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55 Days to Purdue Basketball: Sandi Marcius

This is up late today because I had to run up to Kokomo, plus I miscounted in my Outlook calendar and thought tomorrow was 55 days until the season opener on November 14th. Before anyone argues that the season starts with the exhibition games, well, it doesn't really. Not when guys who may redshirt can play in those but not the regular season. The real season starts on November 14th, 55 days from now, so that means I can start the basketball countdown with the highest number on the basketball roster.

Sandi Marcius - Fr. (RS)

Hometown: Nedelisce, Croatia (La Lumiere School)


6'9", 257 pounds

2010 Projection: reserve forward, Run, Rebound, Defend guy

We will always wonder how different last season would have been had The Sand Man not injured his foot before the season started. He was expected to provide depth in the low post off the bench, but he was forced to redshirt. Some thought he might be able to play by January, but coach Painter made the decision to redshirt him instead. Once Robbie Hummel went down, it was only JaJuan Johnson and Patrick Bade down low.

All indications show that Marcius could be a missing piece this year. Suddenly, we go from having two few big bodies to a nice amount of depth. Bade has improved over the summer, and he, Marcius, and freshman Travis Carroll give us three players whose role will be to, as coach painter describes, run, rebound, and defend.

The redshirt year may have been good for Marcius. His senior year of high school was his first in the US, as he played for La Lumiere High School. This is a prestigious private school in northern Indiana that only recently began playing IHSAA competition. They were 14-5 during Marcius' senior season, where he averaged 15 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 blocks per game. That came mostly against charter schools and other non-IHSAA competition, as La Lumiere is still a provisional IHSAA member. They have yet to play in a state tournament.

Not a lot will be expected of Marcius this year. We need him to be a widebody in the paint and garbage man on the offensive glass. He is more than 25 pounds heavier than anyone else on the roster, and at 6'9" he could provide a major boost to our rebounding. He played in Poland over the summer as part of Athletes in Action. He pulled off a double-double in one of the four games, showing his promise for the future.

Video of Marcius in action this summer

Just about the only drawback is that he hasn't faced much real competition yet. He managed to practice against the main guys last year for half the season, but he has yet to face division I competition on a regular basis. That is where the easy early schedule will benefit us. Both he and Carroll can adjust to college basketball and be ready for the challenges ahead. As long as he can contribute anything, we'll pick up a major missing piece.