull-up jumper; while his shot is most consistent off the dribble, scouts would like to see him attack the hoop on a higher percentage of his isolations.

 

Blue is a good ball handler, and although he does not have overwhelming athleticism, he possesses decent explosiveness off the dribble and gets to the rim well when he wants to. Blue is comfortable attacking with both hands, but he settles for jumpers too often.

 

His jumper is decent looking, he gets good lift and rotation but his release is slightly slow and inconsistent—has a hitch in his jumper when he takes off-balance jumpers, something he tends to do a little too often.

 

Blue plays well with the ball coming off screens, and he is crafty with his body, but he needs to improve his shot selection. He generally has good patience but he has a tendency to over dribble and despite his ability to finish from weird angles, Blue puts up too many low percentage shots when he is in traffic. He has average basketball IQ at this point, which is reflected in his sometimes-poor decision making on the offensive end.

 

Blue is good, not great, playing off the ball, as he times his cuts well and spaces the floor but occasionally seems to struggle to understand the offensive sets. He takes instructions on the offensive end more often than he gives them, and doesn’t always look like he knows where to go.

 

Strengths:

 

-       Playmaker, both for himself and teammates

-       Penetration, finishes well and drive and kick to create open looks

-       Scores in a variety of ways

 

Weaknesses:

 

-       Tendency to over-dribble; can be a ball stopper

-       Occasionally loses aggressiveness; disappears during possessions over the course of a game

-       Must become more of a distributor

-       Still has a long way to go, but already a Junior

 

 

Defense:

Overall, Blue is an above-average defender, and his perimeter defense has the potential to be his main NBA-level skill. He is actually better when involved in on-ball defense. He keeps his body low, avoids reaching, and uses his superior lateral quickness to consistently beat defenders to the spot.

 

Blue has elite level lateral quickness; he stays low to the ground on the defensive end and keeps his body wide, cutting down on passing angles with his length and surprising wingspan.

 

He takes shortcuts a little too often, going for steals and leaving his feet as opposed to playing solid sustained defense. When brought down to the post he actual shows better discipline than when on the perimeter

 

Blue is not good when the opponent involves him in screens. He tends to get lazy, relaxing and tending to settle for simply following his man around the pick too often, opening up driving lanes.

 

Off-ball, Blue stands around too much, and he almost seems to get complacent when he gets too far away from the ball. Occasionally he ends up cashing the ball too much, losing his man on the weak side, which leads to easy baskets.

 

Blue has very good upper body strength given his size and quickness, but needs to work harder—and do his work earlier—on defense. Similar to his issue defending screens, Blue sometimes gets lazy when defending off the ball, failing to knock down cutters and letting opponents get wherever they want to go within the flow of the offense.

 

Blue is the 4th leading rebounder for a Marquette team with no one averaging over 5 RPG, but is not a great rebounder in traffic. Part of this comes from positioning—he is often guarding the man taking perimeter shots, and rarely crashes the glass as he looks for leak-out opportunities.

 

Despite this, Blue boxes out well—again as a result of his always keeping his body low and wide in on-ball defense—and is a quick jumper, even though he lacks top-level explosiveness. He rotates well defensively, but with improved vision he could be lethal at sliding over and drawing charges, with his superior lateral quickness.

 

 

Strengths:

 

-       Fantastic lateral quickness, and stays low

-       On-ball defense; potential to be a top-level defender moving forward

-       Strong upper body, moves well

 

Weaknesses:

 

-       Gets lazy, especially in off-ball situations and when he is involved in screens

-       Does not work hard enough early enough in possessions, lets opponents gets position too easily

 

 

Overall: Blue does a variety of things well on both ends and Blue does enough things well that with continued development, he has a place on an NBA roster

He projects as a pure shooting guard at the next level, and has the size and strength to fit in at the spot physically. He needs to stay for his senior year and show improvements in certain areas, most notably vision, smarts and shot selection, but has the tools to be a solid backup in the league.