Marble Working His Way Into Increased Role With Cowboys Basketball

Tracy Ringolsby

LARAMIE -- Kwane Marble’s commitment to Wyoming basketball was apparent from the day he first called to confirm acceptance of a scholarship offer from the Cowboys last fall.

Problem was the Cowboys only had one available scholarship at that time, and a couple days earlier Kenny Foster, his summer league teammate and now a teammate of Marble in Laramie, had committed.

The Cowboys reassured Marble that they liked his ability. They kicked around the possibility of the product of Denver East High School becoming a walk-on with the idea that another scholarship could open.

Marble declined. He reopened his recruiting process – briefly.

The week before mid-terms in December of 2018, Lwal Dung, a late-signee out of junior college the previous summer, announced he was quitting to return home to his native Australia, where he was going to play professionally

Without hesitation, the Cowboys offered that scholarship to Marble, who quickly signed on the dotted line.

And while Foster was the face of the recruiting class – coming off a senior year at Smokey Hill High School in Aurora, Co., in which he was selected the Colorado Player of the Year – Marble has begun to step out of the shadows since 2019 turned into 2020.

After being on the court for 47 minutes in the first 15 games of the season – 16 of those minutes  coming in a tournament game against TCU in Las Vegas, Marble has made a statement the last three games. His effort hasn’t produced a win for the struggling Cowboys, but he had a major role in the Cowboys so-close effort that turned into a 78-69 overtime loss to UNLV last Saturday in which the Cowboys let a seven-point lead slip away in the final 1:25 of the second half.

Coming off the bench in that game, Marble responded with a team-high 19 points – hitting four field goals, including two from the three –point range, and going 9-for-11 from the free throw line in 30 minutes of playing time.

Impressive? The rest of the team was a combined 13-for-47 from the field – 8-for-31 from three-point range. That came on the heels of scoring six points in 17 minutes against Colorado State on Jan. 4, and then a 24-minute opportunity against San Diego State last Wednesday in which he scored six points in 24 minutes.

That’s 71 minutes of play – in which he has scored 31 points – after playing only 47 minutes and scoring just 10 points in the Cowboys’ 15 games.

It is a start.

“I get excited when I see that with Kwame, but as I tell our guys all the time, `Doing one time is just one time. It’s how do you make it a habit? How do you get better. With young kids a performance like that they like to say that made it, but if anything they should be a little hungrier.”

Lately, Marblel has been feeding the appetite.

That’s 71 minutes of play – in which he has scored 31 points – after playing only 47 minutes and scoring just 10 points in the Cowboys’ 15 games.

It, however, wasn’t an easy process.

Edwards thought he saw enough development in Marble that he had him on the court for 16 minutes in the game against CSU on Nov. 25 in Las Vegas. Kwal, however, hit on a three-point shot, and that was it. He played five minutes in the next five games, not even getting off the bench in three of them.

Do what changed?

“I have been trusting the process,” said Marble. “I have been getting extra work. I have been going hard in practice, really following coach’s instructions.”

So far, so good.

“Where his growth has happened is conditioning,” said Edwards. “Early in the year he wasn’t playing. He wanted to know why. He wasn’t in shape. … He made several adjustments.

“I tell the guys all the time, I love all of them, but I don’t have a favorite. If they want to get on the floor they have to put themselves in position to be there.”

Marble has been doing that.

And he will be on the floor again Tuesday night when the Cowboys travel to Nevada, looking for a win that has eluded them in their first six conference games.

“He’s going to get in the game and from there we will see,” said Edwards.

The coach paused.

“If he continues to down the path of putting in the work away from the court and away from us he’s going to give himself a chance,” said Edwards.

And he is going to give a struggling Cowboys’ team a chance, as well.


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