This is the fifth 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.
2. Jae Crowder (2011-2012) vs. 15. Dominic James (2008-2009)
The case for Crowder: It’s not fair to say he came out of nowhere, seeing as his father was a pretty good basketball player himself, but who would have thought a junior-college transfer would dominate the premier conference in the country and put in one of the greatest statistical seasons of the past six year in all of college basketball (No. 7 in John Pudner’s Value Add metric)? The Villa Rica, Georgia, native averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.1 assists this past season, helping to lead the Golden Eagles to their second consecutive Sweet 16 appearance. Basketball-Reference gave Crowder 8.1 Win Shares for this past season, sixth best in the country and the best mark in Marquette history since the statistic was tracked, besting Dwyane Wade’s 2001-’02 mark of 6.8.
The case for James: 2005’s Mr. Indiana did not disappoint in his freshman season, averaging more than 32 minutes per game and finishing second on the team in points (15.3), rebounds (4.5) and steals (1.6). He led the team in assists (5.4), and while his turnover numbers (2.8) were high, but he cut down on those remarkably toward the end of the year. His shooting numbers weren’t great, but he erupted for 28 and 29 points early in conference play. Unfortunately it was James’ best season as a Golden Eagle, but what a season it was.