Dallas Mavericks rookie forward Jae Crowder was acting like a little kid after practice Monday when he and forward Vince Carter went and visited Marquette University.

A day later, Crowder was grinning from ear-to-ear after he scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds in playing one of his best games of the season and helping the Mavs defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 115-108 Tuesday night at the Bradley Center.

Crowder was the Big East Player of the Year last season while playing for Marquette, and got a big ovation when he was introduced to start the game.

“I knew I had to go out there and concentrate really well, and I knew I had to go out there and step up my defense,” said Crowder, who was 6 of 9 from the field. “I didn’t try to do too much off the court other than sticking to my family team.”

Coach Rick Carlisle knew how much this game meant to Crowder, who played his home college games in the Bradley Center.

“I thought Crowder played a terrific game,” Carlisle said. “It’s really difficult to do what he did tonight, and that is come back to your kind of hometown and play.

“Usually guys get so worked up it’s hard for them to really play well. Not only did he play well, he played a complete game.”

On Monday, Crowder visited Marquette coach Buzz Williams and some of his former teammates. He also took teammate Vince Carter along with him.

“I got to watch about an hour of practice, and afterwards coach [Williams] gave me a chance to talk to the guys and take questions from the guys,” Crowder said. “I brought Vince with me, and you know those guys were fired up about that.