Friar Basketball

How Porter, Blue Declaring Impacts Providence


It should come as no surprise that Georgetown forward Otto Porter is off to the NBA. The Big East’s Player of the Year and AP runner-up for National Player of the Year is almost certainly a lock for the top 10 next season and could find his way into the top 5 overall selections after averaging over 16 points and seven rebounds as a sophomore.

The bigger surprise was Marquette junior Vander Blue declaring himself eligible for the draft. After two seasons in which his numbers were very similar to recruiting classmate, and former Friar, Gerard Coleman, Blue had somewhat of a breakout junior season in making 2nd Team All Big East. With a terrific recruiting class on the way, Blue and a trio of very good big men in Davante Gardner, Chris Otule and Jamil Wilson, it looked as though Marquette would be the early favorite to win the Big East next season.

While the loss of Blue will hurt, Buzz Williams has been outstanding in replacing players on a yearly basis, and he still has a group that should compete for the Big East title next season.

What does this mean for Providence? The departure of Porter, combined with conference realignment, leaves Bryce Cotton has the only 1st Team All Big East performer set to return to the conference next season. As I noted here last week, Blue was the only second teamer returning, leaving just Cotton and Villanova’s JayVaughn Pinkston remaining as members of the Big East first through third teams who will play in the Big East next year.

Aside from Providence, Marquette was the only other school in the conference who had an all-conference performer and an honorable mention player set to return next year.  Now, only the Friars can make that claim heading into next season, as Kadeem Batts was named Honorable Mention last season along with St. John’s forward JaKarr Sampson, Seton Hall scorer Fuquan Edwin and Marquette’s Davante Gardner.


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