There have been rumors of transfers all season, but it appears that 5th-year Senior-to-be Sandi Marcius will not be returning to the Purdue basketball program for the 2013-14 season:
#Purdue According to source, Sandi Marcius has asked for his release. A red shirt senior, Marcius won't have to sit out a season next year.— MikeHutton (@MikeHuttonPT) March 30, 2013
This is disappointing if true. The Chooch became a high energy player that injected a much needed boost into a Purdue team that was often lacking in effort for a good portion of the season. In my opinion he outplayed A.J. Hammons and should have been the presumptive starter going into 2013-14. That's saying a lot who scored 67 of his 146 points in the last 11 games of the season, but when the light finally came on, The Chooch was a difference-maker. It may not be set, as other sources say he is just considering it:
Sandi Marcius considering a transfer for his fifth year of eligibility, a source says. #Purdue is urging the forward to stay.— Chris Emma (@CEmmaFOX) March 30, 2013
Late in the season he became one of Purdue's most effective players. He had 13 points and six rebounds in just 18 minutes against Michigan and a 10-5 game against Wisconsin in the best win of the year just before that. He also played extremely well in Purdue's two 2012 NCAA Tournament games against St. Mary's and Kansas. If he does transfer, he could be immediately eligible like John Hart was this year because he would graduate first.
Because of all that, I was kind of surprised he would leave. Chooch became a bit of a fan favorite this year because who doesn't like to see a 6'9" Croatian fly down the lane for a two-handed dunk? He played with energy and toughness, which Purdue fans demand at all times from everyone. This energy often overcame his talent shortcomings. Hammons was the better player overall, but Marcius was better on the floor because he played harder.
Sandi exemplifies what it means to play Purdue basketball. He is not the most talented, but he went out this season and played his ass off. It was an attitude that needed to carry over to the rest of the team and it is disappointing that he may be gone.
One very small silver lining is that it may have opened up a scholarship for a late 2013 addition in term of a JuCo transfer or another freshman. A player I saw at the state finals, Austin Karazsia, a 6'8" forward from Linton-Stockton, could be a very interesting option since he was originally a football prospect, but decided late to pursue basketball. He had an impressive 29 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists on 11 of 13 shooting in the class 2A title game.
We'll wait to see what Purdue says officially, but this is not good news.
UPDATE: It appears it is now official:
Source close to #Purdue center Sandi Marcius confirms he has requested release, granting him freedom to play final season elsewhere.— GoldandBlack.com (@GoldandBlackcom) March 30, 2013
I wish Sandi well. He will always be a Boilermaker. Purdue now has an open scholarship for the 2013-14 season to use on a JuCo or a Freshman. JuCo transfer Deshawn Delaney would also be a very interesting addition.