The University of Wisconsin basketball team may have lost a future recruit this week when Madison Memorial junior guard Vander Blue withdrew an earlier verbal committment to the Badgers.  In doing so, Blue sounded like a normal confused 16 year old with a big decision looming over his head.  Blue didn’t rule out an eventual signing with the Badgers, but published comments made by Blue earlier this week strongly suggest he was bothered by allegations posted on internet message boards regarding his academic standing, making it more unlikely he’ll land in Madison.

I’m of the opinion that, in this day and age, we ask our kids to grow up too soon; expecting them to read before they get to kindergarten and often to pick a career before high school.  It’s difficult enough for a student to get through school under normal circumstances.   Throw in the aspect of major college athletics and all the recruiting nonsense connected with it and the pressure on a teenager must increase ten-fold.  Now, apparently, you also have to add anonymous fools with a computer to that mix.

Ironically, theses same overzealous “fans” probably cost the Badgers a player that could help the program.  We often complained this past season about the Badgers lack of a “go-to” player on offense.  Judging by his play in the most recent WIAA state tournament, Vander Blue potentially could have been just such a player.  But the truly unfortunate part of all this is that, if he intends to succeed in Division I basketball, Blue is going to have to develop a much thicker skin.


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  • Jon

    I had started two blog entries on this topic and never finished either one. The toughest decision most 16-year olds face each day is whether to take the salisbury steak or go through the ala carte line during lunch period. High school juniors change their minds a lot and Blue may still wind up at UW. High school juniors are not media-savvy. Please folks, don’t villify the child. He is a kid who is having a hard time figuring out where to go to college like thousands of others across the land. It is OK. Maybe UW…Marquette is a definite possibility…L’ville is one, too.

    • http://mike Mike

      Agreed. As the father of two teenagers I can appreciate what Blue is going through. (Of course, if he goes to Marquette he’ll be dead to me.)

      And BTW, you couldn’t finish your posts?! Do I have to do everything around here?!

      • Chris

        At least Jon actually started a couple of posts on this; the best I could do was think about doing one. So, yes, Mike — you have to do everything around here. I am so busy Twittering my pastor says I will go blind…

      • Chris

        …as for Blue, I am not sure he was going to be a good fit at UW anyway. So if he is unsure about coming to campus, then he is wise to look for a better fit, a place where he is more comfortable.

        • Jon

          If Blue doesn’t fit at UW it does not bode well for UW’s future…best Wisconsin guard prospect since Devin Harris.

          • Chris

            Sam Oakey didn’t fit well, either, and they did just fine without him.