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Roy Devyn Marble’s road to the NBA Draft: Part 1

BY RYAN PROBASCO | APRIL 24, 2014 5:00 AM

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On June 26, Adam Silver will conduct the NBA draft for the first time since he officially succeeded David Stern as commissioner of the league. Among the most touted and highly anticipated names Silver is surely to announce that day are that of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, and Julius Randle.

But lying deep in the pool of the blogosphere’s myriad of mock drafts and predictions is a name that forced its way into the mainstream during the 2013-14 college basketball season: Devyn Marble.

After averaging 17 points per game and earning a first team All-Big Ten selection during his senior year, Marble began his preparation and campaign tour for the next challenge — the NBA.

For representation, Marble has chosen former Iowa basketball star and family friend B.J. Armstrong to be his agent. Armstrong and Marble’s father rose to prominence when they were teammates at Iowa during the program’s glory years of the 1980s.

“He’s one of my dad’s best and closest friends,” Marble said. “On top of that, I already had a relationship with him before I even came to the Iowa program. So, it was just who I was comfortable with.”

In terms of his skills, everyone with a television and the slightest understanding of the sport saw what Marble was capable of this season. But because of Iowa’s current lack of NBA presence and his relatively thin frame, Marble still has a lot to prove before teams decide they’re going to invest in him.

“I want teams to see that I’m a guy who knows how to improve and get better,” he said. “I’ve shown every year that I’ve been able to get better and also get my team better at Iowa. I’ve shown unbelievable growth from my freshman to senior seasons, whether it’s scoring, shooting, defensively, being a leader, whatever the case may be; I’ve shown that growth throughout my four years here.

“What I’ve been hearing is people aren’t really too concerned about my skill set, whether I can score, dribble, or anything like that. They want to make sure I can withstand the physicality of the sport at that level.”

Marble’s draft aspirations are bolstered and solidified because of the loaded support team he has in his corner. In addition to his father and Armstrong, Iowa head basketball coach Fran McCaffery has stayed very involved in the process as well. And the Marbles couldn’t be happier with the contributions he’s already made.

“He’s very involved. Fran is like a mad hatter on his own,” Roy Marble Sr. said. “Every time I talk to someone, a friend, a scout, or a friend of a scout, they hadn’t too long ago hung up with Fran. So I’m really happy with his assistance. He talks with Roy Devyn all the time. And he actually gets to talk to teams more than me and my son. He actually gets to hear it for himself. And so, he’s been pretty giddy and excited about it. And as long as he’s that way, I’m real happy.”

Starting May 14 in Chicago, the opportunity to prove he belongs at the next level will be given to Devyn Marble at the NBA combine. There, teams and their front offices will dissect the extraordinary talent pool that is the 2014 draft class.

“It’s not a rocket-scientist-type workout,” Marble Sr. said of the combine. “They want to see you face to face. I remember my workout, and they weren’t difficult. And I didn’t shoot as well as I wanted to, but I think just the whole body of work. And I think when the general managers and scouts breakdown film, they’re going to see that Devyn’s a four-year guy who is battle-tested and played point guard at 17 years old.”

The Iowa basketball program hasn’t had a player selected in the draft since Adam Haluska was picked 43rd overall in 2007. But the support team Marble has surrounded himself with, including his father and former head coach, he has every bit of confidence that he’s going to be the one to break that streak.

“Oh, he’s getting drafted,” McCaffery said on March 11. “I think it’s just a matter of if it’s the first round or early second.”

“I’ve never backed down from speaking my mind about basketball and everybody in the business knows it,” Marble Sr. said. “But I’m pretty confident. If I was a general manager, and I knew I needed a good kid that still has upside and can do a little bit of everything — and everyone’s going big at the guard position — what I saw from last year, I’m pretty confident.”


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