Feb. 3, 2014
By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Senior Roy Devyn Marble says the No. 13/17 University of Iowa men's basketball team needs to bring a greater sense of intensity and focus with No. 25 Ohio State coming to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for Tuesday night's matchup.
"They're going to want to get that win back," Marble said Tuesday while meeting with local media. "They lost on their home court, so I know that left a sour taste in their mouths."
Three weeks ago, the Hawkeyes went to Columbus, Ohio, and posted a signature victory, downing the Buckeyes, 84-74, inside Value City Arena. Ohio State was ranked No. 3 in both The Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll at the time.
The Buckeyes have won 2-of-3 games, including a 59-58 victory at Wisconsin on Feb. 1. The victory moved Ohio State's record to 17-5 overall, 4-5 in Big Ten play, putting them in a four-way tie for fifth place. Iowa is alone in third at 6-3 in league play and 17-5 overall.
"They're coming off a big win," said Marble. "They're trying to get back on the right path as far as getting wins and getting back into the Big Ten race. They have some of the best competitors to a man in (Aaron) Craft and (Shannon) Scott. They're going to come in here with motivation and hunger to beat us on our home court."
Iowa is coming off an emotional 81-74 victory at Illinois on Feb. 1, where the Hawkeyes led by 21 points in the first half and trailed by five points with nine minutes remaining before scoring 20 of the final 28 points to win for the first in Champaign since 1999.
"We never panicked to the point where we were still in reach," said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. "Even with 8 1/2 minutes to go, we were still down five, and there were no panic in the huddle. We had a lot of confidence knowing that we would make a run, and we did."
McCaffery says the team's approach doesn't change with Iowa welcoming two of the upper division teams (Michigan on Saturday) on Mediacom Court this week and the Hawkeyes being in the Big Ten title conversation.
"This is no different than any other game on our schedule," he said. "We have a tremendous amount of respect for (head coach) Thad Matta and Ohio State. Saturday is Saturday, we play here, and that's another topic. It doesn't matter if we are playing Ohio State or any other team in this league. The evidence is there to look at."
The game will be Iowa's second appearance on ESPN's "Super Tuesday," and the Hawkeyes play No. 10/16 Michigan on the same network Saturday. McCaffery says the exposure has been good for getting Iowa's brand out on the recruiting trail.
"When you're talking to guys on the phone, they're watching games, and it is right there," he said. "It's in the conversation. Not everybody gets the Big Ten Network, they may or may not find you depending on where it is.
"ESPN, they know where that is, they watch it. They watch it Tuesday nights, so a lot guys we're talking to are watching our games."
Tuesday's game is scheduled to tip at 6:02 p.m. (CT). Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich, and Allison Williams will call the game.