James' announcement came at the team awards banquet Thursday night at Marquette's Alumni Memorial Union.
"When they made that decision [to hire coach Buzz Williams], I was confident in the head coach we were going to have next year, regardless of if I was here or not," James said. "But I feel like my future is in the best hands back here at Marquette."
With James back, Marquette will return a trio of 1,000 point scorers in its back-court for the 2008-09 season. James, Jerel McNeal, and Wesley Matthews combined for 39.1 points, 12.0 rebounds, 9.6 assists and 4.9 steals per game during the 2007-08 season.
"I'm coming back for my senior year with a core group of guys that's ready to win," James said.
However, not all the news was good on Thursday, as it broke after the banquet that freshman Scott Christopherson has been granted a release from his scholarship at Marquette, and that signee Nick Williams has been granted a release from his National Letter of Intent.
While the situations of those departing players were not mentioned during the banquet, the focus of the night was definitely on Marquette as a team. The players presented each other with the evening's awards, and head coach Buzz Williams reiterated his commitment to putting the players first in his program.
"I told a guy earlier today, ‘Don't worry about what I said at the press conference because I'm going to say the same thing tonight,'" said Coach Williams. "And whatever I say tonight, I'm going to say the nest time somebody asks. That's not a line. That's not an exaggeration. That is what Marquette is going to be about. It's going to about our guys."
While the speeches of James and Coach Williams stole the show, it was McNeal who cleaned up wit the hardware. The junior from Country Club Hills, Ill. claimed three of the 12 awards presented – the Deflection King Award, the Olouma Nnamaka Consistency Award, and Most Valuable Performer. It marked the second straight year that McNeal was named team MVP.
The Floor Burn Award went to David Cubillan, who was forced to leave the banquet early due to fatigue brought on by surgery on Wednesday to repair the joint capsule of his right shoulder.
Blackledge jokingly lamented the fact that, despite his multiple appearances on ESPN's "Sportscenter," he only appeared in the team highlight video twice. 2007-08 Award Winners
Free Throw Proficiency Award – Wesley Matthews (132-167, .790)
Most Assists Award – Dominic James (154, 4.4 apg.)
Chairman of the Boards – Lazar Hayward (6.5 rpg.)
Hit The Deck Award – Dan Fitzgerald
Super Sub Award – Maurice Acker
Floor Burn Award – David Cubillan
Deflection King Award – Jerel McNeal (247, 7.1 dpg.)
Most Improved Player Award – Lazar Hayward
Bart Miller Standard of Excellence Award – Tommy Brice/Dwight Burke
Olouma Nnamaka Consistency Award – Jerel McNeal
Most Valuable Performer – Jerel McNeal (14.9 ppg., 4.9 rpg., 2.2 spg.)
Hank Raymonds Sportsmanship Award – Ousmane Barro