IOWA CITY — Iowa guard Devyn Marble received at least one vote for the media’s preseason all-Big Ten team, but the senior wasn’t selected to the squad. The snub continues to fuel him through the Big Ten season.
Marble ranks second in Big Ten-only games at 17.8 points per outing. Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell (18.7) averages more, but only Marble has scored in double digits in every Big Ten game. Marble also draws the top player on defense and often shifts to point guard. In league games, he’s fifth in steals, sixth in 3-point percentage and seventh in 3-pointers made.
Through his success, Marble has elevated his profile among the conference’s elites. Some outlets list Marble as the top contender for the league’s player of the year award. That gives him pause and makes him reflect about October, when he wasn’t one of five players selected for the Big Ten’s preseason team.
“Of course (it fuels me),” Marble said. “People felt there were a lot of people better than me coming into the season. I don’t think I made any preseason all-conference teams or anything like that, which was crazy. I just let my play do the talking. I can’t be mad at people’s opinions. I can only try to sway them by doing what I do.”
Part of why Marble’s stock is high is because of his performance last Saturday in an 85-67 win against Michigan. Marble scored 26 points overall, including 22 in the first half, and drained six 3-pointers before halftime. He also locked up Michigan guard Nik Stauskas defensively, holding him to 10 points, four turnovers and no assists.
“That was a player-of-the-year candidate performance (Saturday) for sure,” Michigan Coach John Beilein said.
Marble, Stauskas and Michigan State’s Gary Harris are considered the frontrunners for the Big Ten’s premier basketball award. Harris was voted the preseason player of the year. Joining him on the preseason first team was Ohio State’ point guard Aaron Craft, Michigan State forward Adreian Payne, Michigan center Mitch McGary and Penn State guard Tim Frazier.
Michigan (10-2) has a half-game lead over Michigan State (9-2) in the league standings, while Iowa (7-4) stands in third. The league champion likely could sway some votes. Marble said postseason honors aren’t his focus.
“I think if I just do what I’m supposed to do, everything will play out,” Marble said. “You’ve got other guys that are important to the team also and are playing well. Gary (Harris) and Nik (Stauskas) are both playing well, in my opinion. Both have struggled a little bit at times, but still they’re outstanding players. They’re competitors and they’re going to try to win games in this season like I am.
“I’m not really worried about it or concerned about it. I’m going to play how I play and try to get as many wins as possible. If I win, I win. If I don’t, I don’t. At the same time, I wasn’t even considered to be on the all-Big Ten team, let alone be a contender for the player of the year. I must be doing something right.”
Marble sits in 10th on Iowa’s scoring chart with 1,529 career points. His father, Roy Marble, is first with 2,116 points. But Roy Marble never was named first-team all-Big Ten. Twice he was named second team and once third team. Devyn Marble has a third-team selection already on his resume. He could have family bragging rights in one area if he’s voted a first-teamer next month.