Oct. 6, 2010
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The first point made by University of Iowa freshman men’s basketball player Roy Devyn Marble will leave him 2,115 behind his father, Roy, the school’s all-time scoring leader. But the younger Marble enjoys rising to challenges and the obvious day-to-day comparisons to his iconic father will not be distracting.
“He helps me a lot as far as what I need to do to get better and what I need to do to help the team out this year,” Roy Devyn said of his father, a three-time Iowa team MVP. “He’s been real helpful and I’m honored to play in the gym he played in.”
Roy Devyn is not a Roy carbon-copy. Aside from similar builds at this point of their careers (Roy Devyn is listed at 6-foot-5, 190 pounds), they actually excel with contrasting styles. Roy would leap over defenders with a unique combination of power and grace; Roy Devyn feasts on the perimeter.
“[Roy Devyn] is somebody I’ve really grown to like. He is a terrific young man with great size for a backcourt player,” UI head coach Fran McCaffery said. “He’s long and he can make 3’s. He’s a different kind of player than his father. I coached against his father — Roy was an assassin when he got the ball 15-feet and in and he would jump over you, go around you. [Roy Devyn] is more on the perimeter. He can play some 1, he gives it up easy, he can score and I think when he gets a little bit stronger what you’ll see him doing is defensively being problematic for the other team as well.”
Marble signed a letter of intent to Iowa when Todd Lickliter was Iowa’s head coach. After McCaffery was hired March 29, Marble upheld his vow.
“I always wanted to be a Hawkeye when they started recruiting me,” Marble said. “I did wait a little bit to see what other schools had to offer, but I always had Iowa No. 1. When coach McCaffery re-recruited me, he didn’t have to do too much, but I did want to make sure that my heart was still here. I love coach McCaffery; he’s done a lot for me since I’ve been here. He makes sure I stay in line in school, on the court and he’s just a good guy.”
“Growing up, his knowledge of this program was obviously very favorable,” McCaffery said. “You never know if you’re going to have the opportunity to be offered by Iowa and he was, and he grabbed it. It was incumbent upon me to make sure that he developed a comfort-level with me to sustain his commitment, which he did, so I was very thankful for that because we need him. He’s going to be an integral part of everything we’re doing.”
A native of Southfield, Mich., Marble was a two-time MVP for Lathrup High School, where as a senior he averaged 24.5 points, eight rebounds, four assists and 2.5 steals per game. He was named to the Oakland County Dream Team and competed in the 2010 Michigan All-Star Game. Roy is a native of Flint, Mich. (Beecher High School), and was drafted in the first round by the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA in 1989.
“I always wanted to be a Hawkeye when they started recruiting me. I did wait a little bit to see what other schools had to offer, but I always had Iowa No. 1. When coach McCaffery re-recruited me, he didn’t have to do too much, but I did want to make sure that my heart was still here. I love coach McCaffery; he’s done a lot for me since I’ve been here. He makes sure I stay in line in school, on the court and he’s just a good guy.”
Roy Devyn Marble
During his freshman season in 1985-86, Roy started 30 of 32 games and totaled 399 points. One reason Roy Devyn was lured to Iowa was the opportunity for immediate playing time.
“I knew I had a chance to come in and help the team right away being a freshman,” Roy Devyn said. “I also knew my dad went here; my grandmother also went here, so there’s a lot of Iowa tradition in my family. I want to help get Iowa basketball back to the way it used to be. It’s struggled the past few years and I want to be part of the reason why we were able to get it back to the way it used to be.”
Roy Devyn is aware that when his father played for Iowa, the Hawkeyes made four straight NCAA Tournament runs under George Raveling and Dr. Tom Davis. Team accomplishments are paramount to the first-year Hawkeye.
“My goal is to make sure the team is successful first,” Marble said. “I also want to make sure I’m ready for every game and that I play as hard as I can every time I touch the floor.”
Marble transitioned to the college game by spending the summer on the Prime Time League courts in North Liberty. It was there that he recognized the physical differences between high school and Division I basketball. He also sharpened leadership skills; skills he will undoubtedly improve playing alongside the likes of senior Jarryd Cole and junior Matt Gatens.
“The PTL taught me that my shot selection had to change from high school to college,” Marble said. “Being able to run the floor and the strength and conditioning was a big thing. The physicality helped. It’s not Big Ten physicality, but it’s much more physical than high school. I had to be more of a leader, vocally, offensively and defensively, so that took a lot out of me.”
In eight PTL games, Marble averaged 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists, while making 14 of 43 3-point field goals.
On the final Sunday of September, Marble joined the rest of the Hawkeye players and coaches for a team photo on the court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. His jersey was tight, yet comfortable, Marble said. Even though his father’s No. 23 is available, Roy Devyn wears No. 4, once donned by Andre Banks, Roy’s teammate in 1986.
“I just can’t wait to put this jersey on in November,” Roy Devyn said. “I want to put it in action. I’m eager to get to practice and actually get the feeling of how Big Ten basketball is going to be played. Coach McCaffery and the rest of the coaches are getting me ready as far as the conditioning that I’m going through now and the process — (strength and conditioning coach) Rusty (Burney) is trying to put weight on me, and I’m really excited about this season.”
Marble is majoring in pre-business and attending the UI is even more impressive than he thought.
“Iowa City is amazing; it’s more fun than I actually thought it would be,” Marble said. “The students are amazing, they show a lot of support. Classes have been fun, my professors have been helping me and I’m just enjoying life.”
The slogan for the 2010-11 men’s basketball season is “Let’s be MAD again,” referencing a craving to return to the NCAA Tournament and March Madness. Marble mentions the word mad in different context:
“I’m looking forward to going into these different places and making their fans mad, of course,” Marble said. “I want to win basketball games and I want to make the tournament.”
Iowa opens the season at home with an exhibition game on Sunday, Nov. 7, against Illinois-Springfield; the regular season begins for the Hawkeyes on Sunday, Nov. 14, against South Dakota State.