February 2014 Archives
women's basketball coach Ryan Weisenberg answered a few questions prior to the
team's regular-season finale at Santa Clara:
Q: How is team
"We are having a difficult season. There are a couple of people who are
just waiting for this season to be over. Then there are the smart ones that are
looking at this as an audition for next season. The team has actually stepped
up the energy and the focus has gotten better. This is a great audition for
next year and the players are starting to realize that we have six new players
coming in next year. There are players who will be taking starting roles and
the competition is going to be fiercer."
Q: What explains the team's
difficulties of late?
"It is a lack of defense. We have a new defensive philosophy from the past, and
it is easy to fall back into what you know. We have seen some major steps in
the right direction. That point differential will not be there next year. We will
have a whole summer to drill in that new philosophy. Our next two recruiting
classes are impressive. We are battling between five players who would start
for us right now and we can only give two scholarships to those five. The '15
class will be just as good as our '14 class."
Q: In the final games,
what should fans expect?
"Our motto is we want one more -- we want one more win over last season. We are
anxious to see who we will play at the WCC Tournament. We need to play at the
top of our game. If all of us aren't there it will be a struggle. For the people who have gone to the games they
have seen how hard these girls have been working. We have made it extremely
difficult for other teams."
Q: Has the team
team's approach to the game has not changed since day one. We believe that if
we start going soft on the players because we are losing, not only will we lose
our players but we will lose our momentum going into next season. We have made
adjustments, yes, but we have not done anything drastic. It comes down to
player development. We need to keep these girls accountable on and off the
court and that is the big thing we are doing."
Q: Who should fans be
watching for in the final game and at the WCC Tournament?
"Ea Shoushtari. Ea has been playing a whole new role. She has been thrown back
into the responsibility of carrying the team, facilitating, and scoring still. She
has done a phenomenal job at what we have asked her to do.
should look out for Allie Green as well. She has the possibility of winning Newcomer
of the Year for the WCC. We generally like to celebrate team over individual,
but this is huge and she has done an incredible job, so we are really pushing
Q: What do you expect
at the WCC Tournament?
"Last year we went in and our focus and mentality wasn't there and we got blown
out by San Francisco. I have asked the girls who they would like to see in the
first round. A lot have said we want San Francisco. Some say LMU, because it is
our rival and we would like to knock them out.
intensity of the tournament is different. Something I learned from being with
the Lakers and Sparks is that there is a different mentality. It is a completely
new season. We are going to teach these girls how to prepare for the playoffs
even after a season like this.
Julie (Rousseau)'s first season here, they were 11-14 going into the WCC Tournament
and she won it! It is basketball and you
never know what it can happen."
Thursday, senior forward Malte Kramer made Pepperdine history as the first
basketball player ever to receive Capital One/CoSIDA Academic
All-American honors (third team). Kramer an economics major, currently holds a
4.0 grade-point average and is one of just three basketball players in the West
Coast Conference who received the honor this year.
Q: How do you manage to
balance both school and basketball?
definitely been a challenge at times. Classes become especially difficult
during the season when the team travels because it's not always easy to catch
up when we miss classes. Overall I have pretty good self-discipline so I always
study when I need to, and stay on top of all of my assignments."
Q: Why did you choose to
major in economics?
enjoy real world applications like math and feel that it is a subject that I
excel in. As a major, I felt that mathematics would be too dry for me, so
majoring in economics made sense to me, and I enjoy being able to see how my
studies play a role in the real world."
Q: As one of the older
players on the team, you have had more experience playing basketball on the college
level than most of your teammates. What advice do you give your teammates who
are just starting their college careers?
biggest piece of advice I give is to enjoy every single game. Time flies by so
fast, and before you know it, you will be graduating. Cherish the moments you
have with your teammates and enjoy this time as much as you can because before
you know it, it will all be over."
Q: You're a senior with a
perfect 4.0 GPA. What are your plans after graduation?
now everything is up in the air. I will either go back to Europe and play
basketball at the professional level, get a job, or attend graduate school. I
still have not made a decision on what lies ahead in my future, but I am
looking forward to the experiences, and no matter what I end up doing, I will
miss my teammates and coaches back at Pepperdine."
faced rival Loyola Marymount for the second time in conference play on Thursday
evening at LMU. The Waves had a slow
start, trailing the Lions by 10 in
the first period, but stayed strong defensively, which allowed them to make a
comeback and defeat LMU, 72-69, in the Wells Fargo PCH Cup game. The
road win not only allowed Pepperdine to move back up to fifth place in the WCC
standings, but was also Pepperdine's sixth road win of the season, the most the
team has had since 2002-03.
Leading the Waves to victory, Stacy Davis contributed 27 points
on 10-for-15 shooting, plus 12 rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
Malcolm Brooks followed with 15 points, and Academic All-American Malte Kramer
had 12 points.
"Our defense really contributed to our overall performance,"
said Davis. "We really locked in after being down by 10 in the first half, and
were able to come together and play as a team and for each other. Every player
on the team will tell you we are all very unselfish players, and that has
really contributed to our team's success this season."
Davis came off the bench for his sixth consecutive game on
Thursday and said: "At the end of the day I just love being on the court. Not
starting really puts things into perspective and when I'm out there, I just
really try to do everything in my power to stay on the court and contribute as
much as possible."
Pepperdine approaches its final two games before the WCC Championship
tournament in Las Vegas, Davis described the emotions of the team.
our team's overall mindset is to strive to be the absolute best that we can be,"
he said. "You always hear coaches talking about their teams peaking at the
right time and I think this is our time to really come out and shine. We are
all focused and determined to give our all everyday, at every practice, and
every game, and we plan to finish the season at our peak."
The Waves end the regular season at home next weekend against
San Francisco (Thursday, Feb. 27) at 7 p.m. and Santa Clara (Saturday, March 1)
at 5 p.m. The Waves will honor their three seniors prior to the finale against
the Broncos. It's also going to be Fan Appreciation Day, with general admission
seats free to all. Both games will be shown on TheW.tv.
a Thursday night loss to Gonzaga, Pepperdine faced the Portland Pilots on
Saturday afternoon in the team's final game of the Pacific Northwest trip. It
was the last home game of the season for the Pilots, who defeated the Waves
74-62, forcing Pepperdine to drop to sixth place in the West Coast Conference
guard Malcolm Brooks led the Waves with 15 points, followed by Stacy Davis with
12 points, and Brendan Lane with 10 points and 10 rebounds, achieving his
eighth double-double of the season.
Waves never led in Saturday's game and shot just 35.1% from the field compared
to Portland's 46.0%.
the start, Portland came out a lot longer stronger than us," Brooks said. "Our team
lacked energy in the beginning, which is really unusual, and Portland had the
fan support and motivation to win.
was just trying to do whatever I could to help the team win. Points matter in
every game, but it's always hard when you don't get the 'W.' If we could do it
all over again, I wish we would have come out with more energy, had been more
focused on the court, and paid more attention to detail.'
just three games remaining before the WCC Championships in Las Vegas,
Pepperdine hopes to re-group after the weekend's road losses.
want to go 3-0 for these final games, and really just put everything we've
learned from this season on the court and finish on the strongest note possible,"
Brooks said. "We are all still confident about the remaining games of the
season, and we are very resilient as a group. We survive the tough moments and
always come out stronger. I'm looking forward to the next three games and am
confident in our team."
Pepperdine's final road game is on Thursday (Feb. 20) at rival
Loyola Marymount in a Wells Fargo PCH Cup battle. The game will be shown on
ESPNU at 8 p.m. and there will be a free audio broadcast via WaveCasts at
PepperdineSports.com with Al Epstein on the call.
traveled north to Spokane for a Thursday night matchup against the West Coast
Conference's top-ranked team, Gonzaga. Pepperdine trailed #24 Gonzaga by just seven
at halftime but the Bulldogs ultimately pulled out the win, defeating the Waves
Davis led the team in points with 14, followed by Brendan Lane and Nikolas
Skouen each with 12, and Malcolm Brooks with 11 points.
has been contributing on the court more and more as the season progresses and
played 20 good minutes in Thursday's game.
am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given recently to contribute
more on the court," Skouen said. "I have been praying a lot about it, and have
focused on utilizing every opportunity I have to prepare as much as I can and
make sure that I am ready to perform whenever the coach calls my name."
McCarthey Athletic Center, often referred to as "the Kennel," is a unique
experience for any visiting team. Said Skouen: "It was a great place to play.
The fans started showing up an hour and a half before the game, and they brought
a lot of energy and adrenaline to the game. It was really fun to play there."
the loss, the players continue to motivate each other and maintain a positive
outlook on the remaining games of the season.
are able to stay together, stay aggressive, and play confidently," Skouen said.
"We have the ability to do some amazing things on the court, and I feel like we
are continuously growing, and we are more together at this point in time than
we have been all season. Like we've said all season, this is a very unique team
with a great group of guys, and we have the potential to do some really great
Pepperdine continues its Pacific Northwest series at Portland on
Saturday (Feb. 15) at 1 p.m. It's the WCC Game of the Week and it will be televised
locally on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. An audio broadcast of the game will be
available for free via WaveCasts at PepperdineSports.com with Al Epstein on the
suffered a tough loss on Saturday against Saint Mary's, falling short to the
Gaels by just two points, 69-67, at the end of overtime. The Waves (14-11, 7-6
WCC) were strong defensively in the first half and led the Gaels (18-7, 8-4
WCC) by six points at halftime, but then had to rally to send the game into
Brendan Lane led the team with 19 points, 10 rebounds, six blocks and three
steals, followed by Jeremy Major with 14 points and four assists, and Amadi
Udenyi with 10 points and a season-high seven assists.
into the game I really just wanted to be there for my team," Major said. "Last
time we faced Saint Mary's I got hurt with 13 minutes left in the game, and I
really wanted to go out in this second game and be able to play at my best, and
not feel like I let the team down. Saint Mary's is one of the top teams in the
conference, and we really did have a chance to beat them and move up in the
led the Gaels 28-22 at halftime and that provided great motivation for
Pepperdine to continue playing hard coming out of the locker room.
Major: "We were really confident with the six-point cushion at halftime. We
played great defense in the first half of the game, and we wanted to continue
being aggressive on the court."
tremendous amount of heart on the court carried on into their first overtime
game of the WCC season.
my first overtime game in college," Major said. "For me, I really thought we
could win. I was confident coming out of the locker room that we could beat
Saint Mary's, but ultimately the fact that we were getting foul calls away from
the paint and kept sending them to the free throw really killed us. Stephen
Holt played a great game and is a great free throw shooter, so in the end that
was what really got us."
will travel to the Pacific Northwest this weekend, facing Gonzaga on
Thursday (Feb. 13) at 6 p.m. and Portland on Saturday (Feb. 15) at 1 p.m.
"We have always been a good team on the road," Major said.
"Playing at 'The Kennel' at Gonzaga is going to be a new experience and we are
looking forward to the challenge. Gonzaga is beatable, but we really need to be
at our best. Portland is going to be a good game because they're going to be
playing hard and really be seeking out the 'W' since we beat them at home the
last time we played them. As we get ready to travel up north we need to be in
the right state of mind and play aggressively."
The Gonzaga game will be on ROOT Sports while the Portland
matchup is the WCC Game of the Week and it will be televised locally on Time
Warner Cable SportsNet. Free audio broadcasts via WaveCasts at
PepperdineSports.com will be available for both games with Al Epstein on the call.
Waves who will take the floor next year are Layana White, a 5-foot-9 transfer
from Arizona, and Krista Pettepier, a 6-foot-2 transfer from Pittsburgh. While
unable to play, both players have been critical to the team by giving all they
have to give at each and every practice.
from Lancaster, Calif., White is excited to join the Waves on the court next
winter. Pettepier is looking forward to studying abroad this summer and
returning to play with the Waves come fall.
injuries suffered by several of the Waves this season, practice players have
been few and far between. White and Pettpier have stepped up to make sure that
those who are healthy are getting the preparation they need to compete game after
Q: Why did you choose
Layana: The coaches, the
staff, I really loved the campus and it is a good school, and it's also close
Krista: I'm not really
religious, but when I came here I absolutely fell in love with the coaches who
are so genuine and the people I meet that are so genuine. A lot of people say it is the view, but it is
so much more than that, it is the people, the school and the academic
opportunities that are unbeatable. I am planning to study abroad this
summer. I would not have been allowed to
do that while playing basketball at any other school. I have always put
academics before athletics and I can have both here, it is a good balance.
Q: How are you doing
in your classes? Is it different, or do you like it better?
Layana: I like it better, the
classes are so much smaller. I am used to being one of 600 students in one
class, and now it is 15, and it is better that way because the professors
Kristia: I have a close
relationship with Dr Perrin who I took for stats last semester. He actually spoke to my sociology professor
this semester and told him to watch out for me.
I think that is really cool -- to be able to have such a great
relationship with our professors that they actually know who we are when we
walk down the street and know what kind of student we are and can put in good
words for us.
Q: How are you liking
Layana: I love the team,
they are all very close outside of the court.
I just got here but I felt comfortable right away.
Krista: We are all very
close and we hang out all the time. It is like a family, giving hugs is not
uncommon, it is very close-knit.
Q: Who would you like
to challenge on the court and why?
Layana: I would challenge athletic
trainer Karissa (Scherer), because she is a baller. She used to play. Or I would challenge one of the male
Krista: I would never
challenge Coach Ryan (Weisenerg) because he is such a cheater. If you box him
out, he pulls your shirt. Mallory (Winn)
would be too much work. I wouldn't challenge Coach Jordan (Adams-Smith) because
that would be too tough and it wouldn't be a level playing field. Ultimately, I would challenge my stats
professor because he attends all the men's games.
Ryan Weisenberg's response: "Cheat! I think I
would be more physical, but I wouldn't cheat. I do pull jerseys. See, I was
never the best jumper, but I was playing against the biggest guys so I had to
learn the little tricks, stepping on the back of the shoes or pulling jerseys.
I can see where they are coming from, but I think she's just scared."
Waves kicked off their weekend home game series on Thursday evening with an
80-69 win over Pacific.
forward Stacy Davis has come off of the bench the past two games, and has spent
much of his free time studying game film and working on his technique. The move
paid off on Thursday as Davis scored a game-high 24 points against the Tigers.
Davis: "Coach Wilson really wants to get the most out of me, and if that means
me coming off of the bench, then I need to look at that as motivation to
improve. I really just need to constantly make sure that I am always at my best
on the court, and making the right moves. I've spent time reviewing game film
from some of the recent games and really observing my on-court presence on both
sides, and analyzing my body language."
from having a very young team, Pepperdine also has a very strong, well-rounded
huge advantage having the ability to sub players in and out and still put
points on the board," Davis said. "Our team is fortunate enough to have such a strong
group, that if a player needs to sit down for a few minutes, we know that we
still have the ability to play strong, while subbing in new players. It's a
blessing to be on a team where the players depend so much on one another, and
we all are very unselfish. When one person has a great performance the team
isn't just excited because of the success that was brought to the game, but we
are genuinely happy for one another and support each other."
went 11-for-11 from the free throw line and had eight rebounds against Pacific.
comes to free throws, I just try to take my time and breathe," Davis explained.
"I look at those shots as free points, and even though making them is a lot
easier said than done, I believe that my free throws are the key to my
to Davis, the team is fully committed to continuing their winning trend and
hoping to improve their overall record. The Waves had 20 assists on 25 field goals
in Thursday's game and have high hopes for a successful postseason.
going to focus on improving in all areas," Davis said. "We are especially going
to emphasize the importance of playing strong defensively. As a team we've been
clicking a lot lately, and we all really are determined to get a postseason bid
and continue working well as a team. I think our performance against Pacific is
a great testament to how well we work with one another when we are all passing
the ball and making shots. We plan to maintain the same state of mind going into
Saturday's game against Saint Mary's so hopefully we can achieve a three-game
The third and final game of the three-game homestand will take
place on Saturday (Feb. 8) against Saint Mary's at 1 p.m. The game will be
shown locally on Time Warner Cable SportsNet as well as on Comcast SportsNet
California, ROOT Northwest and ROOT Rocky Mountain, as well as on TheW.tv, with
a pre-game show beginning at 12:30 p.m. A free audio broadcast will be
available via WaveCasts at PepperdineSports.com with Al Epstein on the call.
advantage of a week between games, Pepperdine came back as strong as ever on
Saturday against rival LMU in a Wells Fargo PCH cup game. The Waves (13-10, 6-5
WCC) beat the Lions (11-12, 3-8) in the teams' 159th matchup, 80-69.
forward Jett Raines made a surprising start for the Waves alongside Jeremy Major,
Amadi Udenyi, Malcolm Brooks and Brendan Lane. Five Waves scored in
double-figures: Brooks led the team with 16, followed by Raines with a
career-high 15 points and eight rebounds, Stacy Davis had 12 points, and Lane
and Nikolas Skouen each scored 10 points.
transfer Malcolm Brooks describes participating in his first Pepperdine-LMU
rivalry game: "It was a really good experience. Coach (Marty) Wilson emphasized
the competitiveness between our schools, and even discussed his experiences
playing LMU back when he played at Pepperdine. Prior to the game, Coach Wilson
introduced the team to one of his former teammates Levy Middlebrooks, and he
talked to us and got us all really pumped up for the game."
his time as a Wave, Levy Middlebrooks scored 40 points and had 25 rebounds
against the Lions in one rivalry game in 1988. After graduation, Middlebrooks
later went on to play professionally for multiple teams in Mexico, Spain and
came out strong in the second half of the game, scoring the Waves' first couple
of baskets, and later secured the Waves' victory with four more points in the
final 1:30. Fourteen of his 16 points came after halftime.
really just wanted to win," Brooks says. "It didn't matter what I had to do;
whether I had to rebound or play defense, all I wanted to do was play at my
absolute best and come out with the win for the team. Our 9-0 run in the final
three minutes was definitely the most exciting part of game for me, and coming
out victorious in the end was an exciting, and much-needed win for the team."
next matchup for the Waves will be on Thursday (Feb. 6) at Firestone
Fieldhouse, when Pepperdine will host the University of the Pacific at 7 p.m.
and then Saint Mary's on Saturday (Feb 8) at 1 p.m. The
game against Pacific will be televised on TheW.tv and the contest against the
Gaels is the WCC Game of the Week and will be shown locally on Time Warner
Cable SportsNet. Free audio broadcasts via WaveCasts at PepperdineSports.com will
be available for both games with Al Epstein on the call.