Attentive Hawkeyes Ready for Drake
Dec. 14, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A third straight game against an in-state men's basketball opponent could mean a third straight start for University of Iowa sophomore point guard Roy Devyn Marble.
"Right now I'll be running the point until we're sure Bryce (Cartwright) is healthy and 100 percent again," Marble said Wednesday during a gathering with reporters on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. "That's the key right now. Until we know (Cartwright is healthy), I'll still be doing what I was the previous two games."
What Marble has done during the last two games at Northern Iowa and at Iowa State is average 37 minutes, 17.5 points and 4.5 assists, while shooting 50 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from the line.
During those two in-state games, Marble received a big assist from Cartwright, who was averaging 28.1 minutes, 6.8 points and 4.9 assists, before suffering a hamstring injury against Brown on Dec. 3.
"Bryce has been supportive because he wants to see me have success and he wants the team to have success," Marble said. "During timeouts, he's in my ear, telling me what I need to do. He's been there for me, so that's been good."
Before the injury to Cartwright, Marble averaged 27.7 minutes a game; he wants to be on the court between 37 and 40 minutes. In three games this season where he has played 32 or more minutes, Marble averages 16.3 points; in games where he plays less than 30 minutes, Marble averages 6.6 points.
"It doesn't matter to me if I start or if I come off the bench (when Cartwright is healthy)," Marble said. "I obviously want to play 37-40 minutes when Bryce gets back, either way. I think I can contribute coming off the bench or starting."
Senior Matt Gatens is at the other guard position for the Hawkeyes. He leads the team with 13.5 points and game and he is also one of its top 3-point threats with 17. Gatens says the eight-day break for finals comes at a good time to heal injuries and work on academics.
Now the attention switches to a third and final in-state game against Drake on Dec. 17 at 8:05 p.m. This is the only game of the three played in Iowa City.
"It's big. We don't want to go 0-3 against in-state teams," Gatens said. "That's a big deal for us. We're going to (approach) Drake with a lot of concentration and a lot of respect."
Last season Iowa opened with a 14-0 run and defeated the Bulldogs, 59-52, at the Knapp Center in Des Moines. The Hawkeyes hold a 55-10 advantage in the all-time series.
Starting UI forward Eric May says Saturday is not any other game.
"We have to go with a lot of focus because (Drake) is a tough team and we have to come and play hard," May said. "Not just because it's another Iowa team, but because we want to come out here and get a win. Our confidence level is getting where it needs to be and we're moving forward and getting after Drake."
Iowa enters the game with a record of 5-5 overall, Drake is 6-3.