IPFW’s Marlin to walk-on at Indiana

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.”

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  • Andrew says:

    The new Daniel Moore!

  • IU Alum says:

    So is this IU’s answer to Tebow?

  • BeatPurdue says:

    If you are not hurting anyone else, then it is always good to follow your dreams. Good luck Jonny.

  • Chet says:

    Ya never know. Best of luck.

  • stick says:

    Saw him play many games for IPFW. Nice player for them but will be a practice player only. Great kid and will be an asset to the program.

  • Aruss says:

    Are we over-signed for walk-on’s?

  • Reggie says:

    Awesome! We have a former Div. 1 starter as a walk-on! We just can’t get any deeper!

  • Docdave says:

    Sounds like a very inspiring guy. Best of luck to him. Welcome to Hoosier nation.

  • Geoff says:

    He was “shocked” by the length of players at D1??? I feel like this kid is super-naive, won’t last more than one season, then transfer to a Christian school where he can play and pray as much as he wants.

    But hey, have fun trying to make the team. Us 5’10″ish white boys are rootin’ for ya….

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Geoff…must be a tough, grey spring where you are. Is that the metrics guy, the optimist or the nice guy in you writing? The kid has a dream… the kid has a dream. Sometimes, I just don’t understand it. What makes people so bitter? What are you doing next Christmas?

  • Lord of the Prophecy says:

    “I just felt like God was leading me somewhere else”

    “Super-naive” or not, I have a good feeling about this kid.

  • Geoff says:


    I’m confused by your post Tsao. Why would I sound “bitter”… I just don’t get how a kid could be “shocked” by the length of D1 after presumably playing AAU and watching hoops for a decade. Did he not pay attention to rosters or listen to announcers? There was certainly an adjustment period to the strength and quickness of the overall game when I got to college, but I knew what to expect. And to transfer to IU and citing a Christian program that probably exists in some form at most Midwestern or southern schools… It’s just strange. It leads me to believe he is naive. Why, if you are a scholarship player getting playing time, would you go to a school to walk on with ZERO chance of getting a scholly, a ONE percent chance of getting playing time, and only half a chance of making the team?

    I understand he has an opportunity to play for title contender… So say that. Don’t tell me God is sending you in this direction. It’s either lame or disingenuous.

    By the way. Saturday was 78 and sunny, so I worked in the yard. Sunday was the same and I had a softball double-header followed by a BBQ. Today was 72 and without a cloud in the sky and I played golf with some associates, then laid out in my buddy’s yard by the lake, before finishing the night off with a softball game on Portland’s eastern promenade overlooking Casco bay and all the islands.

    So no, it’s not a grey spring. I have a decent tan working already. I closed on my refi last week. Tomorrow is my last day of work before taking my vaca down to Indiana for a week. And tomorrow night my basketball team has a chance to win a championship.

    Catch me in a month and maybe life won’t be so sunny, but right now things couldn’t be much better.

    Just making a prediction. He sits at the end of the bench all year. Gets 23 total minutes of PT in a handful of blowout games early in the season. Collects a B1G championship ring and maybe a national title ring. But then God calls him to a school where he can get a scholarship and some playing time.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Geoff…with all that good weather, the sun shining, the friendships, the exercise and activities, the great life and you’ve got to go rain on an Indiana kid’s dream…

    Or maybe, you don’t understand a kid from Indiana.

    But, what would we know in Indiana. Maybe you could run a new kind of service Geoff. Assessing a kid’s chances rather than pursue (stupid) dreams, bother serious basketball ‘cognoscenti’ like us who really know what it takes and what we are talking about, waste the time of legitimate programs and burn limited resources spent on top rate coaches like Crean, Izzo, etc.

    So yours is probably a great idea. Save everybody time. It would be great if we shared the prerequisite parameters in the evaluation form: height, race, religion…. (Check the box that applies: a) did God call you b) did He not call you c) how did you hear of us).

    Shoot, think of the possibilities. We could even tell these kids when they are in the seventh grade whether they have a chance to play or not bother.

    We could even start a new industry based on the data: Basketball derivatives. Betting for and against a team or a particular ‘futures’ group of well-selected kids as a group …or not. And, we could sell insurance betting on their perceived value… or, shorting them against calculated risk. Call it, say…hedges… that’s it…hedges. Hell, we could expand it and, when they are in the fourth grade, just feed the raw (or even scaled) data into sophisticated math models …there’s a whole market waiting to be explored. (Just be sure we keep the federal regulators away).

    And, there’s more…we could have…rating agencies…no, wait! we’ve already got those.

    Geoff, maybe I’m being a bit sarcastic but your comment…Did you ever see the movie Hoosiers? It was real, you know.

  • Chet says:

    I doubt he even hits the 23 minute mark but it’s good to have extra bodies in practice.

    I’m pretty familiar with that role as a Hoosier.

  • Geoff says:

    Not sure what any of that has to do with what I said…

    I said he was naive and possibly disingenuous. I’m not saying he can’t have a dream or play basketball well. I’m saying that we have the deepest team in the entire country next year and a scholarship issue going forward. He will never factor in.

    Who is he going to play over? Hulls, Yogi, Dipo, Abel, Patterson?

    My guess is this kid is a poor mans Jordan Hulls… Hulls had the luxury of playing his way into a career because of lack of talent ahead of him. If he were a freshman coming in now he would probably never have developed into the player he is… Or at least we never would know he is that type of player.

    He is about 3 years late on the dream, but hey it’s not his fault he was born when he was.

    I’m still trying to figure out why/how he was “shocked” by the length when he got to college.

    If your “dream” is to play college ball and you’re good enough to get a scholarship, which clearly this kid is, then why go to a situation where you won’t play or have a scholarship? There’s only one reason – a chance to get a championship ring. And that’s fine, just say that. Don’t tell me it’s God, because i checked and there’s a chapel, a prayer group, and a Campus Ministries organization at Ball State.

    Plus there’s so little to talk about right now that I had to drop my two cents in about this insignificant story…

  • Geoff says:

    Tsao, thanks for keeping me engaged…

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    I’ll take the kid at his word. If he believes God is helping navigate his future I am all for him. Even though he was a Frosh starter at a D1 he has slim chance to make an impact at Bloomington. I congratulate him for having a dream and his reasoning to engage a challenge and controlling the direction his life. He is bold, undaunted and sounds well grounded. When did BSU enter the picture?

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    How can you have a poor man’s Jordan Hulls when Hulls is the poorest defender in all of college basketball?

    Maybe this Marlin kid will be the Roy Hobbs of the Hoosiers..(different sport without the 15 year absence from the game). Stranger things have happened. Maybe he just needs someone to believe..The kid shoots nearly 90% from the free throw line so their must be some decent mechanics in the shooting stroke. Add in Tom Crean’s gifts at inspiring and getting young men in the right mindset to realize their natural abilities(look what our coach did with D-Wade to get him out of his mental funk in the series against the Pacers), and the sky is the limit.

    This young man is no more delusional than our head coach when it comes to thinking a mysterious destiny tied to the faith in a higher being as a driving force his main life decisions. Crean came to Indiana “because it’s Indiana.”….Marlins dream to put some minutes on McCracken Court shouldn’t be any less valued in its wholesome and honest pursuit than the blabber Tom Crean puts continually on his Twitter page when going on endlessly about the Bible, Joyce Meyer, and Jesus(not necessarily listed in order of importance).

    And can Marlin really do any worse in minutes than Remy Abell did last season? Abell would have been lucky to average 2 minutes per game without the injury to Jones. Crean was making no attempt to get Remy comfortable on the court and his indoctrination into Big 10 basketball was by mere happenstance.

    If this young man makes the team then why can’t it be by God’s desire? It was God’s desire to find Remy his minutes deserved. If you listened to Tom Crean during the NCAA tournament it was more about Christ than Cody for our team’s successes. How can anyone paying attention the last two years with regards to the huge public emphasis Christianity now plays as the supreme guiding factor in wearing candy-stripes not expect young men of the Lord and a peach basket not pursue Bloomington? Basketball has always been the game of Christ and playing at Indiana is undoubtedly the last vestige of hope the purist pursuit in honoring what little good is left in the sport.

    We have seen evil upon our village when Sampson brought the degenerates to town. Do not cast the devil back upon us. Now we make fun of picket fences and the divine light that brought us Tom Crean? Now we make fun of choir boys with nothing but naive decency in their hearts? Embrace the wholesome quests of young 5′-10”ish men of faith that now seek to restore the sanctity of Hoosier basketball. Do not question the Lord’s choice in identifying the holiest destination for hoops….It is at Assembly where halos hover over rims and jumpers rip nets via emails from heaven. Watch and marvel thy power of faith. Watch Mr. Marlin defy the bitter tongue of Geoff as he delivers the wining pair of free throws the day glory and banners return to the rightful bed the game’s servants of truth, faith, and hard work. Amen.

  • Geoff says:

    When did IPFW enter the picture? Probably when they were recruiting him to play… Was he unaware IU then? Did he not have a dream then? Was he under the impression that IPFW had a Campus Crusade?

    I’m about 105% sure the answer to all those questions was no…

    I just think the whole thing is odd. If this kid actually wants to be a basketball player there are lots of schools, like Ball State, where he can play and find a decent Christian community?

    Why is God sending a kid away from being able to compete in the area he has love and talent? This kid has 3 more years to play in a highly organized and meaningful atmosphere… and God is sending him to place where he’ll incur debt and sit at the end of the bench…

  • Geoff says:

    I know that there is sarcasm in there Lord, but as usual, I’m not sure to what extent…

    He will play less than Remy. The Hoosiers are twice as deep this year. Who is better do you think – marlin or Patterson? How many minutes will Patterson get?

    By my count he is, at the very best, our 5th string PG after Yogi, Hulls, Abel, and Dipo.

    You also know that I don’t believe Jordy is the worst defender in college hoops… So that argument can’t be used in a debate against me (even a parody of a debate). But my guess is he is a worse offensive player than Jordy, and even if he’s a better defender he wouldn’t be as good a defender as Abell or Patterson.

    Lastly, Crean is paid millions of dollars to be at IU….

    However, the most fundamental difference between my points and yours are that I actually believe what I’m typing.

  • Geoff says:

    I’m sure he is a wonderful kid and will be 10 times the man I ever will be, but I’ve now added impractical to my list of his traits…

  • Chet says:

    If we’re gonna attribute everything to God I’d have to say he has something of a harsh sense of humor. Maybe he’s just pulling Jonny’s leg.

  • Podunker says:

    “A poor man’s Jordan Hulls?” If I remember correctly, Jordan Hulls was Indiana’s Mr. Basketball. Unless that was a very weak year for Indiana High School basketball, it would be tough to convince me that any “Mr. Basketball” from the state of Indiana was anything less than an outstanding talent.

    I think we all agree that while Jordan Hulls is not the best defender on the team, he is an exceptional shooter, especially from beyond the three point line. And I also think we’d all agree that while certainly not perfect, Jordan Hull’s positives far outweigh his negatives. If he had not selected to play for IU, I’m confident that Hulls would have seen ample playing time at another top-50 D-I basketball program.

    Hulls may never play a minute in the NBA, but that does not mean he’s not a very successful college player. And consider this; if Hulls had all the attributes necessary for success in the NBA, he’d probably not still be a part of IU roster.

  • Geoff says:

    Po – are you trying to start another Jordan Hulls debate or do you not understand what that phrase you quoted me saying means?

    “a poor man’s Jordan Hulls makes absolutely NO statement about Jordan’s ability… It is simply saying that Marlin is a lessor player.

    Saying Troy Murphy is a poor man’s Larry Bird doesn’t mean Larry wasn’t a top 10 player of all time…

    If you are trying to start another Jordy-war, well then, I do not accept the bait.

  • Geoff says:

    I too am a poor man’s Jordy Hulls…. A destitute man’s…

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