Men's Hoops Opens Season at Home on Saturday
Nov. 7, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. -- The Pepperdine men's basketball team officially begins its 76th season of play this weekend when the Waves host San Diego Christian in the 2013-14 opener. Third-year head coach Marty Wilson believes his new-look Waves will be the most talented of his tenure and greatly improved.
GAME #1 -- Saturday (November 9) at Firestone Fieldhouse: Pepperdine (0-0) vs. San Diego Christian (1-0) at 5 p.m.
WAVECASTS -- A live video broadcast of the Pepperdine-San Diego Christian 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 845 consecutive broadcasts).
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. Tickets can be purchased through the Pepperdine ticket office (866-WAVE-TIX) or online via pepperdinesports.ticketforce.com.
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.
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 platform is also available to watch live video of home games. Go to your app store and search for "Pepperdine Athletics."
SAN DIEGO CHRISTIAN -- This is the first meeting between Pepperdine and San Diego Christian, a member of the NAIA that competes in the Golden State Athletic Conference. Due to differences between NCAA and NAIA rules, Pepperdine will be counting this as an official game, while San Diego Christian will consider it an exhibition. The Hawks went 7-17 last season and were eighth in the GSAC at 4-10. SDC lost an exhibition last weekend at Santa Clara (89-60), then beat Bethesda at home on Wednesday (76-43) in the team's season opener.
HOME/SEASON OPENERS -- Pepperdine has a 41-34 record in season openers, though the Waves have won just two of the last 11. Since 1944-45, the Waves have a record of 51-18 all-time in home openers (and 31-9 in Firestone Fieldhouse). In games that have doubled as the season opener and the home opener, the Waves are 29-10 since 1944-45 (and 15-4 in Firestone Fieldhouse).
2013-14 HONORS -- Stacy Davis, last season's WCC Newcomer of the Year, was named to the preseason All-WCC first team.
INJURY UPDATE -- Jett Raines will miss at least the first few weeks of the season with a hand injury.
ROSTER NUMBERS -- Fans will recognize half of the Waves' team, but the other half is brand new. Pepperdine returns 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 enters 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).
NON-CONFERENCE NOTES -- The Waves will try for a win against a Pac-12 school for the third straight year with their visit to Washington State. They beat the Cougars at home last season and Arizona State on the road two years ago ... The Waves will play in the Great Alaska Shootout for the second time (the first was the inaugural tournament in 1978, which included a Pepperdine win against 10th-ranked Indiana) ... Last season Pepperdine went 3-1 against the Big West, and the Waves will play three Big West teams this season (at UC Riverside, vs. Cal State Fullerton, at UC Irvine).
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?
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.
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 and Lorne Jackson are both currently in the NBA's 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 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.