Former Center Grove star and Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne guard Jonny Marlin told Kyle Neddenriep of the Indianapolis Star that he is transferring and will walk-on at Indiana. The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder averaged 4.8 points and 3.5 assists at IPFW last year, starting 28 0f 30 games as a true freshman.
More to come.
UPDATE: Jonny Marlin was getting a long just fine at Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne in his first year. The former Center Grove star worked well with coach Tony Jasick. He started 28 of the team’s 30 games and led the team in assists with 3.5 per game.
The Mastodons were 11-19 in his first year, but he had every intention of returning for his sophomore year when the season ended.
As the offseason progressed, however, Marlin started to believe that he needed to make a move.
“It’s really weird because I really enjoyed playing for coach Jasick,” Marlin said. “I just felt like God was leading me somewhere else.”
Specifically, the devout Marlin said, he believed he was being called to go somewhere he could do more missionary work. His recently graduated brother had attended Indiana and worked with a campus organization called Campus Crusade for Christ that Marlin wanted to be a part of. He had not found a similar organization at IPFW.
“It’s just kids down there who really have a heart for the Lord,” Marlin said. “I have a lot of friends from high school were a part of it as freshmen, looking to be more involved. That’s somethign that I would definitely want to be a part of. It’s a missionary opportunity that would allow me to share my faith and expand on it. … You definitely had to go out of your way to find something (similar at IPFW). I’m not sure there isn’t one, but while I was there, I never found it.”
That’s not to say that basketball was irrelevant in his decision. Though playing time would be much harder for him to come by, this would still allow him to try to play at Indiana.
“My dad went to IU,” he said. “I would go down there for games growing up. I think most Indiana basketball players aspire to be a Hoosier. I can’t lie. This is one of my dreams.”
Marlin said IU coach Tom Crean stressed to him that it would require a lot of hard work for him to get on the floor. Though Marlin was an accomplished high school player, averaging 14.2 points and 5.8 assists per game as a senior and leading Center Grove to the regionals, the Hoosiers are obviously loaded at the guard positions for the next several years, especially with the recent commitment of Stanford Robinson from Paul VI in Fairfax, Va. He found out first hand at IPFW that even in the lower reaches of Division I, it isn’t easy for a 5-10 player to succeed.
However, Marlin believes he has a good role model to emulate in Jordan Hulls, with whom he was already close friends through the summer basketball circuit.
“One thing that really shocked me was the length and overall athleticism in Division I,” Marlin said. “And that’s only going to go up when you get in the Big Ten. But one thing I see and one thing Jordy does so well is he’s efficient in all of his movements and whenever he gets a shot it goes in. He’s not the quickest player or the tallest player or the fastest player, but he gets things done.”