Thursday's Pepperdine-Gonzaga Game is for First Place in the WCC
Jan. 14, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. -- First place in the West Coast Conference will be on the line on Thursday night when the Pepperdine men's basketball team hosts #24 Gonzaga. The Waves are tied for second place with San Francisco, a half-game back of the Bulldogs. After going 2-2 on the road the past two weekends, five of the Waves' next seven games are at home, including Saturday vs. Portland.
GAME #19 -- Thursday (January 16) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: Pepperdine (11-7, 4-2 WCC) vs. Gonzaga (14-3, 4-1 WCC) at 7 p.m.
GAME #20 -- Saturday (January 18) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: Pepperdine vs. Portland (10-7, 2-3 WCC, plays at LMU on Thursday) at 5 p.m.
WAVECASTS -- A live audio broadcast of the Gonzaga game, and a live video broadcast of the Portland game, will be free to all users at www.pepperdinesports.com. Veteran play-by-play man Al Epstein is behind the microphone (now in his 29th season, he has a streak going of 863 consecutive broadcasts).
TELEVISION -- The Gonzaga game will be shown locally on Time Warner Cable SportsNet as well as on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, ROOT Sports Northwest and ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain, and out-of-market viewers can watch the game online at TheW.tv. Ari Wolfe, Jarron Collins and Kelli Tennant are the announcers.
TICKETS -- For the majority of home games, men's basketball single-game tickets cost $17 (reserved), $14 (adult general admission) or $5 (child general admission). Premium games (BYU and Gonzaga) have different pricing plans -- $30 for a reserved seat and $20 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased through the Pepperdine ticket office (866-WAVE-TIX) or online via pepperdinesports.ticketforce.com.
PROMOTIONS -- There will be a food and t-shirt pregame giveaway for students at Thursday's Gonzaga game ... All fans will receive a Sport Chalet mystery gift card at Saturday's Portland game.
SOCIAL MEDIA -- On Twitter, get the latest news on the men's basketball program at @PeppBasketball and follow our coaches at @MartyWilson4, @CoachMarkAmaral, @Coach_BMoore and @jimpelman. You can also like the Pepperdine Men's Basketball and/or Pepperdine Athletics pages on Facebook, and both PepperdineHoops and PepperdineWaves on Instagram.
HOOPS EXTRA -- Pepperdine is providing more insider content to its fans this season via the Hoops Extra basketball blog, which can be accessed at www.pepperdinesports.com/hoopsextra.
MOBILE APP -- Pepperdine Athletics has launched a mobile app for iPad, iPhone and Android users. The app is free to download and features live scoring updates, news stories, on-demand video, photo galleries and much more. A subscription-based platform is also available to watch live video of home games. Go to your app store and search for "Pepperdine Athletics."
GONZAGA -- Pepperdine is 31-44 all-time against Gonzaga. The Waves won 26 of the first 31 in the series, but the Bulldogs have won 39 of the last 44, including 24 in a row. Pepperdine's last win in the series came at home on 1/18/2002 (88-79). Gonzaga has won 11 straight in Firestone Fieldhouse. In Malibu, both teams have won 17 times. The Bulldogs are ranked 24th in the USA Today coaches poll and are receiving votes in the AP poll.
PORTLAND -- Pepperdine is 56-32 all-time against Portland. The Waves swept the season series from the Pilots last year for the first time since 2004. Pepperdine has won four of the last five meetings, including three straight in Firestone Fieldhouse. The Waves are 27-12 in Firestone Fieldhouse against the Pilots.
LAST GAME -- Stacy Davis scored a career-high 28 points and the Waves rallied to win at San Diego, 69-65, on Saturday. USD took a 59-51 lead with less than seven minutes to play, but Davis scored the Waves' next 11 points, pulling Pepperdine within one point at 63-62 with four minutes left. Over the final five minutes, the Waves would only surrender two free throws. The Toreros had a 54.8%-43.8% shooting edge, but the Waves forced a season-high-tying 17 turnovers and had a 22-9 edge in points off turnovers.
WHEN HEALTHY -- Pepperdine has only played three complete games at full strength this season. It just so happens that it was the best three-game stretch of the season (wins that opened WCC play vs. San Diego, Brigham Young and Santa Clara). Pepperdine then led by 12 at San Francisco when Malcolm Brooks suffered a sprained ankle late in the first half. He did not return, and USF rallied in the second half for a victory ... Brooks did not play at BYU, and neither did Brendan Lane (knee) or Nikolas Skouen (illness) ... All three returned on Saturday at San Diego, though Lane missed about half the game while getting 10 stitches after being hit with a teammate's inadvertent elbow ... Jett Raines missed the first eight games of the season with a hand injury before returning on December 4 vs. Cal State Fullerton ... Amadi Udenyi returned on December 28 against San Diego after missing 10 games due to a knee injury suffered early in the UC Riverside game.
LANE -- Senior forward Brendan Lane could give the Waves two straight WCC Newcomers of the Year. The UCLA transfer is averaging 15.0 points (10th in the WCC), 8.2 rebounds (third in the WCC) and 2.4 blocks (first in the WCC) per game. Lane's 59.2% field-goal percentage ranks sixth in the WCC and 20th nationally. Lane only scored in double-figures once in his three years with the Bruins but did it in each of the first nine games this season and has done it a team-best 14 times overall. He has six double-doubles this year (and was twice one rebound away from having more). His 26-point, 17-rebound game at Santa Clara was the best stat line by a Wave since Glen McGowan went 31 and 22 in January 2005. It was the first 25-15 game as well as the most rebounds by any Wave since then. Lane's seven blocked shots in the season opener vs. San Diego Christian were the most by a Wave since Jarrad Henry set the school record with 11 on 2/5/2007. It tied the seventh-best single-game effort in Pepperdine history and set a school record for a player in his debut.
DAVIS -- Sophomore forward Stacy Davis only reached the 20-point mark once as a freshman, but he's done so seven times already this season en route to a team-high 15.5 scoring average (ninth in the WCC). He scored a career-high 28 points at San Diego. He also ranks fifth overall in the WCC with 7.9 rebounds per game. Davis is just the second Wave to score at least 20 points in each of the first four games of the season in the last 31 years. He's posted five double-doubles (and was twice one rebound away from more). In WCC games only, Davis is #1 in rebounding with 9.7 per game. He went 11-for-11 from the free throw line at USD, only the sixth known time a Wave has been perfect from the line with at least 11 attempts.
LANE AND DAVIS -- It was expected that Brendan Lane and Stacy Davis would give the Waves one of the best starting frontcourts in the WCC (if not the best), and the stats tilt in their favor thus far. Their combined averages of 30.5 points and 16.1 rebounds rank first and tied for first, respectively, in both categories among other conference big men. Against Houston Baptist, they became the first pair of Waves to post at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game in nearly 25 years. They have 11 double-doubles combined this season, more than any other league duo.
FRESHMAN POINT GUARDS -- The Waves have two very impressive freshman point guards this season. Jeremy Major, who should earn consideration for WCC All-Freshman honors, is averaging 11.7 points and he leads all freshmen and ranks sixth overall in the WCC with 4.5 assists per game. He set a Pepperdine true freshman record with 12 assists against Green Bay. In WCC play, he's scored either 11, 12 or 13 points in each of the six games. Major leads the WCC in three-point shooting both overall (.489) and in league play (.611) ... Amadi Udenyi was a co-starter with Major the first two games of the season, but then missed 10 games with a knee injury. He came back at the start of league play without missing a beat, and is averaging 5.8 points and 2.3 assists while playing strong defense.
BROOKS -- After a fairly uneventful non-conference season (7.7 ppg, only scoring once in double-figures), junior guard Malcolm Brooks exploded onto the scene with 20 and 24-point efforts in the first two league games against San Diego and BYU. After making 12 three-pointers in the first 12 games, the JC transfer is 14-for-23 in five WCC games and is averaging 14.4 points in league play. His six three-pointers vs. BYU were the most by a Wave since January 2010.
SKOUEN -- Senior guard Nikolas Skouen became the 14th Wave ever to make 100 career three-pointers earlier this season vs. Utah Valley. He now has 105 and needs 125 to break into the Pepperdine top 10.
2013-14 HONORS -- Stacy Davis, last season's WCC Newcomer of the Year, was named to the preseason All-WCC first team ... Davis was named WCC Player of the Week on November 18 after averaging 23.5 points in road wins against UC Riverside and Central Michigan (he was the Waves' first WCC POTW since December 2010) ... Brendan Lane made the Great Alaska Shootout all-tournament team after averaging 17.0 points and 8.0 rebounds over three games ... Lane was named to CollegeHoopsDaily.com's list of the top five WCC players in November (15.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg) as well as one of the league's top five players during the non-conference season (14.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg) ... Malcolm Brooks was named WCC Player of the Week on December 31 after averaging 22.0 points in the league-opening wins against San Diego and BYU ... Brooks and Davis have given the Waves two WCC Players of the Week in one season for the first time since 2009-10 ... It wasn't the official award, but Lane was named College Sports Madness' WCC Player of the Week on January 6 after averaging 19.5 points and 12.0 rebounds in games at Santa Clara and San Francisco.
WCC STATS (OVERALL) -- Brendan Lane is first in blocked shots (2.4), third in rebounding (8.2), sixth in field goal percentage (.592), 10th in scoring (15.0) ... Stacy Davis is fifth in rebounding (7.9), ninth in scoring (15.5) ... Jeremy Major is first in three-point percentage (.489), sixth in assists (4.5) ... Malcolm Brooks is fifth in three-point percentage (.456).
WCC STATS (WCC GAMES ONLY) -- Brendan Lane is first in blocked shots (2.6), tied for seventh in scoring (15.2), tied for seventh in rebounding (7.4), tied for eighth in field goal percentage (.528) ... Malcolm Brooks is first in field goal percentage (.634), tied for second in three-point percentage (.609), tied for third in three-pointers made (2.8), 10th in scoring (14.4) ... Stacy Davis is first in rebounding (9.7), tied for 14th in scoring (14.0) ... Jeremy Major is first in three-point percentage (.611), seventh in assists (4.2), 10th in steals (1.3), tied for 10th in three-pointers made (1.8), tied for 10th in minutes (33.2).
HALFWAY THERE -- The Waves have been just about as successful trailing at halftime (4-3) as they have when leading (6-4). Only twice this season (San Diego at home, Santa Clara away) have the Waves have outscored the opponent in both halves. Pepperdine's halftime splits have been 34.4 ppg and 46.3% shooting in the first half and 38.3 ppg and 48.3% shooting in the second half.
SCORING UP -- As is the case for much of the NCAA, Pepperdine's scoring (72.7 points per game) has increased this season. Last year, the Waves averaged 62.8 points overall. The last time the Waves averaged 70+ points for a season was 2007-08. Pepperdine is shooting 47.3%, on pace to be the Waves' best mark since 1993-94.
HOME SWEET HOME? -- In Firestone Fieldhouse, Pepperdine is shooting 45.8% from the field and 31.7% on three-pointers. In road/neutral-site games, those percentages are 48.3% and 42.6%, respectively.
DEBUTS -- Eight of the 14 Waves that have gotten into a game are in their debut season with Pepperdine. That includes the majority of the starters in 17 of 18 contests. The new guys (which includes Brendan Lane, a redshirt) have scored 59.2% of the Waves' points this season (774/1308).
TEAM WCC NOTES -- The Waves' 4-2 league record after six games is the team's best since 2004 ... Pepperdine improved to 2-0 and 3-0 in the WCC for the first time since 2010 ... The Waves won their WCC opener for the fifth time in the last six years ... The Waves swept the season series from San Diego for the first time since 2011 and beat the Toreros in the Jenny Craig Pavilion for just the second time in the last 11 visits ... Pepperdine came back to beat USD with strong finishes both times, holding the Toreros scoreless over the final three-plus minutes at home, and to only two free throws over the final five minutes on the road ... Pepperdine beat BYU for the first time since the Cougars joined the WCC (0-4 previously).
TEAM NON-CONFERENCE NOTES -- Pepperdine reached the 10-win mark the quickest since 2004-05 (also in 15 games) ... The Waves finished non-conference play with a winning record (7-5) for the third straight season ... Pepperdine was 4-1 after five games for the first time since 2004-05 ... The Waves began the season 3-0 for the first time since 1998-99 ... Pepperdine began the season 2-0 for the second time in three years (but also just the second time in the last 14 years) ... Pepperdine's 88 points at Central Michigan were the most scored by the Waves since January 2011 ... The 17-point win at Central Michigan was the largest in a road game for the Waves since December 2007 ... The Waves had two consecutive road wins for the first time since November 2007, and three straight for the first time since February 2004 ... Pepperdine started with a 3-0 road record for the first time since 1988-89 ... Pepperdine's 71.4% shooting percentage against Denver set a Great Alaska Shootout record and was the second-best mark in program history. It was also the first time the Waves surpassed 60% in almost a decade (February 2004) ... The Waves also set a Great Alaska Shootout record with a combined 60.0% mark over three games ... The Waves have had two three-game winning streaks in one season for the first time since 2004-05.
ROSTER NUMBERS -- At the start of the season, fans might have recognized half of the Waves' team, but the other half was brand new. Pepperdine returned eight players (seven letterwinners plus redshirt Brendan Lane) while bringing in eight newcomers (one JC transfer and seven freshmen). The returners accounted for 49% of last season's points and rebounds. Nikolas Skouen is the only player that entered 2013-14 having already competed in multiple seasons at Pepperdine. The roster breakdown is three seniors, two juniors, four sophomores and seven freshmen. All 13 scholarships are being utilized and there are three walk-ons.
WILSON -- This is Marty Wilson's third year as head coach at Pepperdine and his 17th season in Malibu. He has compiled an impressive record here beginning as a student-athlete (1985-89), continuing as an assistant coach (1991-96, which included a brief stint as the interim head coach) and then returning as the associate head coach for three seasons (2009-11) under Tom Asbury. He was then elevated to the position of head coach following Asbury's retirement after the 2010-11 season. Wilson was also an assistant at San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and Utah inbetween stints at Pepperdine and has been a Division I coach for 23 seasons. He ended his playing career #5 all-time in assists at Pepperdine with 342 (he's still #9). The team went to the NCAA Tournament twice and the NIT twice in Wilson's four seasons on the court. As a Pepperdine assistant, the team took part in the NCAA Tournament three times and the NIT once.
ASSISTANTS -- Almost all of Pepperdine's staff is back, but some are in different roles. Associate head coach Mark Amaral and assistant coach Bryant Moore are both in their third seasons. Amaral and Marty Wilson were assistants together at UC Santa Barbara for four seasons. Moore worked with the Cleveland Cavaliers for five seasons in a variety of roles, including player development coordinator, during the LeBron James era. John Impelman, who was the director of operations the past two seasons, has been promoted to assistant coach. Impelman is the great-grandson of UCLA coaching legend John Wooden. Jon Pastorek, last year's graduate manager, is now the director of operations.
WCC -- The West Coast Conference has gone from eight to nine and now to 10 schools over the last few years. Brigham Young joined prior to 2011-12, and Pacific rejoined in 2013-14. The coaches' preseason poll went in the following order: Gonzaga, BYU, Saint Mary's, San Francisco, San Diego, Loyola Marymount, Pacific, Santa Clara, Portland and Pepperdine. But, in each of the last five years, Pepperdine has finished better than predicted (which coincides with when Marty Wilson came back to the program).
RECRUITS -- Last year's recruiting class saw Pepperdine stock up on guards and wings. The Waves then went big in their latest group to sign national letters-of-intent. In the November early signing period, they landed 6-foot-10 center Nate Gehring (Waukee, Iowa/Waukee HS), 6-foot-8 forward A.J. John (Santa Rosa, Calif./Maria Carrillo HS) and 6-foot-10 center Ryan Keenan (Woodbury, Minn./East Ridge HS), all of whom will enter Pepperdine in fall 2014.
PEPPERDINE BASKETBALL -- This is the 76th season of Pepperdine men's basketball, and the 41st season that the Waves have called Firestone Fieldhouse home. The Waves began the campaign with an all-time record of 1,152-992 (.537). Pepperdine has been to the NCAA Tournament 13 times (last in 2002) and has won 12 West Coast Conference regular-season titles (last in 2002) and three WCC Tournament crowns (last in 1994). Did you know that William "Bird" Averitt led the nation in scoring in 1972-73 with 33.9 points per game?
WAVES IN THE PROS -- Yakhouba Diawara, a former NBA veteran who now plays in Italy, competed in the 2012 Olympics for France. Mychel Thompson is the most recent Wave in the NBA, appearing in five games for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011-12 after making the squad as an undrafted free agent. He is currently in the NBA's D-League with Santa Cruz. Pepperdine had a streak of 34 consecutive seasons with at least one Pepperdine alum on an NBA roster, which began in 1976-77 after the ABA/NBA merger and ended in 2010-11. Seventeen former Pepperdine players have seen action in the NBA, a list that includes notables such as Dennis Johnson (a 2010 Naismith Hall of Fame inductee, the 1979 NBA Finals MVP and a three-time NBA champion) and Doug Christie (a 15-year NBA veteran who was a mainstay on the All-Defensive Team).
CAMPUS LIFE PROJECT -- In May 2011, Pepperdine launched The Campaign for Pepperdine, the largest fundraising campaign in the University's history. The goal is to raise $450 million to support the Campus Life Project, which will benefit the entire campus. The key piece for Athletics is a new, state-of-the-art, 5,000-seat University Events Center, which will replace Firestone Fieldhouse as the Waves' home. The project has been approved by the County of Los Angeles and the California Coastal Commission, so the biggest step remaining before the arena can be built is fundraising.
2013/2015 NCAA WEST REGIONALS -- Pepperdine University was the host institution for the 2013 West Regional of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and will do so again in 2015. The Waves partnered with AEG/Staples Center and the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission to bring NCAA postseason basketball to Los Angeles for the first time since 1994.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY -- Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men's sports - one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat - and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest undergraduate enrollment and is the only school not affiliated with a BCS-level conference. The Waves have earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that's given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently in 2011-12). Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation's most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #57 overall on U.S. News and World Report's list of America's best colleges.