IOWA CITY, Ia. — Jarryd Cole was an undersized starting center on Iowa’s basketball team during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. Trying, challenging seasons they were.
Iowa won 10 games that first year, 11 the next in Fran McCaffery’s first season as coach. After the 2010-11 season, McCaffery said hard work and team play from Cole, a senior, would serve as a foundation to his rebuilding project.
On Wednesday, with Cole in the announced crowd of 12,158 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the Hawkeyes improved to 10-2 with a 90-46 victory over South Carolina State. Envious? Cole was anything but.
“I couldn’t be any happier,” said Cole, who now plays professionally in France. “McCaffery’s a great coach. These guys deserve this.”
Devyn Marble remained stuck on red-hot. The junior guard, coming off a 30-point game against Northern Iowa in Des Moines last Saturday, scored 21 more in the first half and finished with 27 even though he only played 22 minutes.
“He’s just really playing well,” McCaffery said. “I’m just really proud of him. I’m moving him around. He’s (leading) our (fast) break. If the offense gets bogged down, he makes a play. He’s playing with a lot of confidence right now. But I wasn’t going to keep him out there.”
It was the 11th time in 12 games this season that Marble, who pl
ayed just four second-half minutes, has scored in double figures. Marble outscored the entire South Carolina State team in the first half, 21-20. The 27 points were a career high in Carver-Hawkeye Arena for Marble, who made 5-of-6 3-pointers and was 8-of-13 from the floor overall.
“He’s not a guy who really hunts shots,” McCaffery said. “He’s a very unselfish player.”
Wednesday marked the first time a Hawkeye team has reached the 10-win mark in its first 12 games since 2004-05.
A victory in Saturday’s final nonconference game, against Coppin State, would give Iowa 11 nonconference victories for just the second time in the last eight seasons, and tie for the second-most since the 1986-87 team under Tom Davis started 12-0. The 2004-05 team was 12-1.
Cole, who signed with Steve Alford and played for Todd Lickliter and McCaffery, is honored that McCaffery considers him a rock in his rebuilding foundation.
“It makes me feel great,” said Cole, who is back in the United States for a two-week break. “I think he’s probably giving me a little more credit than I deserve. Looking back, I had a great year with McCaffery. He helped me become the kind of player I am now.”
Iowa’s 18-17 mark last season was the program’s first winning record since 2006-07. The Hawkeyes went to postseason play for the first time since 2006, and hope to improve on both accomplishments this season.
“I know the guys are going to do their best to keep things going forward,” Cole said. “And with the guys (McCaffery’s) bringing in, the likes of Marble, (Aaron) White, (Adam) Woodbury, (Mike) Gesell … the future right there? It’s as bright as it’s ever been.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball