Recently in Men's Basketball Category
did an offseason Q&A session with Pepperdine men's basketball coach Marty
Wilson to talk about what's happening this summer and next year's team:
Q: After a few last
minute roster changes, how do you feel about the team as your prepare for next
A: I'm feeling really
good about everything, even after the loss of some great players. I am excited
for our returning players this season. Stacy Davis received all-conference
honors last year and we are going to continue to challenge him. Jeremy Major
started every game and had more assists than any other freshman in Pepperdine
history. We are hoping to take another big step with our leading players. Jett
Raines, Amadi Udenyi, Marley Biyendolo, Lamond Murray Jr. and David Jesperson should
play bigger roles next season.
have spent some time talking to Lamond and coaching and challenging him, and he
is going to come back even stronger than last year. We are also going to be
challenging Atif Russell on defense, where he can have the most success. Both
Atif and Lamond are great athletes and their true athleticism really plays out
on the court and helps make the team stronger all around.
freshman Nate Gehring recently had surgery on his right shoulder but is already
ahead in his rehabilitation and will continue his rehab when he arrives in
Malibu next month. He will gradually begin conditioning and skill work when his
body allows him. Ryan Keenan is a very strong player who is extremely tough and
physical and not afraid to mix things up. He's a big guy, not slow, and has no
problem getting up and down the court
Lapray is transferring from the University of Oregon and he's an older player
with a lot of talent and experience, and is definitely going to be an asset to
our team. I'm excited about A.J. John's athleticism and skill, he's got a great
upside and can become a very good player. Shawn Olden was a great get for us
late in the process, and he has an opportunity to come in as a freshman and
compete right away for valuable minutes due to his ability to score and defend.
Q: What is the team
focusing on this summer?
A: Right now it's quiet.
Jett and Marley are the only players here before everyone else arrives in June.
They are training eight hours a week, with six hours of lifting and
conditioning and two hours on the court. This summer the team will work twice a
week with our staff on the court, and with our strength and conditioning coach Matt
Young four days a week lifting and conditioning on the beach. We are going to
focus specifically on the individual growth of the players, as well as improve
collectively both offensively and defensively.
of our biggest focuses this summer is going to be on changing our defensive
mindset. Last year I was not satisfied, especially late season, in how our team
defended and our urgency. We will focus a lot on defense this summer and that
focus will also carry over into the season.
Q: As the team
reunites this summer and welcomes the freshman players, what do you hope to see
the veterans teaching their new teammates?
A: The successful
transition of our new players is a top priority this summer. I was talking to
Stacy about his role as a team leader, and really stressed the importance of
reaching out to the new players, not just on social media and through texting,
but by physically picking up the phone and calling them. It is very important
that the players are able to develop a genuine bond with one another, and it is
the job of the veteran players to act as role models and educate the new
players. Establishing trust and building unity early on is only going to make
our team stronger.
veteran players will utilize the summer to teach the new players about the
campus, show them where their classes are, where the shuttle is and how
everything around Pepperdine works. The freshmen players are going to learn how
our team is run, and what it is like being on the court in the heat of the
battle. Our coaches and staff are really going to take the time during this
summer period to spend time with the players both on and off the court.
Q: You recently went
in for surgery to clean up an old knee injury. How is your recovery?
A: My recovery is great.
I've been in the training room getting treatment. My stitches were taken out yesterday.
I'm feeling good and on the bike everyday. My surgery was pretty minor and easy
but Coach (Bryant) Moore tore his patellar tendon during an adult-league game
and has a major six-to-eight month road to recovery ahead. He received 25-30
stitches and is currently in a brace and unable to drive. He is very passionate
and energetic on the court but it will be tougher this summer for him due to
Q: What does your
summer schedule look like right now?
A: Our staff is
preparing for next year and really focusing on video and breaking down
strengths and weaknesses and areas of improvement. I was planning on scheduling
a staff retreat where we would all take a few days and analyze videos and
practices from last season, but with Coach Moore's injury we might stay a
little more local and plan something up at the Drescher campus for a few days
so it's easier for him to move around. I believe that changes definitely need
to be made, but it is essential that we have video confirming why a change is
necessary. That will allow us to discuss and debate, and change and fix things
had its most successful season since 2005 and finished with 15 wins. The Waves
finished fifth in the West Coast Conference. Sophomore
forward Stacy Davis was the first All-WCC first team selection for Pepperdine
since 2005, Brendan Lane was named Defensive Player of the Year and also
received a spot on the All-WCC honorable mention team, and freshman Jeremy
Major was named to the WCC All-Freshman team.
The Waves fell short to Saint Mary's in the quarterfinals in the
WCC Championships, but were able to celebrate finishing in the top half of the
"We played well," said Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson about the
SMC game. "We scrambled a couple times in the game, allowing the Gaels to hit three's,
and they took full advantage of every opportunity and were extremely confident.
Unfortunately, it ended up being a little too late for our team to make the
comeback that we needed, and it was hard to end the season with a loss, while
also having to say goodbye to such great seniors."
The team's camaraderie this season played an essential role in
the Waves' success.
Said Wilson: "What really made the team different this season
was the chemistry. A lot of times, there are teams where players disagree and
bicker, but as a whole, we never had that issue. Our team genuinely liked each
other both on and off of the court, and that played a large role on how they
were able to work together in games and be successful. The team leadership this
season was also a tremendous advantage."
Lane, Malte Kramer and Nikolas Skouen all have played their
final games as Waves.
"It was really hard to lose the last game, especially knowing
that it would be the last game for our seniors," Wilson said. "It was difficult
seeing the emotions of the seniors, and how the younger players reacted to
their feelings, because it truly showed how much the younger players looked up
to them. There was a time where I, myself had to turn away and hold back tears.
As coaches, we all go through times like this where we have to say goodbye to
players who are both quality people and players. It's a tough goodbye, but we
were lucky to have such great role models for the younger players."
Though the season has come to an end, the Waves will soon begin
preparation for next season.
"We will have a staff meeting, where we will collectively review
players and film," said Wilson. "We've got a better understanding now of what
our younger players are capable of and where we can incorporate them. We'll
take a look at the team's strengths and weaknesses and actively continue the high
school recruiting process for future classes."
2013-14 season ended for men's basketball on Saturday with the Waves falling
short to fourth-seeded Saint Mary's in the WCC quarterfinals in Las Vegas. Both
teams had slow starts offensively, and then the Waves trailed the Gaels by 13
points at halftime, and by as many as 16 points in the second half. The Waves
were able to bring the deficit down to seven points later in the period, but
were unable to overcome Saint Mary's, which advanced to the semifinals after defeating
record of 15 wins is the team's most since the 2005 season, making this year
the Waves' best season in nearly a decade.
could definitely feel the difference between regular season and postseason
play," said freshman point guard Amadi Udenyi, who led the Waves with 13 points
against Saint Mary's. "I really realized how big of a deal this tournament was
and I am honored to have been given the opportunity to compete there."
suffered a knee injury earlier in the season. He said: "I feel like my injury
stunted my growth as a player at the beginning, but once I was healthy and back
on the court, I really began to appreciate and enjoy the team and develop
strong relationships with both my teammates and the coaching staff. It has been
a really fun season, and it's tough saying goodbye to Brendan (Lane), Niko
(Skouen), and Malte (Kramer). All three of them really took it upon themselves
to be leaders and really took the time to teach all of the new players how to
properly work out, train and take care of our bodies. They are great role models,
and I am lucky to have been given the opportunity to play with them."
All-West Coast Conference first team honoree Stacy Davis also reflected
on Saturday's game: "I thought everyone played hard and gave it their all.
Unfortunately we were unable to come back from the deficit that was established
in the first half, but Coach (Marty) Wilson always explains to the team the
importance of putting forth the maximum amount of effort and bringing
everything to the court. As a team, I really felt that we all did that, and
even though we didn't get the results we had hoped, we have no regrets about
the way we played. It's all about seeing the light in every dark situation. Everything
is an ongoing process of improvement. This season especially, having a large
amount of young players that were able to make such an impact so early on,
shows just how competitive our team will be in the coming years."
Davis stepped up this season as a leader, but credits his
success to his teammates.
"This year was a good year, I've definitely improved since my
freshman year, but I owe all of my success to my teammates and team staff," he
said. "The seniors, Brendan, Niko, and Malte really provided our team with the
leadership that we needed. It had been my goal this season to become more of a
team player, and someone that my teammates could look up to, and I would not
have been able to make that possible without the seniors. We are all already
excited for next season and working out this summer and improving. We're ready
to bring Pepperdine back into the spotlight."
will begin on Saturday for Pepperdine, as the fifth-seeded Waves will compete
against fourth-seeded Saint Mary's in the quarterfinals of the WCC Championships
in Las Vegas. Pepperdine's current 15 overall wins make this season the team's
best since 2004-05.
"We had a short but intense practice yesterday," Pepperdine
Coach Marty Wilson said. "We need to play with the same level of aggressiveness
and passion that we do at our practices in order to finish the season off
This season has been an adjustment for many of the team's
"Many of our players this season had to learn what competing at
the college level was like," Wilson said. "Understanding the grit, intensity
and dedication that goes into the sport at this level takes time and does not
just pertain to on-the-court conditioning, but sleeping patterns, grades,
social life and mental health."
Through the entire learning process, the team has been able to
come out stronger and more reliant on one another.
Said Wilson: "We have had a lot of ups and downs this year.
Unfortunately we had quite a few injuries, beginning with Jett Raines and Amadi
Udenyi, and later followed by Malcolm Brooks and Brendan Lane. We have had to
move bodies around a lot but the players have become more versatile and are
able to utilize their strengths and abilities on the court."
The team's leadership this season has also greatly influenced
the Waves' success. Sophomore forward Stacy Davis is the first All-WCC first
team selection for Pepperdine since 2005, Brendan Lane was named Defensive
Player of the Year and also received a spot on the All-WCC honorable mention
team, and freshman Jeremy Major was named to the WCC All-Freshman team.
team's accomplishments this season have been valiant," Wilson said. "Two out of
our three players honored this season have at least two more years on the team."
Waves prepare for Saturday's matchup against the Gaels, the team will
collectively create goals that they hope to achieve at the tournament, while
also watching and analyzing game film. Wilson's main goal for the tournament is
"to get the team back on track, and play with the same amount of heart and
aggressiveness as we do at practice, while also making sure that we continue to
play unselfishly. We hope that our efforts and determination will pay off and
give us another opportunity to play again on Monday."
Saturday's (March 8) matchup against Saint Mary's at the Orleans
Arena in Las Vegas will begin at approximately 8 p.m. on ESPN2. There will be
also be audio-only WaveCasts at PepperdineSports.com with Al Epstein on the
call for both men's and women's games.
Waves heading into postseason play and the season nearing its end, the team will soon say goodbye to its three
graduating seniors: Brendan Lane, Malte Kramer and Nikolas Skouen. Following
their final home game on Saturday, the players reflected on their season and experiences
and explain what playing basketball at Pepperdine has meant to them.
Q: How did it feel playing in
your final game at Firestone Fieldhouse on Saturday night?
Malte: It was both really exciting
and very sad all at the same time. It was fun during the game because I was
focused and enjoying every moment on the court and my mind was focused on the
game, but then when the game was over it hit me that it was the last time I
would be playing there, and it was a bittersweet moment.
Nikolas: My mind was in the game the
whole time, and it was difficult when we didn't come out with a victory, but
our team came together and I was really able to appreciate the time we all had
together. It was a weird kind of feeling I had after the game though, realizing
that it would be my last game at Pepperdine forced me to come to terms with the
fact that my time on the team is ending.
Brendan: It was definitely a thrill.
It's crazy because I feel like I've been in college for so long, and realizing
that it's all coming to an end is still unreal to me right now.
Q: What has been your favorite
part about playing basketball at Pepperdine?
Malte: The camaraderie has
definitely been my favorite part about playing basketball at Pepperdine. The
team has been so lucky to have great players with personalities that work so
well together. The group this year has been one of the best, and we have such
an amazing group of guys. I'm really lucky to have been able to play on a team
with people that I have such a deep amount of love and respect for.
Nikolas: Pepperdine has such a solid
team. Everyone gets along really well, and the respect that we have for one
another doesn't just stay on the court, but it also carries into our lives as
students. The team has not only allowed me to grow as a player, but also gave
me the opportunity to make lifelong friends that I now consider my family.
Brendan: The people. My teammates, the
coaches, it's all really been a family experience. Everyone gets along really
well and genuinely cares for one another. It has really made my experience on
the team a great one, and the bonds I've formed with my coaches and teammates
Q: What is your most memorable
experience during your years on the team?
Malte: The team trip to Hawaii
where I played in my first game after recovering from my knee injury. It was a
special game for me because I was finally able to play, and I felt great
knowing that I had contributed to our team's win after having been injured for
an extended amount of time.
Nikolas: I will always remember the
games we played against BYU. Last year I was on fire in the first five minutes
of the game, and for me, that was the moment I realized my potential as a
player, and truly became confident on the court.
Brendan: Playing BYU for the first
time this season. That was the game where we really came out as a team and
showed everyone what we were capable of. We proved that we were the real deal
and I think we really pumped everyone up for the season. It's been really fun.
Q: How have the basketball
coaches and staff impacted your life on and off of the court?
Malte: The coaches and staff have
helped me develop both as a player and as a person. Their passion for the sport
is what really encouraged me to love the game. They cared so much about
everyone, and that is what made me want to care so much. The amount of time and
effort that our coaches and staff put into our team acts as the foundation for
the mutual respect and love that we players have for one another.
Nikolas: Our coaching staff is
extremely focused on all aspects of the game. Not only do they care about our
performances on the court, but they also care about our lives outside of
basketball. They always want the best for us, and are constantly checking up on
us and making sure we all are all on the right paths. I am lucky to have been
on a team that has such a hard-working and dedicated staff.
Brendan: The coaches have impacted me
a lot as a player and in my personal life. They taught me how to be a leader
and the importance of being vocal. I wasn't always vocal about things in my
life, but learning to be more expressive on the court and seeing how that
positively affected the team, encouraged me to be more like that off the court
as well. Stepping up as a leader this season really allowed me to bond with
everyone and establish long-lasting relationships.
Q: How do you want to be
remembered by your teammates and coaches?
Malte: I want to be remembered as
someone who my teammates felt they could come to about advice or for
encouragement. I hope that I was seen as a reliable player that both my
teammates and coaches knew they could always count on.
Nikolas: I hope to be remembered as
a hard-working player who always tried my best. I hope that my discipline and
dedication to the sport, as well as my obedience as an athlete, contribute to
my coach's and teammates' views of me, and that I was able to positively impact
each of their lives in some way.
Brendan: I hope I am remembered as a
player who was dedicated and dependable, had fun, and genuinely enjoyed playing
In the WCC Championships quarterfinals, the Waves will play
Saint Mary's on Saturday (March 8) at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas at
approximately 8 p.m. on ESPN2. There will be also be audio-only WaveCasts at
PepperdineSports.com with Al Epstein on the call for both men's and women's
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 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.
only eight games remaining in regular-season play, Pepperdine (12-10, 5-5 WCC)
currently stands fifth in the West Coast Conference. The Waves will play the
next three games at home at Firestone Fieldhouse, beginning on Saturday (Feb.
1) against rival Loyola Marymount in a Wells Fargo
PCH Cup matchup at 3 p.m.
Sophomore forward Stacy Davis and freshman guard Jeremy Major
discuss their thoughts on the season thus far, and what they are looking
forward to as WCC play continues:
Q: With less than 10 regular-season games
remaining, what is the most valuable lesson you have learned so far?
Stacy: As a
team, we really need to bring our 'A' game every night. In league play, this
season especially, we've seen how every team is capable of pulling out a
surprise win. We've had to learn that it's not just the top-ranked teams we
need to worry about, but every single team in our conference is capable of
beating one another, so constantly being prepared for every single game is
learned that the game becomes as easy as you make it. Watching film has allowed
the team to see what we need to improve on and further our overall consistency.
At the beginning of the season I was nervous because I'm a freshman and really
did not know what to expect in college play. I found that after reviewing film
from the Great Alaska Shootout I have been very at ease with myself and am
comfortable because I know where I excel and what I need to improve on. I knew
that from that point on my comfort level was only going to get better as the
Q: In regards to your personal performance,
what is one aspect you hope to improve on?
need to be more consistent in how hard I play both sides. The other day Coach (Bryant)
Moore showed me my stats from the season so far, and physically looking at the
numbers made me realize that I am capable of so much more. I recognize that
I've been inconsistent in games; one game I will play really strong defense but
poor offense, others I will be strong offensively and weak defensively. It's
just a matter of being a steady player and playing to my full ability all
times. I kept the piece of paper with my stats and I look at it every day as a
reminder of my current standing, and view it as motivation to improve.
I need to work on being a better decision maker. I've found that sometimes I
get too into the game and miss critical passing opportunities. After watching
game film, I really get to see how I am on the court and specifically where I
am weak. Decision-making is the area I feel I need to improve the most, and
making sure that I have a clear mind on the court is going to be the key to
success for me.
Q: Coming off of two losses against Saint
Mary's and Pacific, what is your mindset like as you prepare for Saturday's
game against LMU?
hard. Saturday is a much-needed win, and we really need to come together and play
hard consistently through both periods. There's eight games left in league
play, and that's a lot of time for improvement. Our team really needs to
capitalize on the fact that we are aware of our weaknesses, and correct our
errors from previous games. We really just need to battle hard the rest of the
season and be consistent.
is definitely a must win for us, especially after going 0-2 on the road. We are
really focused, and have a big home stretch coming up that we need to be
mentally prepared for. When we play well defensively and rebound well, we can't
has been your most memorable game, and why?
we played San Diego; and not just because of my career high (28 points), but
because I had family and a former coach in attendance as well. That was a game
where we were down, and I remember being on the court thinking about how I
needed to step up and start making plays, and I ultimately was able to help
lead the team to a victory. My role in the team's success in that game
specifically is a memory that I really cherish.
BYU game at home has definitely been the most memorable and was an extremely
eye-opening game coming into conference play. BYU is an extremely consistent
team, and the fact that we were able to beat them proved to the team that we possess
something very special as a group. I felt that this game was proof that we can
play against any team, regardless of age and maturity, because success is all
about confidence, aggressiveness, and playing with heart.
Q: What is the most valuable advice you have
received from one of the coaches?
Stacy: I was
talking with Coach Moore recently and he described his experience working with
the Cleveland Cavaliers, and how he had the ability to watch players like
LeBron James mature and grow on the court. The thought really stuck with me.
Our coaches and team staff all have countless years of experience in the sport,
so it would be foolish to not utilize their advice and mentorship. Pepperdine
is lucky to have such a wonderful staff, and as players we should really take
advantage of everything they have to offer.
Moore often says: "The separation is in the preparation." I really like this
quote because it encourages me to stand out and be the best that I can be; but
in order to do that, I must be aware of my weaknesses and do what needs to be
done to improve. Whether that means watching film or going to the gym, I need
to be prepared at all times so when game time comes, I know that I'm ready.
Saturday's 3 p.m. Wells Fargo PCH Cup matchup against LMU can be
seen locally on Time Warner Cable SportsNet, while there will also be a free
audio broadcast via WaveCasts at PepperdineSports.com with Al Epstein on the
was a tough two-game road trip over the weekend for the Waves, who suffered
losses against both Saint Mary's and Pacific. In Saturday evening's (Jan. 25)
matchup against the Tigers, a 76-66 loss and the first WCC contest between the two teams since
UOP left the conference in 1971, Malcolm Brooks and Stacy Davis each had 12
points, followed by Amadi Udenyi with 11 points, and Brendan Lane with nine
Bay Area native and freshman
guard Udenyi described the road trip: "At Pacific, we definitely had times of
high energy and strong defense, but overall we were unable to stay consistent.
Especially on the road, it's essential for the team to make sure we are on our
A-game at all times, and on top of our defense. The Tigers are an older, more
mature team, so that was one of the biggest challenges we had to face.
"I enjoy our games up
north, I have my family and friends who come and support me, and this trip I
even had the opportunity to play against some of my former teammates from high
school. It was a tough road trip for us, but we are going to come back next
game feeling stronger both mentally and physically, and we are looking forward
to our improvement."
on Saturday (Feb. 1), the Waves will play five of their remaining eight games
at home, starting with a Wells Fargo PCH Cup contest against the Loyola
Marymount Lions at 3 p.m. Time Warner Cable SportsNet will televise the game
locally, and live audio commentary by Al Epstein will be available via
WaveCasts at www.pepperdinesports.com.
Waves traveled to Northern California for a Thursday evening matchup at Saint
Mary's in Moraga. Pepperdine now has a season record of 12-9 and a West Coast
Conference record of 5-4, currently tying their most wins overall and in WCC
play over the last nine years. Unfortunately, the Waves were unable to add to
the total at McKeon Pavilion, falling short to the Gaels, 80-74.
starters for the Waves remained the same for the third consecutive game: Jeremy
Major, Amadi Udenyi, Malcolm Brooks, Stacy Davis and Brendan Lane. Lane led the
Waves in points with 18 points. Brooks had 11, followed by Jeremy Major and
Austin Mills with 10 points each.
a sophomore point guard, played aggressively throughout his 14 minutes on the
court, and tied his career high of 10 points.
just feel like I need to step up, especially given the amount of injuries our
team has had this season," Mills said. "I need to be reliable under pressure,
and be able to perform well during crunch time so I can make as many plays as
regards to the team's performance against the Gaels, Mills said: "The team
fought really hard to the end, and we performed better as a team defensively in
the second half. Unfortunately, we would come close to securing a lead, but we were
unable to really get into a steady rhythm. Luckily, the team seems to be pretty
comfortable now with the crowds, so a lot of the focus is not so much on
keeping our heads in the game, but rather making sure that we can regain
control of the tempo, and know when to start picking things up and slowing
their northern California trip, Pepperdine will face the University of the
Pacific on Saturday (Jan. 25) at 7 p.m. The Waves have not played the Tigers in
the WCC since they left the conference in 1971. TheW.tv will televise the game
for free, and there will also be a free audio
broadcast via WaveCasts at PepperdineSports.com with Al Epstein on the call.
a Thursday night loss to Gonzaga, the Waves (12-8, 5-3) came back stronger than
ever with a 76-65 win over Portland (11-8, 3-4) on Saturday evening.
Waves got off to a slow start in the first 20 minutes of the game and trailed
the Pilots by four going into the second half. But the team's reserve players
scored 32 of the Waves' 76 points, and true freshman Lamond Murray Jr. played
an essential role for the team in the victory.
only was Murray the top-scoring Wave, but he also achieved career highs of 16
points and eight rebounds.
Murray in total points scored were Stacy Davis with 14, Malcolm Brooks with 13
and freshman Jeremy Major with 11. Sophomore Atif Russell went 2-for-3 for both
field goals and free throws and contributed six points. Senior Nikolas Skouen
drained an impressive three-pointer in the second half and went 2-for-3 on
field goal attempts, contributing a total of five points.
team really stepped up tonight," Murray said. "The coaches have been
encouraging me a lot lately, helping me focus on defense and rebounding, so I
really just went out there tonight and gave it my all. After our game against
Gonzaga, it was really important for us to come out aggressive and confident
and play smart. As the season progresses the team's chemistry is continuing to
improve, we just keep getting closer and closer. At end of the day, we all want
to achieve the same goal of finishing at the top, and as a team, we are all
willing to make the sacrifices necessary to get there."
will travel to the Bay Area for a Thursday (Jan. 23) matchup at Saint Mary's (14-5,
4-2) in Moraga, followed by a Saturday (Jan. 25) game at the University of the
Pacific (10-7, 1-5). Both games will begin at 7 p.m. and be televised by
TheW.tv. Additional audio-only commentary by Al Epstein will be available via
WaveCasts for both games.
than 3,000 fans gathered in Firestone Fieldhouse on Thursday evening to watch the
first-place showdown between Pepperdine and Gonzaga. The Waves (11-8, 4-3)
began the game with high energy and led the Bulldogs by five points early, but Gonzaga
(15-3, 5-1) had a change of pace later in the first half.
suffered a 70-53 defeat, and is now tied with San Francisco (11-8, 4-3) for
fourth place in the West Coast Conference.
field goal percentage was just over 32%, and the Waves went 15-for-24 from the
line with 16 turnovers. Sophomore forward Stacy Davis was the only Wave to
score in double-figures and he led the team with 12 points. Junior Malcolm
Brooks followed with eight points, while senior forward Brendan Lane fouled out
of the game late in the second half after having scored a total of seven
Jeremy Major said: "In the beginning we had a lot of energy and came out
strong. Gonzaga went on a 15-0 run, and made three three-pointers in a row, and
we just started playing catch up from there. As a team, we were never able to
get into our rhythm, and it was a bad day to not have a good game. Offensively
we struggled, we really weren't able to make shots, and defensively Gonzaga
really had us. The game is over now, and tomorrow is a new day with a new
beginning. We have suffered from this loss as a team, and it is important that
we all stick together, learn from our mistakes, and go into Saturday's game
against Portland with a clear mind and a positive attitude."
will host Portland (11-7, 3-3) on Saturday (Jan.18) at 5 p.m. The game will be
shown for free online with Al Epstein's commentary and will be available to watch
defeated the University of San Diego in their second matchup of the conference
season on Saturday night. The Waves earned their first regular-season sweep of
the Toreros since 2011, and the 69-65 road win improved the Waves to 11-7
overall and 4-2 in West Coast Conference play.
for the Waves were Brendan Lane, Stacy Davis, Jeremy Major, Lamond Murray Jr.
and Amadi Udenyi. After the absences of Lane, Malcolm Brooks and Nikolas Skouen
in Thursday's contest at BYU, all three players were able to return Saturday.
finished with a career-high 28 points and 10 rebounds for his fifth
double-double of the season, and was the game's top-scoring player. Davis went
8-for-15 for field goals and 11-for-11 from the
free throw line. Eleven straight points by Davis late in the second half
put the Waves just one point behind the Toreros with four minutes left in the
Davis: "Going into the game I really focused on wanting to play aggressively. I
wanted to try to make the defense collapse to enable us to secure good shots.
It was a really close game at times, and there was a certain point in the game
when I told myself that I was not going to let the team lose, and that we were
going to come out with the W."
In addition to Davis' 28 points, Major contributed an additional
12 points and five assists, Brooks had nine points and Lane had eight points
and five rebounds.
Waves are currently tied with San Francisco for second place in WCC play.
team is feeling good," Davis said. "The losses against San Francisco and BYU
have been good learning experiences for us as a whole and we look at those
defeats as motivation. We know what we need to do in order to be successful. We
have more players coming up from off the bench and getting playing time. As a
team our level of motivation has definitely increased and we are definitely
going to be fighting for first place."
Pepperdine will host Gonzaga (14-3, 4-1) on Thursday (Jan. 16)
at 7 p.m. and Portland (10-7, 2-3) on Saturday (Jan. 18) at 5 p.m. The Gonzaga
game will be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and there will be an
audio-only broadcast at PepperdineSports.com. The Portland game will be shown
online via WaveCasts at PepperdineSports.com.
commendable effort was put forth by the Waves on Thursday night, as they played
their second matchup of the West Coast Conference season against BYU in Provo. Unfortunately,
the team was unable to overcome the Cougars with a final score of 84-72.
to the contest, the team announced that senior forward Brendan Lane and junior
guard Malcolm Brooks would not suit up for the game due to injuries, and senior
Nikolas Skouen was also out due to illness. Lane and Brooks have been starters
for all of the previous 16 games this season, and have been the highest-scoring
players for the team in conference play.
absence of the three players in Thursday's game forced the Waves to rely more
heavily on sophomore Stacy Davis, and presented younger players like David
Jesperson and Jonathan Allen with more playing opportunities.
starting lineup for the Waves featured Stacy Davis, Jeremy Major, Malte Kramer,
Jett Raines and Lamond Murray Jr. Davis led the team with 17 points, followed
by Murray, who made his starting lineup debut with 14 points, and Major with 12
pressure immediately in the game, beginning with the jump ball," Murray said.
"The team knew that we really needed to step up and fill up holes on the court
since Brendan Lane was not there to block shots or rebound. Not having Brooks
or Brendan on the court made it easier for BYU to score, especially Haws."
contributing to the intimidation factor was the large amount of fans - 14,012 -
in the Marriott Center.
crowd definitely got to us a lot in the beginning of the game, because we aren't
really used to having such a large number of opposing fans knowing our names
and trying to distract us," Murray said.
to Major: "Not having Brendan's post presence, and his ability to get rebounds,
was definitely a challenge for the team. Malcolm's ability to create his own
shots, and be a consistent three-point shooter was also another component of
the game that definitely would have allowed us to perform more aggressively.
Jeff Van Dyke and David Jesperson had solid games, and having more playing time
than usual was an adjustment for them; but ultimately we played hard and fought
hard, but the win got away from us."
Waves will travel to San Diego for the last of a stretch of four
straight road games on Saturday (Jan. 11) at 6 p.m. There will be an audio-only
WaveCast with Al Epstein at www.pepperdinesports.com. The game will be shown on
FOX Sports San Diego and Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, and for out-of-market
viewers on TheW.tv.
Brendan Lane (knee), Malcolm
Brooks (ankle) and Nikolas Skouen (illness) are OUT for tonight's
Pepperdine men's basketball game at BYU.
Lane had his knee checked by doctors this
week after feeling pain following Saturday's game at San Francisco. Lane saw
limited practice on Wednesday, but participated in today's shootaround. Coaches
and athletic training staff have decided it is best to sit him out tonight as a
precaution against further injury to the knee.
Brooks suffered a sprained ankle late in
the first half of Saturday's game at San Francisco. He also saw limited
practice this week and in today's shootaround and it was decided that his ankle
had not healed enough to play tonight.
Lane and Brooks are the Waves' top two
scorers in West Coast Conference play. Over the past four games, Lane is
averaging 17.0 points (tied for fifth in the conference in WCC games) and
Brooks is averaging 15.8 (ninth). Both players were in the starting lineup for
all previous 16 games this season.
Skouen became sick earlier today and did
not attend the Waves' shootaround.
Pepperdine's active roster tonight will
include one senior, four sophomores and six freshmen.
It is hoped that Lane, Brooks and Skouen
will all be available for Saturday's game at San Diego.
Waves fell short to San Francisco on Saturday, ending their three-game winning
streak in West Coast Conference play. Pepperdine (10-6, 3-1) was strong in the
first half and led San Francisco 27-19 at halftime. The Waves excelled
defensively in the first half and only allowed the Dons to make three shots in
the team's first 18 attempts.
with less than a minute left in the first half, junior guard Malcolm Brooks
turned an ankle and did not return after halftime. Brooks scored eight points
on 4-for-4 for shooting and played a critical role for the team in the first 20
minutes of the game. Senior forward Brendan Lane led the team with 13 points,
Jeremy Major had 12 points and senior forward Malte Kramer had 9 points.
had 14 minutes of game play in Saturday's contest, and went 3-for-5 for
on the game, Kramer said: "We defended very well in the first half. In the
second half San Francisco turned it up a lot, and kept us out of our offensive
rhythm. Defensively we did not manage to keep them off the glass, which
ultimately made the difference. Malcolm's injury at the end of the first half
affected us. He's a great defender and can create off the dribble."
has two games remaining in its four-game road stretch, competing at BYU on
Thursday (Jan. 9) at 7 p.m. MT/6 p.m. PT, and San
Diego on Saturday (Jan. 11) at 6 p.m. Audio-only WaveCasts will be available
for both games on www.pepperdinesports.com with commentary by Al Epstein. Thursday's matchup will
be shown on BYUtv and the San Diego game will be available on FOX Sports San
Diego and TheW.tv.
two victories over San Diego and BYU last weekend, the Waves (10-5, 3-0)
continued their winning streak on Thursday night (Jan. 2) with a 70-61 victory
over Santa Clara. Pepperdine and Gonzaga are the only teams in the West Coast
Conference who are currently undefeated in league play.
Lane contributed an impressive 26 points and 17 rebounds against the Broncos,
tying his career high for points and setting a new career high in rebounds.
performance) felt good," Lane said. "Especially coming off of the BYU game, it
felt really good coming out with the win tonight. League play really has the
team confident and excited, and we realize that this is the meat of the season
that counts so everyone is really looking forward to it."
Major finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, junior guard
Malcolm Brooks scored 11 points and made three of four three-pointers, and Atif
Russell scored a season-high eight points.
the current WCC Player of the Week, described the victory: "It was
a great win for our team. The fact that we still remain undefeated is a great
accomplishment so far and we hope that we can continue being dominant as the
season continues. League play has really allowed our team's energy levels to
increase and has positively influenced the team's overall performance."
Saturday (Jan. 4), Pepperdine will play their second of four consecutive road
games, at San Francisco at 1 p.m. Time Warner Cable SportsNet will televise the
game locally, and an audio-only WaveCast with Al Epstein will be available at
Monday night win over Brigham Young, Pepperdine is now 2-0 in league play for the
first time since the 2009-10 season.
Junior transfer Malcolm Brooks was the
top-scoring player in Saturday's win over San Diego, and continued his streak
against BYU by contributing a career-high 24 points, and went 6-for-9 for
three-point field goals. Including
Brooks, five players scored in double-figures for the first time this season.
Freshman guard Jeremy Major had 13 points, sophomore forward Stacy Davis and
freshman guard Amadi Udenyi each had 12 points, and senior forward Brendan Lane
contributed an additional 11 points.
80-74 win over the Cougars is yet another testament of success for the team, whose
chemistry both on and off of the court, is at an all-time high.
went 4-for-6 for three-pointers and had five assists in his second game back
feels really good to be back," Udenyi said. "After being injured and having to
watch so many games, I was able to pick up on some of the little mistakes that
we made as a team. I made sure that I did whatever I could to help the team out
on the court and tried to contribute defensively as much as possible. I'm happy
with my game performance, and I contribute the success of my three-point
shooting to the practice I put in before the game with (graduate manager) Ricky
freshman guard, Jeremy Major, has been a very consistent player for the team
this season. Udenyi said: "Jeremy and I have great chemistry both on and off of
the court. He is one of my good friends and we're together every day, so our
ability to work well with one another comes very natural to us."
will play the next four games on the road, and will head north to the Bay Area
where they will face Santa Clara on Thursday (Jan. 2) at 7 p.m.
and at San Francisco on Saturday (Jan. 4) at 1 p.m. Thursday's matchup will be
televised on TheW.tv and Saturday's game against San Francisco will be
televised on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. Audio-only Wavecasts will be
available for both contests at www.pepperdinesports.com with commentary by Al
Waves hosted San Diego on Saturday night for the first game of the West Coast
Conference season. Pepperdine led 34-26 at halftime, but it was tied 58-58 with
less than eight minutes left in the game. The Waves did not allow the Toreros
to score for the final three-plus minutes of the game, and went on to win 75-64.
guard/forward Atif Russell made his first career start alongside Brendan Lane,
Malcolm Brooks, Stacy Davis and Jeremy Major. Brooks scored a game-high 20
points, followed by Lane with 18, Major with 13 and Stacy Davis with 11.
said afterward: "We wanted to protect our house and win the first game of the
conference. We came out with great energy, and the team did a great job
sticking together and we all fought for the win. We knew that San Diego would
double-team Stacy and Brendan so we made sure that we had good ball movement
and plenty of space for open shots."
regards to his own performance, Brooks said: "It felt good to knock down shots,
be aggressive and play good defense. In the coming games I'm really looking
forward to showing everyone what we are made of. Our team is really strong this
season and our talent and chemistry will play a huge role in our success this
will host Brigham Young on Monday (Dec. 30) at 7 p.m. Time Warner Cable SportsNet
will televise the game, and a live audio-only WaveCast will be available at www.pepperdinesports.com with
commentary by Al Epstein.
the West Coast Conference season opens Saturday (Dec. 28) with a matchup
against San Diego, junior guard Allen Stevens discusses his experience as a
Wave, his goals heading into the conference season and how he spent his
Q: You began as a
freshman student manager for the Waves in 2011 before making the team as a
walk-on last year. Overall, how has your experience been thus far?
My experience going from team manager to a player was definitely a change for
the better. Since joining the team I have learned a lot about basketball, as
well as myself. Being on the team has taught me important life lessons, such as
decision-making and time management, and has also allowed me to grow closer to
both my teammates and coaches. I used to see my role on the team as a job. Now
being a player, it is my privilege and obligation to be the best teammate
possible and I would not trade this experience for anything.
Q: How would you
describe the team's chemistry this season?
This year's team chemistry is by far the best I have experienced at Pepperdine.
There are no cliques at all and as a whole we all get along really well. The
mutual respect we all have for one another is not just on the court, but also
carries over when we are not playing. We all have each other's backs, and
genuinely want to see everyone succeed. As teammates, and as friends, we are
all very unselfish toward one another and that really contributes to our team
Q: What are you most
looking forward to about the West Coast Conference season?
I'm looking forward to the team's new start. The conference season is all about
learning from the non-conference games, determining our strengths and
weaknesses, and applying the lessons we learned that hopefully will allow us to
win more conference games. I am really excited not only to see how well we
perform, but also observe how we have grown as a team since the beginning of
Q: What are some of
the team's goals heading into tomorrow's game against San Diego?
Staying aggressive offensively and making sure that we can contain their guards
Q: What are some of
your personal goals for the season?
I just want to make the team as successful as possible, whether that's on the
court or off of the court. I always give everything my all, and I am willing to
do whatever it takes to better the team. I want to make myself as useful to the
team as possible.
Q: How did you spend
your Christmas holiday?
I went to my aunt's house in Corona for three days. Since my teammate Marley is
from Australia, he came and spent time with my family for both the Thanksgiving
and Christmas breaks. It brings my aunt a lot of joy having guests over so
Marley choosing to spend both holidays with my family was really exciting for
them. I enjoyed the quality time with my family and having the opportunity to
hang out with everyone before heading back to campus.
non-conference season has officially ended for the Waves, who defeated Houston
Baptist at home on Saturday. The Waves trailed the Huskies by three going into
the second half, but the team came together and stayed aggressive during the final
minutes of the game before defeating Houston Baptist 76-64.
forward Brendan Lane and sophomore forward Stacy Davis both had double-doubles as
each scored 21 points. Lane had 11 rebounds and Davis added 10.
describes the game as very competitive: "We were going back and forth most of
the game but luckily in the second half we were able to stay persistent and
pull out the win."
the season progresses, the team's on-court chemistry is proving to be
am really proud of the team today," Davis said. "We fought hard and stayed
aggressive. I feel like we are really clicking as a team right now and if we can
continue on this same path, and remain consistent, I am confident that we will
win a lot more games and have an impressive conference season."
a few days off for the holiday break, the Waves will kick off the West Coast
Conference season on Saturday (Dec. 28) hosting the University of San Diego at
5 p.m. followed by Brigham Young next Monday (Dec. 30) at 7 p.m. The San Diego
game will be available to watch via WaveCasts at www.pepperdinesports.com, and the
BYU matchup will be shown on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. Be sure to follow
@PeppBasketball and download the official Pepperdine Athletics app to stay updated
on all things Pepperdine basketball.
forward Brendan Lane has been a key player for the Waves this season, and with
the start of the West Coast Conference season rapidly approaching, Lane
discusses his role as a team leader and his contributions to the team thus far:
Q: After choosing to
redshirt last season, this is your first year on the floor with the Waves and your
final year of eligibility. How has it been for you so far?
A: It's been going
really well. I am happy with the team and our performance. Our team is really
young and it has been a little difficult at times, but we work well
collectively and have a great team chemistry that really contributes to our
Q: You're one of the
older players on the team and play an important role as a leader. How do you
feel about taking on the responsibility, and what do you do to keep the team
A: I am very
comfortable being a team leader and being a role model for the younger players.
Going into this year, Coach Wilson sat me down and talked to me about the role
I would be playing for the team this season and encouraged me to motivate my
teammates. This kind of team leadership role is not something I have ever had
on past teams, but it has not been difficult for me at all. We have some
younger players who can get discouraged, so I just make sure that I'm able to
bring them up and teach them how to focus on the team as a whole rather than
just them as an individual.
Q: You currently rank
first in the West Coast Conference averaging 2.4 blocks per game, and your
61.8% field goal average ranks fourth in the WCC and 21st nationally. Overall,
how do you feel about your performance thus far?
A: I feel like I've
played pretty well overall. I have had a few poor games that have been great
learning experiences for me. As far as improvement, I want to defend better
around the perimeter and exercise better judgment when it comes to choosing
when to block shots.
Q: What experiences
have been most valuable to you during the non-conference season?
A: I think the most
valuable experiences have been the road trips, especially Central Michigan,
Alaska, and even Irvine. When we perform well on the road and win games, the
team becomes more confident because winning is something we all know we are
Q: As the conference
season approaches, what are some of the goals the team hopes to achieve?
A: We definitely want
to finish in the top half of the conference. We have the ability, it's just
about being consistent and performing at our best at all times.
Q: What is your
favorite part about being a Wave?
A: My favorite part is
just the overall community. Pepperdine's small campus is great and I really
enjoy seeing so many friendly faces. I like that I can walk around and know so
many people on campus.
Saturday, Pepperdine will host Houston Baptist at 1 p.m. for the final game of
the non-conference season. The Waves (6-5) hope to end non-conference play with
a win, and use their previous game performances as motivation to go into the conference
season with the best possible outlook.
about the team, senior guard Nikolas Skouen said: "We are really good and
perform well when we are all on the same page. I think when we played Denver
during the Alaska Shootout Tournament, we communicated the best both
defensively and offensively, which allowed us to stick together and come out
who recently became the 14th Wave ever to sink 100 three-pointers in a career, hopes
to continue promoting effective communication and trust on the court as the
team prepares for Saturday's matchup.
said: "I'm grateful for the coaches for believing in me and allowing me to have
so much playing time, especially last season. Their confidence in me,
especially during crunch time, inspired me to continue performing well, and I
hope that I can make an even bigger impact on the team during this conference
year's squad has a great chemistry, and we have all of the tools needed for
success. As long as we keep learning from our mistakes and being aggressive we
have the ability to make our final game of the non-conference season a winning
doubleheader will begin with the men's basketball game at 1 p.m., followed by the
women's basketball game against Northern Arizona at 3:30 p.m. Bring an
unwrapped toy for the Pepperdine toy drive and admission is free for both
a week-long break for finals, Washington State hosted the Waves on Sunday night
for a non-conference matchup. The Waves struggled in the first half as sophomore
Stacy Davis picked up two early fouls and the team committed 12 turnovers. At
the end of the period the Cougars led the Waves 41-26.
improved in the second half and managed to get the deficit down to seven
points, but ultimately fell short to the Cougars, 78-61. Freshman Jeremy Major was the Waves' highest-scoring
player of the game, contributing 17 points, 15 of which were made in the second
the first half Washington State had a great offensive energy. Their pressure
made us pretty timid, and they had a really strong post presence," Major said.
"In the second half we came out a lot more aggressive, and were able to keep
our turnovers down. In the first half we had 12 turnovers that allowed the
Cougars to score 13 points. Overall, we just have to keep improving on our
rebounds, defense and offensive execution."
a freshman, Major is playing a very important role in the team's success this
season, and hopes to continue improving and learning how to be a more effective
communicator on the court.
Major: "I don't see the pressure of being a leader as a burden, I enjoy it. I
take on the challenge and always look to my teammates and coaches for support
and encouragement. In the first half I wasn't being vocal enough, and my
teammates told me I needed to pick it up. I came back in the second half with a
lot more energy and really made sure that I was being as vocal as possible.
Reviewing film with Coach Wilson and Coach Moore has really helped me pinpoint
what my weaknesses are, and in what areas specifically I need to improve."
Waves will play their final non-conference game on Saturday (Dec. 21).
Pepperdine will host Houston Baptist at 1 p.m. and a live stream of the game
will be available via Wavecasts at www.pepperdinesports.com. Be sure to follow
@PeppBasketball on Twitter for live game updates and more information about the
a long week of final examinations, the fall semester at Pepperdine has
officially come to an end. After successfully completing their first full semester
of college, freshman men's basketball players Jonathan Allen, Lamond Murray Jr.,
Jeff Van Dyke, and David Jesperson reflect on their first semester away from
home and share how they have learned to balance school and basketball.
What has been the
hardest part about transitioning from high school to college?
Jonathan: In terms of
basketball, the speed of the game is completely different than high school.
Everything is so much faster and more physical, so I had to both mentally and
physically adjust to those changes in the game. The most difficult part
academically has been learning how to effectively manage my time. In college
the classes are harder and more demanding, and the same goes for basketball
practice, so finding the balance and motivating myself to study and stay on top
of everything was a challenge.
Lamond: In general, just
school. In high school, not going to class was never an option. Now being away
at college where the classes are larger and the teachers don't take attendance,
I have to be a self-motivator and make sure that I'm attending all my classes,
and not choosing to sleep in. Basketball is also a lot different because in
high school it's more serious and physically demanding.
Jeff: The hardest part
has been keeping up with studying. High school was completely different because
there were homework assignments and other projects that would factor into your
final grade. College, on the other hand, is a lot different because in some
cases your exam grades can make or break your final grade. I also had to get
used to new food and not having home-cooked meals all the time. So far it's been
a great growing experience. I'm a lot more independent, but there are
definitely times when I miss my mom.
David: It's been different
having to do everything on my own and not having my parents here to tell me
what to do and when to do it. I have to plan things out for myself and make
sure that I am on top of all of my classes and studying. Managing my time and
being conscious of exam dates is really important in college, and the amount of
time I have to study in college versus the amount of time I had to study in
high school is completely different. Exams are the most important part of your
grades in college.
How would you describe
your first semester away from home?
Jonathan: It was definitely
tough at times. Being from Tennessee, I don't have the opportunity to go home
very often and see my friends and family. There were a few times where I got
really homesick, but this semester has been a great growth period for me and
I've been able to make a lot of new friends, and have become really close with
Lamond: I'm from Los
Angeles so being away from home was actually pretty refreshing. I was able to
see what it was like to be my own man, and not have to live under my mom's
rules, and be forced to go to bed at a certain time or anything like that. I
feel like I'm a lot more independent and I really like the fact that I am able
to grow and make decisions for myself.
Jeff: At first I
struggled, but the more time I spent away from home the easier it was to cope
with the fact that I was away. It feels really good to be done with my first
semester. I feel like I accomplished and learned a lot.
David: It was a big change,
but definitely a little easier than I thought. I felt like I was so busy with
basketball and school that I really didn't have time to be homesick. I enjoyed
my first semester and I thought it was a lot of fun to be in a new place and
meet new people.
What was your
favorite class this semester?
Jonathan: My favorite class
was political science. I enjoyed it because I really liked my professor and he
made going to the class fun. I also had my teammate Marley and a few other
friends in the class with me as well, so it was nice being surrounded by people
that I'm close with.
Lamond: I liked my humanities
class. The class was pretty hard, but the teacher made history a little more
fun and interesting. We got to learn a lot about ancient Greece and Rome.
Specifically, I enjoyed learning about the Acropolis in Athens. My teacher
showed us a lot of pictures of it and the class learned how influential the
architecture was to later generations.
Jeff: I took a sports broadcasting
course that was really interesting. I got to work behind the scenes and learn
all about how TV production works. I also learned more about sports and how to
deliver sports news, which was really cool as well.
David: I really enjoyed my
political science class. I liked learning about our country and the how the
government works. It was interesting to learn about the history of America and
how past events shaped the country into what it is today.
How did you feel
about your final exams?
Jonathan: My exams were not
as hard as I thought they would be. For a few of my classes I had to do some
major presentations, so that that was a little more manageable than having to
physically take an exam, although I did still have to study a lot and stay
Lamond: They were pretty
hard. Finals in college are a lot different than tests in high school because
professors don't assign a lot of outside projects, so in some classes the grade
you receive on an exam determines your overall grade in the class. So there's a
new level of pressure to perform well on exams.
Jeff: Surprisingly, I
think I did pretty well. I studied really hard and I definitely passed all of
my classes, which was a little bit of a struggle but I made it through. College
is on a completely different level than high school. The amount of time I spent
in high school studying for tests doesn't even come close to the amount of time
I have to devote to studying in college.
David: Personally, I don't
understand why so many people stress about finals. At least in my case, all of
my final exams were just additional tests, so they weren't weighed any
different or cumulative. I already knew how to study for all of my finals
because they were just like the other exams I had been taking all semester. I
was pretty lucky, and I'm confident that I did well, so hopefully next semester
the same thing happens again.
What are you most
looking forward to about next semester?
Jonathan: Next semester I'm
looking forward to not having to take a math class. My math class that I took
this semester was pretty difficult and it definitely wasn't my favorite. So
it's a relief knowing that I can start fresh next semester with new some new
Lamond: I'm going to be taking
a dance class and an acting class so that should be a really interesting
experience for me. I don't really know what to expect for either one of those
classes. I'll also be taking economics and I think that will be pretty
interesting and hopefully I learn a lot.
Jeff: Next semester I am
going to satisfy my fine arts general education requirement, so I'm going to be
taking ballet and acting. Those should definitely be exciting classes, and I'm
looking forward to the fact that the classes won't require a lot of homework or
studying. I am also looking forward to conference play and being able to
compete against some big teams.
David: I am most looking
forward to conference play starting. I'm really excited to travel and be in a
new kind of basketball atmosphere. I'm anxious to play in front of the larger
crowds and play in televised games. I'm especially looking forward to the BYU
and Gonzaga games, and I think once conference play starts the season is going
to get even more exciting.
Waves will travel to Washington State for a Sunday matchup where the team hopes
to come out victorious for the third straight year over a Pac-12 school. The
game will be televised by the Pac-12 Network at 5 p.m. and an audio-only WaveCast
with Al Epstein will be available to stream at www.pepperdinesports.com. Follow
@PeppBasketball on Twitter for more information about the team, and for live
an impressive win over UC Irvine on Saturday, the Waves are taking a week off
for final exams before traveling north for a Sunday matchup at Washington
Waves are currently 3-0 in road games, which hasn't happened since the 1988-89
season. The freshmen and transfer additions to the squad have made a
stimulating impact on the team, whose starting lineup has been consistent for
the past four games. Seniors Brendan Lane and Malte Kramer, junior college transfer
Malcolm Brooks, sophomore Stacy Davis and freshman guard Jeremy Major have been
successful thus far leading the team in the opening minutes of the game and
further utilizing the team's growing dynamic.
starting lineup is not about bringing in the five best players," head coach
Marty Wilson explained. "It's more focused on which players will help us get
off to a good start, and also provide a solid combination of offense versus
defense. Ultimately for the players, it's not about who's starting, but rather
which players we rely on in crunch time, and trust to get the job done."
Waves welcomed Jett Raines back to the court after recovering from a hand
injury earlier in the season. Raines played briefly last week against Cal State
Fullerton, but his defensive performance against UC Irvine, as well as his
aggression and energy on the court, are important factors for the team.
initial game was difficult because he got winded after a short period of time,"
Wilson says. "Facing Irvine, he was able to play for longer periods of time,
and brought great athleticism and energy to the game that the other players
were able to feed off of. I wish we would have been able to have him in the
games from day one, but we're glad he is back and healthy and ready to play."
Pac-12 Network will televise the game against Washington State on Sunday (December
15) at 5 p.m. A live audio-only broadcast will also be available via WaveCasts
at www.pepperdinesports.com with
commentary by Al Epstein.
On Saturday night the Waves faced their second Big West
Conference team of the week, taking on UC Irvine at the Bren Events Center.
After a tough loss against Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday, the team rallied
and came out with a 75-69 win over UC Irvine.
It was a slow first half for the Waves, who trailed by 10 going
into the second period. However, game-changing plays and high levels of
aggressiveness in the second half allowed the team to secure the win in the
final minutes of the game.
Freshman guard Jeremy Major scored 18 points in the game, 14 of
which were made in the second half.
"In the first period we a lot of trouble defending," Major said.
"After talking with the coaches in the locker room at halftime, the team came
together as a unit, and we all just realized we needed to get everything
together, be aggressive, and focus on defense."
Another key player in Saturday night's game was junior college transfer
Malcolm Brooks, who scored 13 of his career-high 16 points in the second half.
"I wanted to make sure I was bringing energy to the game,"
Brooks explained. "Defensively we were not playing to our full ability in the
first half, but there was a change of energy in the second half that allowed us
all to have a better team effort, and be motivated to pull through with a win."
The Waves will have a weeklong break for final exams, but will
be back December 15 when they will visit Washington State at 5 p.m. The Pac-12
Network will televise the game, and the live audio-only WaveCast will be
available to stream on www.pepperdinesports.com, with commentary by Al Epstein. Remember to follow
@PeppBasketball on Twitter to stay up to date on all men's basketball news and
to continue their successful shooting run, the Waves suffered a Wednesday night
loss against Cal State Fullerton with a final score of 78-64. This was the
team's first game since the Great Alaska Shootout, and unfortunately the Waves'
consistent shooting performance did not continue against the Titans. Redshirt
senior, and Great Alaska Shootout all-tournament member, Brendan Lane was the
team's top scorer of the game with an impressive 24 points on 10-for-17
shooting. However, the rest of the team shot a combined 14-for-43.
point guard Jeremy Major has consistently been a starter for the team this
season and uses a team loss as a learning experience.
postgame thoughts: "It's tough when we lose to teams that we are beating at
halftime due to our lack of defensive focus in the second half. As a team, we
need to work on being more aggressive defensively, and be more focused on
guarding the ball. When we aren't handling the ball properly, the opposing
teams gain confidence when we allow them to score baskets too easily. That was
definitely the case for the team last night against Fullerton, and after that
game we all realize what we need to work on collectively as a team going into
Waves will face another Big West Conference school on Saturday. Pepperdine
faces the UC Irvine Anteaters at 7 p.m. There will be an audio-only broadcast
of the game streaming from Irvine via WaveCasts at www.pepperdinesports.com with Al
Waves have returned from the Great Alaska Shootout and are back in Malibu ready
to prepare for this week's matchups against two Big West Conference schools.
The Shootout was a great experience for the Waves, who set a tournament record with
their 60.0% field goal percentage. Pepperdine men's basketball is now ranked
sixth in the nation with its overall team field goal percentage of 52.5%. Redshirt senior Brendan Lane was named to the Great Alaska Shootout all-tournament
team after having averaged 17.0 points and 8.0 rebounds.
team played well for the most part, especially offensively," head coach Marty Wilson said.
"Our key players performed very well. Brendan Lane made the all-tournament
team, and was extremely consistent throughout the tournament. Stacy Davis
played very well the second game against Denver and was the 'Player of the
Game.' Jeremy Major is also continuing to be consistent and is growing as a player as
the season continues."
week the team is going to focus on taking better care of the ball and on defensive rebounding. After a limited amount of practice time in
Alaska, the team is looking forward to reviewing more video from the tournament
and utilizing practice to perfect as many skills as possible.
team is still awaiting the clearance of Jett Raines, who suffered a hand injury during
practice earlier in the season. When Raines is able to get back on the court, the team will be
able to take advantage of Jett's size and overall ability, as well as the emergence of freshman David Jesperson, to allow starters Davis and Lane to have more rest, enabling them to
play harder for longer periods of time.
Waves take on Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Firestone
Fieldhouse, and will travel to UC Irvine on Saturday for another 7 p.m.
matchup. Live WaveCasts will be available at pepperdinesports.com for both
games; a video stream will be available for Wednesday's game and audio only at
Irvine with Al Epstein.
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.
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.
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."
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."
the Waves faced three talented teams on the court, the trip to Alaska was also
an incredible bonding experience for the team.
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
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).
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.
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.
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."
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."
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."
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.
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
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?
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?
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?
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?
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
Q: What are you most
looking forward to as you head into the final two games of the Shootout?
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.
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).
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."
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."
Waves do, however, have a plan of action to be as well prepared as possible.
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
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.
When did you begin working with the men's basketball team?
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.
Prior to summer conditioning, what were some of the goals you wanted to set for
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.
What was your plan of action for summer training?
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.
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.
Have you seen improvement in the team since you began working with them?
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
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
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.
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."
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."
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
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."
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.
continues to emphasize that the team's chemistry this season is really great,
and he's continuing to see improvement every day.
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,"
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.
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.
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?
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?
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
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
season's team is close-knit and relies on one another's energy and attitude to
stay positive throughout the games.
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."
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."
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."
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
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".
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.
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
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.
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.
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".
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".
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.