IOWA CITY Iowa guard Devyn Marble tried to listen to the angel in his head. But the devil in his ear had his complete attention.
With a two-on-none fast break, Marble had the ball and teammate Aaron White was trailing him. That's when the whispers became loud, and Marble gave in to temptation.
"(White) said, 'Throw it off the backboard, Dev. Throw it off the backboard,'" said Marble, whose Iowa team crushed Maryland-Eastern Shore 109-63 Thursday night.
Marble tossed the ball off the backboard, and White slammed it down.
"I kind of knew not to do it but Wheezy (White) was nagging at me in my ear," Marble said. "I was being pulled in two different ways. I shouldn't have done it, but it's all good."
White kind of smiled when asked if he had goaded Marble into making the pass, which aggravated Coach Fran McCaffery. Before White had a chance to answer, Marble shouted over, "Wheezy do not lie to them."
"Yeah, I asked him to do it," White said. "I saw the opportunity for it."
There were plenty of opportunities for Iowa to enjoy success against Maryland-Eastern Shore, from highlight reel dunks to sophomore guard Mike Gesell regaining his confidence. After a pair of sluggish starts to open the season, McCaffery moved Gesell back to the point. Gesell responded by knocking down his first three shots, including a pair of 3-pointers. The move gave Marble a few more scoring opportunities, and both flourished against outmanned Maryland-Eastern Shore (1-2).
"He's obviously a terrific player, but he's been a little bit sideways," McCaffery said. "Boy was he really good tonight at the start of the game. He was running our break. He was shooting the ball, but he was making shots."
"It felt good to get that first one to go," Gesell said. "I just fed off of that."
McCaffery met with Marble on either Tuesday or Wednesday and told him he planned to move Gesell back to the point. Both will still play the other guard slot so it's neither a promotion or a demotion.
"I was prepared to play both positions," Gesell said. "So I wasn't surprised by it at all."
"It's just a change of pace," Marble said, "me being able to go out there and being aggressive, looking to score and at the same time still finding my teammates, even though I am being more assertive on offense."
White scored a game-high 22 points, his eighth career 20-point performance. He played only 17 minutes and left the game for good just four minutes into the second half.
Six other Hawkeyes scored in double-digits. Jarrod Uthoff had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Melsahn Basabe scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Marble, Gabe Olaseni and Peter Jok each scored 10 points.
Iowa also was efficient. The team had 24 assists, including seven from Gesell and five from Marble. Olaseni blocked three shots and Marble had four steals without a turnover.
"I'm definitely happy," Gesell said. "I felt like we did some great things tonight and there's a lot of things we can improve on."
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