(This is the first in a five-part series featuring five predictions for Iowa’s 2012-13 season)
Devyn Marble will finish among the Big Ten’s top five scorers.
And in doing so, Marble will earn a second-team All-Big Ten selection. Marble was arguably the best Big Ten player to not receive any conference honors last year after averaging 11.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game, which was a revelation from his freshman season which was largely forgettable.
This season, however, Marble will undoubtedly be the No. 1 option in the Hawkeyes’ backcourt after Matt Gatens (15.2 points last year) took his talents to Europe. Therefore, Marble doesn’t have the same benefit he had last year – low expectations. He’s justifiably expected to do big things this year, and anything short of being a dependable leading scorer will be a disappointment.
Marble blossomed last year during a 10-game stretch from Nov. 23 to Dec. 28, which saw point-guard duties thrust upon Marble as Bryce Cartwright struggled with injury. He averaged 14.1 points, 4.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.7 steals during the 10-game stretch, even playing 37 minutes in back-to-back games against rivals Northern Iowa and Iowa State.
He seemingly began to slow down after that run, averaging 11.6 points for the team’s remaining 21 games. One could say that the emergence of players like Aaron White meant Marble had to do less, but he also shot at a 42.7 percent clip from the floor after hitting almost 50 percent of his shots in that dominant 10-game span.
One thing Marble did improve greatly over the course of the season was his 3-point shooting. Marble hit 44.2 percent of his 3-pointers in Iowa’s final 21 games after his perimeter shot was non-existent as a freshman (26.8 percent).
If Marble can further hone his long-range shot and become a little more consistent from play-to-play, he’ll easily be one of the conference’s most formidable scorers.