Iowa point guard Mike Gesell’s foot injury, suffered against Nebraska on Feb. 21, will keep him out for both games this week, which includes another meeting with the Huskers on Saturday.
In the South Sioux City, Neb., freshman’s place, 6-foot-6 junior Roy Devyn Marble has moved to the point — his third spot in the starting lineup this season.
“It’s not an easy thing to do, but I think it is for him,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said Monday. “More people have the ability to do that than actually can. You’ve to remember a lot to play three positions — sometimes in the same game.”
After a brief midseason slump, Marble has bounced back to score 21, 22, 15, 18, 18 and 20 points over the Hawkeyes’ last six games.
“He came with great basketball IQ, and he is a student of the game,” McCaffery said. “He’s in phenomenal physical condition, and he has persevered through a shooting slump. Now that he is scoring again, he’s a dominant player.”
Putting the basketball in the hoop runs in the Marble family. Roy Marble was a three-time All-Big Ten pick for the Hawkeyes in the 1980s and is still the school’s all-time scoring leader with 2,116 points.
Devyn Marble is 23 points shy of 1,000 career points. When he gets there, the Marbles would be the only father-son pairing in Big Ten history to each reach 1,000 points.
As for Gesell, his injured foot will be re-evaluated heading into the March 14 to 17 Big Ten tournament. Once healthy, McCaffery said, Gesell will return to the starting lineup.
Player of the week: Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe. The 6-8 senior from St. Paul, Minn., had 21 points and 12 rebounds in a win over No. 1 Indiana and 13 points and 13 rebounds in a win over Penn State.
Co-rookies of the week: Indiana guard Yogi Ferrell and Wisconsin guard Sam Dekker, the second honor this season for both.
Ferrell, a 6-foot freshman from Indianapolis, had a career-high 19 points and five assists in a win over Iowa and 10 points, five assists and four rebounds in a loss to Minnesota.
Dekker, a 6-7 freshman from Sheboygan, Wis., had 19 points and four assists in a win over Nebraska and 10 points, three assists and three rebounds in a loss to Purdue.
Quote of the week
Indiana coach Tom Crean, who saw Gonzaga of the West Coast Conference overtake his Hoosiers for No. 1 in the polls this week:
“There are power conferences, and we’re certainly in one of them. But more importantly, there are power programs. And I think when you talk about VCU, Butler and Gonzaga, I don’t think anybody who does this for a living even remotely doesn’t look at Gonzaga like they are anything less than a power program.”
Stat of the week
Nebraska (0-9) and Iowa (0-6) are the only Big Ten teams without a victory over a Top 25 opponent.