Men's Hoops Begins WCC Championships Thursday vs. USD
March 5, 2013
GAME #30 -- Thursday (March 7) at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.: seventh-seeded Pepperdine (12-17, 4-12) vs. sixth-seeded San Diego (14-17, 7-9) at approximately 8:30 p.m. in the second round (30 minutes after the conclusion of the night's first game).
GAME #31 -- If Pepperdine wins Thursday ... Friday (March 8) at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.: seventh-seeded Pepperdine vs. third-seeded Brigham Young (21-10, 10-6) at 8:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
WAVECASTS -- Live audio broadcasts of Pepperdine's games at the WCC Championships are free to all users at www.pepperdinesports.com. Veteran play-by-play man Al Epstein is behind the microphone (now in his 28th season, he heads into the tournament with a streak of 845 consecutive broadcasts). Also on the official website, fans can join an interactive live blog/chat using Cover It Live technology during Pepperdine's games at the WCC Championships.
TELEVISION -- The Pepperdine-San Diego game will air on BYUtv with Dave McCann, Steve Cleveland and Blaine Fowler as the announcers. Friday's quarterfinals will air on ESPNU, Saturday's semifinals are on ESPN2 and Monday's championship is on ESPN.
SOCIAL MEDIA -- On Twitter, get the latest news on the men's basketball program at @PeppBasketball and follow our coaches and staff at @MartyWilson4, @CoachMarkAmaral, @Coach_BMoore and @jimpelman. You can also like the Pepperdine Men's Basketball and/or Pepperdine Athletics pages on Facebook.
MOBILE APP -- Pepperdine has launched a new mobile app for 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 platform is also available to watch live video of home games. Go to your app store and search for "Pepperdine Athletics."
WCC AWARDS -- Stacy Davis was named the WCC's Newcomer of the Year, becoming the eighth Wave to win the award and the first since Alex Acker in 2003. Davis, Lorne Jackson and Jordan Baker received All-WCC honorable mention status. It was Jackson's second time earning honorable mention honors. Davis also made the All-Freshman team (the first Wave on that list since 2009) and was Pepperdine's first freshman to receive an All-WCC placement since 2008.
WCC CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY -- In 26 previous events, Pepperdine has an all-time record of 28-22 (.560) at the WCC Championships and won titles in the 1991, 1992 and 1994 seasons (all under former coach Tom Asbury). The Waves have won at least one game at 18 of the tournaments, including three of the last five. Pepperdine has been the #7 seed on four previous occasions (and reached the championship game in 1987 after beating the top two seeds). Marty Wilson led the Waves to one of the biggest upsets in tournament history back in 1996 when as the interim coach, he directed eighth-seeded Pepperdine to a victory over a Steve Nash-led, top-seeded Santa Clara team on the Broncos' home floor.
SAN DIEGO -- Pepperdine leads the all-time series with San Diego, 56-39. After the Waves won all three meetings played during the 2010-11 season, the Toreros came back and won all three in 2011-12, plus the first two matchups this season. The two schools have met six times in the last eight WCC Tournaments (the Waves are 1-5 in those games). In 2011, the sixth-seeded Waves beat the seventh-seeded Toreros. Last season, sixth-seeded USD beat seventh-seeded Pepperdine. Only two Waves that played in last year's game will dress on Thursday. Pepperdine is 4-6 all-time at the WCC Tournament against San Diego, including a win in the 1994 championship game.
GAME #1 VS. USD -- Back on Jan. 12 in Malibu ... A good defensive performance went for naught when the Waves fell at home to San Diego, 62-50. The Toreros posted big advantages in points off turnovers (26-12) and second-chance points (22-12). The Waves were held to what was then their lowest point total of the season and scored a season-low 18 points in the first half due to an 8 1/2-minute stretch where they were held scoreless. Pepperdine, which never led in the contest, outshot the Toreros, 41.9% to 40.8% overall, but committed 18 turnovers to USD's 14. No one reached double-figures for Pepperdine.
GAME #2 VS. USD -- Back on March 2 in San Diego ... In the regular-season finale, San Diego won 76-69 despite a game-high 22 points from Lorne Jackson. The Waves committed a season-low six turnovers but shot 44.4% to San Diego's 50.0%. There were 14 lead changes and 10 ties in the contest. The last tie was at 56-56 with 8:40 to go after a Jackson three-pointer, but San Diego scored the next five points and didn't give up the lead again.
BRIGHAM YOUNG -- Pepperdine trails the all-time series with BYU, 8-4. The Waves led at halftime in both games this year but couldn't withstand Cougar comebacks. BYU has won all four meetings since joining the WCC and has won seven straight overall. The Waves won four of the first five contests in the series and are 2-0 against the Cougars on a neutral court. With this being BYU's second year in the WCC, the two schools have yet to meet at the conference tournament.
GAME #1 VS. BYU -- Back on Jan. 10 in Provo ... The Waves gave the Cougars all they could handle for a while, but Pepperdine couldn't sustain the effort into the second half and fell 76-51 at BYU. The Waves led by as many as nine in the first half and took a 35-30 lead at the break while holding the Cougars to 28% shooting. But BYU turned up its defense (after halftime the Waves shot 6-for-22, 28%, and committed 10 of their 16 turnovers) en route to the win. Jordan Baker scored 20 points, all in the first half.
GAME #2 VS. BYU -- Back on Jan. 31 in Malibu ... Pepperdine had a terrific opportunity to knock off BYU but the Cougars rallied with another second-half comeback for a 63-61 win. The Waves led 31-20 at halftime and by 12 early in the second half. BYU, 0-for-9 in the first half on three-pointers, fought back by making six of seven in the second half. Jordan Baker sank a desperation three-pointer to put the Waves ahead 59-58 with 1:12 remaining, but BYU's Matt Carlino scored the next five points, two on free throws and the last three on a three-pointer that beat the shot clock with 12.9 seconds left. Baker was then fouled shooting a three-pointer with 1.3 seconds left. He made the first two and intentionally missed the second. Though Moriba De Freitas got a hand on the rebound, he didn't get enough of it to be able to push it over the rim. Stacy Davis led the Waves with 17 points.
ROSTER UPDATES -- The Waves' depth, which took a hit in early January, continues to be an issue. Caleb Willis, a two-year starter and a senior who was leading the team in assists, became academically ineligible at the start of the spring semester. Also, Malte Kramer missed the entire WCC season after developing mononucleosis. The Waves have only nine scholarship players on the court at the moment, and the 11 available players consist of one senior, two juniors, four sophomores and four freshmen.
JACKSON -- Senior guard Lorne Jackson has been back at full strength for his fifth and final season. He redshirted last year following ACL surgery, the second one that he's had to undergo during his time at Pepperdine. "LoJack" was named All-WCC honorable mention in 2010-11 after averaging 13.2 points per game (16.6 ppg in conference games, third-best in the league). After his year off, Jackson has earned All-WCC honorable mention notice again and is averaging a team-best 13.7 points overall (11th in the WCC). On Dec. 1 at Utah Valley, he became the 37th player in Pepperdine history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. Now with 1,287 points, he ranks 20th. Jackson also ranks #4 at Pepperdine in steals (157), tied for #4 in games played (124), #6 in career free throw percentage (.775) and tied for #7 in three-pointers (142). He scored in double-figures the first 14 games of the season, which was the longest streak to start a season since Glen McGowan did it in the first 20 games of 2004-05. Jackson posted a career-high 28 points in a win against UC Irvine and has scored 20 or more five times this season, four of them in WCC play. He scored the game-winning baskets against Washington State (with 12.0 seconds left in OT) and Fresno Pacific (with 3.5 seconds left).
BAKER -- For the second straight year, sophomore guard Jordan Baker elevated his play upon the beginning of the conference season. This year, he was rewarded with All-WCC honorable mention notice after averaging a team-best 12.9 points in WCC games (up from 9.8 ppg in non-conference games, and 11.5 overall). Baker scored in double-figures in 13 of 16 WCC games, including three of them with 20 or more points. He had a couple of huge first halves (20 points at BYU and 17 at LMU). Baker almost recorded the second triple-double in Pepperdine history (Doug Christie has the only one) with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists vs. Central Michigan. As a freshman last season, he went from 6.2 ppg in non-conference games to 11.3 in league games (9.0 overall).
FRESHMEN -- Pepperdine's four freshmen are scoring 35.2% of the team's points, best among the four classes ... WCC Newcomer of the Year, All-WCC honorable mention honoree and WCC All-Freshman team member Stacy Davis leads all conference freshmen in both scoring (11.0, 21st overall) and rebounding (7.1, sixth overall). In both overall and conference-only stats, he's the only freshman ranked in the top 30 in scoring and is the only one in the top 20 in rebounding. His 18-point, 15-rebound performance vs. USF was the first 15/15 showing by a Wave since February 2008. Davis has five of the Waves' six double-doubles this season ... Jett Raines is also among the league's most productive freshmen, averaging 6.7 points and 3.8 rebounds. He was the lone Wave named to the Tulane Classic all-tournament team in December ... In the backcourt, Atif Russell has established himself as an exceptional perimeter defender and walk-on Austin Mills has provided a spark at times, including 10 points at Gonzaga.
SKOUEN -- A sharp-shooter who recorded a team-high 33 three-pointers last season, Nikolas Skouen is at 56 and counting this year. He's hitting 45.9% of his threes overall (fourth in the WCC) and 47.1% in league play (fifth in the WCC). He's on a pace to post the third-best percentage for a season in Pepperdine history. He became the first Wave to hit five three-pointers in a game since 2010 when he nailed five and scored a career-high 19 points at USF.
RANDOM STATS -- All 12 wins have come when outshooting the opponent ... Pepperdine is 12-4 when allowing 68 points or less, but winless (0-13) when allowing 69 points or more ... All 12 victories have come when keeping the opponent below 41% shooting from the field (the best an opponent has shot in a Waves win was 40.4% by Washington State) ... The Waves began the season 11-0 when keeping the opponent below 40% shooting before losing at USF ... Six wins have come when leading at halftime and the other six have come when trailing at halftime ... The Waves have done well in close games, posting a 6-3 record in games decided by one to five points ... Pepperdine had a streak of 13 straight games with a better field goal percentage than the opponent, which began in the third game of the season and ended in a loss at BYU on Jan. 10.
DEFENSE -- Marty Wilson has preached defense and toughness since becoming head coach. The Waves are allowing opponents to shoot just 41.7% (#3 in the WCC). In 2011-12, Wilson's first season, the Waves allowed 65.9 points per game, the program's seventh-best mark in the last 50 years, an improvement of more than eight points per game than the year before, and the first time the Waves had held opponents below 70 points since 2000-01.
OFFENSE -- Pepperdine's shooting has picked up considerably this season, as the Waves are hitting on 43.4% overall (up from 39.6% last year) and 35.9% on three-pointers (fifth in the WCC and up from 31.7%).
WCC OVERALL STATS -- Lorne Jackson is 11th in scoring (13.7), eighth in steals (1.5), tied for ninth in free throw percentage (.789) and 12th in assists (2.9) ... Jordan Baker is 19th in scoring (11.5) and 11th in assists (3.1) ... Stacy Davis is 21st in scoring (11.0) and sixth in rebounding (7.1) ... Nikolas Skouen is fourth in three-point percentage (.459) and seventh in three-pointers made (1.9) ... Moriba De Freitas is ninth in blocked shots (0.9) and 16th in rebounding (4.8).
WCC CONFERENCE-ONLY STATS -- Jordan Baker finished 13th in scoring (12.9) and 11th in assists (2.9) ... Lorne Jackson finished 14th in scoring (12.8), second in steals (2.0) and ninth in assists (3.3) ... Stacy Davis finished tied for 21st in scoring (10.7) and tied for sixth in rebounding (7.3) ... Nikolas Skouen finished fifth in three-point percentage (.471) and eighth in three-pointers made (2.0) ... Moriba De Freitas finished tied for eighth in blocked shots (0.9) and tied for 16th in rebounding (4.9).
SEASON SUPERLATIVES -- The Waves surpassed their 2011-12 win total with their 11th victory of the season at Portland on Feb. 9 ... Twelve wins matches the most in the last eight seasons (2010-11) ... One more win would be the most since 2004-05 (17) ... Pepperdine's five true road wins are the most since 2007-08 (the last time the Waves recorded six was 2002-03) ... Pepperdine had a three-game winning streak for the first time since January 2010, and four straight victories for the first time since November 2007.
CONFERENCE CHATTER -- The Waves won both home and road games against both Portland and Loyola Marymount, the first time the Waves have had two sweeps in a season against WCC opponents since 2004 ... Pepperdine won its third straight home game vs. Portland, won at the Chiles Center for the first time since 2008 and swept the regular-season series against the Pilots for the first time since 2004 ... The Waves won at LMU's Gersten Pavilion and swept the season series against the Lions for the first time since 2009 ... The two wins over the Lions came by a total of five points ... In a 60-57 road win, the Waves held LMU scoreless in the final 2:40, and in a 52-50 home victory, Pepperdine held LMU without a point in the final 3:30 ... Gonzaga, which ranked #2 in the nation in field goal percentage at the time of both games vs. the Waves, was held to a then-season-low 43.4% in the first meeting of the season in Malibu and to 44.8% in the second matchup in Spokane ... Pepperdine led at halftime in both games against BYU.
NON-CONFERENCE NOTES -- The Waves have now beaten a Pac-12 team two consecutive seasons (at Arizona State last year, vs. Washington State this year) ... It hasn't happened often, but WSU was the first one of the old Pac-10 teams to visit Firestone Fieldhouse since December 2002 (Oregon) and the first that the Waves had beaten at home since November 1985 (WSU) ... In Firestone Fieldhouse, Pepperdine is now 3-3 all-time against the old Pac-10 schools, and 6-5 against the current list of Pac-12 schools ... Pepperdine has won road games in Texas two straight years (UTSA last season, Houston Baptist this season) ... According to Pepperdine's records, the Waves won for the first time ever in Honolulu against Hawai'i in their fifth try ... Pepperdine posted a 3-1 record against Big West Conference teams ... The Waves' eight non-conference wins heading into start of WCC play were the most since 2004-05.
OVERTIME -- Pepperdine is 3-1 in overtime contests this season. The last time the Waves played four OT games was 1981-82. Records don't show any seasons in which five overtime games were played. Pepperdine won back-to-back games in overtime against Washington State and Houston Baptist, which is one of only three known times that the Waves have played consecutive overtime games. Pepperdine has won both contests each time, though it hadn't happened since December 1977, and the first time was in February-March 1976.
INJURIES/ILLNESSES -- Malte Kramer hasn't played since Dec. 28 after developing mononucleosis. He is out indefinitely. The Waves were only at full strength for a few weeks. Kramer (knee) also missed the first eight games before making his debut on Dec. 8. Jan Maehlen (hand) and Austin Mills (hand) each missed the first two games of the season. With Brendan Lane redshirting, the Waves had only nine players available for the first two games of the season (both losses). Mills also missed the last two games of the regular season due to illness.
ROSTER NUMBERS -- The Waves look much different this year. Only four letterwinners are back from last season, plus three redshirts (they accounted for just 36% of last year's scoring). They're joined by seven newcomers to bring the roster total to 14. The class breakdown is three seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and four freshmen. Twelve players are on scholarship and two are walk-ons.
WILSON -- This is head coach Marty Wilson's second year as head coach at Pepperdine and his 16th season in Malibu. He has compiled an impressive record here as a student-athlete (1985-89), an assistant coach (1991-96, which included a brief stint as the interim head coach) and 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 22 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 went to the NCAA Tournament three times and the NIT once.
ASSISTANTS -- Associate head coach Mark Amaral, assistant coach Bryant Moore and director of operations John Impelman all have returned this season. 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. Impelman, who filled in as an assistant coach for a period of time last season, is the great-grandson of UCLA coaching legend John Wooden. New to the staff is assistant coach Jason Hart, one of the all-time best players at Syracuse and a nine-year NBA veteran, who coached Taft High School to a Los Angeles City Section Division I title last year.
WCC -- This is the second of two years that the West Coast Conference will have nine teams. Brigham Young joined prior to 2011-12, and the roster will grow to 10 in 2013-14 when Pacific rejoins the conference. The coaches' preseason poll went in the following order: Gonzaga, BYU, Saint Mary's, Loyola Marymount, San Diego, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Portland and Pepperdine. For the fifth straight year Pepperdine finished better than predicted (which coincides with when Marty Wilson came back to the program).
RECRUITS -- The Waves inked three Southern California high school standouts to be their backcourt of the future during the November signing period. Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS), a 5-foot-10 point guard, averaged 25.8 points per game last season. Lamond Murray Jr. (Redondo Beach, Calif./Bishop Montgomery HS), a 6-foot-5 wing, averaged 20.2 points as a prep junior. Jeff Van Dyke (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS), a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, made 92 three-pointers last season and helped La Costa Canyon to the state championship game. Major and Murray are teammates on the Double Pump 2013 Elite AAU squad, while Van Dyke plays for Gamepoint.
PEPPERDINE BASKETBALL -- This is the 75th season of Pepperdine men's basketball, and the 40th that the Waves have called Firestone Fieldhouse home. The Waves began the campaign with an all-time record of 1,140-974 (.539). 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?
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 is the host institution for both the 2013 and 2015 West Regionals of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. 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.
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 was in the New York Knicks' preseason camp this season but now plays for the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA D-League. 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).
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 enrollment and is the only school not associated with a BCS conference. The Waves earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that's given to the top non-football D-I school, for the third time 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 #54 overall on U.S. News and World Report's list of America's best colleges.