Marquette Basketball All-Decade Team

It’s the middle of summer and the biggest talking points around Marquette still revolve around two players no longer on the team. Time to switch up the vibe and go with something more lighthearted.

I received this Tweet on Thursday night and couldn’t stop thinking about it.

The 2010s truly saw some of the most talented players suit up in the Blue and Gold since the 70s in terms of volume and quality. MU had 3 first round picks, two Big East players of the year, two second-team all Americans and 7 different players log NBA minutes.

As with anything subjective, feel free to think I’m an idiot, but let me know how you would stack them up. (Again, we are only talking about players that suited up from the 2010 to the 2019 season, so no 3 Amigos.)

Locks  

Crowder and Gardner

Jae Crowder and Davante Gardner helped turned the game against Murray State around in the final seven minutes. Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.

Jae Crowder 2011-’12

17.5 pts, 8.5 reb, 122.1 ORtg, 22.1% Usg, 56.8 eFG%, 4.3% steal

Marquette’s first Big East player of the year holds the crown for one of the best single seasons of all time. Not just this decade. Not just the KenPom era. Not just post-Al. There have been more decorated and more successful players, for sure, but for a single season, I would pit Jae’s up with any of them.

Using just this decade as a comparison, he holds the top two PIPMs (Player Impact Plus Minus, which uses both box score, plus minus, and luck adjusted stats to gauge the influence a player has when he’s on the court) this decade. A robust +7.73 in 2012 and an otherworldly 12.47 in 2012. In fact, that number is the 5th best of all players in the database behind only Zion Williamson ’19, Anthony Davis ’12, Brando Clarke ’19 and Delon Wright ’15.

He could guard all 5 positions and do it well. And he was just ruthless. Jaemazing doesn’t begin to describe it.

Howard

(Photo by Ryan Messier/Paint Touches)

Markus Howard 2018-’19

25 pts, 36.1% usage, 40.3 3pt%, 27.2% Asst Rate, +7.4 PIPM

Last season ended so poorly that it’s gotten a bit lost this offseason, but Markus Howard just put up the greatest individual offensive season in Marquette history. Most points scored, highest per game average, most field goals made, most free throws made and attempted, 3rd most threes made.

Yes, a lot of those numbers came in large part due to a never before seen usage rate, but even with the plethora of opportunities, there was still a level of efficiency. And it bears repeating, he played the last 8 games injured, which not only coincided with the team’s dip in play, it was the most likely the perpetrator.

But forget the sour taste still left in your mouth. Just try and remember what it was like watching him put dagger after dagger in on Creighton, en route to a Marquette and Big East record 52 points.

As amazing as that was, it still ranks a tad below his 2nd half annihilation of Buffalo. 40 points in the second half against a very good team. I don’t think that feeling will ever be topped.

Markus won Big East Player of the Year and was a second team All-American selection. Recency bias and all, he’s a no-brainer to make this team.

Safe

Butler3

Jimmy Butler 2010-’11

15.7 pts, 6.1 reb, 121.2 Ortg, 7.61 PIPM

There’s a pretty good case to make for taking Jimmy’s 2010 over his 2011, as he was much more efficient on the offensive side (129 Ortg vs 121), but seeing as he played a sidekick to Zar in 2010 instead of being the focus of other teams, we’ll stick with 2011.

Jimmy’s success in the NBA has inflated his college stock a bit, but don’t take that as any sort of knock. He was a versatile, efficient, cold-blooded killler at Marquette as well. He had a knack for game-winners and was able to play all 5 positions on defense, including a stifling of Tu Holloway in the NCAA Tournament that is still the stuff of legends.

 

Lazar Hayward

Lazar Haywad;

Lazar Hayward 2009-’10

18.5 pts, 7.5 reb, 34.2% shots, 29.6% usage, 108.1 Ortg

After the 3 Amigos left Marquette, everyone and their mother was ready for a rebuilding year in 2010. Everyone and their mother forgot about Czar.

His stats don’t pop out like Markus or Jae, but if you watched that 2010 team, you couldn’t help but love him. He played the 5 in the Halcion days of the Big East, recorded the highest usage outside of Howard and Rowsey, and just willed that team to tremendous heights.

And he could also do this.

Bubble

DJO20

Darius Johnson-Odom 2011-’12

18.3 pts, 25.4% usage, 4.98 PIPM, 38.5% 3pt

DJO wasn’t a revelation in 2010, but turned into one of the best players in the Big East by his senior year. Looking back at his stats, they don’t hold up as well as I remember, which is why he’s in the bubble territory, but he was such a fun player to watch. A second-round NBA draft selection of the LA Lakers, he never quite was able to stick at the highest level. But he definitely belongs in this conversation.

Sam Hauser

(Photo by Ryan Messier/Paint Touches)

Sam Hauser 2018-’19

123.7 Ortg, 14.9 pts, 7.2 reb, 40.2% 3 pt, 6.44 PIPM

The wound is still too fresh, but Sam had a monster season in 2019, putting up the 5th best PIPM in Marquette history.

Vander20

That’s levitation holmes. (Marquette Tribune File Photo)

Vander Blue 2012-’13

14.8 pts, 3.2 reb, 104.2 Ortg

The offensive stats are marginal at best, but Blue’s two game winners in the biggest of games (to clinch a Big East title and to rally past Davidson in the NCAA Tournament) are tough to ignore. His defense was great and he was the best player on an Elite 8 squad.

Honorable Mention

Jamil Wilson 2012-’13, Davante Gardner 2013-’14, Henry Ellenson 2015-’16, Andrew Rowsey 2017-’18, Matt Carlino 2014-’15

Final Team

PG: Markus Howard ’19
SG: Darius Johnson-Odom ’12
SF: Jimmy Butler ’11
PF: Jae Crowder ’12
C: Lazar Hayward ’10

I’ll take these 5 against just about anyone. Leggo!

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Categories: Home, Offseason

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