IOWA CITY — Less than a week into his team’s fall practices, Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery already has a casualty.
Junior guard Devyn Marble has pneumonia and hasn’t practiced for most of this week. McCaffery said it doesn’t seem serious, but right now it’s a setback.
“Obviously that’s disappointing,” McCaffery said on Wednesday at the inaugural Hawkeye Basketball Tip-Off Party at Hotel Vetro. “The amazing thing about it is he had an unbelievable workout on Sunday and came in Monday and said, ‘I just don’t feel good.’ So he hasn’t played since Sunday. I don’t know if he’ll do anything (Thursday) or Friday. We’ll see.
“He still goes to class. We haven’t had him in our practices or anything. We just want him to rest and get stronger.”
McCaffery, who is entering his third season at Iowa, opened practice on Friday with five incoming freshmen. He said he likes the competition level so far, although the execution has been far from crisp, especially on defense.
“I think the things that been impressive has been our energy level, the competition as you would imagine,” McCaffery said. “There’s more depth and more size and a little more experience across the board, although we have a lot of freshmen that we’re sort of counting on.
“We’re trying to play fast and the first couple of days we’ve had more turnovers than assists. You can’t have that. The last few days we’ve had substantially more assists than turnovers. So that for me is a big step.”
McCaffery said the veterans have made progress with junior Zach McCabe and sophomore Josh Oglesby shooting “extremely well.” He also touted strides made by red-shirt sophomore Darius Stokes.
“There’s a lot of reasons for optimism when you look at personnel,” he said.
The inaugural gala is a Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser. McCaffery lost both of his parents to cancer and the event is important to him and his wife, Margaret.
“We wanted to do something local,” McCaffery said. “We want to do something where the money was going to the American Cancer Society but be directly going to the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center here at the University of Iowa and the Hope Lodge.
“This is an event that could grow.”