Sandi Marcius came on late in the season for Matt Painter’s Purdue Boilermakers and became a viable option in the post down the stretch.
Despite his late-season surge, Marcius has decided it would be in his best interest to transfer to another school with one year of eligibility remaining.
Unlike most transfers, Marcius will not have to sit out a year since he will graduate from Purdue in May, meaning he will be eligible for the 2013-14 season immediately.
Word is Marcius was concerned about getting enough minutes in his final year at Purdue playing behind talented 7-footer A.J. Hammons, who will be a sophomore next season. As a result, Marcius felt his stock would be hurt as he has plans to pursue a career in professional basketball overseas.
Today Painter officially granted Marcius a release from his scholarship and he will be free to transfer to the school of his choice.
By the sounds of it, the Boilermaker boss didn’t want to see Marcius leave.
“We have invested four years and significant resources into helping Sandi develop from both an educational and athletic standpoint,” Painter said. “Certainly, having Sandi here for a fifth year was in our plans and we anticipated him having a great final year in our program.”
The 6-9, 268-pound Marcius will be missed. He seemed to be getting more and more confident with each passing game late in the season and became a solid contributor, especially when Hammons disappeared in games.
There’s also an argument that Marcius helped Hammons’ game, pushing him every day in practice.
Now 6-9, 268-pound Jay Simpson, who redshirted this season, will need to step up his game and give the Boilermakers a solid frontcourt option off the bench, and better Hammons in practice.
With the spring recruiting period officially getting underway this afternoon, Painter now has one scholarship available to fill if he decides to.
Marcius may not be the only personnel change with Purdue’s roster this spring. It’s widely known that Painter was not too pleased with seeing his program’s streak of six straight NCAA Tournament appearances coming to an end and having to endure a 16-18 season, including a loss to Santa Clara in the CBI Tournament. It was Painter’s first losing season in West Lafayette since 2005-06, his first as the Boilermakers’ head coach.
Don’t be surprised if another player or two departs Painter’s program. He knows team chemistry needs to improve significantly if Purdue is going to turn things around.
If things do get sorted out as Painter expects they will, there’s no reason to believe the Boilermakers won’t be much improved next season and possibly contend for the Big Ten championship.
Doug Griffiths is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association. Doug is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ISLgriffiths and Facebook.