As the angst of Iowa basketball fans continues to grow over the alarmingly deteriorating play of their team as of late, the quickest and most “rational” response is to look for who’s to blame.
Fans want to know the who/what/why of the problem’s source, and it’s hard to blame them for feeling that way. As human beings, when we sense that something is amiss we want to know how to correct it.
A perspective onlooker is yet to identify the root of Iowa’s recent issues (if you think its merely about X’s and O’s then you’re sorely mistaken), nor would it matter if they did. As much as we (including me) want to yell and scream our own opinions about how to get the Hawkeyes back on track the only real solutions have to be developed within the team itself. Head coach Fran McCaffery, his staff, and his players are going to have to pull themselves from the fire that they’ve allowed to ignite and smolder beneath them.
At least one Hawkeye has risen to meet the daunting challenge at hand. Unfortunately, most fans are too outraged or busy finger-pointing to recognize and appreciate the effort one man has been making for the program.
If these people would just stop and look, they would see that senior Devyn Marble is playing better basketball than arguably any Hawkeye in the last decade-plus, and on par with the best players in America.
I know it’s not particularly fun for many fans to try and notice a positive aspect in the midst of a bigger situation in which the sky seems to be falling, but for Marble’s superb play in recent weeks to be largely ignored is shameful in itself.
Marble has been recognized as the most talented player on Iowa’s roster for a while now, but some lapses in consistency were holding him back from even more. That’s no longer the case. The do-everything senior swing man has embraced the alpha dog type of role that everyone looks for in a star player.
Since conference play began the Southfield, Michigan native has made a leap in almost every statistical category. That’s fairly impressive when you consider the fact that Marble played pretty well in the non-conference portion of the schedule as well.
With that being said, his game has gone to an entirely new level in the last five outings against Big Ten opponents.
Over that span Marble is averaging 22 points on nearly 50% shooting from the field and 40% from the 3-point line. Oh, and tack on 6.4 assists, 3 rebounds, and almost 1.5 steals a night to boot.
The Iowa legacy and son of the program’s all time leading scorer has been sensational in nearly every aspect of the game.
Ignorant critics will call these “empty” numbers because the Hawkeyes have lost four of the five games, but anyone really paying attention knows that’s not true. Marble’s performances are what have been keeping his team in every contest despite the fact that other key players are failing to produce. Without him, Iowa would hardly have been competitive in recent its outings.
I certainly acknowledge the fact that fans have difficulty identifying a positive when their team is losing, but this young man’s production doesn’t deserve to be tossed by the wayside in any manner.
Try finding ten players in the country playing better than Devyn Marble right now. Just don’t get your hopes up that it will be a successful endeavor.