TCT’s Matchup of the Day takes place in the championship game of the Batlle 4 Atlantis between #23 Iowa and Villanova.
An elite defender who can score in bunches, Roy Devyn Marble dropped 30 points against Xavier in the opening round before leaving the game with severe cramps. The senior returned in the Hawkeyes’ blowout wing against UTEP last night, but managed to score only seven points on 2 of 6 shooting from the field. His length and versatility will be the key for Iowa tonight, as it takes on a Villanova team that dominates play inside the perimeter.
On the other side, Darrun Hilliard is a bonafide shot-maker who can light it up from anywhere on the floor. He rebounds his position well, and uses his length to frustrate opponents on the defensive end. He will have the task of shutting down Marble, limiting his scoring chances and preventing drives to the rim. Tonight’s championship game is projected to be another barn-burner, and the matchup between Marble and Hilliard will prove to be the determining factor.
#4 SG Roy Devyn Marble – Senior – 6’6” 200 Pounds
Stat Line: 24.3 MPG, 15.7 PPG, 3.9 APG, 3.3 RPG, 2.7 SPG, 40.7 FG%, 29.4 3P%
After a breakout junior campaign, Marble has picked up right where he left off, aggressively attacking the rim and making an impact in every facet of the game. Averaging 15.7 points per game, Marble has been notably streaky from beyond the arc, but has compensated by improving his mid-range efficiency, going from 36 percent last season to 40 percent this year. With his size and quickness, Marble is a difficult matchup on the perimeter and has proven to be almost impossible to keep out of the lane. Logging just 24.3 minutes a game, Marble is getting to the line 6.9 times per contest.
Going up against an offense that scores 56.4 percent of its points inside the arc, Marble’s defense will be the most important component of his game. At 6’6”, he is a constant presence in the passing lanes, and uses his length to get a hand in the face of shooters spotting up from long-range. According to KenPom, Marble currently ranks 11th in the country in steal percentage, which measures the percentage of defensive possessions that end with a steal. If Iowa is going to have a chance, he needs to be at 100 percent, getting in the face of shooters and using his size and length to turn suffocating D into easy offense at the other end.
+ Natural Scorer
+ Tenacious Defender
+ Versatile Athlete
- Long-Range Consistency
#4 SG Darrun Hilliard – Junior – 6’6” 215 Pounds
Stat Line: 29.8 MPG, 14.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.8 SPG, 51.7 FG%, 38.7 3P%
A 3-star recruit in the class of 2011, Darrun Hilliard has added another element to his game in every off-season since stepping onto campus. As a junior, he has come into the 2013-2014 season with a completely refined stroke from three-point range, and has seen his offensive efficiency skyrocket as a result. After shooting 29.2 percent from three as a freshman, and 31.5 percent last season, Hilliard has developed into Villanova’s most dangerous outside threat, and is currently knocking down 38.7 percent of his threes.
Before this season, the strength of Hilliard has always been his ability to get past his man and finish at the rim. With added consistency from distance, Hilliard has become a formidable inside-out scorer, combining the ability to drain threes with a penchant for putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rack. In tonight’s matchup, the key for Hilliard will be making Marble work on both ends. The 6’6” junior has had issues with ball security this year, but has the skill to go toe-to-toe with an elite on-ball defender like Marble. He needs to take care of the ball, and attack early and often, opening up the floor with his range and creating driving lanes for his teammates.
Defending Marble, Villanova will need to string out pick & rolls and force him to be a distributor. Off the ball, Hilliard can afford to go under screens, as Marble has the ability to hurt you from deep, but has been markably inconsistent through the first several games of the season. Whatever the game plan is for the Wildcats, they need to keep Marble out of the lane at all costs, forcing him to create plays with his vision and passing ability, rather than punishing the Villanova D with mid-range j’s and drawing fouls around the rim.
+ 3-Point Shooting
+ Finishing Ability
+ Offensive Efficiency
- Ball Security
- Free-Throw Shooting