forward Jett Raines made huge improvements last season that earned him All-WCC
honorable mention honors. Most Pepperdine students know him as the basketball
player who can make some pretty amazing dunks -- but a little more than a week
ago at the Coffeehouse he showed off one of his other talents. Raines sang and
played the guitar to three songs. Two were covers -- "Back to You" by John
Mayer and "Too Much Distance" by Josh Hendrick - and one of them was his own
original song called "Don't Lie to Me." He took a moment to talk about his
musical background and the importance it still has in his life despite his busy
Q: Last Friday you
performed at the Coffeehouse. How did this come about?
A: I asked a friend how
to go about playing in one because I knew he had played at a Coffeehouse
Q: One of the songs you
performed was an original. How often do you write your own music?
A: It's sporadic since my
schedule is pretty busy. It's not like I'm trying to put anything out so I
don't have a set way -- things just come randomly to me sometimes.
Q: What kind of
reaction did you get from your friends and fellow students after last Friday?
A: I think there were a
number of people that were kind of mad that I didn't tell them about it. I
mean, I told a few people but it wasn't like I made an announcement about
Q: Are your friends
aware that you play the guitar and can sing?
A: Yeah, most of them do.
Q: How long have you
been playing the guitar for?
A: Since I was 11 or 12.
I had lessons really early on in like fifth or sixth grade, and from there I've
Q: In high school were
you involved in a band or any musical activities?
A: I played drums in a
band in high school. We have stuff on iTunes but it's not very recent, probably
from 2010 and 2012. We played mainly back when I was a sophomore in high
school. The band is called Seastroke -- like the ocean and stroke from
Q: How many times would
you say you've performed in front of an audience?
A: Probably around 15-20
times. It's been about four years since I've done something in front of people,
but back in high school I was performing semi-frequently when it was something
I put a lot of time into.
Q: As a computer
science major and college athlete, how does music fit into your life?
A: It's something that I
took really seriously, and I still do. Music is one of my biggest passions in
life. It became more so of a hobby toward the latter days of high school when I
was getting serious about basketball. It's not that it dropped off; I just
understood that I would keep it as a little hobby.
Q: After your
experience last week, would you want to do another Coffeehouse?
A: Yeah, for sure, I love
doing it. It was a lot of fun so I might try it again.
year, the Pepperdine men's basketball team achieved its most successful season
in more than a decade with its most overall wins since 2002 and its best WCC
finish (fourth) since 2005. Stacy Davis, a two-time all-conference selection
for the Waves, played a huge part in last season's outcome. Davis is entering
his senior year and is on pace to become the all-time leading scorer for the
Waves. He commented on the team's summer training and expectations for the
Q: How has offseason training been going and
what is the team focusing on?
A: It has been going pretty well. We are focusing
more on the offensive side of things -- knocking down shots and creating shots
for other people. We are still going to be a great defensive team, but I think
one of the things we lacked last year was offensive firepower. So one thing the
coaches have been harping on is our ability to score, and we've been working on
Q: Coming off of the team's most successful
season in more than a decade, what is the mentality like going into this
A: Speaking for myself and a lot of the guys, we
want to make the NCAA Tournament and win the WCC. I think we have the team and
the pieces to do that and contend with the three big teams: Gonzaga, BYU and
Saint Mary's. We are right there with those teams knocking at the door. NCAA or
bust is the mentality we need to have because if we don't get it, I'll feel
like we fell short of something we could have accomplished.
Q: As a team leader who has made such an impact
with your time here, how does it feel entering your final season?
A: I feel like the roles have reversed. I
remember so vividly coming in my freshman year playing with some of the guys
and thinking, these guys are old, they've been around the block. And now I'm
that guy, which feels kind of weird. But I feel ready to take that next step
and transition from the sheltered college atmosphere to the real world.
Q: With all five starters returning and having
had zero seniors last season, but adding a few new players, how would you
describe the team dynamic?
A: We've added Kameron Edwards, Jamani Spencer,
and Hakeem Anchrum -- and they all fit in right away. They are high-character
guys and we all get along. The dynamic of the team has gotten stronger. We have
cultivated such a strong, family-oriented, team-first mentality that all of our
guys fit into. They make that mold of what you'd like a Pepperdine basketball
player to be.
Q: What can fans expect this season?
A: Fans can expect more scoring, more efficient
play and more wins. Every year that I've played, I have always said I want to
win more games than I did the previous year. And I have done so every year that
I've been here. This year is not going to be any different.
basketball team (16-12, 9-8) made a valiant effort against San Francisco last
week by cutting a deficit of as many as 15 points down to just two. Even though
the Waves couldn't come out on top in that game, they did secure their first
winning season since 2005 when they beat Santa Clara in their previous matchup.
Once again, junior Stacy Davis showed his leadership abilities as he spurred
the comeback against San Francisco with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Davis expressed
his satisfaction with how far the team has come and gave a look into what they
are working on as they face LMU this Saturday before heading to the WCC
Q: The team has experienced several injuries/illnesses
this season, including major ones that have taken out A.J. John and Amadi
Udenyi. How has this impacted the team?
A: It has definitely impacted us a lot. We lost
two key pieces to the team and our coach has employed the mentality of next man
up. You have to step up and have confidence in what you're doing, but more so
you have to earn the respect and trust of your teammates by showing that when
you are put in these situations, you're going to perform.
been tough, but things happen for a reason and it will only make us stronger.
That's the good thing about not having any seniors; we get everyone back next
year. So, we've just got to focus on the present and deal with what we have
Q: In the last game against San Francisco you
helped your team make a huge comeback with 23 points and 12 rebounds -- how do
you maintain this aggression on both sides of the court?
A: I think it's just my mindset. I had a talk
this weekend with former Pepperdine alum Doug Christie. He was telling me that as
a leader on this team, my mindset shouldn't be focused on offense because
that's going to come. Every game you should come out with the mindset that no
one is going to score on me.
I feel like
I definitely have to do that now because we're coming down to crunch time.
After this next game, you lose one game and you're out. Every possession
counts, every time someone scores a bucket it counts. You can lose a game by one
and have had three turnovers -- and that could have been the change of the game.
So the big thing for me is taking pride in every possession and keeping a
strong mentality on defense.
Q: Which aspect of the game needed to change in
order to pull off a victory?
A: Our turnovers. In the second half we didn't
have too many turnovers, but the first half I believe we had 10 -- and that's a
number you want to have at the game's end. By having that high of a number at
the first half you are not going to be successful. I'm pretty sure they scored
off of each turnover, so then you have to have the mindset of making a
miraculous comeback whereas it should be "let's finish them off."
not be in last, then come back to try and win but come up short. We waste so
much energy. Lately it's been our first-half play. We need to have a complete
game, and once we play well for both halves we'll be there with a lot of teams.
It's almost March so we need to capitalize on every opportunity we get.
Q: Are you happy with how the team has
evolved since your freshman year?
A: I am very happy. We are like a family, and it
wasn't so much like that my freshman year. My freshmen year we won 12 games,
last year 15 and this year 16, hopefully more. We gave Pepperdine its first
winning season in almost 10 years.
when I came here was to be a part of the change and reviving the program by
getting back into the top three or four in the conference. To see it come full circle
is really gratifying and I wouldn't rather do it with any other group of guys.
I love every single person on my team and it's a great feeling knowing I'm
getting everyone back next year.
Q: Moving forward to your game against LMU
and postseason play, what are some of your personal goals and team goals?
A: One goal is to win at least one game in Vegas
and potentially make it to the championship. Winning the conference
championship isn't something Pepperdine has done in a long time -- but the most
important thing is taking it one game at a time and even one half at a time.
an exciting comeback against BYU last Thursday, the Waves (15-9, 8-5) couldn't
do the same in their game with San Diego on Saturday, leaving them tied for
third place in the WCC with the Cougars. Before heading to Portland this week,
head coach Marty Wilson discussed the team's preparation and future goals.
Q: The Waves are one victory away from their
first winning season since 2005. What does this say about how far they've come
in the last few years?
A: It says a lot. We are trying to turn the
program around and change the culture. It's a good sign that we are headed in
the right direction, but we are not going to be satisfied with just one more
win. That is something we talk about all the time -- we have bigger goals than a
winning season -- like the possibility of postseason play.
means a lot, though. It means that we are doing the right things, our coaches
are recruiting, our players are buying in and they are committed to helping us
Q: The team has had some big games against
top competitors like BYU, Saint Mary's and Gonzaga. How can they play with this
much intensity in all of their matches?
A: That's where the sports psychologist in me
has to come out. We talked about that in practice. Obviously we had a
disappointing loss to San Diego. One of things that I have to do as head coach
is hold them to a standard. And not just in preparation for BYU, Gonzaga and
Saint Mary's -- but after the BYU game to have the same mindset in the next day of
though we aren't going to practice as long the day after, we still need to be challenging,
motivating and pushing them and making sure their mindsets are equal to mine.
That's my fault for not holding them to that standard, and we'll make sure they
do that from here on out.
Q: Several of the players have stepped up
their level of play in the last few games to take some of the heat off of Stacy
Davis and Jett Raines. Which players have surprised you and how are their roles
A: I wouldn't say I'm surprised -- but Lamond
Murray has stepped up. He can score in bunches. In the BYU game he scored eight
straight points for us. That's what he does, he's a scorer first. We are trying
to get him to understand the importance of defense; he's a very good rebounder
as well. Lamond is the one who has consistently improved to help us and do a
little bit more, and we need him to. We've got some guys out with injuries and
Jeremy Major to get back to where he was. He had a great practice today. We need
all of those guys to take the pressure off of Stacy and Jett.
Q: You already touched on mindset, but are
there any other changes you are working on as you head to Portland?
A: The other thing is our execution.
Offensively we spent a lot of time breaking down things. Our tempo has to be
faster, there has to be more urgency to set screens, read screens and come off
of ball screens. That's the main thing -- we just have to be more efficient
men's basketball team earned its fifth league road win -- the most since 2002 --
against Saint Mary's on Saturday. After several lead changes in the second
half, the Waves came out with a 67-62 win in an exciting finish.
forward Lamond Murray Jr. was one of the leading scorers, along with Jett
Raines and Amadi Udenyi, each of whom contributed 11 points. Murray also made
eight rebounds to tie his career high.
win shows that we can contend with the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in our
conference," Murray said. "It gives us a lot of confidence going into the rest
of our league games."
Murray's baskets came from an offensive rebound in the last few minutes of the
game. Pepperdine outrebounded Saint Mary's 31-27.
is crucial in high-intensity situations," he said. "You don't want to give the
opposing team any extra shots and you definitely want to give yourself as many
chances to get a bucket as possible."
though this was a big victory, Murray says the team is never satisfied. The
players are currently preparing for their game against BYU at home this
always stay focused and ready for our next opponent," he said. "We can't take
any wins for granted -- we need to be ready because we have bigger dreams ahead
men's basketball team fell on the road to San Francisco and Santa Clara this
past weekend, placing the Waves in a three-way tie for third place in the WCC.
Junior forward Stacy Davis has remained a consistent go-to player throughout
this season and was the high scorer in the last two games. He believes that
with some added aggression, the team can pull out a win against Pacific this
Q: Last Saturday the team made a good attempt
at a comeback against Santa Clara, but didn't quite get there. What can the
team do to come out stronger from the start?
A: I think as a team we can be stronger by throwing
the first punch. We can't wait on the other team to throw the first punch and
be down 10 points before we decide to really play. If we come out with the same
intensity and aggressiveness that we had in the second half we can accomplish a
week we play two tough opponents in Pacific and Saint Mary's, but I think we
had a really good day of practice. We just need to build on our losses and not
make the same mistakes.
Q: You led your team in points with 23
against San Francisco and 21 against Santa Clara. How are you able to maintain
this consistency with scoring, even on cold-shooting nights?
A: Being one of the leaders on the team, I feel
like it's my job to be as consistent as possible. Even when I'm having an off
night I have to help out in other ways. If I'm not scoring, I need to
contribute with my rebounding or my assists.
not all about scoring -- but if we are down and the team is looking for someone
to go to -- as a leader it has to be me and I have to be consistent in my work
ethic and my preparation to make baskets and get to the free throw line.
Q: Do you get this motivation for consistency
from the team's dependence on you?
A: I try not to look at it as my team depending
on me; I think we all work as one and we are a big family. At times, your
family is going to need you to do things to support them. Whatever role you
have -- whether you're the big brother, dad, or mom -- sometimes your family is
looking at you to help them in some kind of way. I feel like my way of
supporting the team is by grabbing rebounds, assisting my teammates and making
shots. But in the grand scheme of things it's all about being efficient and
Q: How does it feel to be on the path of
becoming Pepperdine's all-time leading scorer?
A: I definitely have a long way to go. I try not
to think about it that much, but obviously with social media there are constant
reminders. It will be a great accomplishment when it comes and I'll cross that
bridge when I get there, but I'm just focusing on this season right now. I live
by the motto that I can post as many points as I want, but if we don't get a W
it doesn't matter. At the end of the day, a win is more important than my
Q: The team is currently tied for third place
in the WCC. What changes can be made going forward for the team to move up?
A: Our aggressiveness. I think that at this
point in time we have the understanding that our destiny is in our hands. Being
tied for third, we are one game away from either solidifying third or being in
fifth place. We are competing with BYU and Santa Clara for that third-place slot
and if any of us slip up it could be right down to fifth. It's getting really
competitive and our coaches addressed it today. We need to attack first and be
Jett Raines led the men's basketball team on Thursday with a career-high 22
points against #3 Gonzaga in front of an electric crowd that packed Firestone
Fieldhouse to capacity. Despite losing 78-76 in a hard-fought battle, the team
was able to come back Saturday night and finish the job with a 67-63 win over
Portland. Raines commented on these games and how the crowd had a major impact
on the team's performance. The Waves head to San Francisco for their next game
Q: How did it feel to have such a huge crowd
come out to support the team Thursday night against Gonzaga?
A: It was great. It gave our team a lot of
confidence and gave me a lot of confidence -- knowing all of my classmates were
going to be there, I wanted to play well. Also, I think it messed with the
other team a little bit on some late-game free throws. It was a really fun
Q: Do you think the crowd's energy had an
impact on you scoring your career-high 22 points?
A: Definitely. When the bleachers are empty you
don't really have the same pep in your step when you are going to hit shots.
When I was getting open looks I felt confident because of the crowd.
Q: What motivated the team to fight back from
a 40-31 deficit in the second half to eventually come within one point of
A: They punished us a lot offensively in the
first half, but we kept going at them and we just had to take it play-by-play rather
than getting it all back at once. I think all of us wanted to score, but we
tried not to force anything and instead took good shots and felt good about it.
Q: What can be learned from playing top teams
like #3 Gonzaga?
A: If you score a lot of points or are doing
something that is working against the #3 team in the country, then when you
play other games you have no reason to be reluctant with things that you proved
against that top team. It provides a stepping stone of confidence to fall back
on. I can say: I played these guys who are #3 and did this, so I can bring that
Q: What factor changed towards the end of the
game against Portland on Saturday that allowed you to come out with a victory?
A: This team was physical. With them it is
always a tough game. Scoring was stagnant in the second half, but once we started
getting easy buckets and going to the foul line, I knew it was going to break
open and we'd have a little run. I was confident in that and it ended up
Q: Going into your next game at San Francisco,
what do you need to focus on as a team?
A: We need to be ready to get the ball moving a
little more. With Gonzaga it was a lot of Stacy and me taking their slower,
bigger guys one-on-one. We tried that a little against Portland but their whole
team was loading up on the post. So I think being ready to share the ball more
and getting the offense going from side to side is what we should focus on
because San Francisco is the same kind of team. They'll make you take tough
shots. The same fixes we made in this game are the ones we're going to have to
do in the next one.
his first start of the season, junior guard Atif
Russell scored a career-high
19 points as the Waves topped Cal State Northridge, 66-56, on Thursday night.
Russell made five of six three-pointers, including three during a span of three
minutes during the first half.
my team wasn't making that many shots in the beginning and I had to fill that
role," Russell said. "Stacy [Davis] wanted to pick it up in the beginning, so I
just had to fill that role for my team. Whatever we need to do to win, that's
what I'm here for."
forward Jett Raines also added 13 points and eight rebounds and Stacy Davis
gathered his first double-double of the season, posting 11 points and 13
Marty Wilson was especially pleased with the balanced scoring.
really liked our unselfishness," said Wilson in a postgame interview. "We're
creating for each other and we're finding the hot hand. Atif got hot tonight
and our guys found him."
the win against Cal State Northridge, the Waves improved to 4-1 on the season.
One more win will give the Waves their best six-game start since the 2004-05
Waves suit up Saturday (Dec. 6) against the Cal State Fullerton Titans.
the Waves prepare for their Friday season opener against Fresno State, head coach
Marty Wilson is confident his team is ready for battle.
team is looking good," Wilson said. "Stacy Davis is back from injury, so having
him back in practice and allowing the new guys to get comfortable on the floor
with him has been great. We're getting better every day."
Wilson has yet to solidify a starting lineup, he emphasized the importance of a
strong start to the season and maximum effort from all his players.
Wilson: "It's always important to start off strong because that builds
confidence, both on the floor and in the locker room, especially with a young
team. It's important that we play well, play smart and play together and gain
some confidence. We hope the veterans do what's expected of them, which will ease
the nerves of the new guys."
the Waves starting the season with their first three games in five days,
fatigue will certainly play a part in the team's opening stretch, but Wilson is
looking to take those challenges in stride.
hard to say right now what strategy I'll take regarding minutes," Wilson said. "It
depends on how we do. We will do a better job of preserving their bodies in
practice and focus on postgame stretching and icing."
of the most important things Wilson emphasized was fan support.
want people excited and coming to the games," Wilson stated. "If they show up
the guys will get excited and it will bring the most out of the players in
terms of energy and competitiveness. We need our students to try to build a
their Friday night game against Fresno State, the Waves host Cal Lutheran on
11/17 and travel to face San Jose State on 11/19.
With just about one week left of practice before the
Pepperdine men's basketball team plays its first game (Friday, Nov. 14, vs.
Fresno State in Firestone Fieldhouse), head coach Marty Wilson conducted this
Q&A about what the team looks like:
How has preseason training been going and what aspects of the game are you
A: Training has been good. Our main mindset is
picking up the pace and challenging our guys to run hard and push it faster
because we want to play at a faster pace. We have more talent and quickness
this season with our guards, Jeremy [Major] and Amadi [Udenyi], and also Shawn
[Olden] and Atif [Russell]. We want to play faster, but we have to take care of
Q: What are your goals for
A: Get better -- that's it -- get better and be
better than we were last year. I never say we are
going to win 'X' amount of games or lose 'X' amount because there are so many
unpredictable things that happen during the course of the season. I go into
every game thinking we win it until we lose it.
Q: How do you keep team
morale high in tough times?
A: You know, it depends on
what's going on during that particular time. I'm a pretty positive and
enthusiastic guy; I try and highlight good things the guys have done on the
court and I'm a big believer in positive and constructive criticism. I always
try to praise guys in front of the team.
Q: Has the team
A: Offensively it has. Our talent
level is a lot better this year and the guys from last year have more
experience. Our style of play will change. I want to emphasize pushing the ball
and playing at a faster pace. We want to wear teams out. Our players have to
make better reads but they will have more freedom within a structure. I think
it's a better way to play.
Defensively it's the same. We're going
to compete and be physical; individual and team pride is always important. I
always put an importance on defense in practice.
Q: How will you build on your
successes and improve on failures from last season?
A: I think what really helps is the young guys from
last year getting older and gaining experience.
Everyone understands what's expected of them; that helps build repetition,
which will ultimately help lead to successes. We are gradually working the
young guys in and seeing where they fit in and blend in. I think the scrimmages
help players and coaches decide what they expect as far as playing time, and
their role on the team, whether it be a scorer, role player, defender, or
Q: Who are you looking to be
your leaders on the floor and in the locker room?
A: Well, Stacy [Davis] of course. He's
always been the one to step up vocally in practice and during games. Another
person I look to, though, is Jett [Raines]. Jett's always been pretty quiet so I
always like to hear him speak up. When he talks everyone listens. Jeremy and
Amadi also have to lead out there. As the guards, they always need to have a
voice on the floor. That's really important.
Q: What can
fans expect from this season?
A: They can expect that our team will compete. That's a big
word for me. I think they can expect to have more fun watching the games, will
be more entertaining. I think it will make them want to come back.
weeks left of preseason basketball and practice, the men's basketball team is
actively preparing for the start of the 2014-15 season. The Waves do so,
however, with star forward Stacy Davis sidelined with a fractured hand.
injury occurred in a workout while defending another teammate.
was trying to steal the ball while playing defense, and as I swiped for the
ball one of my teammates came over and I jammed my hand into his body," Davis
is taking his injury in stride and does not expect to have any limitations once
returning to the court.
get the cast off in about a week and then start the rehab process to regain the
strength back in my hand, which will take about four weeks. I'll be good to go
once the season starts," Davis said.
having an injury, Davis remains an active voice in practice while improving his
shooting with his left hand and participating in conditioning drills to remain
in top shape.
his first two seasons with the Waves, Davis has averaged 11.2 and 15.1 points
per game, respectively, and has a total of 806 total career points. Davis, with
two more years like his sophomore season, would be on pace to break the
all-time Pepperdine scoring record of 1,701 points, held by Dane Suttle (1980-83).
the record would mean a lot to me," Davis said. "When I came to Pepperdine my
mindset was to leave the program better than I found it. Putting my name in the
history books would be great."
the Waves opening the season Nov. 14 at home against Fresno State, Davis has
high hopes for the 2014-15 campaign.
minimal expectation is to improve from last season; that's always the goal. We
always shoot to be top three in the league," Davis said. "We want to take the
basketball program to a different level and to one that hasn't been seen in a
while. That's what it's all about."
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 Lionsby 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.