Men's Basketball Hosts Occidental in Exhibition on Saturday
Nov. 3, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. - The Marty Wilson era begins on Saturday night as the Pepperdine men's basketball team's new head coach sends his squad out to play a home exhibition against Occidental.
Game time is 7 p.m. in Firestone Fieldhouse. Tickets are $15 for a reserved seat, $12 for general admission and $5 for GA seats for children ages 8 and younger.
For those that can't make it to Malibu, the game will be streamed online at www.pepperdinesports.com, and live stats will be available through GameTracker.
For the Waves' first time out, Wilson's top goal is to see his team do things well on defense.
"We need to defend. We've been preaching it from day one," he said. "One of the things we talk about is shrinking the floor, making it tougher for guys to have driving lanes or passing lanes into the post, making teams score over us, being physical as they cut through, and most importantly, making them try to finish a contested shot with a hand in their face."
Pepperdine isn't quite at full strength heading into the season, particularly in the frontcourt. Sophomore center Jan Maehlen (Tucson, Ariz./Ironwood Ridge HS) fractured his right hand over the weekend and will be held out of contact for at least four weeks. Junior forward Moriba De Freitas (Bon Air Gardens, Trinidad/Williston State JC) has been sidelined with a knee issue the past couple of weeks. A couple of other players are also working their way back into game shape.
The Waves have already lost senior guard Lorne Jackson (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) to a knee injury, one that will likely require him to redshirt this season. Jackson would have been the team's top returning scorer at 13.2 points per game. Instead, that title falls to senior forward Taylor Darby (San Marcos, Calif./Mission Hills HS), who posted 7.7 points a game last season.
Occidental, a local Division III school that is a member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, went 12-13 overall last season and finished sixth in its league with a 6-8 record. The Tigers return the bulk of their squad, including All-SCIAC performers Jack Hanley (14.8 ppg) and Deshun McCoy (12.4 ppg). Occidental is led by head coach Brian Newhall, who is in his 23rd season.
Pepperdine's director of basketball operations, John Impelman, is a former Occidental men's basketball player.
Returning players on the 2011-12 roster for the Waves include four starters (including Jackson) and 10 letterwinners. There are six newcomers. Wilson is looking to continue to build on the Waves' steady level of improvement, as Pepperdine went 12-21 overall last season (its most wins since the 2004-05 season) and had a sixth-place finish in the WCC.
The Waves open the regular season against another SCIAC opponent, Pomona-Pitzer, the following Saturday (Nov. 12) in Firestone Fieldhouse at 7 p.m.
Pepperdine men's basketball season tickets are now on sale and remain a tremendous value as the majority of seats in Firestone Fieldhouse cost less than $200 for the entire 2011-12 home schedule. The men's basketball season ticket package features 13 regular-season games (seven of which will be against teams that played in the postseason in 2011) and one exhibition. Single-game tickets are also currently available. For more information, call (866) WAVE-TIX or visit the Tickets section at www.pepperdinesports.com.