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2/12/2014: Devyn Marble teleconference transcript (premium)

Posted on 12. Feb, 2014 by in Iowa Basketball

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

Iowa senior guard Devyn Marble spoke with the local media on a teleconference Wednesday prior to the 16th-ranked Hawkeyes’ game on Feb. 15 against Penn State at Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pa.

Below is the complete transcript from the interview:

On what practices have been like with no game during the middle of the week and the importance of getting a little time off:

“You know, we’ve gotten some time off. Coach [McCaffery] has done a very good job of giving us some time and also at the same time keeping us focused and making sure we keep our skill work together and that we stay in shape.”

On how much he has noticed the rule changes throughout the course of the season:

“Um, I just think it’s more realistic. You know, people want to play basketball. I think this conference was much more of a football conference, even on the court at times last year. That’s not how I think the game should be played. But at the same time, I still think we have a physicality to each game and I think the refs are the same in different aspects. But I think at the same time, it’s better.

“Guys used to really jab people and hand check and cross arm, keeping people from going around you. Now you’ve really got to move your feet and be an athlete and show that you’re able to move your feet defensively and quickly. I think for me, it has really helped because now guys can’t do those things and I’m able to get around them and I’m able to attack the basket even more efficiently. I’m able to get to the free-throw line and able to create for others.”

On what he’s doing to ensure the defensive effort against Michigan last weekend is what Iowa gives the rest of the season:

“Well, you’ve got to let guys know what you’re playing for and how important each game is in this conference, especially on the road. You know, no game is easy on the road. Penn State’s a really good team. I think they’re a good team. I know they struggled a little bit playing Michigan State, but when they’re at home, they play very well.

“They’ve got two very good guards that present challenges that we haven’t seen this year. You know, they’re really aggressive. They both can really shoot the ball and get it to the paint and create for their teammates. So with their dribble penetration, it’s going to be key for us to limit them in the lane.”

On the importance of the front court in allowing Iowa to be as efficient as it is offensively:

“Um, they do a good job of running the floor offensively. After switching in transition from defense to offense and getting out and running the floor, they get easy baskets that way and they’re also really good offensive rebounders. Some of the guys, if you miss a shot, do a really good job of cleaning that up on the back end and they’re just playing their roles very well.

“You know, they defend. Gabe [Olaseni] is a really good shot blocker and he brings a lot of energy off the bench and he’s open on screens. They all bring different aspects to the game as far as their energy and the level that helps them to be successful.”

On the difficulty of playing in a hostile environment as a freshman for the first time like he had to when he was younger:

“Yeah, it’s challenging. You know, I don’t think it’s so much the environment that gets to you. It’s just the pace of the game and the intensity of the game and the pace and speed. Like, it’s tough on freshmen to be able to come in and go through that. In practice, you simulate that, especially on the road.

“You never really experience anything like that before and I think that’s why you don’t see as many freshmen this year dominating and playing a lot because you’ve got older guys in this conference that are just as good and better. They know how to win and coaches are trying to win and they, I think, feel it’s best to go with the more experienced, older guys.”

On what allows Penn State’s backcourt of D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier to play well together since Iowa has only had one or the other to deal with in past meetings:

“Um, well, Newbill has done a better job of working in the offseason on getting a better perimeter jump shot and therefore, he was able to move to the 2 and has found some success. Tim Frazier is the primary ball-handler and he’s able to create and get into the lane and kick it out to Newbill, who can knock down those open perimeter jump shots.

“It’s something that, probably last year, he would miss them. This year, he’s hitting that and he’s also able to drive the ball and be one of the best finishers in the Big Ten at getting into the lane. So they both are able to take you off the dribble and really put some pressure on your defense.”

On what has enabled Iowa to be successful on the road this season and if experience plays a role in that:

“Um, absolutely. I just feel comfortable. You know, I like playing on the road and I feel like I’m at home, even though I’m not. You know, when you’re able to go out and feel that way, there’s really not much people can do to get you out of that comfort zone. I think as a team, we just feel like … I feel like we feel like we’re underdogs on the road, regardless of who we’re playing.

“So we just come out with a focus and intensity and energy level that you need for away games. In a couple of our home games, we’ve lacked that. On the road, we’ve pretty much had that mindset and have been able to withstand it for the majority of the game and enough for us to get wins.”

On dealing with a dense road environment like Penn State versus a more raucous road environment:

“I mean, that doesn’t affect us. That’s their crowd. It would affect them more than us if there’s only 2,000 people there. I think we’re playing with a crowd that’s usually quiet anyways. So it would just be normal, I think, in those circumstances. It’s not like we need to have a sold-out crowd to play well, especially when you’re that far away from everybody.

“I don’t think I have anybody coming to that game, so it’s not like I have people there to see me, so really, I’m just planning to go in and win anyways. It’s not like the crowd has any functionality on how we’re going to play. I think that would affect Penn State more than us.”

On if he has learned anything from last year to help him become a more consistent scorer or if it’s just a maturity thing:

“Um, of course I think I learn a lot of things from year to year. I’m shooting the ball more consistently and I think at a higher pace than last year, if I can remember correctly. I’m just being aggressive and doing what I need to do to try and get wins.

“I’ve been healthy all season, so I haven’t had any setbacks as far as that or how I’ve shot in practice or anything like that that might take my rhythm away or anything like that. So I’ve just been blessed and I’ve been able to continue to go out there and do what I do.”

On what Adam Woodbury’s length does in terms of limiting what other teams do in the half-court:

“Well, of course he’s seven foot, so there’s not many 7-footers in our league. There’s probably more than there normally is, but even with that, he’s probably still the biggest person on the court at the time. So he’s able to use his length and his strength to do what he needs to do to be successful, whether that’s defensively, just tall enough to make smaller guys shoot over him or if we’re needing some guys to be rolling and finish.

“He’s just finding different ways to put his mark on the game and to be honest, most of it isn’t going to show up in the stat sheet, what he does. Even then, he isn’t going to handle the assist or anything. He’s just, I think, as important in me getting a bucket as Mike [Gesell] is or whoever’s throwing me the ball, so I think a lot of stuff he does just isn’t statistical.”

On if not being on some of the preseason lists for all-Big Ten, etc., have been a use of motivation for him:

“Well, of course. You know, people thought there were a lot of people better than me coming into this season. I don’t think I made any of the preseason all-conference teams or anything like that, which was crazy to me. But I just let my play do the talking. It’s a thing that I can’t be mad at people’s opinions. I can only try to sway them by doing what I do.”

On if he sees the Big Ten Player of the Year award as his to lose at this point in the season:

“I think if I’m able to do what I’m supposed to do, then everything will play out. You know, you got guys that are definitely important to their teams also and are playing well. Gary [Harris] and Nik [Stauskas] are both playing well, in my opinion. Both have struggled a little bit at times, but they’re still outstanding players and they’re competitors and they’re going to continue to try and win games for their teams just like I am.

“I’m not really worried about it or concerned about it. I’m going to play how I play and get as many wins as possible. If I win it, I win it and if I don’t, I don’t. At the same time, like I said, I wasn’t even considered to be on the all-Big Ten team, let alone be a contender for Player of the Year, so I’m obviously doing something right.”

On how much motivation there is in terms of knowing time is running out as a senior:

“Um, there’s a lot. You know, it’s not about time running. It’s about trying to get things accomplished and goals that you haven’t been able to accomplish yet and things that you want to do. You know, I want to play in the NCAA Tournament. I want to win a Big Ten title, whether it’s regular season or tournament play. There’s just a lot of things I want to get done and there’s an opportunity to do so, so we’re just trying to make the most of it.

“The fact I’m running out of time is unfortunate, but it’s the way of life. You get four years to do as much as you can and this has been my most opportune season to be able to do a lot of things that I came here to college wanting to do and I’m just trying to make the most of those opportunities.”

On the craziness of the Big Ten season from a player’s perspective:

“Um, you know, like you said, you just never know game in and game out who can win and who can lose. So I just watch it from the standpoint of knowing if we’re playing a team and just watch it almost like a coach would and be breaking it down. I don’t really watch as a fan or anything just to watch unless it’s a certain person I’m looking at or team. But it’s weird. Like you said, you don’t know what’s going to happen.

“Of course, we’ll need some of the teams to win or help from some of the other teams, but at the same time, you’re just pulling for them. That’s how that goes. At the same time, I just take it from the lesson of taking it one day at a time and I really won’t worry about what’s going on elsewhere around the league. I think if we do what we’re supposed to do, we’ll end up being where we want to be at the end of the day.”

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