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November 2013 Archives

After an impressive win against Denver on Friday, the Waves were unable to repeat the outcome and fell short to Indiana State, 73-70, on Saturday in their final game of the Great Alaska Shootout. Though the Waves went 1-2 in the tournament, they did set a Shootout record with a combined 60.0% field goal percentage.

Jeremy Major scored 15 points with six assists, and senior forward Malte Kramer went four-for-six from three, and achieved career highs of 14 points and four assists in Saturday's game.

"I got into rhythm pretty early in the game," Kramer said. "I made the first couple of shots I took, and Brendan (Lane) and Stacy (Davis) opened up a lot of space so I made sure to take advantage of the opportunities and be aggressive."

It was a tough loss for the team, Kramer said: "The game was extremely physical, and well-played on both sides. Indiana State is probably the best team we have faced this season. They shot incredibly well, especially in the beginning of the game; but we stuck with them, and were very close at the end."

Although the Waves faced three talented teams on the court, the trip to Alaska was also an incredible bonding experience for the team.

Kramer explained: "Away trips are great for team bonding, especially these longer trips because we spend so much time together, and have more opportunities to get to know other teammates that we don't usually room with. We spent so much time together as a team during our stay in Alaska, and we really became each other's family."

The Waves will return to Malibu on Sunday night and will begin preparing for two Big West Conference schools: Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday (Dec. 4) at Firestone Fieldhouse, followed by a road game at UC Irvine on Saturday (Dec. 7).

The Waves played their second game of the Great Alaska Shootout on Friday, taking on the Denver Pioneers. After a tough loss on Thursday against Green Bay, the Waves came back with a 68-56 win over Denver. The Pioneers scored the first five points of the game, but the Waves were able to secure a strong 38-15 lead going into the second half.

Stacy Davis scored 22 points for the Waves, followed by Brendan Lane with 12. Pepperdine shot 71.4% (25-for-35) against Denver, a new Great Alaska Shootout record, and the second-best mark in school history.

"Compared to game one against Green Bay, this game was a lot more intense and very physical," sophomore Stacy Davis said. "Our team definitely came out a lot more aggressive, and rather than just going through the motions of the game, we really focused on working with what the defense gave to us and tried to take good care of the ball. After my performance last night, I really wanted to improve tonight and come out strong early in the game. I mentally prepared last night and felt confident going into the game today, and I'm glad the team was able to pull through and get a win."

Life in Alaska has been a new experience for the team, as Davis describes: "It's different being in the snow consistently, and experiencing life in a new place. The climate is completely different than what I'm used to, and traveling to Alaska is another task I can check off of my bucket list."

The Waves will face Indiana State for their third and final game of the tournament. According to Davis, the team plans to "continue taking care of the ball and staying aggressive. We're going to make sure that we are all focused, and intense on the court so we can bring home the win."

The Waves' final game of the Great Alaska Shootout will begin at 3 p.m. PT on Saturday and a live audio broadcast will be available at pepperdinesports.com.

The men's basketball team completed the first of three games in the Great Alaska Shootout tournament in Anchorage on Thanksgiving. The Waves fell short to Green Bay, 97-89, but the team managed to set some personal records, and even break some Pepperdine ones as well. Freshman Jeremy Major discusses Thursday night's game and the adjustment to Alaska:

Q: By having 12 assists against Green Bay, not only are you the first Wave since November 2004 to have that many, you also set a new Pepperdine true freshman record. How does that feel?

A: It feels really good. I actually had no idea I set any kind of record until I checked Twitter after the game. It is definitely a great accomplishment and it's nice having the recognition. I'm proud of myself for being able to positively represent my team and my university.

Q: What was the biggest challenge for the team against Green Bay?

A: The biggest challenges for the team were definitely turnovers and rebounds. Early in the second half the turnovers really gave Green Bay the advantage of having more opportunities to score. Green Bay had a lot of second-chance attempts, which allowed them to score, and eventually time just caught up with us and we didn't have time to come back from those errors.

Q: What is the team hoping to improve on for the final two games on Friday and Saturday?

A: Overall, we just really need to take better care of the ball. Coach Wilson really preaches about the importance of handling the ball well, and as a team, when we take care of the ball we have more opportunities to score. So we have to cooperate better with one another. We really want to focus on being smarter with the ball, and having more rebounds and fewer turnovers.

Q: How was being away from your family on Thanksgiving?

A: It was definitely different. My friends and brother were all home from college for the holiday, so it was a little bit harder than I thought being away from everyone. Wednesday night we celebrated Thanksgiving as a team, and our families sent us all letters and pictures of us when we were babies. It was nice being with the team and celebrating though, because it's the times like those with the laughter and bonding that just really unite the team and bring us together as a family.

Q: How has the adjustment been to Alaska?

A: It's actually been pretty easy, a lot better than we had expected. Most of the team was pretty well prepared. We packed flannels, coats and beanies. But for the most part we're spending a lot of time indoors, whether it's in the hotel room, on the bus or in the gym. So overall, definitely a better adjustment than I anticipated.

Q: What are you most looking forward to as you head into the final two games of the Shootout?

A: I'm really looking forward to improving in the next two games and hoping to come home with two wins. We just have to be aware of our weaknesses, learn from our mistakes, and take better care of the ball.

The men's basketball team has traveled to Anchorage, Alaska, where the Waves will compete in the Great Alaska Shootout. It begins Thursday night when the Waves (4-1) take on Green Bay (2-1).

According to head coach Marty Wilson, a successful trip to Alaska begins with "first and foremost, packing warm clothes. Flannels, tights and layers are definitely necessary for the players, because a lot of them don't quite realize how cold it's actually going to be."

Aside from the adjustment the players will have to make to the weather, the tournament also requires that the team be prepared to go against multiple opponents. Wilson explains: "The challenge will be playing three games in a row. Creating a game plan for one team could be totally different than the next team in regards to preparation. The next game we have to prepare to play one of two teams, so not knowing where we need to focus is always an immediate challenge."

The Waves do, however, have a plan of action to be as well prepared as possible.

Said Wilson: "We assign specific teams to our assistant coaches, who will have all of the necessary videos and written reports ahead of time. And then as a staff, we review the film and break down what the team is going to need to focus on. We will watch the videos with the team after the first game, and implement the focus on the necessary skills during our one-hour practice before the second game."

The team will play a total of three games in the Great Alaska Shootout. Game one against Green Bay will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network, and all three of the games will also be available to stream with live audio at www.pepperdinesports.com.

The men's basketball team had a busy week last week, hosting San Jose State on Wednesday night followed by Saturday's home game against Utah Valley.


Going into the San Jose State game, the Waves were 3-0. The Waves led by 14 points in the first half and 10 points at halftime but the Spartans went 10-for-15 for three-pointers in the second half and went on to take the win, 83-77. Brendan Lane was the Waves' top performer with 23 points, nine rebounds and six blocks, followed by Stacy Davis with 20 points and nine rebounds, and Jeremy Major with nine points, nine assists and eight rebounds.


Reflecting on the loss, head coach Marty Wilson says: "San Jose State took the win from us. We reviewed the film from the game later with the team so they had the ability to see what they were not doing on the court, that allowed San Jose to compete as well as they did. Our lack of defense, not contesting shots, not blocking out, and them getting the rebounds that we were supposed to get, enabled San Jose to be overly comfortable and confident that they could take the win from us based on how we were performing."


San Jose State was the Waves' first loss of the season, but the team was able to take the loss as a learning experience and apply what they learned from the game to Saturday night's 58-53 win over Utah Valley. Again, Brendan Lane led the team with 11 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. He also secured the Waves' lead in the second half, scoring the go-ahead basket with a little more than two minutes left in the game. Senior Nikolas Skouen scored 10 points, and senior Malte Kramer and sophomore Stacy Davis each added seven points. Kramer added all seven points the second half, four of which were free throws made in the final minute of the game.


The Waves faced a tough matchup against Utah Valley, a team that was physically stronger and more mature in regards to age. However at the end of the game, it was the Wolverines who came out not only with the loss.


Said Wilson: "The team kept their focus, grinded it out and got the win. The loss against San Jose State was definitely a good lesson for the team and the video will be a good tool for reference later in the season."


The Waves will travel to Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday where they will compete in the Great Alaska Shootout, playing three days in a row beginning on Thanksgiving night against Green Bay (2-1) at 6:30 p.m. PT. The game will be shown on the CBS Sports Network. Friday's matchup will be against Denver (0-2) or Harvard (4-1). If the Waves (4-1) compete in the winners' bracket, they will play at 9 p.m. PT; if they drop to the losers' bracket they will play at 6:30 p.m. PT. The Waves will continue playing until Saturday. Live audio broadcasts for all three Great Alaska Shootout games will be available at www.pepperdinesports.com.

WOMEN: Road Trip Update

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The Pepperdine women's basketball team left for a week-long road trip on Tuesday night.  The first stop was South Dakota State. 

Prior that game, head coach Ryan Weisenberg talked about the win over UC Irvine from the week before: "It was a great team effort, good intensity from the tip to the end. I was really impressed with our mental make up, and we stuck to the game plan.  We were up by 28 points at one point, we stayed disciplined in what we wanted to do and it showed on the court."

Against UCI, Pepperdine outrebounded the Anteaters 48-39 but Coach Wiesenberg said he was hoping for 50 rebound after the game.

Ea Shoushtari had a double-double against UCI. The team leaders, Bria Richardson had eight rebounds, Ketria Wallace had five and together with Shoushtari's 13, the guards had 25 rebounds. Furthermore, Weisenberg said that "the post players did a great job holding off UCI's bigs and keeping them off the boards."

Unfortunately, on Wednesday night against South Dakota State, Pepperdine suffered its second loss of the season and fell flat on the rebounding with only 36 to the Jackrabbits' 50.

Scoring all season has been distributed well. Coach Weisenberg said that "the team needs to stay disciplined in the offense and having so many players in double-digits signifies the girls are taking smart shots and not just throwing up junk."

Making that extra pass and securing the smart shot is something the team is surely looking to do against Wyoming tonight. Only two players, Bria Richardson and Amanda Lovely, left the court with double-digit numbers against South Dakota State and they carried the weight of the team with 15 and 12 points, respectively.

Heading into the roach trip, Weisenberg's focus was on defensive transitions. All three teams, South Dakota, Wyoming and Oregon, are excellent transition basketball teams, he said.

"Oregon is averaging 90 points a game and most of those points are coming within seven seconds of the shot clock," Weisenberg said. "So our focus has to be getting back, contesting shots and making them play a half court game. Again, we need to stick to our fundamentals defensively and the defensive press."

While on the road. Coach Weisenberg says with games every other day in different states, "the key will be rest and working with our trainer to ensure the girls are healthy. Further, the assistant coaches preparing the players with our game plan is critical. Each coach has a team this week, and they have done a phenomenal job breaking down teams and giving the girls the knowledge to stop the players they have to face."

Tonight the Waves take on Wyoming, and they hope to bring the game back to the fundamental focus that worked so well just a week ago against UC Irvine.

The Pepperdine men's basketball team credits a great deal of their success to strength and conditioning coach Matt Young. We asked him about what he did to help get the team ready for the season.

Q: When did you begin working with the men's basketball team?

A: The first time I worked with the men's basketball program was in March of 2013.  They had a different strength and conditioning coach prior to that, but I have been at Pepperdine as the Director of Strength and Conditioning since the fall of 2009.

Q: Prior to summer conditioning, what were some of the goals you wanted to set for the team?

A: The culture was already set with Coach Wilson and his staff and my job was to carry that culture over from the court to the strength and conditioning program. Coach Wilson wanted the players to get physically stronger. He also, more importantly, wanted to players to become mentally tougher. He wanted them to have the willingness to grind. Coach Wilson saw strength and conditioning as a great avenue to build on that weakness.

Q: What was your plan of action for summer training? 

A: I wanted the team to be challenged, not just in the weights that were lifted and the times that were run, but also in creating an atmosphere for development. We grinded out sets in the weight room and ran 400s on the track, but within each of those developmental opportunities we challenged them for energy, communication and discipline. Each one of these played an important role in the culture of the strength and conditioning program. The team put energy into each session for constant encouragement, communicated well so the entire team knew what was expected in that moment, and were disciplined enough to tolerate discomfort throughout the training.

In the beginning of the summer we taught a lot of new movements and how we wanted them to be completed in the weight room. We slowly built up our volume and training load so by the time summer ended, the team would be able to be pushed farther and be able to overcome more challenges. It wasn't just the x's and o's of their program that benefited their development, but also the team's change in mindset as well as their culture.

Q: Have you seen improvement in the team since you began working with them?

A: Yes, and the good thing is that the list is too long to cover in this interview. I have been extremely happy with how the team has responded to the training over the past eight months, though it hasn't been easy. The early 5:30 a.m. morning lifts and conditioning sessions, fast times on the track and heavy weight lifting weren't pretty, but challenged the team both mentally and physically. It definitely took a toll on them, but in a good way. There were mornings where the opportunity for development on the track was so challenging, and the walk to the weight room afterwards was painstakingly difficult; but in the end they came out seeing the effectiveness in the program. Strength numbers skyrocketed. Court movement, footwork, and jumping numbers were visibly better, and the conditioning level was higher than ever.

More importantly, the team aspect took hold of them. They communicated, had energy, and were disciplined. I am proud of what they accomplished over the offseason, and their overall response has been great. They are seeing the benefits of their hard work through the first month of the season. The team chemistry is strong, and their overall mentality has improved. In addition to being physically stronger, the team is now mentally tougher as well. I am looking forward to seeing the team progress each week as the season continues.

WOMEN: Ea Shoushtari on UCI Victory

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The Pepperdine women's basketball team's 76-59 win over UC Irvine last Thursday continues to show that this team is not the same team as last season. Coming off a close loss to powerhouse UCLA, the team demonstrated a new positive outlook and determination, showing Pepperdine fans and community members that nothing can keep them down.

Commenting on the team's mindset coming off the UCLA loss, junior guard Ea Shoushtari says: "After that game we knew that we had to correct our mistakes, regroup, and move on to our next opponent.  Our mindset was to come out in the beginning and be the aggressors, which we did against Irvine."

Shoushtari, who led the Waves against UCI with 21 points and 13 rebounds, added: "It felt great to have my first double-double of the season. Putting up those numbers is a great feeling, but knowing that I was being productive and contributing to the greater good of the team is an even better feeling. The double-double is reflective of my performance as an individual, but I couldn't have done it without the help of my team so it's reflective of their efforts as well."

The Waves as a team had four players besides Shoushtari (Keitra Wallace with 17, Bria Richardson with 15 and Tessa Emerson with 10) with double-digit points.

"Our team played well," Shoushtari said. "We were aggressive on the offensive and defensive ends, which was important for setting the tone for the game. We started out with intensity and played on that throughout the game. We stuck to our game plan and came out with the win."

Pepperdine Coach Ryan Weisenberg's focus on defense last week paid off, with the Waves getting 32 defensive rebounds to UCI's 24 (48-39 overall). Pepperdine led the game in steals with nine to UCI's six. Shoushtari had three.

"Our defense was definitely one of the main factors in helping us get that win," Shoushtari said. "Solid defense translated into good offense and helped us get into a comfortable flow of the game. I feel like when we're playing good defense we're more aggressive on the offensive end, which helps us."

Speaking to the first home game win and what it means for the rest of the season, Shoushtari is excited about the team's success.

"I think that it shows the teams in our conference and ourselves how dominant we can truly be," she said. "It's a great feeling to get a solid win at the beginning of the season and it's fun. It's fun to see our hard work pay off, especially in front of our home crowd."

The men's basketball team brought home two road wins last week, beginning with Wednesday night's UC Riverside game followed by an 88-71 win against Central Michigan on Saturday.

Head Coach Marty Wilson explained that the Riverside game was "the first road game for many of our starters, and was a tougher game in regards to the matchup because Riverside is bigger and more physical than us."

He continued: "It was a good experience for the team because even after our 13-point lead, Riverside was able to come back. We still managed to keep our composure and execute while making our free throws down the stretch. The game was a milestone for the team because it showed how they could stick together through the adversity and still pull out the win."

The team's win against Riverside helped further prepare them for their matchup against Central Michigan on Saturday. After a long day of travel on Friday, the team was able to get some well-deserved rest before their game in the early evening.

Wilson explained the team's plan going into the game: "We wanted to stay home when the ball was coming to them so they weren't able to make a lot of three pointers. The team did a good job executing the plan defensively, and offensively we were very unselfish, making 34 baskets and having 24 assists."

Wilson also expressed how valuable it is for the team to be able to travel all day, adjust to a time change, and still be able to pull out an impressive win.

He continues to emphasize that the team's chemistry this season is really great, and he's continuing to see improvement every day.

"The team is just getting started and we are going to continue building momentum in preparation for Wednesday night's game against San Jose State, and we hope that the support from the students and fans continues to grow as the season progresses," Wilson said.

After winning their second straight road game against Central Michigan, the men's basketball team is now 3-0 and officially has its most successful start since the 1998-99 season. As a team, the players are working well with one another, while staying aggressive, and effectively communicating on the court.

Stacy Davis has played a crucial role for the team thus far, having scored at least 23 points in each of the first three games, making him the first player to do so since the 1987-88 season. Davis discusses his feelings about the team's early success, his role as a leader and how his preparation for this season has given him the confidence to lead the team to victory.

Stacy Davis

Q:  As a player, you've had the best start since the 1987-88 season. Did you expect to do so well offensively this season?

A: I did set high expectations for myself as player, but at the end of the day I not only want to be successful for myself, but also my team. I put in a lot of hard work this summer to be sure that I was in the best shape possible, and having won the WCC Newcomer of the Year award last season, I came into this season pretty confident. With the departure of Jordan Baker and Lorne Jackson, I really knew I had to step up this season offensively, and make sure that I was positively leading the team in the right direction.

Q: Last season you were 0-for-2 for three-pointers and now you are 4-for-4 after having only played three games. What have you done to improve your shot since last season?

A: Last year I struggled a lot with my shot, and since last season ended, Coach (Bryant) Moore and I have worked a lot on my shot. Not so much on my release, but just on how I shot the ball. I did a lot of work on my own this summer. During the time when I was at home I shot a lot of jumpers and focused on changing my form and making sure that my shots were coming out clean. Last year my shot was like a slingshot, whereas now it's become more natural for me. Coach Moore put a lot of time and effort into helping me improve so I definitely owe him a lot, and my level of confidence this season compared to last season is at a whole new level. With the amount of time I have put into improving, I expect myself to be making these three-pointers, and I hope to continue being confident and making those shots.

Q: You have experienced a lot of growth since last season and you credit a lot of your success to the training you did over the summer. What was different about your summer training for this season?

A: Our strength and conditioning director, Matt Young, really helped me a lot. There was a lot of talk about him going into the summer about how tough he was, and he completely lived up to his reputation. During our training this summer we had what we called the "adjustment period" which was the time that our bodies had needed to recuperate and adjust to the new level of strength training that we were being exposed to. As much as I hated waking up at 6 a.m. and lifting all the time, it really has positively affected the team and the shape that we are in. I feel like I can run faster, jump higher, and overall I feel a lot stronger.

Q: Brendan Lane has been another key player this season, and you two complement each other well on the court. What are your thoughts about how you two work together as teammates?

A: Brendan brings a lot of size to the team, and he is actually very athletic. I depend on him a lot with rebounds, and that has helped me out a lot so far this season. We both are unselfish players, so we work well together in that respect, and right now we haven't been getting double-teamed too much so that has been really helpful in regards to scoring points. We also understand each other well and communicate effectively, which makes the game a lot easier for the both of us, allowing us to play at our full potential.

Q: How is the team different this season, and what's making the team so successful?

A: The people and the coaches this season are really great. Training with Matt Young this summer really started this new mentality for the team. Summer training forced us to be mentally strong, and rely on one another for support. The summer not only helped us in regards to strength but it also connected the team closer as a unit, allowing us to become a really a tight-knit family. This all has translated onto the court for us this season and we all want to see each other succeed and make this season a winning one.

On Wednesday the men's basketball team traveled to UC Riverside for its first away game of the season. After defeating San Diego Christian last weekend, the team was looking to bring more aggression and speed to the game. Pepperdine was able to defeat UC Riverside 69-66 and now has a 2-0 record.

The Waves were able to secure a 40-32 lead at halftime, but had 10 minutes in the second half where no field goals were made, allowing UCR to tie the game with under a minute left in the second half. Stacy Davis and Nikolas Skouen combined to go 6-for-6 from the line, allowing the Waves to secure the win in the final minute of the game.

Davis scored 24 points against San Diego Christian last week and had a game-high 23 points against UCR, making him the first player to score over 23 points in the first two games of the season since the 1987-88 season. This is also the second time in three years that Pepperdine has been 2-0.

This season's team is close-knit and relies on one another's energy and attitude to stay positive throughout the games.

For Davis, he believes that "leading by example is extremely important for the team this year. This summer I really concentrated on my mental focus and making sure that everything is in check."

He added: "There were times in the game against Riverside where I would get frustrated and wanted to get angry, but that's when I really have to step back and re-evaluate and make sure that the attitude I have on the court is positive, so that the team can feed off of my energy and we can stay together as a unit."

Being 19 years old and seen as one of the team's leaders is a great honor for Davis who says: "At first it was a little difficult for me to grasp because I see myself as a 19-year-old who is still just a kid, but on the court I'm realizing how my attitude effects my teammates, and how important it is for me to step up and motivate the team."

Davis recognizes that his mentality on the court is going to play a key factor in the team's success this season. He plans to continue leading the team forward, and hopefully bring home another win Saturday when the team takes on Central Michigan at 3:30 p.m. PT at McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

WOMEN: Q&A With Keitra Wallace

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Meet sophomore Keitra Wallace:
Keitra Wallace

Q: How did you feel after the opening-night win against Seattle?

A: Good! I feel confident in my team because we came out and fought. We stayed composed for most of the game. It was a good opening. It's always good to win.

Q: Can you comment on the importance of being one of five players to score double-digit points against Seattle?

A: It felt great having everyone contributing. Everyone had several moments where they were scoring.  Nobody on the team feels like they should be the only person scoring, so if you are open and it is a good shot, you take it. As a team, collectively we do a good job shooting the ball, and it showed.

Q: Is having five players in double-digits a consequence of a more cohesive team?

A: Yes, absolutely. Everyone has a higher level of confidence this season. We are not afraid to score, to shoot the ball, and we need to have that to get wins.  Putting up points is just easier this year.

Q: How did the Seattle win affect your mindset going into the game against UCLA?

A: Personally, it didn't really affect much. We take every game as a new challenge and going from a win against Seattle was passing one test and then we focus on conquering the next.

Q: How do you feel about Coach Weisenberg calling you one of the smartest players on the team?

A: I appreciate the comment.  It is something I have heard since I was younger in school. I don't really pay attention to it too much, but coaches tell me it is one of my strengths and I try to help out any way I can.

Q: What are your goals for the season?

A: To win more games than last year, but to do it in a way that shows people we are spending time getting better. We work on our defense and our offense.  We trust each other as a team and we want to prove to people we are not the same team as the past.

Q: Coach Weisenberg's philosophy is "always compete on and off the court." How have you embraced that philosophy?

A: I love having "compete" thrown around so much. I have always been taught to compete. The only way to win is to compete with confidence and without fear.  Last year we lacked the mental and physical confidence to compete. We have gained that back and it makes everything more fun.

Q: What do you like most about Pepperdine?

A: Saying the campus would be cliché, but it's true. Really, this is such a close-knit community and I enjoy the fact that I can walk around campus and know everyone.  I know many people in my classes. I am not sitting in a group of 200 kids and feeling like I don't know anyone.

WOMEN: Weisenberg Talks About Team's Start, Home Opener

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After opening the season with a 1-1 record, women's basketball coach Ryan Weisenberg talks about an exciting win against Seattle University, a disappointing loss to UCLA, and the hope of seeing how his women will bounce back in Thursday's home opener against UC Irvine.

Weisenberg called the Seattle University win a "confidence builder" after beating a team picked to win the WAC, with players expected to be the conference's player and freshman of the year.

The Seattle game saw five players score in double-figures due to more ball sharing and better movement on the court. Weisenberg commended the team on taking better -- and more disciplined -- shots.

Weisenberg says that he always tells his team "there is a thin line between confidence, arrogance and ignorance." He said he thought his team had a little bit of arrogance kick in before the UCLA game.

"We didn't do our pregame how we exactly and normally do it," he said. "After our first win it felt like we kind of shrugged our shoulders and thought we would get it going at some point, and you can't do that against a quality team."

Defensive transition and rebounding were the two biggest focuses heading into the UCLA match, and Weisenberg says the Waves fell short in both areas on Monday due to a lack of communication.  Weisenberg praised his team on limiting UCLA's first shot, but falling short on the second and third, something they just can't do against such an athletic team.

But, the UCLA game showed the coaches how much the team's offense has evolved. Pepperdine outshot the Bruins 42.6% to 40.0%.

"Our offense when is extremely good when we want it to be," Weisenberg said. "It's when we have those mental lapses that it becomes a struggle for us."

The offense this year is a little simpler, claims Weisenberg, with "really defined roles. People will not just be throwing up shots, especially when they know they can get a better shot." This change may account for the drastic increase in scoring and point differential from last year.

Though disappointed in the loss, Weisenberg said that it did show the girls that if they would have played all 40 minutes, they could have beaten UCLA. Now he wants to see what kind of team will be coming out of the loss. He said that he wants the mindset to be, "we should have won this, now let's beat up on the next team."

Bria Richardson posted back-to-back career highs in points, and Weisenberg said she is flourishing as a team leader and embracing that role.

"She is not satisfied," he said. "The only way she is satisfied is if we get a WCC title and into a postseason tournament."

Weisenberg said Richardson is not concerned about individual accolades, but if she continues to go the way she has, there is no way to keep this rising star off any all-star lists.

Looking forward to Thursday, Weisenberg says to prepare for UCI the team will be focusing on defensive transition and not fouling.

"We put UCLA on the line 36 times," he said. "We were standing up against an athletic team, playing with our hands instead of our feet."  He believes the Waves will get back to what earned them a win in Seattle.

WOMEN: Q&A With Bria Richardson

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Bria Richardson, captain of the women's basketball team and the starting point guard, reached a new career-high with 25 points on Monday at UCLA (her second straight game with a new career high). Her play helped the Waves get close at the end after trailing by as many as 11 points in the second half. Richardson embraces her responsibility as a team leader and it has showed in her play. Here is what she thinks about her role this year:
Bria Richardson

Q: What are your goals for the season?

A: As a team our goal is to compete every game and give everyone a show. We simply want to be better than we were last year. But, personally, my goal is to embrace my role as a point guard and leader on the floor, to lead the team with confidence.

Q: How have you seen the team change this season?

A: The biggest change is the team's mindset. My teammates are working so much harder than before and looking to win. We motivate each other to play hard, compete, and make each other better

Q: What were your thoughts about yesterday's UCLA game and your career high?

A: The UCLA game was significant. We let a great opportunity slip away that could've put us on the map. Although we lost, the game showed us that we can compete at a high level. I hope my teammates walk away from that loss with their chin held high and excited about the endless possibilities we have throughout the rest of our season. It's hard to be happy about setting a career high after a loss, but I can say it was an amazing experience and feeling to play a great game in such a historic gym.

Q: Did you know the coach considers you the team leader? How do you feel about your leadership role?

A: I am really honored to be held out as the team leader. The responsibility comes with great pressure and motivation, but all-in-all it is such a compliment.

Q: Coach Weisenberg's philosophy is "always compete" on and off the court. Has the team embraced that?

A: Yes, we strive to play hard all the time and be as aggressive as possible. We compete in the classroom as well and give it our all in our studies.

Q: Do you have a personal philosophy you stand by when it comes to basketball?

A: Play with a lot of heart and fire.

Q: What do you like most about Pepperdine?

A: The small community. Being close with the school makes it feel like family. Professors come out to our games and support us in our athletics and in our personal lives. They know what is going on in our lives and truly care about all students and players.

After a season-opening win over San Diego Christian on Saturday night, the men's basketball team is hoping that will launch the Waves to a successful season. Head coach Marty Wilson described the first game of the season as "a good learning experience for all of the new players, and it was a time to really show them what the pace of a college game is like".

Wilson added that the team's lack of aggression was a weakness in the first game, and stressed the importance of the overall energy of the players and how they each feed off the attitudes of one another.

"Once the team was more comfortable on the court and able to make quick moves, the players were able to adjust and continue making good decisions," he said.

Wilson's goals for Wednesday's away game against UC Riverside are to start off more aggressively and to keep better overall control of the ball, thus limiting turnovers.

Wednesday's game will begin at 7 p.m. at Riverside's SRC Arena. Fans can listen live via WaveCasts. The team's next game will be away against Central Michigan on Saturday (Nov. 16) at 3:30 p.m. Pacific.

The Waves have officially opened the 2013-2014 season after defeating San Diego Christian, 81-68, on Saturday night. The game featured the debuts of many new players, four of whom were in the starting lineup.

Freshman Lamond Murray Jr.. was the second-highest scorer for the Waves behind Stacy Davis, and Murray scored a total of 13 points. In regards to playing in his first college game, Murray said: "I wasn't extremely nervous, but I was pretty anxious to play, and really went into the game with an open mind".  

Freshman Jeremy Major scored eight points in his first college game and he explained: "I was nervous all day, but once I finally got on the court the nerves went away and I really just embraced the pressure".

In regards to improvement for Wednesday's game at UC Riverside, Major wants to focus on avoiding turnovers and not allowing the opposing team to score more than 30 points in the first period.

After playing a total of 28 minutes in his debut, freshman Amadi Udenyi scored six points with four defensive rebounds and four assists. Udenyi said that the biggest difference between high school and college basketball games is "the speed of the game. Now basketball is a lot faster-paced, so being able to make quick, smart decisions is going to be key for me".

Udenyi shared that reducing turnovers are his main focus for the next game and that he is looking forward to the team's ongoing improvement.

The team has their first away game on Wednesday (Nov. 13) at 7 p.m. against UC Riverside. The Waves plan to build upon their successful start and hope to bring home another win.

Name: Jeff Van Dyke

Jeff Van Dyke

Year: Freshman

Major: undeclared

Position: Shooting Guard

Hometown: San Diego, Calif.

How has the adjustment to college basketball been? I really like the team and coaches. Playing basketball in college is on a whole new level both physically and mentally. The practices are harder and longer, and the game is more complex. Overall, college basketball demands a lot both physically and mentally, and the games will be a lot bigger deal, and definitely a lot different from high school games.

How has the transition academically been? It's been hard not having my parents here to keep tabs on me and make sure that I'm staying on top of everything. I really have to become my own person and be an individual. I have a lot of schoolwork, so keeping up with that, as well as not having a set schedule is difficult. It's not like high school where you had the same day five days a week from eight to three; some days you I have early classes, some days I have later classes. Everything about school is different, and the tests are a lot harder as well.

What are you most excited about this season? I am really excited for conference play. I think we are in a great conference with a lot of talented teams, and I am especially looking forward to the bigger games we play against Gonzaga and BYU.

What is your favorite part about the team? The camaraderie, and everyone on the team is really cool, and we have a great overall team dynamic both on and off the court.

Favorite NBA team: Golden State Warriors. I like Stephen Curry.

Favorite movie: Rush Hour 2. Chris Tucker is hilarious.

Quote to live by: "Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny."

Name: Jeremy Major

Jeremy Major

Year: Freshman

Major: Economics

Position: Point Guard

Hometown: Pasadena, Calif.

What has been the most difficult part about adjusting to the game at a college level? It's been all about making quicker decisions. Everything about the game is different; the tempo is quicker. Being an effective communicator is really necessary on the court. I've been here since June, so the overall adjustment to the team has been pretty smooth. The team has a great dynamic, and we all have a mutual respect for one another. We have good camaraderie, and good chemistry both on and off the court.

How has the transition academically been? It's been good. It's all about managing your time and staying focused. Having class later in the day is harder too, especially because it wasn't like that in high school, so it's really having to adjust to a whole new schedule and level of difficulty in regards to the difficulty of classes.

What are you most excited about this season? I'm just really excited to play. We are a younger team this year with a lot of new freshmen. We are energetic and excited to all be together. It will be good to show everyone that even though we are freshmen we can still get the job done and play well. I'm really looking forward to showing the fans what we've all been working on, and putting all of the hard work to the test.

What is your favorite part about the team? We are always laughing and joking around. No matter what it is, we can always find humor and a reason to laugh. It can be anything from conversations, to funny videos and social media. The majority of the time spent off the court is filled with bonding and laughter.

Favorite NBA team: Space Jam

Favorite movie: Quote to live by: "My why is my motivation."

The time is near Waves fans! Men's basketball will face San Diego Christian on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. in Firestone Fieldhouse. The team will play its first game of the season, and the Waves are looking to make plays on the court and cooperate effectively as a team.

Head Coach Marty Wilson says: "The team is excited. I expect us to come out with a lot of energy"

The team has been participating in preseason and intrasquad scrimmages and has worked hard this past week focusing on skill and technique as well as effectively communicating on the court.

Wilson explains: "It's exciting for our guys knowing that these games are for real. They are honing in this week on taking care of the ball, making better decisions, defending harder, and defending more together. That's what really is necessary to perform well on Saturday."

The team has been utilizing this week to analyze the video from the preseason scrimmages to break down plays and evaluate any weaknesses. Coach Wilson adds that the main components for enabling the team's growth are "communication, and defensively, our execution."

Last week, sophomore Jett Raines suffered a hand injury during practice and will not be playing in Saturday night's game. He is expected to miss at least a few weeks.

Coach Wilson said that Raines' injury "will have an impact on the team. His energy, his size and his athleticism play a very important role on the court. The team feeds off of him and his energy, and his absence will cause an adjustment for the team".

This will force some players to move positions, but may also provide an advantage for players like Atif Russell and Lamond Murray, who could be playing against larger players who will have to guard them on the perimeter.

The team is prepared to come together and open the season strong, with great energy and a lot of excitement.

WOMEN: Catching Up With Coach Weisenberg

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Pepperdine Coach Ryan Weisenberg's coaching philosophy is: "Always Compete."  When you walk into his office it reads in big bold letters on the wall: "You will graduate" and "You will compete."  He believes his role is to motivate the team to be the best on the court and in the classroom.

Holding true to that philosophy, when asked what this season's biggest focus will be, he responded, "follow through and accountability." This season is a new beginning for the first-year head coach. The team needs to refocus and players must know their role. Weisenberg expects his players to step up and hold each other accountable, on and off the court.

Prior to each game he sits down with his guards and tells them what he wants, and trusts them to carry it out. The point guard is the leader on the court, and Weisenberg has no intention of slowing down the game and calling out each play.

Weisenberg considers point guard Bria Richardson to be a force on this team, one who is able and motivated to lead the Waves. She is the team leader and it was obvious from day one. Weisenberg explained that he received a phone call from her the day he got the new position and she told him she was ready to work.

Weisenberg also says to watch out for Ea Shoushtari, whom he believes "didn't scratch the surface of her talent last year" and that "she is going to surprise a lot of people this year."  Furthermore, he calls Keitra Wallace one of his smartest players, and "if she doesn't let her intensity waver, she will bring big things this season."

The big emphasis this season for Weisenberg is rebounding. He said that every team he has coached has been in the top three in their league in rebounding and he expects nothing less from the Waves. He recognizes the team needs to continue to improve to get there, so he is making rebounding a point of emphasis at each practice. Weisenberg was proud to outrebound Westmont 49-33 in their exhibition last week, but he is going to hold his team accountable to repeat that each and every game.

When asked what he was most excited about this season, Weisenberg noted "his staff and the growth of this team." Disappointed that expectations are low and that no one was mentioned in preseason all-conference honors, Weisenberg is motivated -- as are his players -- to work hard and compete; saying, "We are going to make games miserable for our opponents and exciting for our fans."

Weisenberg saw the Westmont matchup as a good test, going up against a very well-coached team and the defending NAIA champions, and he said it was a good win for the Waves. He said the players know they need to continue to apply what the coaches are teaching and to focus on being disciplined on the offensive end, and he specifically mentioned a high number of missed layups on the offensive end.

This Week at Pepperdine

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Check out Nikolas Skouen, Jeremy Major and Kelsey Brockway in the new edition of This Week at Pepperdine!

WOMEN: Weekend Update

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The season is underway for the ladies in blue and orange. Looking forward to a fresh start with a new gym floor, a new coach and a new spirit, the Waves are ready to take on the 2013-14 season.

This season Pepperdine is ready to change the tide and in doing so welcomes Ryan Weisenberg to his inaugural season as head coach. Coach Weisenberg brings an impressive background working with college and professional teams around the globe. He is motivated to see his girls strive on and off the court and is committed to Pepperdine's mission. Coach Weisenberg and the Pepperdine women's basketball team is committed to compete with a purpose.

This year has already seen great strides and a new energy starting with Pepperdine's exhibition win over Westmont on Wednesday, made possible by impressive sophomore Amanda Lovely's game-winning shot with only 2.9 seconds left, lifting the team to a 57-55 victory.

With a young squad of two highly anticipated freshmen, Jaya Schultz and Allie Green, as well as six sophomores, including Lovely, Pepperdine is excited to harness the new talent and passion

Welcome to basketball season Pepperdine fans -- Roll Waves!

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