Today we turn our attention to Chad Ford's favorite Golden Eagle, junior guard Vander Blue. In last year's season review post, I said that Vander was clearly the most improved player on the team while not standing out all that much. Marquette's success this season was already going to hinge a bit on Vander standing out more often, but with Todd Mayo unavailable for the foreseeable future, Blue's performance just became more important.
Minimum Expectation: 10 points, five rebounds, and either the assists go up or the turnovers go down. Oh, and the end of The Patented Vander Blue Layup That Bounces Four Times On The Rim Then Falls Off.
Wildest Dreams: Blue finally lives up to the hype from his freshman year and the reputation that's kept him in Chad Ford's top 100 NBA Draft prospects every single year. He turns into the dependable shooter that MU needs, which means defenders have to start giving him DJO-level respect for both his shot and his first step. His offensive development doesn't affect his mentality on defense and Buzz says "he makes it really hard to take him off the floor" about 30 times.
Worst Nightmare: Vander's development as a player has peaked. We get the same reliable defense and rebounding, but his offense still struggles, and Buzz is forced to rummage around in the bench to find anyone who can score.