This is the second part of a two-part story on Devyn Marble and Zach McCabe.
These are the last two recruits that Todd Lickliter signed before he was fired in the spring of 2010. Last week I talked about Devyn and how he came in as a role player and now is a full time starter.
In Devyn and Zach’s first yearm the Hawks were 11-20, 4-14 in the Big Ten. Devyn played in all 31 games, with six starts and averaged 5.7 points per game. Zach played in 31 games, had six starts and averaged 5.8 points.
When Devyn and Zach were sophomores, Iowa was 18-17, 8-10 in the Big Ten, went to the NIT and won its first game. Devyn started 27 games, averaged 11.5 points and led the team in steals with 53. Zach started 30 games, averaged 7.8 points and shot 45 percent from 3-pointer range, which led the team.
Last year, Iowa won 25 games, the second-most in school history and won a school-record 18 home games.
The Hawks finished second in the NIT which is their best finish ever.
Devyn averaged 15 points and led the team in assists with 112. He has totaled 1,134 points in his career which made him and his dad Roy as the only father/son duo in the Big Ten to eclipse 1,000 points at the same school.
“We both knew it was coming,” said Devyn’s dad, Roy, who is the all-time leading scorer at Iowa with 2,116 points. “We continue not to look at it. We know the numbers are going to pile up so I told him ‘it’s just like putting money in the bank.’”
Devyn tried out for the World University games but didn’t make the cut.
“It was fun and a great opportunity to compete against good players,” said Devyn. “I hope the team does well.”
After Devyn finishes next year, he would like a shot at the pro level.
“That’s a goal,” said Devyn. “I’m working every day toward that and at the same time trying to help the team get better. I’m trying to get stronger and become a better leader every day.”
Devyn said that he wouldn’t consider coaching at the college level but could help out on the AAU circuit.
If he can continue to improve his game, the Hawks can fly even higher this year.
Randy Larson, director and coach at Prime Time, has watched both Devyn and Zach develop since they started playing in the league as freshmen.
“Devyn is a guy that can play a lot of positions,” said Randy. “I think that’s hurt him a little bit instead of focusing in on one. That will be one of the interesting decisions if Fran will be willing to play him at the point or at the two or three. He’s very versatile, he’s long and he’s never been a shoot-first type guy. He’s a slasher, not a shooter but as his 3-point shot is developing he becomes very difficult to guard.”
Zach McCabe was a two-sport athlete in high school and was all-state in both. He led the Sioux City Heelan Crusaders to a 35-4 record as a three-year starting quarterback. The Crusaders won the state championship in his junior season and finished runner-up his sophomore year.
Zach broke Sioux City’s single game (465 yards) and single season (2,461 yards) passing records his senior year. He also passed for 21 touchdowns and was named first team all-state his senior year.
In basketball, Zach helped lead Heelan to back-to-back state championships in his junior and senior year. He was named Class 3A Player of the Year his senior season after averaging 19.1 points and 8.6 rebounds.
Zach had to choose to play football or basketball in college.
“I had one offer for football,” said Zach. “It was South Florida. For basketball, things didn’t pick up until late in the summer (before his senior year in high school). I got offered by Virginia and Arizona State.”
Zach’s dad saw Kirk Ferentz when he was recruiting Zach’s teammate Brandon Wegher.
Coach Ferentz told Zach’s dad if he wanted to play football he could walk-on at Iowa and play tight end.
At 6-6, 245, Zach would have been a big target.
“I liked basketball,” said Zach. “I was pretty successful, so I stuck with that.”
Iowa came calling and Zach said yes.
“I was recruited to play for Coach Lickliter,” said Zach. “But he was out and Coach McCaffery re-recruited me and took a house visit. He told me he wanted me at Iowa. He said ‘it will take some time but in the long term you will be successful.’”
Zach grew up a Hawkeye fan, so his decision to play for the Hawks wasn’t a tough one.
“I was a big fan growing up,” said Zach. “Coming to Iowa City for a couple of football games. Just seeing the fans and how supportive they were. It just kind of makes you want to go here.”
In Zach’s first year, the Hawks were 11-20 and Jarryd Cole led the way.
“It was struggling,” said Zach. “Anytime you come from high school to college and the Big Ten you’re going to have some bumps in the road. It was great having a guy like Jarryd Cole there. He’s a great guy, he’s easy to talk to and he’s always encouraging.”
Iowa broke through with a winning season in Zach’s second year, finishing with a 18-17 record and a win in the NIT.
Zach led the team in 3-point shooting, hitting 45 percent of his shots.
“I learned from my freshman year and worked hard,” said Zach, who had 30 starts that year. “We had a winning record and that was a great year getting in the postseason.”
Last season was special with 25 wins and a NIT final.
“That was a great time,” said Zach. “Just that run we had and everyone’s goal was to win the NIT after we got in it. Being able to go to New York, play in Madison Square Garden and almost winning it.”
Zach is glad he helped turn the Iowa program around.
“That was one of my goals,” said Zach. “To finally see Iowa have success. It’s not over yet. We still have one more year.”
I have to agree with Randy Larson, who said this is the most depth the Hawkeyes have had in a long time.
It should be fun to see how good this team can be with Zach and Devyn leading the way.