Men's Basketball Heads to Gonzaga, Portland
The Waves will try to keep hold of their top-half standing in the WCC.
Feb. 11, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. -- The Pepperdine men's basketball team, in the midst of its best season in nearly a decade, hits the road for the next three games. It starts with the Pacific Northwest swing this weekend, as the Waves visit #24 Gonzaga on Thursday and Portland on Saturday. The Waves' 14 overall wins are the most since 2004-05 and the seven conference victories are the most since 2003-04.
GAME #26 -- Thursday (February 13) at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash.: Pepperdine (14-11, 7-6 WCC, fifth place) at Gonzaga (21-4, 11-1 WCC, first place) at 6 p.m.
GAME #27 -- Saturday (February 15) at the Chiles Center in Portland, Ore.: Pepperdine at Portland (13-11, 5-7 WCC, sixth place, hosts LMU on Thursday) at 1 p.m.
WAVECASTS -- A live audio broadcast of the Saint Mary's game will be free to all users at www.pepperdinesports.com. Veteran play-by-play man Al Epstein is behind the microphone (now in his 29th season, he has a streak going of 870 consecutive broadcasts).
TELEVISION -- The Gonzaga game will be live on ROOT Sports Northwest and Rocky Mountain, and TheW.tv for out-of-market viewers. It will also be shown on tape delay on Time Warner Cable SportsNet on Friday (Feb. 14) at 3:30 p.m. Greg Heister, Richard Fox and Dan Dickau are the announcers ... The Portland contest is the WCC Game of the Week and it will be shown on Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Comcast SportsNet California, ROOT Northwest and Rocky Mountain, and TheW.tv for out-of-market viewers. Barry Tompkins and Jon Crispin are the announcers.
SOCIAL MEDIA -- On Twitter, get the latest news on the men's basketball program at @PeppBasketball and follow our coaches at @MartyWilson4, @CoachMarkAmaral, @Coach_BMoore and @jimpelman. You can also like the Pepperdine Men's Basketball and/or Pepperdine Athletics pages on Facebook, and both PepperdineHoops and PepperdineWaves on Instagram.
HOOPS EXTRA -- Pepperdine is providing more insider content to its fans this season via the Hoops Extra basketball blog, which can be accessed at www.pepperdinesports.com/hoopsextra.
MOBILE APP -- Pepperdine Athletics has launched a mobile app for iPad, 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-based platform is also available to watch live video of home games. Go to your app store and search for "Pepperdine Athletics."
GONZAGA -- Pepperdine is 31-45 all-time against Gonzaga. The Waves won 26 of the first 31 in the series, but the Bulldogs have won 40 of the last 45, including 25 in a row. Pepperdine's last win in the series came at home on 1/18/2002 (88-79). In Spokane, the Bulldogs have won 15 straight (the Waves' last win there was on 2/19/1998, 65-64). Gonzaga is ranked 24th in the USA Today coaches poll and is receiving votes in the AP media poll.
LAST TIME VS. GONZAGA -- Back on Jan. 16 in Malibu ... Gonzaga went on a 23-2 run over a nine-minute span late in the first half and the Bulldogs handed the Waves a 70-53 loss. Pepperdine could have taken over sole possession of first place in the WCC with a win, and energized by a season-high crowd of 3,092, the Waves took a 10-5 lead. Pepperdine was up 18-16 at the 10-minute mark but went 1-for-11 from the field and committed six turnovers the rest of the half, and Gonzaga took a 39-21 lead at halftime. The Waves had season lows for points and field goal percentage (32.7%). Stacy Davis was the only Wave to score in double-figures and he finished with team highs of 12 points and seven rebounds.
PORTLAND -- Pepperdine is 57-32 all-time against Portland. The Waves swept the season series from the Pilots last year for the first time since 2004 and have now won four straight, as well as five of the last six. Pepperdine's win at Portland last season was its first there since 2008.
LAST TIME VS. PORTLAND -- Back on Jan. 18 in Malibu ... A strong second-half performance lifted Pepperdine to a 76-65 victory over Portland. The Waves never led in the first half and fell behind 34-30 at halftime after shooting just 37.5% (12-for-32). But Pepperdine shot 65.0% (13-for-20) after the break and outscored the Pilots 46-31. Led by Lamond Murray Jr., who had season highs of 16 points and eight rebounds, Pepperdine's bench outscored Portland's 32-11. The Waves set a season high with a +13 rebound margin. Stacy Davis added 14 points and eight rebounds.
LAST GAME -- A tremendous effort ended with a heartbreaking finish as Pepperdine lost at home to Saint Mary's, 69-67, in overtime on Saturday. The Waves led by six at halftime (28-22) but trailed by seven with less than five minutes left in regulation. Pepperdine fought back into it and tied the game on Brendan Lane's dunk with 19.2 seconds left. In OT, there were eight lead changes and three ties and neither team went up by more than one until the final margin. Pepperdine's last points came with 1:44 left, and the Waves had five shots to take the lead at the end but couldn't connect. Lane finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, six blocks and three steals. The Waves outshot the Gaels 41.8% to 35.5%, but were outrebounded 40-31 and gave up 19 offensive rebounds.
WIN TOTALS -- Pepperdine's 14 wins and seven conference victories are the most in quite some time. The squad now has its best overall win total since 2004-05 (17) and its most league wins since 2003-04 (nine). On the road, Pepperdine has five victories overall and two in league play. Six overall would be the Waves' best since 2002-03, and three in WCC games would be the best since 2003-04.
DAVIS -- Sophomore forward Stacy Davis only reached the 20-point mark once as a freshman, but he's done so eight times this season en route to a team-high 14.8 scoring average (ninth in the WCC). He scored a career-high 28 points at San Diego. He's one of the top rebounders in the league, ranking fourth overall (7.7 rpg) and second in league play (8.3 rpg). He's posted five double-doubles (and was twice just one rebound away from having more). Davis is just the second Wave to score at least 20 points in each of the first four games of the season in the last 31 years. He went 11-for-11 from the free throw line twice (at USD and vs. Pacific). He's only the sixth Wave known to have been perfect from the line with at least 11 attempts, and the only one ever to do it twice.
LANE -- Senior forward Brendan Lane could give the Waves two straight WCC Newcomers of the Year. The UCLA transfer is averaging 14.1 points (15th in the WCC) and 7.7 rebounds (fifth in the WCC). Lane's 56.9% field-goal percentage ranks fourth in the WCC and 21st nationally. He's the conference's top shot-blocker, averaging 2.6 per game overall (31st nationally) and 2.9 in league games. He's also turning in one of the best shot-blocking seasons in Pepperdine history, ranking second in average and tied for fifth in total blocks (63) on the school's single-season records list.
Lane only scored in double-figures once in his three years with the Bruins but he did it in each of the first nine games this season. He has seven double-doubles this year (and was twice one rebound away from having more). His 26-point, 17-rebound game at Santa Clara was the best stat line by a Wave since Glen McGowan went for 31 and 22 in January 2005. It was the first 25-15 game as well as the most rebounds by any Wave since then. Lane's seven blocked shots in the season opener vs. San Diego Christian were the most by a Wave since Jarrad Henry set the school record with 11 on 2/5/2007. It tied the seventh-best single-game effort in Pepperdine history and set a school record for a player in his debut.
LANE AND DAVIS -- It was expected that Brendan Lane and Stacy Davis would give the Waves one of the best frontcourts in the WCC (if not the best), and the overall stats tilt in their favor thus far. Their combined averages of 28.9 points and 15.4 rebounds rank first and second, respectively, in both categories among other conference big men. When both Lane and Davis score in double-figures, the Waves are 9-3 overall and 4-1 in league play. When either one records a double-double, Pepperdine is 9-2 overall and 4-1 in WCC games. Against Houston Baptist, they became the first pair of Waves to post at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game in nearly 25 years. They have 12 double-doubles combined this season, second most by any league duo.
FRESHMAN POINT GUARDS -- The Waves have two very impressive freshman point guards this season. Jeremy Major, who should earn consideration for WCC All-Freshman honors, is averaging 10.2 points overall and leads all freshmen and ranks sixth in the WCC with 4.4 assists per game. Major set a Pepperdine true freshman record with 12 assists against Green Bay. His 110 assists are the most by a Wave since Alex Acker had 114 in 2004-05, and then Tezale Archie's 208 in 1999-00 ... Amadi Udenyi was a co-starter with Major the first two games of the season, but then missed 10 games with a knee injury. He came back at the start of league play without missing a beat, and is averaging 6.5 points and 2.9 assists while playing strong defense.
BROOKS -- After a fairly uneventful non-conference season (7.7 ppg, only scoring once in double-figures), junior guard Malcolm Brooks exploded onto the scene with 20 and 24-point efforts in the first two league games against San Diego and BYU. He's scored in double-figures eight times in league games and is averaging 11.9 points in WCC play. After making 12 three-pointers in the first 12 games, the JC transfer has a team-best 23 in 11 WCC games (making 50% of them). Brooks' six three-pointers vs. BYU were the most by a Wave since January 2010.
2013-14 HONORS -- Stacy Davis, last season's WCC Newcomer of the Year, was named to the preseason All-WCC first team ... Davis was named WCC Player of the Week on November 18 after averaging 23.5 points in road wins against UC Riverside and Central Michigan (he was the Waves' first WCC POTW since December 2010) ... Brendan Lane made the Great Alaska Shootout all-tournament team after averaging 17.0 points and 8.0 rebounds over three games ... Lane was named to CollegeHoopsDaily.com's list of the top five WCC players in November (15.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg) as well as one of the league's top five players during the non-conference season (14.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg) ... Malcolm Brooks was named WCC Player of the Week on December 31 after averaging 22.0 points in the league-opening wins against San Diego and BYU ... Brooks and Davis have given the Waves two WCC Players of the Week in one season for the first time since 2009-10 ... It wasn't the official award, but Lane was named College Sports Madness' WCC Player of the Week on January 6 after averaging 19.5 points and 12.0 rebounds in games at Santa Clara and San Francisco ... Malte Kramer was named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District first team.
WCC STATS (OVERALL) -- Stacy Davis is fourth in rebounding (7.7), ninth in scoring (14.8) ... Brendan Lane is first in blocked shots (2.6), fourth in field goal percentage (.569), fifth in rebounding (7.7), 15th in scoring (14.1) ... Jeremy Major is sixth in assists (4.4), ninth in three-point percentage (.424), 10th in steals (1.2) ... Malcolm Brooks is sixth in three-point percentage (.438).
WCC STATS (WCC GAMES ONLY) -- Stacy Davis is second in rebounding (8.3), 15th in scoring (13.5) ... Brendan Lane is first in blocked shots (2.9), ninth in field goal percentage (.517), tied for 10th in rebounding (6.8), 16th in scoring (13.3) ... Malcolm Brooks is tied for fourth in three-point percentage (.500), tied for seventh in three-pointers made (1.9), eighth in field goal percentage (.521), 21st in scoring (11.9) ... Jeremy Major is sixth in steals (1.5), sixth in assists (4.2), 10th in three-point percentage (.438).
STRONG FINISHES -- All of Pepperdine's wins in league play have required a big finish ... USD at home (75-64): held the Toreros scoreless in the final three-plus minutes and ended the game on a 6-0 run ... BYU at home (80-74): the Cougars closed the gap to three or four points seven times in the final six-plus minutes ... Santa Clara away (70-61): outscored the Broncos 7-0 in the final 2:45 ... San Diego away (69-65): outscored the Toreros 11-2 over the final five minutes ... Portland at home (76-65): the Pilots were within five points with under six minutes to play ... LMU at home (80-69): outscored the Lions 9-0 over the final three minutes ... Pacific at home (80-69): Up by four with 5:20 left, the Waves went on an 8-0 run over the next three minutes.
SCORING UP -- As is the case for much of the NCAA, Pepperdine's scoring (72.2 points per game) has increased this season. Last year, the Waves averaged 62.8 points overall. The last time the Waves averaged 70+ points for a season was 2007-08.
HOME SWEET HOME -- Pepperdine is 8-4 at home and with two regular-season home games left the Waves are assured of their first winning record in Firestone Fieldhouse since 2004-05. One odd stat is that the Waves have shot better on the road this season. In Malibu, Pepperdine is shooting 45.2% from the field and 32.7% on three-pointers. In road/neutral-site games, those percentages are 47.4% and 40.3%, respectively.
DEBUTS -- Eight of the 14 Waves that have gotten into a game are in their debut season with Pepperdine. That includes the majority of the starters in 24 of 25 contests. The new guys (which includes Brendan Lane, a redshirt) have scored 58.4% of the Waves' points this season.
TEAM WCC NOTES -- The Waves' sixth league win matched the most since 2005, and the seventh league win gave Pepperdine its most since 2004 (nine) ... Pepperdine was above .500 (5-4) at the midway point in league play for the first time since 2004 ... The Waves' 5-3 WCC record after eight games was the team's best since 2002 ... The Waves' 4-2 league record after six games was the team's best since 2004 ... Pepperdine improved to 2-0 and 3-0 in the WCC for the first time since 2010 ... The Waves won their WCC opener for the fifth time in the last six years ... The Waves swept the season series from San Diego for the first time since 2011 and beat the Toreros in the Jenny Craig Pavilion for just the second time in the last 11 visits ... Pepperdine beat BYU for the first time since the Cougars joined the WCC (0-4 previously) and ended a seven-game losing streak in the overall series ... Pepperdine beat Portland in Firestone Fieldhouse for the fourth straight year ... The Waves beat LMU at home for the 15th time in 16 years.
TEAM NON-CONFERENCE NOTES -- Pepperdine reached the 10-win mark the quickest since 2004-05 (also in 15 games) ... The Waves finished non-conference play with a winning record (7-5) for the third straight season ... Pepperdine was 4-1 after five games for the first time since 2004-05 ... The Waves began the season 3-0 for the first time since 1998-99 ... Pepperdine began the season 2-0 for the second time in three years (but also just the second time in the last 14 years) ... Pepperdine's 88 points at Central Michigan were the most scored by the Waves since January 2011 ... The 17-point win at Central Michigan was the largest in a road game for the Waves since December 2007 ... The Waves had two consecutive road wins for the first time since November 2007, and three straight for the first time since February 2004 ... Pepperdine started with a 3-0 road record for the first time since 1988-89 ... Pepperdine's 71.4% shooting percentage against Denver set a Great Alaska Shootout record and was the second-best mark in program history. It was also the first time the Waves surpassed 60% in almost a decade (February 2004) ... The Waves also set a Great Alaska Shootout record with a combined 60.0% mark over three games ... The Waves have had two three-game winning streaks in one season for the first time since 2004-05.
ROSTER NUMBERS -- At the start of the season, fans might have recognized half of the Waves' team, but the other half was brand new. Pepperdine returned eight players (seven letterwinners plus redshirt Brendan Lane) while bringing in eight newcomers (one JC transfer and seven freshmen). The returners accounted for 49% of last season's points and rebounds. Nikolas Skouen is the only player that entered 2013-14 having already competed in multiple seasons at Pepperdine. The roster breakdown is three seniors, two juniors, four sophomores and seven freshmen. All 13 scholarships are being utilized and there are three walk-ons.
WILSON -- This is Marty Wilson's third year as head coach at Pepperdine and his 17th season in Malibu. He has compiled an impressive record here beginning as a student-athlete (1985-89), continuing as an assistant coach (1991-96, which included a brief stint as the interim head coach) and then returning 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 23 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 took part in the NCAA Tournament three times and the NIT once.
ASSISTANTS -- Almost all of Pepperdine's staff is back, but some are in different roles. Associate head coach Mark Amaral and assistant coach Bryant Moore are both in their third seasons. 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. John Impelman, who was the director of operations the past two seasons, has been promoted to assistant coach. Impelman is the great-grandson of UCLA coaching legend John Wooden. Jon Pastorek, last year's graduate manager, is now the director of operations.
WCC -- The coaches' preseason poll went in the following order: Gonzaga, BYU, Saint Mary's, San Francisco, San Diego, Loyola Marymount, Pacific, Santa Clara, Portland and Pepperdine. But, in each of the last five years, Pepperdine has finished better than predicted (which coincides with when Marty Wilson came back to the program).
RECRUITS -- Last year's recruiting class saw Pepperdine stock up on guards and wings. The Waves then went big in their latest group to sign national letters-of-intent. In the November early signing period, they landed 6-foot-10 center Nate Gehring (Waukee, Iowa/Waukee HS), 6-foot-8 forward A.J. John (Santa Rosa, Calif./Maria Carrillo HS) and 6-foot-10 center Ryan Keenan (Woodbury, Minn./East Ridge HS), all of whom will enter Pepperdine in fall 2014.
PEPPERDINE BASKETBALL -- This is the 76th season of Pepperdine men's basketball, and the 41st season that the Waves have called Firestone Fieldhouse home. The Waves began the campaign with an all-time record of 1,152-992 (.537). 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?
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 is currently in the NBA's D-League with Santa Cruz. 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).
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 was the host institution for the 2013 West Regional of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and will do so again in 2015. 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.
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 undergraduate enrollment and is the only school not affiliated with a BCS-level conference. The Waves have earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that's given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently 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 #57 overall on U.S. News and World Report's list of America's best colleges.