Yesterday, Paint Touches reported that Marquette junior guard Vander Blue is thinking about skipping his senior season in favor of entering the 2013 NBA Draft. And here's the thing: He absolutely should.
Part of thinking about it should be Buzz Williams calling around to the various coaches and scouts that he's met in his time coaching college basketball and seeing what they have to say about Blue's draft prospects. Another part of it should be submitting an official request to the NBA's Draft Advisory Committee to get feedback on how he might fare. The worst case scenario to come out of both of those things is that Blue would find out exactly what he can work on to improve his standing for next year.
But regardless of what kind of feedback he receives, I would hope that Blue is considering the following things:
1) 56 players declared early for the 2012 NBA Draft and 21 of them went undrafted. Included in that list were former Marquette opponents Dominic Cheek and Maalik Wayns from Villanova, and Georgetown's Hollis Thompson.
2) Getting drafted isn't the greatest thing in the world. First round draft picks get guaranteed contracts, and a guaranteed $2 million or more is nothing to sneeze at. But if you're not in that top 30, you get nothing guaranteed to you. Former LSU center Justin Hamilton was drafted 45th overall and his rights were traded to the Miami Heat. He never ended up on an NBA roster. Vander's former teammate Darius Johnson-Odom was drafted as well, and actually played in four NBA games, racking up a grand total of six minutes played. He spent most of his time on his non-guaranteed contract with the Lakers in the D-League until the Lakers cut him. Now he's playing in Russia, which is still a paying gig, but y'know, it's Russia.
3) DraftExpress.com currently lists Blue as the 60th best prospect available, down from 45 yesterday when I checked after reading Paint Touches' article. NBADraft.net doesn't have Blue on their top 100 board at all.
4) ESPN.com has Marquette as the 9th best team in the country in their very early preseason top 25, and CBSSports.com has the Golden Eagles at #10. Both of these rankings are based on the premise that Blue will be wearing blue and gold next year.
Did I miss anything important that Vander should be considering along with entering the NBA Draft? Your additions are more than welcome in the comments section below.