April 2, 2013
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NEW YORK CITY — It might be more than coincidence that most statues sculpted to denote excellence are crafted from marble, a prized stone known for its softness and resistance to shattering.
Followers of University of Iowa men’s basketball since the mid-1980s are no strangers to Marble — the student-athletes, not the mineral — in the form of the greatest father-son combination the Big Ten Conference has seen to date.
Father Roy is the leading scorer in Iowa history, and with 2,116 career points, he is the lone member of the 2,000-point club. Son Roy Devyn became the 41st member of the school’s 1,000-point club March 9 during a 74-60 win against Nebraska in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Roy and Roy Devyn are the only father-son 1,000-point scorers in Big Ten Conference history.
“It was a great accomplishment, and I’m thankful to have achieved that with my father,” Roy Devyn said. “It was something different, something people hadn’t seen before. It means a lot more to my family. It will mean a lot more to me once I’m done playing, and I have a son of my own.”
Both Roy and Roy Devyn reached the 1,000-point milestone during their junior seasons. Roy Devyn has actually surpassed his father’s offensive production in year three of their careers — 527 points to 522. And Roy Devyn has at least one game remaining when the Hawkeyes face Maryland in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday, April 2, in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
“I never doubted him, but let’s face it, this is the Big Ten,” Roy said. “It takes hard work and dedication. There are so many things that go into this. For him to turn around, do it and do it so successfully — and him being my son — it is so surreal.”
“The thing I discussed with (Roy Devyn) is that it takes a great teacher. It comes down to Fran putting him in those positions to be successful, which is a bridge that is now coming together as far as Tom Davis — he was a great teacher. I couldn’t have done it by myself without my teammates, and I know my son feels the same way.”
UI’s all-time leading scorer
There are at least four active players in the Big Ten Conference who are following their father’s footsteps by playing basketball in college: Wisconsin sophomore Traevon Jackson, whose father Jim starred at Ohio State; Michigan junior Tim Hardaway, Jr., whose father played at Texas-El Paso; Michigan freshman Glenn Robinson III, whose father played at Purdue; and Iowa sophomore Darius Stokes, whose father, Greg, is third on the Hawkeyes’ all-time scoring list with 1,768 points.
If becoming a 1,000-point scorer is easy, there would be more than 41 Hawkeyes in the elite club. But Roy says he couldn’t have reached his goals without head coach Tom Davis, just like his son is benefitting from the tutelage of Fran McCaffery.
“The thing I discussed with (Roy Devyn) is that it takes a great teacher,” Roy said. “It comes down to Fran putting him in those positions to be successful, which is a bridge that is now coming together as far as Tom Davis — he was a great teacher. I couldn’t have done it by myself without my teammates, and I know my son feels the same way.”
Roy Devyn opted to attend the University of Iowa, knowing there would be comparisons to his father, a two-time second-team All-Big Ten selection, who was the leading scorer on the school’s only 30-win team in 1986-87.
“As for my dad and what he did here? That doesn’t bother me,” Roy Devyn said. “I’m in a good state of mind, I’m in a good position. I feel we have a lot of big things we still have to accomplish, and we have a good chance of doing it.”
During Roy’s four seasons, the Hawkeyes averaged more than 24 wins a year and played 10 games in four different NCAA tournaments. He scored 177 points in the postseason with 28 coming against Texas-El Paso in the second round of the 1987 tournament, and 24 in his final game as a Hawkeye — a double-overtime loss to North Carolina State in the second round of the 1989 tournament.
Roy Devyn was one of two freshmen starters for the Hawkeyes in 2010-11, when, during McCaffery’s first season as head coach, they compiled a record of 11-20. They were 18-17 a year ago, and their 24 wins this season are tied for third-most in school history.
Iowa has amassed a record of 4-1 in two different NIT appearances with Roy Devyn on the floor. During his last four postseason games, Marble is averaging 26.8 points per game, including a career-high 31 at Oregon in the second round of the 2012 NIT. This season, Marble has scored 24 against Indiana State, 28 against Stony Brook, and 24 at Virginia.
“We had a 20-win season, we’re playing in the NIT, a lot of people would love to be in the position that we’re in,” Roy Devyn said. “You have to be thankful in that situation and be grateful.”
Of course, he still aspires for the NCAA Tournament. Marble said that was a preseason goal for 2012-13, and it will be a goal in 2013-14, when he returns for his senior season.
“When we came up short, that really hurt,” Marble said. “Getting to the NCAA Tournament is going to be our No. 1 goal next year.”
Team first is a slogan that motivated Roy, and he passed that along to his son.
“Put the team first and play to win,” Roy stressed to Roy Devyn. Then it is time to become a complete player.
“I always talked to him about versatility, being able to do those extra things for your team that allows you to stand out at the same time,” Roy said. “But you always have to keep yourself focused on what you have to do to win games. If you do that, everything else takes care of itself.”
Among those “extra things” that allow Roy Devyn to stand out are an average of 3.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.1 steals per game.
“He tries to get me to be more relentless,” Roy Devyn said. “Doing a better job of getting open and doing the little things like getting more steals and rebounds. That has helped me this year a lot because teams are trying to tune in on me on the offensive end, so I try to get to the free throw line, get steals and get open breaks that help you get going.”
Roy and Roy Devyn have excelled with a soft touch that has posted 3,223 combined points to scoreboards during 235 Hawkeye games. Both refused to shatter in the face of coaching change (Davis replaced George Raveling in 1986, McCaffery replaced Todd Lickliter in 2010).
“It is a great feeling because it has a “we’ feeling to it,” Roy said. “We accomplished what we were able to accomplish wearing the black and gold at Iowa. When I did it, it took a team effort. While my son is doing it, it takes a team effort. And we happened to have two great coaches at the same time.”
Softness. Resistance to shattering. Marble: Roy and Roy Devyn Marble.
Roy Devyn Marble
* Total includes 80 3-point field goals
* Total includes 26 3-point field goals