Pepperdine Visits UC Irvine on Saturday Night
Dec. 5, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. -- The Pepperdine men's basketball team will put its 2-0 road record on the line on Saturday when the Waves visit UC Irvine. After splitting the previous two, Pepperdine needs a victory to claim a winning record against Big West Conference schools this season.
GAME #10 -- Saturday (December 7) at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif.: Pepperdine (5-4) at UC Irvine (5-4) at 7 p.m.
WAVECASTS -- A live audio broadcast of the UC Irvine 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 854 consecutive broadcasts).
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."
UC IRVINE -- Pepperdine is 11-10 all-time against UC Irvine. The Waves won last year's meeting in Malibu, 72-62. Pepperdine has lost its last four games in Irvine, and last won there in November 1997. The Anteaters were picked to win the Big West in the preseason coaches' poll. UCI is 3-2 at home this season but its most notable games have been on the road (a win at Washington and losses at Pacific and California).
LAST GAME -- Pepperdine's run of strong shooting performances came to an end on Wednesday in a 78-64 home loss to Cal State Fullerton. Coming off the Great Alaska Shootout where the Waves set a three-game tournament record with a 60.0% field goal percentage, Pepperdine saw that drop to 40.0% against the Titans. Cal State Fullerton shot 50.8% and had a 42-29 rebounding edge. Brendan Lane scored 24 points.
HOME SWEET HOME? -- In Firestone Fieldhouse, Pepperdine is shooting 45.5% from the field and 24.7% on three-pointers. In road/neutral-site games, those percentages are 55.7% and 47.9%, respectively. The Waves' overall field goal percentage of 51.0% ranks 17th in the nation.
LANE -- Senior forward Brendan Lane could give the Waves two straight WCC Newcomers of the Year. The UCLA transfer is averaging team highs of 16.2 points and 8.7 rebounds and leads the WCC with 2.9 blocks per game. Lane only scored in double-figures once in his three years with the Bruins but has done it in each of the first nine games this season. He has four double-doubles this year (and was twice one rebound away from having more). His seven blocked shots in the 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 five times already this season en route to a 16.0 scoring average. He's 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.
MAJOR -- Freshman Jeremy Major has been the point guard that everyone hoped he would be thus far. In addition to averaging 10.3 points, he ranks second in the WCC with 5.8 assists per game and has a 2.6 assist-to-turnover ratio. He set a Pepperdine true freshman record with 12 assists against Green Bay.
SKOUEN -- Senior guard Nikolas Skouen recently became the 14th Wave ever to sink 100 three-pointers in a career. He now has 104 and he will eventually need 125 to break into the Pepperdine top 10. His career three-point percentage of 38.5% ranks ninth in Pepperdine history.
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.
INJURY UPDATE -- Jett Raines missed the first eight games of the season with a hand injury before returning Wednesday against Cal State Fullerton ... Amadi Udenyi suffered a knee injury early in the UC Riverside game. He's expected to miss at least a month.
DEBUTS -- Seven of the 12 Waves that have gotten into a game are in their debut season with Pepperdine. That includes the majority of the starters in all nine contests. The new guys (which includes Brendan Lane, a redshirt) have scored 53.9% of the Waves' points this season (358/664).
TEAM NOTES -- Pepperdine began the season 2-0 for the second time in three years (but also just the second time in the last 14 years) ... The Waves began the season 3-0 for the first time since 1998-99 ... Pepperdine was 4-1 after five games for the first time since 2004-05 ... Pepperdine's 88 points at Central Michigan were the most scored by the Waves since January 2011 against San Francisco ... The Waves had back-to-back road wins for the first time since November 2007 ... The 17-point win at Central Michigan was the largest in a road game for the Waves since December 2007 ... 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.
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).
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 played 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).
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.