Forward Sandi Marcius received his release to transfer on Thursday and another Boiler frontcourt player, Jacob Lawson (No. 34 in your picture), did the same on Friday.
In workouts before the 2012-13 season, Painter was excited about the idea of having plenty of big men at his disposal. With Marcius and Lawson bailing, though, how does that depth look now?
Before the season, the Boilermakers had six men on the roster standing 6'8" or taller. None were seniors, so Painter was looking forward to having time to develop his rotation.
That rotation shortened as the Boilers discovered that smaller lineups with the likes of D.J. Byrd and Rapheal Davis playing as "power forwards" were more productive. In the season's final 19 games, Lawson played more than 10 minutes only twice and amassed six Did Not Play-Coach's Decisions.
His disappointment with his minutes doesn't come as much of a surprise to veteran Boiler beat writer Jeff Washburn, and likely not to anyone else paying attention, either. Lawson's athleticism and energy were readily apparent in non-conference games, but in both of his seasons, his playing time dwindled in Big Ten play.
Marcius, by contrast, became one of the team's inspirational leaders late in the season. Over the final 10 games, he averaged 15 minutes a night and contributed 6.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. A 10-and-5 game with three steals against Wisconsin ranked as one of the best days of his career.
With the two departures, Painter is left to work with the following post players:
|Does this man look bored to you? Me, too.|
- Rising sophomore A.J. Hammons (right), who could be a borderline lottery pick if he manages to act like he gives a damn every time out;
- Senior-to-be Travis Carroll, who lost most of his minutes when Painter turned to Marcius;
- Donnie Hale, who will be a third-year sophomore and, at 6'8" and 220 pounds, is ill-equipped for low-post grinding as practiced in the Big Ten; and
- Redshirt freshman Jay Simpson, who lost his first season to a nagging foot injury.
David Pellom of George Washington (a Hale-like 6'8" and 220) could be a possibility, but he's coming off a missed season due to a second wrist surgery. In 2011-12, he was a 10-and-6 man for the Colonials, shooting nearly 70 percent from the floor in the process.
Otherwise, another 2013 freshman could be getting a call from Painter shortly. Considering, though, that eight of next season's 11 scholarship players will be either freshmen or sophomores, a more experienced transfer-type player might be more helpful.
It's not absolutely essential that Purdue reel in another big body, but an insurance policy in case Simpson is hurt again or Painter throttles Hammons for laziness would come in very handy.
Otherwise, the four-guard lineup will become a necessity once again. That could turn ugly for the gang that couldn't shoot straight last season and loses Byrd, its most reliable three-point threat.