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Boiling Point

Associated Press

Marcius could miss regular-season finale

Purdue (14-16, 7-10 Big Ten) may have to play without 6-foot-9 junior forward Sandi Marcius when it closes the regular season at home Saturday against Minnesota (20-10, 8-9).

Marcius injured his ankle after scoring 13 points and getting five rebounds in Wednesday's 80-75 loss to No. 7 Michigan.

"I would still say it's up in the air whether he plays or not," Purdue coach Matt Painter said during a teleconference Friday. "He did practice (Thursday). He's going to try to do some things today, so we will see."

If Marcius is unable to play, the Boilermakers will have to rely more on 7-foot freshman center A.J. Hammons against the Gophers' big lineup.

Painter said if Marcius is unavailable it will be important for Hammons to show consistency in the final home game of the season.

"It's the same thing through the whole year, if this continues on, you're just hoping you get the right A.J. He's a young player, so you are just trying to get some consistency," Painter said. "His approach and his inability to get himself ready and focused on what he has to do holds him back. If he can just be consistent in terms of getting himself ready to play and what he needs to do, he is going to be fine. A lot of time he struggles, you got to take him out, he regroups and he's better. We just need him to be consistent and understand what he needs to do against their big men."