Men's Hoops Begins Northwest Trip at #6 Gonzaga
Feb. 5, 2013
GAME #23 -- Thursday (Feb. 7) at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash.: Pepperdine (10-12, 2-7) at #6 Gonzaga (21-2, 8-0) at 8 p.m.
GAME #24 -- Saturday (Feb. 9) at the Chiles Center in Portland, Ore.: Pepperdine at Portland (8-16, 1-8, hosts Loyola Marymount on Thursday) at 1 p.m.
WAVECASTS -- Live video broadcasts of home games and audio broadcasts of road contests are free to all users at www.pepperdinesports.com. Veteran play-by-play man Al Epstein is behind the microphone (now in his 28th season, he heads into the upcoming game with a streak of 838 consecutive broadcasts). Also on the official website, fans can join an interactive live blog/chat using Cover It Live technology during most Pepperdine games, including the Gonzaga contest.
TELEVISION -- The Gonzaga game will be shown on ROOT Sports (channel 687 on DirecTV and 426 on DISH) and Comcast SportsNet California (698 on DirecTV and 409 on Dish). Greg Heister, Richard Fox and Dan Dickau are the announcers. At Portland, it will be the second straight Saturday that the Waves are being featured on the "WCC Game of the Week." It will be shown locally on Time Warner Cable SportsNet as well as on Comcast SportsNet California and delayed on ROOT Sports. Ari Wolfe and Dan Belluomini will have the call.
SOCIAL MEDIA -- On Twitter, get the latest news on the men's basketball program at @PeppBasketball and follow our coaches and staff at @MartyWilson4, @CoachMarkAmaral, @Coach_BMoore and @jimpelman. You can also like the Pepperdine Men's Basketball and/or Pepperdine Athletics pages on Facebook.
MOBILE APP -- Pepperdine has launched a new mobile app for iPhone and Android users. The app is free to download and features live scoring updates, news stories, on-demand video, photo galleries and much more. A subscription platform is also available to watch live video of home games. Go to your app store and search for "Pepperdine Athletics."
TICKETS -- For the majority of home games, men's basketball single-game tickets cost $15 (reserved), $12 (adult general admission) or $5 (child general admission). Premium games (LMU, BYU and Gonzaga) have different pricing plans. Tickets can be purchased through the Pepperdine ticket office (866-WAVE-TIX) or via Ticketmaster.
GONZAGA -- Pepperdine is 31-43 all-time against Gonzaga. The Waves won 26 of the first 31 meetings, but the Bulldogs have won 38 of the last 43, including 23 consecutive. Pepperdine's last win over Gonzaga was in 2002 at home. The Waves have lost 14 straight in Spokane (last winning there in 1998). The Bulldogs are ranked #6 by both the Associated Press and the USA Today coaches poll.
LAST TIME VS. GONZAGA -- Back on Jan. 3 in Malibu ... Pepperdine had a strong effort in its WCC opener but then-#10 Gonzaga pulled away down the stretch for a 78-62 win. The Bulldogs began the week ranked #2 in the nation in field-goal percentage but were held to a season-low 43.4% by the Waves. Pepperdine led by as many as eight points early in the first half and also held a 36-35 lead with 14 minutes to play. Lorne Jackson had 16 points while Jordan Baker scored 15.
PORTLAND -- Pepperdine is 55-32 all-time against Portland. The Waves won their third straight against the Pilots in Firestone Fieldhouse earlier this season, but at the Chiles Center, the Pilots have won four consecutive and seven of the last eight. A victory would give Pepperdine its first regular-season sweep of Portland since 2004, while a loss would split the season series for the third straight year.
LAST TIME VS. PORTLAND -- Back on Jan. 5 in Malibu ... Stacy Davis posted a double-double and Austin Mills sparked a big second-half comeback as the Waves rallied to beat Portland, 54-47. The Waves trailed by 12 on three occasions in the second half, last at 39-27 with 13:16 left. Mills then scored the first seven points of a 12-0 run that tied the score, and the Waves later broke a 43-43 tie with a 5-0 run to help put the Pilots away. Davis had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Mills scored eight points. The Waves committed a season-low six turnovers, had a season-best +9 turnover margin and had a 17-8 edge in points off turnovers. The Waves won despite their worst shooting night of the season (35.7%) and matched what was then their season low for points scored, but held Portland to 33.3% shooting (the Pilots made one of their final 11 attempts).
LAST GAME -- Every time it looked like Pepperdine might pull away, San Francisco came back with a barrage of three-pointers, and the Dons stormed back in the end for an 86-78 victory at Firestone Fieldhouse on Saturday. The Waves led by as many as 11 in the first half and 42-35 at halftime, and were still up by seven with 7 1/2 minutes to play. But the Dons couldn't be stopped down the stretch, and ended the game with a season-high 14 three-pointers on 24 attempts (8-for-12 in the second half). Lorne Jackson scored a team-high 20 points and Stacy Davis had 18 points, 15 rebounds and four assists. The Waves had season highs for both points scored and points allowed.
ROSTER UPDATES -- The Waves' depth, which took a hit in early January, continues to be an issue. Caleb Willis, a two-year starter and a senior who was leading the team in assists, became academically ineligible at the start of the spring semester. Also, Malte Kramer is out indefinitely with mononucleosis. The Waves have only nine scholarship players on the court at the moment, and the 11 available players consist of one senior, two juniors, four sophomores and four freshmen.
JACKSON -- Senior guard Lorne Jackson is back at full strength for his fifth and final season. He redshirted last year following ACL surgery, the second one that he's had to undergo during his time at Pepperdine. "LoJack" was named All-WCC honorable mention in 2010-11 after averaging 13.2 points per game (16.6 ppg in conference games, third-best in the league). On Dec. 1 at Utah Valley, he became the 37th player in Pepperdine history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. Now with 1,204 points, he ranks 25th, and he's on a pace that would put him among the top 20 scorers in school history. Jackson also ranks #5 at Pepperdine in steals (144), #6 in career free throw percentage (.776) and #8 in three-pointers (134). Jackson is averaging a team-best 14.3 points overall (11th in the WCC). He scored in double-figures the first 14 games of the season, which was the longest streak to start a season since Glen McGowan did it in the first 20 games of 2004-05. Jackson posted a career-high 28 points in a win against UC Irvine earlier this year. He scored the game-winning baskets against Washington State (with 12.0 seconds left in OT) and Fresno Pacific (with 3.5 seconds left).
BAKER -- For the second straight year, sophomore guard Jordan Baker has elevated his play upon the beginning of the conference season. He averaged 9.8 points in non-conference games, but is at a team-high 14.6 points in WCC games (ranking ninth in the league). Last season, he went from 6.2 ppg in non-conference games to 11.3 in league games (9.0 overall). Baker has scored in double-figures in eight of nine WCC games and has scored 20 or more points three times in that span. He's had some huge first halves (20 points at BYU and 17 at LMU) lately. Baker almost recorded the second triple-double in Pepperdine history (Doug Christie has the only one) with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists vs. Central Michigan.
PRAISE FOR BAKER -- Recently, @MarkJonesESPN tweeted: "Jordan Baker is one of the best kept secrets (not for long) west of the Mississippi. Smooth and very skilled." ... During the Saint Mary's TV broadcast, analyst Dan Belluomini said: "I really love his game. I think he's one of the premier guards, not only in the West Coast Conference, but I think he's one of the better guards on the West Coast. He's a terrific all-around player."
FRESHMEN -- Pepperdine's four freshmen are scoring 34.1% of the team's points, best among the four classes ... Stacy Davis, a strong candidate for WCC Newcomer of the Year honors, leads all conference freshmen in both overall scoring (10.7, 23rd overall) and rebounding (7.4, fifth overall). He's the only freshman ranked in the top 25 in scoring and is the only one in the top 20 in rebounding. He also ranks 12th nationally among freshmen in rebounding. In league play only, Davis is fourth at 8.0 rpg. His 18-point, 15-rebound performance vs. USF was the first 15/15 showing by a Wave since February 2008 ... Jett Raines is also among the league's most productive freshmen, averaging 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds. Raines, who was named to the Tulane Classic all-tournament team, has started a team-high 21 out of 22 games ... In the backcourt, Atif Russell has established himself as an exceptional perimeter defender and walk-on Austin Mills has provided a spark at times.
SKOUEN -- A sharp-shooter who recorded a team-high 33 three-pointers last season, Nikolas Skouen is at 40 and counting this year. He's hitting 47.1% of his threes overall (third in the WCC) and 51.6% in league play (fourth in the WCC). He's gone for multiple threes in 11 of the last 15 games. Skouen averaged 14.5 points in last weekend's games against BYU and USF and went 7-for-13 from deep. He's averaging 7.7 points overall.
RANDOM STATS -- Pepperdine has had a better field goal percentage than the opponent in 17 of 22 games, including a streak of 13 straight that ended at BYU ... Pepperdine is 10-2 when allowing 66 points or less, but winless (0-10) when allowing 67 points or more ... All 10 victories have come when keeping the opponent below 41% shooting from the field (the best an opponent has shot in a Waves win was 40.4% by Washington State) ... One bizarre stat is that the Waves have a winning record (2-1) when shooting less than 40% and a losing record (2-4) when shooting 50% or better.
DEFENSE -- Marty Wilson has preached defense and toughness since becoming head coach. The Waves are allowing opponents to shoot just 41.4% (#2 in the WCC) and to score 66.5 points per game. In 2011-12, Wilson's first season, the Waves allowed 65.9 points per game, the program's seventh-best mark in the last 50 years, an improvement of more than eight points per game than the year before, and the first time the Waves had held opponents below 70 points since 2000-01.
OFFENSE -- Pepperdine's shooting has picked up considerably this season, as the Waves are hitting on 45.1% overall (up from 39.6% last year) and 36.7% on three-pointers up from 31.7%). Both figures currently rank fifth in the WCC.
WCC OVERALL STATS -- Lorne Jackson is 11th in scoring (14.3), 11th in assists (2.8) and ninth in free throw percentage (.796) ... Jordan Baker is 18th in scoring (11.7), 20th in rebounding (4.5), 10th in assists (3.2) and 10th in three-point percentage (.400) ... Stacy Davis is 23rd in scoring (10.7) and fifth in rebounding (7.4) ... Nikolas Skouen is third in three-point percentage (.471) and seventh in three-pointers made (1.8) ... Moriba De Freitas is eighth in blocked shots (0.9) and 17th in rebounding (4.6) ... Jett Raines is seventh in field goal percentage (.520).
WCC CONFERENCE-ONLY STATS -- Jordan Baker is ninth in scoring (14.6), 11th in assists (2.9) and 10th in minutes played (32.1) ... Lorne Jackson is 12th in scoring (13.6), second in steals (2.1) and tied for ninth in assists (3.3) ... Stacy Davis is tied for 24th in scoring (9.9) and fourth in rebounding (8.0) ... Moriba De Freitas is 19th in rebounding (4.7) and tied for eighth in blocked shots (0.9) ... Nikolas Skouen is fourth in three-point percentage (.516) and 10th in three-pointers made (1.8).
SEASON NOTABLES -- Pepperdine won three straight games for the first time since January 2010, and four in a row for the first time since November 2007 ... The Waves have now beaten a Pac-12 team two consecutive seasons (at Arizona State last year, vs. Washington State this year) ... It hasn't happened often, but WSU was the first one of the old Pac-10 teams to visit Firestone Fieldhouse since December 2002 (Oregon) and the first that the Waves had beaten at home since November 1985 (WSU) ... In Firestone Fieldhouse, Pepperdine is now 3-3 all-time against the old Pac-10 schools, and 6-5 against the current list of Pac-12 schools ... Pepperdine has won road games in Texas two straight years (UTSA last season, Houston Baptist this season) ... According to Pepperdine's records, the Waves won for the first time ever in Honolulu against Hawai'i in their fifth try ... Pepperdine posted a 3-1 record against Big West Conference teams ... The Waves' eight non-conference wins heading into start of WCC play were the most since 2004-05 ... Pepperdine won its third straight home game vs. Portland ... The Waves won at LMU's Gersten Pavilion for the first time since 2009 ... Pepperdine led at halftime in both games against BYU.
OVERTIME -- Pepperdine is 2-1 in overtime contests this season. The last time the Waves played three OT games was 2007-08, and the last time they played four was 1981-82. Pepperdine won back-to-back games in overtime against Washington State and Houston Baptist, which is one of only three known times that the Waves have played consecutive overtime games. Pepperdine has won both contests each time, though it hadn't happened since December 1977, and the first time was in February-March 1976. This is the first time that records show three overtime games among the first seven contests of the season.
INJURIES/ILLNESSES -- Malte Kramer hasn't played since Dec. 28 after developing mononucleosis. He is out indefinitely. The Waves were only at full strength for a few weeks. Kramer (knee) also missed the first eight games before making his debut on Dec. 8. Jan Maehlen (hand) and Austin Mills (hand) each missed the first two games of the season. With Brendan Lane redshirting, the Waves had only nine players available for the first two games of the season (both losses).
ROSTER NUMBERS -- The Waves look much different this year. Only four letterwinners are back from last season, plus three redshirts (they accounted for just 36% of last year's scoring). They're joined by seven newcomers to bring the roster total to 14. The class breakdown is three seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and four freshmen. Twelve players are on scholarship and two are walk-ons.
WILSON -- This is head coach Marty Wilson's second year as head coach at Pepperdine and his 16th season in Malibu. He has compiled an impressive record here as a student-athlete (1985-89), an assistant coach (1991-96, which included a brief stint as the interim head coach) and as the associate head coach for three seasons (2009-11) under Tom Asbury. He was then elevated to the position of head coach following Asbury's retirement after the 2010-11 season. Wilson was also an assistant at San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and Utah inbetween stints at Pepperdine and has been a Division I coach for 22 seasons. He ended his playing career #5 all-time in assists at Pepperdine with 342 (he's still #9). The team went to the NCAA Tournament twice and the NIT twice in Wilson's four seasons on the court. As a Pepperdine assistant, the team went to the NCAA Tournament three times and the NIT once.
ASSISTANTS -- Associate head coach Mark Amaral, assistant coach Bryant Moore and director of operations John Impelman all have returned this season. Amaral and Marty Wilson were assistants together at UC Santa Barbara for four seasons. Moore worked with the Cleveland Cavaliers for five seasons in a variety of roles, including player development coordinator, during the LeBron James era. Impelman, who filled in as an assistant coach for a period of time last season, is the great-grandson of UCLA coaching legend John Wooden. New to the staff is assistant coach Jason Hart, one of the all-time best players at Syracuse and a nine-year NBA veteran, who coached Taft High School to a Los Angeles City Section Division I title last year.
WCC -- This is the second of two years that the West Coast Conference will have nine teams. Brigham Young joined prior to 2011-12, and the roster will grow to 10 in 2013-14 when Pacific rejoins the conference. The coaches' preseason poll went in the following order: Gonzaga, BYU, Saint Mary's, Loyola Marymount, San Diego, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Portland and Pepperdine. Keep in mind, however, that the Waves have finished better than predicted in each of the previous four seasons (since Marty Wilson came back to the program).
RECRUITS -- The Waves inked three Southern California high school standouts to be their backcourt of the future during the November signing period. Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS), a 5-foot-10 point guard, averaged 25.8 points per game last season. Lamond Murray Jr. (Redondo Beach, Calif./Bishop Montgomery HS), a 6-foot-5 wing, averaged 20.2 points as a prep junior. Jeff Van Dyke (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS), a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, made 92 three-pointers last season and helped La Costa Canyon to the state championship game. Major and Murray are teammates on the Double Pump 2013 Elite AAU squad, while Van Dyke plays for Gamepoint.
PEPPERDINE BASKETBALL -- This is the 75th season of Pepperdine men's basketball, and the 40th that the Waves have called Firestone Fieldhouse home. The Waves began the campaign with an all-time record of 1,140-974 (.539). Pepperdine has been to the NCAA Tournament 13 times (last in 2002) and has won 12 West Coast Conference regular-season titles (last in 2002) and three WCC Tournament crowns (last in 1994). Did you know that William "Bird" Averitt led the nation in scoring in 1972-73 with 33.9 points per game?
CAMPUS LIFE PROJECT -- In May 2011, Pepperdine launched The Campaign for Pepperdine, the largest fundraising campaign in the University's history. The goal is to raise $450 million to support the Campus Life Project, which will benefit the entire campus. The key piece for Athletics is a new, state-of-the-art, 5,000-seat University Events Center, which will replace Firestone Fieldhouse as the Waves' home. The project has been approved by the County of Los Angeles and the California Coastal Commission, so the biggest step remaining before the arena can be built is fundraising.
2013/2015 NCAA WEST REGIONALS -- Pepperdine University is the host institution for both the 2013 and 2015 West Regionals of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The Waves partnered with AEG/Staples Center and the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission to bring NCAA postseason basketball to Los Angeles for the first time since 1994.
WAVES IN THE PROS -- Yakhouba Diawara, a former NBA veteran who now plays in Italy, competed in the 2012 Olympics for France. Mychel Thompson is the most recent Wave in the NBA, appearing in five games for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011-12 after making the squad as an undrafted free agent. He was in the New York Knicks' preseason camp this season but now plays for the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA D-League. Pepperdine had a streak of 34 consecutive seasons with at least one Pepperdine alum on an NBA roster, which began in 1976-77 after the ABA/NBA merger and ended in 2010-11. Seventeen former Pepperdine players have seen action in the NBA, a list that includes notables such as Dennis Johnson (a 2010 Naismith Hall of Fame inductee, the 1979 NBA Finals MVP and a three-time NBA champion) and Doug Christie (a 15-year NBA veteran who was a mainstay on the All-Defensive Team).
ABOUT PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY -- Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men's sports -- one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat -- and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest enrollment and is the only school not associated with a BCS conference. The Waves earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that's given to the top non-football D-I school, for the third time in 2011-12. Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation's most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #54 overall on U.S. News and World Report's list of America's best colleges.