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.