Marcius Finds New Home at DePaul

Center Sandi Marcius is getting settled in at DePaul after transferring from Purdue this year. Marcius figures to be a big part of DePaul coach Oliver Purnell's plans for this season. We catch up with the senior big man in this report.

After three years playing at Purdue and being near graduation, Sandi Marcius (pronounced Sahn-dee Mart-chooch) decided to take advantage of a NCAA rule that allows players who obtain their degree to transfer immediately for graduate school. So Sandi began in the spring to look at his transfer options.

After taking an official visit to DePaul, Marcius decided on transferring to the Chicago school in May.

"I had a good relationship with the coaches when I came for an official visit," said Marcius. "I got along with them pretty well. There was a lot of opportunity for improvement here. There was opportunity on the court and DePaul is a really good school. Especially with the graduate masters program with the Business school. It's one of the best in the country. Plus being in the city of Chicago. I loved the city when I got here. "

It was a perfect match. DePaul found themselves in need of an interior presence who can provide rebounding and defense. While Marcius is able to move from a backup center role at Purdue to a starting role at DePaul.

Marcius also found that he fit in well with his new teammates.

"When I met Brandon (Young) and Cleve (Melvin), I saw that they had the desire to improve and they want to get to the tournament and help the team do well," said Sandi. "Which is my goal, to get to the tournament. That's what it's all about."

Marcius had to finish up two classes in summer school at Purdue to get his bachelor's degree in Building and Construction Management and then it was off to DePaul.

"So far, it's been really good," Sandi said. "We had a good summer. I came here in July for the second summer session. The guys welcomed me and accepted me into the group. They were open and excited to have me. Of course I was even more excited to be there and to start working out with them and getting together."

So far, the Croatian native is meshing well with his teammates.

"Obviously we spend a lot of time together in the summer," Marcius said. "Not just on the court, but off the court too. That really helped me get to know them better. We're off to a good start now with practice. I'm looking forward to the games, but there is still a lot of work to do. I think we've picked up the tempo and intensity in practice which Coach likes. It's been competitive and I think we're on the right path. The coaches are also excited. We're confident and believe in ourselves."

Marcius finds himself part of a team that is rebuilding and trying to improve over last year. It's a role that he is familiar with.

"At Purdue, last year was a rebuilding year too." Said Sandi. "Here we have seven new guys which is a rebuilding year. We want to be better than last year, which is always a goal. It takes time to adjust. As an upperclassman I try to lead by example."

Sandi averaged 3.3 points and 2.5 rebounds in 9.3 minutes of play in his junior season with the Boilermakers.

In his first appearance for the Blue Demons, the 6-10, 255 lb. center scored four points, corralled 10 rebounds and blocked two shots in an exhibition win over Lewis University.

Last season DePaul was one of the worst rebounding and defensive teams in the Big East, so DePaul coach Oliver Purnell brought Marcius in for his rebounding ability and defensive presence in the post.

"Sandi brings a wealth of experience," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "We're counting on his contribution and production right away."

So what does Marcius feel that he brings to the table for the rebuilding DePaul squad?

"The number one thing I can do is rebound," said Marcius. "I think I can do that well. I bring some toughness inside. I think that can transfer to other guys. I'm working on my offensive game now. I think I've improved and will improve as time goes on, as we play more and more. Number one is toughness and offensive play and not to give up. We're going to need everybody doing their job."

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