Blue Studying the Books

After wowing coaches on the AAU circuit and impressing himself in the summer school classroom, Madison Memorial guard Vander Blue is reportedly close to a college decision. With the ACTs coming up next month, however, Blue has put his academics first.

MADISON -With each passing AAU exhibition, the stock of Madison Memorial senior guard Vander Blue continues to rise.

After averaging 17.0 points and 5.3 rebounds to lead Memorial to a Division 1 State Championship, Blue has been a tough matchup in the circuit, as his ever improving outside game has made him a true duel threat to score from anywhere.

Right now, it seems the only thing that can stop Blue on the court is academics, as the talented prospect has been hitting the books in preparation to retake the ACT exam this September.

"He knows he needs to concentrate on the academic part," grandfather Art Wilson told Badger Nation. "He's got the ACT coming up in a month. Summer school went well for him. He was satisfied and very excited that he could conquer geometry."

After being named first team All-State by the Associated Press and the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association, rumors began circulating that Blue, a 2010 four-star prospect that is the 14th-ranked shooting guard in his class by, had backed off his verbal pledge to play basketball at UW in early May.

At a highly-publicized press conference a week later, Blue confirmed that he was reopening his recruitment and listening to all suitors. Since then, Wilson's phone hasn't stopped ringing.

"We have a lot of folks and a lot of college coaches calling," Wilson said. "He's highly rated everywhere and his stock continues to go up, especially after the NY2LA Invitational in Mequon. We have just back up off this (recruiting). Right now, we're just kind of holding the line."

Although Blue isn't doing any media interviews until after his ACT exam (a fact that was confirmed by his mother, Rita Blue, by phone Monday evening), Wilson was able to mention that Blue has identified three schools as his favorites going forward – Arizona, Florida and Wisconsin.

"He mentioned to me that he was still looking to Arizona, even though he doesn't know anything about Arizona, Wisconsin is still up there and the University of Florida," said Wilson, who also mentioned Florida head coach Billy Donovan traveled to Mequon to watch Blue in the NY2LA and again last week to watch Blue in a tournament in Madison. "That's where he stood earlier, but young student athletes like him have a lot of room for change in a 24-hour period."

Originally publicized that the reason for his decommitment from Wisconsin was because his academics were not in order, Wilson said that Blue's grade point average has improved after his summer school class, but he still has work he needs to accomplish in order to be approved for competition by the NCAA Clearinghouse.

"The coaches from the teams I have talked with don't want to recruit a marginal student athlete because those marks reflect on your program by the NCAA," Wilson said. "Based on all the calculations that have done, he has to continue to improve."

While some reporters have gone on record to say that Blue will make his decision as early as next week, Wilson states that Blue has bigger priorities on his plate before he can think about making a college decision.

"All I know is that the ACT has got to come first, and then a verbal commitment," Wilson said. "Still, I don't think any of us are going to let him sign anything until he clears the NCAA Clearinghouse. It's going to be somewhere around the 15th of September at the earliest that anything happens."

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