Note: I'd like to preface with an apology for my recent disappearance. Between my job (I work for a big 'American' bank so you can imagine the climate), my family, and some fierce battles with the GMAT /grad school apps, I have had little disposable time to contribute to H&R. Thankfully, things are calming down a bit and I should be in full force before the season begins.To all of the loyal grammar Nazis that I have neglected during my hiatus: You can all crack off the cap to your red pens and prepare for a new season of run-on sentences, and ambiguous pronouns, and even misplaced modifiers. We're in for a record breaking year!
So where was I? Ah yes, let the countdown begin!
55 long Days until Purdue Basketball!
After impatiently waiting through his redshirt season, many fans expected a little more out of redshirt freshman Sandi Marcius's first season of live action. He demonstrated that he's still learning the game and needs to be able to do a few things before he can be leaned upon for any major minutes. Keep in mind that he only started picking up basketball in junior high, so you can't take anything for granted with respect to his development. Regardless, Marcius is an aircraft carrier of a human being and is a giant ball of energy. If/when he gets over the difficult learning curve he could be a force in the lane. While he won't likely be part of the regular rotation this season, he does have size that could be a big asset in certain match ups.
Sandi Marcius - Redshirt Sophomore
Hometown: Nedelisce, Croatia
6'9, 260 lbs
2010-11 Projection: Outside regular rotation
Despite the the loss of JaJuan Johnson and Patrick Bade, this is the first season in a long time that I have felt relatively comfortable with Purdue's frontcourt. Behind (likely) starters Travis Carroll and Robbie Hummel, Sandi Marcius will be competing for minutes with freshmen forwards Donnie Hale and Jacob Lawson. Considering that Painter tends to play a smaller guard-heavy lineup and DJ Byrd is somehow playing at 235 lbs, minutes could be very scarce for the frontcourt players off the bench. Over the past few years Painter has had relative success with with virtually no bigs behind JaJuan Johnson. This year, he has a lot of different skill-sets to pick from. Albeit, mostly raw, by all accounts Marcius, along with Hale and Lawson should be ready to contribute in some capacity.
Last season, Marcius showed that he is not quite ready to compete at the Big Ten level. Don't get me wrong, he's not at the infamous MTD level or even Chris Reid, but is definitely still a work in progress. For Marcius to have a shot in the regular rotation he'll need to prove that he can defend and rebound without fouling. He also needs to do a better job passing out of the post. Unfortunately for Marcius, these are what Hale and Lawson are projected to bring to the table from day one.
Thankfully, everyone benefits when there is healthy competition in practice.
As I've said before, his size makes him a pretty interesting player. He's easily the biggest player on next season's roster, playing at a confirmed 260 lbs and shoulders that nearly take up the entire lane. I have a hard time believing that these assets won't help the team in some capacity this season. It wouldn't surprise me if Painter uses Marcius against teams with bigger lineups. We've always had difficulty matching up against the frontcourt of teams like Minnesota and Marcius could really help provide some depth and keep others out of foul trouble.
At the very least, we can have the peace of mind that we won't run into any situations like the time we had Chris Kramer playing center in the 09-10 tournament.
It will be interesting to see the strides Sandi Marcius makes this off season. With his size and natural drive, his development could make a huge impact to the program down the road. The only question is when. His future successes will be largely determined by the work he puts in during the off seasons.