By MIKE BLACKERBY
No last name needed.
Just call him Blue.
The notoriety keeps growing for the area’s high school basketball player with the most recognizable mononymous pseudonym.
Blue Cain, Catholic’s sophomore guard with the rhythmical moniker and game to match it, is the 2021 5Star Preps Boys Basketball Underclassman of the Year.
His first name is actually Chris, but he prefers Blue.
“My dad went to Duke and they’re the Blue Devils,” explained Cain.
“I have four sisters, and my dad said if he ever had a son he would name him Blue. I try to be Blue exclusively, but Christopher still comes up,” Cain said with a laugh.
Cain’s name is becoming more and more of a hot commodity with Power 5 schools.
Tennessee, South Carolina and Syracuse have offered Cain, coming on the heels of a sophomore season where he averaged 15.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2 steals a game.
Catholic coach Mike Hutchens said the 6-foot-4, 175-pound Cain is just scratching the surface of his abilities.
“As far as recruiting goes, it’s going to blow up even more,” said Hutchens.
“Blue plays as hard as he can and he doesn’t back down from competition. He’s only going to get better. There’s only going to be more and more Power 5 offers.”
Cain is well known for his dunking prowess and uncanny high-flying ability, but his all-around game continues to evolve as well.
“He’s really good in the open floor because of the way he gets to the basket and explodes,” said Hutchens.
“I think I’m really good in transition, either finishing or getting other people involved on the fastbreak,” said Cain.
Hutchens said Cain was able to showcase his talent even more when standout point guard B.J. Edwards went down with an early season injury.
Cain took over as team leader for the three weeks Edwards was out.
“I pulled Blue aside and said ‘we’re really going to need you to pick it up,’” recounted Hutchens.
“For the time B.J. was out, Blue averaged about 22 points a game and played really well.”
Cain said he embraced the challenge.
“I really enjoyed it and felt like I got the chance to showcase my skills,” he said.
Cain still has two more years to play at Catholic.
The first priority, he said, is regaining the Division II-AA state championship the Irish won two years ago.
Catholic (21-4) was denied a repeat title when it lost to eventual champion MBA in last season’s state semifinals.
“Next year can be really special,” said Cain.
“We have a chance to be one of the best teams in the country.”
Meanwhile, Cain’s list of suitors continues to grow.
In addition to the previous Power 5 offers, Cain said he has “talked” to UCLA, Virginia Tech and Missouri since the season ended.
“I’m still kind of evaluating my options,” said Cain.
“I don’t really have a timetable (for making a decision). I just want to get the best fit for me.”