Wilson Announces Updates to Men's Basketball Staff, Players
Dec. 7, 2011
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Pepperdine men's basketball coach Marty Wilson announced several updates to his team's roster today, as assistant coach Damin Lopez has departed to take another coaching position and injuries have ended two more of his players' seasons: senior guard/forward Dane Suttle Jr. and junior forward Moriba De Freitas.
Lopez was announced as the new head coach at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral High School today. A native of Arizona, Lopez was an assistant coach at Phoenix St. Mary's High School for 12 seasons before being hired onto Pepperdine's staff. Lopez joined the Waves as an assistant when Tom Asbury returned and stayed on staff when Wilson was elevated to head coach this spring. This was his fourth season as a coach at Pepperdine.
"I am disappointed with the timing of Damin's departure; however, he has an opportunity to fulfill a dream of becoming a head coach back in his home state of Arizona," Wilson said. "We appreciate all that Damin did to help our program move forward and we wish him well."
Wilson said that director of operations John Impelman will fill the open coaching position for the remainder of the season.
Lopez played collegiately at Pepperdine from 1990-94 and still ranks as one of the school's top three-point shooters of all time.
Said Lopez: "I am very grateful to Dr. (Steve) Potts, Tom Asbury and Marty for the opportunity to coach here in Malibu. This was not a decision taken lightly, but in the end the opportunity for my daughter and I was too great to pass up. I am very proud of my time at Pepperdine as a player and now coach and will always have that loyalty to my alma mater. I appreciate all the friends and family here at Pepperdine and look forward to watching the `Dine rise to the top!"
Suttle (Los Angeles, Calif./Westchester HS/Summit College Prep), who has battled chronic ankle injuries throughout his four seasons at Pepperdine, was recently diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left ankle. He was limited at times during preseason workouts, but got off to a good start with eight points in the season opener against Pomona-Pitzer (Nov. 12). He sank two early three-pointers in the win at Arizona State (Nov. 15), but left the game in the first half after suffering another ankle injury and he has not played since.
"I am sad for Dane that he has sustained another injury to his foot that prevents him from competing," Wilson said. "We will miss Dane's leadership and his ability to shoot the ball from outside."
An ankle injury also cost Suttle the end of his sophomore season. A career 38.1% three-point shooter, he ranks ninth all-time at Pepperdine in three-point percentage. He has averaged 5.8 points over 91 career games. Suttle is expected to graduate in the spring.
De Freitas (Bon Air Gardens, Trinidad/Williston State JC), a junior college transfer who is in his first season with the Waves, was finally cleared to practice last week due to a patellar tendon strain in his left knee. Having already missed so much time, a decision was made to redshirt this season. De Freitas will still have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
"We will miss having Moriba's size, length and athletic abilities this season," Wilson said. "It is important for him to get fully healthy to be able to help our program succeed over the next couple of years."
Suttle and De Freitas join senior guard Lorne Jackson (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) on the disabled list. Jackson, who is recovering from knee surgery in the summer, is likely to redshirt. He would have been Pepperdine's top returning leading scorer at 13.2 points per game.
The Waves take on Northern Arizona tonight (Wednesday, Dec. 7) at 5:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. MT. The game will be televised on Prime Ticket. Fans can listen to Al Epstein's broadcast of the game via WaveCasts at www.pepperdinesports.com as well as join an interactive blog/chat.