Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ladies and Gentleman, Your First Shoe...

Purdue fresman forward Scott Martin made it public today that he intends to transfer to a different school. Damn.

Martin, who averaged 8.5 points and 3.8 rebounds for the Boilermakers, was the Frick to Robbie Hummel's Frack having played with said phenom since they were embryos. Needless to say, Martin's willingness to eschew a future with Hummel points to larger issues contributing to his decision to cut bait.

Obviously Martin was no slouch, but he wasn't consistent, battling an ankle injury and spotty shooting, not to mention dwelling somewhat in the pleasantly surprising shadow of Hummel.

Then came the inescapable coincidence; the latest issue of Gold and Black Illustrated featured the headline "The Future's So Bright" along with the face of coach Matt Painter and the prospective starting five for next season...which doesn't include Martin. Evidently Scott has wanted to be locked into a starting five since about December and he thinks he'll find that opportunity near home at Bryce Drew U. That has me thinking.

If Martin isn't homesick, as has been bandied about all season (oddly enough, especially considering Valparaiso's proximity to Purdue) and is in fact searching for playing time I have two observations. First: Morris Peterson. MoPete was a sixth-man with a surprising amount of effectiveness. There's no reason to expect Martin to be anything beyond first man off of the bench next year given his outside shooting and rebounding ability. Hell, Gene Keady always reminded players that you're only one injury away from the starting lineup. Plus, given enough time to throw on 15 pounds or so, who's to say Martin stays on the bench for the tip?

Secondly, and this one is the real kicker for me, with Martin's presumed transfer to another D-1 school (look out Marian College) comes the requisite year sat out. In that same intermission senior Nemanja Calasan will have graduated leaving a gaping hole in Purdue's starting five. Gee, who might step into that gap? So if all signs point to a Valpo transfer, Martin is giving up a year on a preseason top 10 squad laden with talent for....for....for what exactly? Sit out a year so that you can start in the same season you would have already been a starter? Huh?

What next? Calasan gets deported. Keaton Grant's knee is inoperable. Kramer gets caught selling crystal meth and E'Twaun Moor flunks out. Woe is us.

I truly hope Martin is homesick, because otherwise, I just don't get it.

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