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Unheralded Devyn Marble making case as Big Ten player of year

[ 0 ] February 12, 2014 |

Iowa’s Devyn Marble didn’t make the six-man preseason all-Big Ten Conference basketball team. Now he’s being mentioned as a player of the year candidate.

“People felt there were a lot of people better than me coming into the season,” the 6-foot-6 senior guard said Wednesday. “I didn’t make any of the preseason all-conference teams or anything like that, which was crazy to me. I can’t be mad at people’s opinions. I can only try to persuade them by doing what I do.”

Iowa's Devyn Marble drives against Michigan's Nik Stauskas last Saturday during the Hawkeyes' win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Both players are being mentioned as Big Ten player of the year candidates. (Steven Branscombe/USA TODAY Sports photo)

Iowa’s Devyn Marble drives against Michigan’s Nik Stauskas last Saturday during the Hawkeyes’ win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Both players are being mentioned as Big Ten player of the year candidates. (Steven Branscombe/USA TODAY Sports photo)

Marble, a third-team all-league pick by coaches and an honorable mention selection by the media as a junior, heads into Saturday’s game at Penn State as the only player to score in double figures in every Big Ten game.

Marble is coming off a 26-point effort in an 85-67 victory against No. 10 Michigan last Saturday. He scored 22 of those points in the first half. Marble is averaging 17.8 points per game in conference play, second to Yogi Ferrell of Indiana (18.7).

Michigan State’s Gary Harris was the preseason player of the year pick. He was joined on the first team by Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III of Michigan, Adreian Payne of Michigan State, Aaron Craft of Ohio State and Tim Frazier of Penn State. McGary has missed most of the season because of a back injury.

Marble averaged 12.9 points in Big Ten play a season ago, shooting 32.1 percent from 3-point range and 71.5 percent from the free-throw line. That included a three-game slump in which he scored a total of 10 points at home against Penn State and at Minnesota and Wisconsin.

In addition to his 17.8 points in league play, Marble is shooting 45.7 percent from 3 and 74.6 percent from the free-throw line.

“I’m shooting the ball more consistently, and at a higher pace, than last year,” Marble said. “I’m just being aggressive, and doing what I need to do to get wins. I’ve been healthy all season, so I haven’t had any setback as far as having to sit out of practice or anything like that that might take my rhythm away.”

Iowa, 18-6 overall and 7-4 in Big Ten play, has a chance to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006. The Hawkeyes were 11-20 overall and 4-14 in Big Ten play in Marble’s rookie season and have improved each season.

“I want to play in the NCAAs, I want to win a Big Ten title, whether it be in the regular season or the tournament,” Marble said.

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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