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Why Roy Marble can relate to Devyn Marble's slump

[ 0 ] February 11, 2013 |

Roy Marble doesn’t want to offend Gary Dolphin and Bobby Hansen, the radio team that brings Iowa basketball games to fans across the state. But the Hawkeyes’ career scoring leader prefers live action over the airwaves.

“Tell Dolph and Bobby it’s not as good as seeing it in person,” Marble said.

Roy attended the first half of the Hawkeyes’ 71-57 victory over Northwestern Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. His son, Devyn, broke out of a prolonged slump with 21 points in the victory. The worst slump of Roy’s Hawkeye career mirrored his son – it also came at the front end of Big Ten play his junior season.

Roy Marble is the father of the Hawkeyes' Devyn Marble. Roy Marble experienced his scoring slump during the 1987-88 season. (File photo)

Roy Marble is the father of the Hawkeyes' Devyn Marble. Roy Marble experienced his scoring slump during the 1987-88 season. (File photo)

Marble left the arena at halftime Saturday so he could attend senior night for another of his sons, Merrick Magdanz-Marble, at West Des Moines Valley. Devyn had nine points at the break. Roy had a chance to tell him goodbye before leaving.

“I said, 'Hey, you know what I’ve got to do,’ ” Roy said. “He’s like, 'I got you.’ So I felt good about that.”

Marble listened on the radio as his son scored 12 second-half points, including two dunks within a minute of each other.

“It drove me crazy,” Roy said.


had just passed the Newton exit when Devyn went to the bench for good.

“I said, 'Give me my orange cap,’ ” Roy said, in reference to Valley Tigers colors.

Is Devyn’s slump over and done with, or was Saturday a one-hit remedy? Clues will come Thursday when the Hawkeyes play at Penn State.

“It was great to see Devyn go for 21,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said Monday. “It was as explosive as he’s looked in some time.”

Roy can relate to Devyn’s recent slide. He was averaging just under 15 points through the first 19 games of the Hawkeyes' 1987-88 season. Then the slump set in. Roy matched his average just once over the next five games, and had a season-low three-point game against Ohio State. His scoring average over that stretch was 9.4 points.

But Roy broke out of it with a 24-point game against Minnesota. He scored 20 or more points in six of the last 10 games that season while averaging 19.4 a game.

“No one knows that he’s actually mirroring my career,” Roy said of Devyn. “I had ups and downs, peaks and valleys.”

Devyn scored in double figures in 15 of Iowa’s first 17 games and was averaging 15.5 points when his struggles started. He averaged just 6.0 points in the five games prior to his 21-point effort against Northwestern.

When Roy read that his son had smiled and seemed relaxed during an interview session with the media Friday, he expected a slump-busting performance the next day. Turns out Devyn thought so, too.

“I know a lot more than a lot of you guys,” Devyn told reporters after Saturday’s game. “I just had to relax and play.”

Roy talked to Devyn on the phone later Saturday night.

“The whole thing was, he was happy,” Roy said.

Roy also watched the Northwestern game on his DVR Sunday.

“I just wanted to make sure I saw what I thought I saw,” Roy said.


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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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