Men's Basketball Announces Signing of Three Recruits
Nov. 12, 2010
MALIBU, Calif. -- Three standout high school seniors have signed national letters-of-intent to join the Pepperdine men's basketball team next season, head coach Tom Asbury announced today. Jordan Baker (Tempe, Ariz./Tempe HS), Ramon Eaton (Sacramento, Calif./Sheldon HS) and Paulin Mpawe (Redlands, Calif./Redlands East Valley HS) will make up the newest generation of Waves.
"Consistent with the overall program, this recruiting class illustrates the improvement we've been making," Asbury said. "It's a very sound, solid class. They will all be major contributors as we go down the road, both on and off the court. These are players that will make a significant impact as early as their freshman years. All come from good families and are good students and I expect they will be highly motivated on and off the floor."
Following are brief biographies on each of the signings and quotes from and about the three future Waves:
Named to the Long Beach Press-Telegram's 2010 Best in the West honorable mention squad ... Given a rating of 88 by ESPN.com's recruiting site ... A 2011 McDonald's All-American nominee ... Suffered a season-ending broken wrist in December 2009 ... Was averaging 20 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals as a junior before the injury ... Still earned all-state honorable mention honors despite missing two-thirds of the season ... Had a breakout year as a sophomore, averaging 20 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks ... Selected to the all-state honorable mention team and to the All-East Sky Region as a sophomore while receiving region player of the year consideration ... A starter since his freshman year, when he averaged 12 points ... This will be his third season as team captain ... AAU team is the Arizona Magic ... Third straight year Pepperdine has signed a player from Arizona (Joshua Lowery and Jan Maehlen).
Pepperdine Associate Head Coach Marty Wilson says: "Jordan is going to be a great player because he has the quickness and unselfishness of a point guard but the scoring ability and confidence of a two-guard. He's a pass-first playmaker and other guys are going to enjoy playing alongside him. He's got a chance to be a great defender because he's long, has great anticipation and has great footwork where he can pressure the ball. I envision him as a point guard because of his natural instincts, but if he's playing well and another point guard is playing well, they can play together."
Jordan Baker says: "The main thing about choosing Pepperdine was the way I felt when I took my official visit. It felt like I was at home. Coach Wilson, Coach Lopez, all of the coaches were great. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to play with everyone because there are great guys on the team. I think I'm a pretty good point guard, not a shoot-first guard, but someone who can score. I like to set up others in the halfcourt. Hopefully next year I can come in and help the team. Myself and the other recruits, hopefully we can help the team get better."
Tempe Coach Bryan Snyder says: "Jordan is really a complete package, he can do so many things for you on the floor. It's like having another coach out there. I trust him as much as anybody else when making decisions with the game on the line. He's the guy you want with the ball in his hands. I'm expecting big things from him this year. I know he's excited to be a Pepperdine Wave and we're all excited for him."
ESPN.com says: "Baker has a terrific frame with long arms and he's very athletic. He is very good at creating off the dribble and he can score in a variety of ways. He is quite affective getting to the rim where he utilizes his bounce and tremendous body control. He can either score while penetrating or kick it out to an open teammate. Defensively, he has the potential to be a lock-down defender due to his athletic attributes."
Named to the Long Beach Press-Telegram's 2010 Best in the West third team ... Given a rating of 86 by ESPN.com's recruiting site ... In May 2010, was listed as Northern California's #2-rated senior by NorCalPreps.com ... Averaged 15.1 points and 9.8 rebounds as a junior ... Selected to CalHiSports' all-state underclassman second team and the Sacramento Bee's All-Metro second team ... Helped Sheldon to the 2010 Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship, the CIF Northern California Semifinals and a 28-6 record ... Had 13 points and 13 rebounds in the section championship victory vs. top-seeded Franklin High ... A two-time all-league selection ... Has been a starter since his freshman season ... AAU Team is Team Odom.
Pepperdine Associate Head Coach Marty Wilson says: "Ramon is a combo forward because he has the ability to step out and shoot it, handle the ball and pass on the perimeter, but he also has the ability to go down low and post up against smaller guys and use his quickness and athleticism against bigger guys. He's got a great basketball IQ and understands and sees the game the way coaches want their players to see. I've always likened him to a Lamar Odom-type player because he can do a number of things."
Ramon Eaton says: "I like Pepperdine's coaches, the tremendous educational program and the beautiful campus. I liked the way the school supports its athletes and makes sure you're doing everything right. I'm a combo forward who can dribble, shoot, pass and rebound and I love playing defense. Hopefully next year I can come in and grab some rebounds, change the pace of the game, play good defense and get my teammates the ball."
Sheldon Coach Joey Rollings says: "Ramon is a very versatile, very athletic left-hander who can shoot the three, dribble left or right, attack the basketball and dunk. He plays anywhere from point guard to the 5 spot for us. He can do great things at Pepperdine and over time he'll be a good scorer there. With his speed, agility and quickness he's one of the best defensive players in this area. We put him on whoever we want to stop. He sometimes plays the whole game for us, never gets tired, and is one of our best athletes. He has all the energy in the world. He'll get stronger as he matures."
ESPN.com says: "Eaton is a solid athlete who can finish with a dunk in transition, but he isn't overly quick. This lefty has a rangy frame and is beginning to figure out that his natural position will be a hybrid 4-man. His perimeter skills have improved as he knocked down a few 3-point shots. In addition, his passing was impressive as he handed out a quite a few nifty assists during the camp. Whether in transition or in the half court set, his decision making was quite good."
PAULIN MPAWE (pronounced POW-ay)
Pepperdine Associate Head Coach Marty Wilson says: "Paulin is a very athletic forward/center. As he continues to develop physically, his game is going to explode. He has the ability to score in the paint with a jump hook or turnaround jump shot. He can put the ball on the floor and go around a guy and finish with a dunk. His best basketball is ahead of him as he gets bigger and stronger. He has attributes that you just can't teach, like the way he jumps."
Paulin Mpawe says: "I liked the people at Pepperdine, the players and coaches were friendly. It's close to home and I'll be able to visit my family. School is important to me and I want to succeed on and off the court. My game is about intensity, going to the boards hard and getting rebounds. I hope to keep improving my game there, get stronger and get to the next level."
Redlands East Valley Coach Bill Berich says: "Paulin is only going on his fourth year of playing basketball, and if he continues to improve at the rate he has the last three years, he's going to be a steal for the Waves. He's very athletic, graceful and quick, and runs the court very well at his height. Not many kids can run like he can. He's a diamond in the rough if he keeps progressing, and I think he'll be special. He's a great, great kid, one of the finest kids I've ever had. I know Coach Wilson and Coach Asbury so I'm excited about seeing him play at Pepperdine."
ESPN.com says: "Mpawe has that ideal frame for the 5 or the 4 that college coaches covet. He has extremely long arms and he's a bouncy athlete who runs very well in transition. He has excellent timing on the defensive end and is a gifted shot blocker. Offensively, he has a very soft touch out to 19-feet with a smooth release."