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Making progress

Freshman forward Sandi Marcius is slowly working his way back from a broken foot.

Marcius did some running, some shooting and participated in some drills during practice this week.

On Thursday, Marcius spent some time shooting free throws, jogging on the sidelines and participating in some non-contact drills.

Marcius, a 6-foot-9, 260-pounder, broke a bone in his right foot in October. It'll be interesting to see what his role is when he returns to the lineup -- whenever that may be.

Fellow freshman Patrick Bade currently is the first big man off the bench to give JaJuan Johnson a break, and Bade has looked very much like a freshman so far. He has 25 fouls, tied for a team-high, and 10 turnovers in 88 minutes.

Bade has looked OK in spurts, and he has shown a willingness to shoot from the perimeter. You have to trust Matt Painter and his coaching staff that this kid has potential. But I'd like to see him be more physical and aggressive, especially on the offensive end. Too often he seems to want to do a fancy reverse layup or avoid contact instead of just going right through a defender and challenging him.

A redshirt would have been nice, but that wasn't an option with the lack of depth in the frontcourt. Minimally, Marcius can give Purdue a different look than Bade.