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Marble adds spark from the bench

BY JORDAN GARRETSON | DECEMBER 05, 2011 7:20 AM

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Devyn Marble scored 11 points in the first half of Iowa's 75-54 win against Brown on Dec. 3. The sophomore guard spent his first 13 minutes of play conducting a scoring clinic, going 4-of-6 from the floor.

He was shut out in the second half, but he wasn't any less effective.

Marble recorded 3 steals and 4 assists in the second 20 minutes. Two of those dishes — one on a hook pass to Aaron White for a dunk and a no-look to Gatens for a lay-up — came on back-to-back fast breaks that brought the Carver-Hawkeye Arena faithful to their feet.

The lanky 6-6, 194-pounder finished his day with 11 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.

In short, he did pretty much everything for the Hawkeyes.

"He had a great game," senior guard Matt Gatens said. "He was just all over the place today, and that's what we need out of him on both ends of the court."

Marble is averaging 7.5 points, 2.9 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.5 steals while playing only 20.8 minutes per game off the bench. He seems to be embracing his role — and he's thriving in it, too.

The Southfield, Mich., native said his objective is to provide energy "in any way possible."

"It just depends on how the game is going and what we really need when I'm coming off the bench," Marble said. "That's not necessarily scoring but just being more aggressive. I like that feeling coming off the bench. I like the energy. It fits well."

Cully Payne's injury prompted coach Fran McCaffery to slide Marble into the backup point-guard role last season. The position was unfamiliar to Marble, but he accepted it.

"He's kind of one of those guys who will do whatever the coaches call on him to do," Gatens said.

Marble's point-guard abilities continue to progress this season — he still handles some relief work for starter Bryce Cartwright. His 5.75 assist-to-turnover ratio ranked sixth in the country as of Sunday afternoon, a strong improvement from last year's 1.21 mark.

But McCaffery has preferred to utilize him more as a wing player, which Marble described as his "natural position." He played off the ball at Lathrup High and averaged better than 20 points per game in his junior and senior seasons.

"I think you look at it and say I've got to play him off the ball some," McCaffery said. "He's just too good as a scorer. He's a slasher. He scores on the baseline. He his runners. He makes more steals.

He's a rebounding wing player … Playing over there kind of gets him going, and I think that's important for him."

Sophomore forward Melsahn Basabe — his roommate for the last two years — said Marble's return to the wing has improved his comfort level on the court.

"He's a real natural talent. I think he's just showing his talent now," Basabe said. "It's only been a matter of time."


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