James Allan, UI Athletic Communications, 319-335-9411
If Roy Devyn Marble had listened to his mother’s advice, chances are he wouldn’t be playing basketball at the University of Iowa.
It wasn’t about the academics or distance from his hometown of Southfield, Mich., that concerned Joi Thrash, Marble’s mother. She knew if her son became a Hawkeye, he would always be the son of Roy Marble, the leading scorer in UI basketball history.
“My mom had some doubts,” says Marble. “She didn’t want that kind of pressure on me, but at the time, I didn’t really care. I didn’t think too much about it, I was young and dumb, and wanted to do it my way.
“A good trait and characteristic about me is that I don’t let things get in my way. I don’t think too much of it; I look at it as, this is where my dad went to school, and not really about the accolades he got from being here. At the end of the day, it was my decision, and I made the right one.”
Marble’s first year at Iowa coincided with Fran McCaffery’s first season as Hawkeye coach. Marble was solid, playing all 31 games as a freshman and averaging 5.7 points and 2.4 rebounds in 19 minutes per game. He reached double figures in five games, including an 18-point outing in a home victory over Indiana.
As a sophomore, Marble was even better, averaging 11.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. He scored in double digits 23 times, including 15 of the final 18 games.
“It was a big jump, but I feel like I can make another jump of the same estimate,” says Marble. “It is really a mindset you have to have. You can’t let other people and things dictate what you do, you have to go after it.”
From the beginning to the end of his sophomore season, McCaffery saw Marble emerge as one of the top players in the Big Ten.
“Toward the end of last year you saw him become one of the premier players in our league, and he did that by showing an array of skills,” says McCaffery. “He played point, drove it, and was able to play in transition. He scored in 1-on-1, played pick-and-rolls, and in zones. He really played with a tremendous amount of confidence.”
Marble developed into a playmaker for the Hawkeyes as a sophomore, coming up with “big-time” plays in crucial situations. Three plays from last season stand out in Marble’s mind as career highlights….
With Iowa clinging to a 68-65 lead at Wisconsin on Dec. 31, 2011, Marble hit a floater from the right baseline with 21 seconds remaining to clinch a Hawkeye win that ended the Badgers’ 23-game home winning streak against nonranked opponents.
“That shot kind of sealed the deal,” says Marble. “That was probably the biggest shot I have hit currently in my career.”
Then there was the one-handed dunk over Minnesota’s Ralph Sampson III on Feb. 1, 2012, that tied the game and was nominated for the Geico Play of the Year, and then an assist on Matt Gatens’ lay-up with eight seconds left.
“Those three plays stick out most in my mind,” says Marble. “They’re my three favorites from last season. They were all big-time plays. That’s what I pride myself on: being a playmaker.”
Throughout the offseason, Marble’s focus has been centered on the word dominate.
“I want to be dominant at all times when I am on the court,” he says. “I want to be the best player on the court. That started with me developing the mindset that I am the best player on the court.”
McCaffery has seen growth from Marble. He sees a player who is determined to be the best. For the Hawkeyes to get where they strive to be—playing in deep March in the NCAA Tournament—he says Marble has to take another step.
“We beat Michigan last year, and Marble was the best perimeter player on the floor,” says McCaffery. “That’s saying a lot. They had (Tim) Hardaway (Jr.), Trey Burke, and we had Matt Gatens. On that day Marble was the best perimeter player. The challenge for him is to be the best player regularly, which he was a lot more than he wasn’t.”
If Marble’s evolution continues, he will no longer be referred to as Roy Marble’s son. Instead, Iowa’s all-time leading scorer will be Roy Devyn Marble’s dad.