IOWA CITY – Message-board junkies, Twitter hacks, internet bloggers, talk-show callers and face-painted fanatics can all jump, holler and shake their black-and-gold pom-poms in unison after the news broke on Wednesday that they’ve all been waiting for.
Roy Devyn Marble is the new Iowa Hawkeyes point guard.
For three years Marble has been probably the most polarizing player to the legion of Hawkeye faithful. He’s been labeled overrated, underutilized and nearly everything in between. He’s a shooting guard who can’t shoot. A scorer who can’t score in the clutch. A go-to guy who can’t get it done. But one thing everybody can agree on is that Marble is at his best when the ball is in his hands.
And now coach Fran McCaffery agrees with them.
“I would say I expect him to be our point guard,” McCaffery said while addressing the media at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. “He’s been through so much, I think he’s at a point in his career where he completely understands what is necessary at that position. But I think with that said, if you just look at him, he is a guy that clearly is a better player when he has the ball.”
What’s clear to the fans is Marble has arguably more talent than any player on the team. He led the team last season in scoring, minutes, assists and steals. He can rebound, jump, shoot, block shots, dunk and play defense. But all those skills became more magnified while he played point guard. That allowed Marble to use his 6-6 height to take advantage of smaller opponents.
Moving Marble to point guard will open up space for a pair of fresh faces who hope to give the Hawkeyes much-needed perimeter offense. Freshman Peter Jok and transfer are both 6-5 swingman projected to see playing time at shooting guard and small forward. Jok is a pure shooter that the team desperately needs, and Utoff has the versatility to shoot, handle the ball, rebound and play defense. The Hawkeyes were in the bottom third of the country in field-goal percentage last season.