MEN’S BASKETBALL: Scouts unsure of Marcus’ NBA potential

Danny Schoenbaechler

Chris Marcus wasn’t supposed to be a Hilltopper this season.

Nor was he supposed to be living in the Bluegrass State.

And now he’s not doing either.

After last season’s injury-plagued campaign, Marcus declared for the National Basketball Association draft. He later decided to withdraw from the draft and return to school.

Coach Dennis Felton said earlier this season that he was somewhat disappointed Chris returned.

“He was supposed to be playing in the NBA this season,” Felton said.

Marcus had a master plan about how his career would unfold into the NBA.

Nothing, however, has gone according to plan.

Western basketball has been officially without Chris Marcus for seven days. But for those inside the Topper program, the post-Marcus era began long before that.

Since announcing that Marcus was out for the season, thus ending his collegiate career, the Toppers have gone 2-0. But the 15-8 Toppers have essentially been Marcus-less all season.

He chipped in only 12 points and 12 rebounds in four games. As a sophomore, he led the nation with 12 boards per game.

“He definitely will be missed, and hopefully he will recover to 100 percent,” senior David Boyden said. “Even though things didn’t work out this season, I know he loved playing and loved his time here on and off the court. So just having him be part of Western Kentucky was huge for us.”

Marcus is now living in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C., rehabilitating his injured foot.

He will try to be ready for the Portsmouth Invitational in Portsmouth, Va. The tournament is only open to seniors and is used as a means for NBA scouts to evaluate talent.

“He hasn’t been seen in a year,” said Ryan Blake, the NBA’s assistant director of scouting. “His focus, of course, has to really be on rehab. But he shouldn’t risk coming back too early.”

The rest of the Toppers are finally getting to push towards the post season without their former All-American center.

“I feel really good having endured everything we’ve endured this season,” Boyden said.

Reach Danny Schoenbaechler at [email protected]