IOWA CITY ó Even on the nights when he's not spectacular, Iowa sophomore Devyn Marble's statistics suggest he was better than just good enough.
Marble started his third game at point guard Saturday in an 82-68 win against Drake. He scored 10 points, dished five assists to only two turnovers in 19 minutes. He also received a tongue-lashing from Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery after an uncharacteristic defensive mistake, but as always, Marble shook it off.
That's a Marble trait that McCaffery admires.
"He shows absolutely no effect at all," McCaffery said. "Heís the same all the time. I canít ever remember him being different any day that Iíve seen him. Heís easygoing, but heís a competitor. He cares about his teammates. He works hard. If you correct him, 'OK coach, got it.' If you blast him because he did a couple of things that are ill-advised, he takes it. 'OK coach, got it.' Heís really got a tremendous attitude for this game."
Through 11 games this season, Marble is second on the team in scoring (9.5 points), assists (3.36)†and minutes (23.5). Perhaps his top statistic is his assist-to-turnover ratio, which is 3.7 to 1. He ranked second in the Big Ten last week in that category.
Marble, the son of Iowa's all-time leading scorer Roy Marble,†didn't come to Iowa as a point guard and was recruited as an off-guard.†But he was placed in that role last year when Cully Payne suffered a season-ending injury. Marble struggled† with†41 assists to 34 turnovers,†but he adapted. And he got better, starting the team's final six games.
This year he was slated to back up point guard Bryce Cartwright and fill in at the other guard positions. When Cartwright injured his hamstring against Brown, Marble stepped in with a balanced performance. He scored 11 points, pulled down seven rebounds, had three steals and dished four assists without any turnovers.
"I think Iím becoming a better point guard every game," Marble said. "I actually like the position now that Iím getting some success out of it. Last year it was frustrating and I didnít describe my frustration, but it was a little frustrating because I had never played it before, and I wasnít having much success as I would have liked. Now that Iím coming in, getting guys involved, getting a lot of assists, Iím limiting my turnovers and still scoring, just doing everything has really helped with my confidence knowing I can play that position."
Marble has continued his ascent as a solid scorer while improving his on-court decision making. He's scored in double figures in six of the last seven games, including 14 twice and 21 in a loss at Iowa State. Marble played 37 minutes against both the Panthers and the Cyclones. Against Iowa State, he†grabbed four rebounds, had two steals, dished five assists and had only two turnovers.
His teammates are taking notice."Heís just a baller," Iowa sophomore Melsahn Basabe said. "I think thatís his best attribute is that Devyn is a great basketball player. He doesnít need to have a system. He can do so many things and he has such an advantage because of his height at his position. Heís almost like an NBA guard because heís a 6-6 point guard heís a real, true talent. I can say that. Iíve been noticing. Heís almost my height so Iím just watching him blossom, just like you guys. I knew he had it in him."