Every March, some unheralded playmaker finds that next level. The night after the Heat took their first L in two months, Dwyane Wade’s alma mater outmuscled the Miami Hurricanes. It’s been ten years since Wade found that sweet spot in his game for two weeks while carrying Marquette into the Final Four. Vander Blue may be tapping into that potential right now.
For Blue, it started in the regular season finale when he dropped a game-winning jumper against St. Johns to clinch Marquette a share of the final Big East championship .
It continued into the Round of 64 when Blue put the finishing touches on Davidson by taking Jake Cohen off the dribble and contorting himself for a lefty lay-in off the glass.
Marquette needed all 29 of Blue’s points to advance past Butler into the Sweet 16.
The Golden Eagles only asked 14 points from Blue against Miami, because the Hurricanes shot like they were facing swirling winds while his bigs did all the work in the paint. It was apparent early on that Miami was more vulnerable in the post without Reggie Johnson.
Most likely, Blue is saving his ammo for a bigger moment. Blue is so nice with it, that it makes you wonder where he’s been hiding the last four years. He’s been a solid contributor to Marquette, but he he’s elevated his game and his draft stock this month.
Meanwhile for Miami, their Sweet 16 loss capped off the best Hurricane season since 2000. The Hurricanes have one of the oldest rosters in college hoops, but none of those stars were enrolled in college that long ago( a few of them probably had part-time jobs though).
Blue had a quiet night, but before David Stern gets a chance, you'll hear his name again.