Wilson Makes Annual Appearance at Preseason Tipoff Luncheon
Official practice starts Monday and Blue & Orange Madness is on October 18.
Sept. 25, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. - Pepperdine men's basketball coach Marty Wilson made his annual appearance at the Wooden Award Preseason Tipoff Luncheon on Wednesday at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, where coaches from across Southern California came to meet with media, fans and boosters.
Each of the 13 Division I programs between San Luis Obispo and San Diego sent either a head coach or an assistant coach to talk about their teams and, in some cases, to tell a few jokes.
Some of the highlights in Wilson's speech included:
-- He thanked the Wooden family for their long-time association with the tipoff luncheon, awards ceremony and the Los Angeles Athletic Club. He introduced first-year assistant coach John Impelman and mentioned that "John never tells people that John Wooden is his great-grandfather because he never wants to use that to further his career. So I do that for him, because it's an honor for us to be associated with the Wooden family. I'm excited to have John Impelman on my coaching staff."
-- Former Pepperdine Coach Jim Harrick was in attendance, and Wilson said: "Coach Harrick brought me in and introduced me to Pepperdine 30 years ago. I earned a scholarship and played for him. I didn't understand at the time that some of the things that he was teaching me were directly related to John Wooden. We had a `Word of the Day' and at the time I didn't know those words were related to the Pyramid of Success. I use that same framework every day now. I appreciate everything you do and have done."
-- Wilson also thanked UC Santa Barbara Coach Bob Williams. Williams was an assistant coach at Pepperdine when Wilson was a player, and Wilson also coached under Williams at UCSB. "I lean on him quite a bit for advice and wisdom," Wilson said.
-- He also recognized Director of Athletics Steve Potts, saying "It's an honor to have someone that you work for and work with to have the same vision. Steve's and my vision in building Pepperdine basketball back up is in harmony."
-- On the upcoming season, Wilson said: "I'm excited. This is my third year. We've had some rough times the last two years. But we've completely changed the culture. Part of that is recruiting. We are recruiting the right kind of guys. We have a term: `OKGs' - our kind of guys. We have to look for OKGs in our program. These are the guys we want around."
-- Wilson mentioned his large freshman class and in particular the ability to recruit locally with success, which the Waves were able to do with new freshmen Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS), Lamond Murray Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif./Bishop Montgomery HS) and Jeff Van Dyke (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS).
-- He praised his returning upperclassmen, singling out Brendan Lane (Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin HS), the UCLA transfer who will make his debut this season, as well as Nikolas Skouen (Bergen, Norway/Pratt CC) and Malte Kramer (Frieburg, Germany/Cuesta College).
-- Wilson also spent time talking about WCC Newcomer of the Year Stacy Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS). He praised the sophomore's work in the weight room in the offseason, saying "every time we finish lifting weights, Stacy can't go 10 feet out the door without taking off his shirt."
Pepperdine Associate Vice Chancellor Sam Lagana, who is also an executive with the Los Angeles Athletic Club, was one of the emcees at the event.
Each year at the Tipoff Luncheon, the Wooden Award "Legends of Coaching" recipient is named, and the 2014 honoree will be Tara VanDerveer of Stanford.
The official start of basketball practice has been moved two weeks earlier, so the Waves' start date will be next Monday (Sept. 30). Blue & Orange Madness, the first time the teams are introduced to the public, will be the night of Friday, October 18.