This is the first match-up of a 16-person bracket looking at the best individual season performances of the last decade. The complete bracket is at the bottom of each match-up. Vote early and share it. The more votes, the better.
1. Dwyane Wade (2002-2003) vs. 16. Maurice Acker (2009-2010)
The case for Wade: Fresh of defeating the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats to book a trip to the Final Four in New Orleans, Wade remarked, “I wanted to take Marquette to the next level, the same level as Al McGuire did.” That he did. This medium sized fella’ was all kinds of good in 2002-’03, submitting arguably the best single season in Marquette history. Wade scored 710 points, (averaging 21.5 per game) a single season record for an MU player, and became the first AP first team All-American since Butch Lee in 1978. As if being named Conference USA Player of the Year wasn’t enough, Wade was also named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, putting up 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals a game.
The case for Acker: The 2009-2010 season was supposed to be The Year of Lazar Hayward, and that rang true. But there’s no way the Golden Eagles would have had as much success as they did had Acker not stepped up in a large way. After then-freshman Junior Cadougan suffered a season-ending injury, Acker was the only pure point guard on the roster. Not only did he man the offense well, but he led the Big East in 3-point field goal percentage (49.5%). His assist-to-turnover ratio (3.1) was also tops in the conference (and fourth in the country), making this one of the best Marquette point guard seasons in the last decade of anyone not named Diener.
Teammate Rob Frozena, on Acker: Now I am a little bias toward Mo’s senior year because he was my roommate for two years, and he copied all his moves from me. (If you believed that, we wouldn’t be talking about Mo’s senior year on this list). In my opnion, Mo was one of the most underrated players in the country that year. Not because he would light up the scoreboard every night, but because he made winning plays. He rarely took a poor shot or made a bad pass. Mo’s consistency at the point was so vital to our success that year, not to mention his 49.5% 3PT percentage.
One of the other ways Mo influenced our team was how he defended his man. He took great pride in his defense, and made sure his man always had to work in order to score. For being one of the smallest guys in Division I, Mo was always effective in what he did his senior year. A lot of people will always think of Zar and what he accomplished that year, but you can’t be successful with just one guy. That is why Mo’s senior season performance was so crucial in the past decade of Marquette Basketball.