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Men's Hoops Opens WCC Season at Home Saturday vs. USD

Stacy Davis
Stacy Davis

Dec. 25, 2013

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MALIBU, Calif. -- The expanded 18-game West Coast Conference season begins earlier than ever as the Pepperdine men's basketball team hosts San Diego on Saturday and Brigham Young on Monday. The Waves' December 28 game against the Toreros will be the earliest conference opener in program history, but Pacific's addition to the conference this season made an earlier start necessary. The Waves are opening the WCC season at home for the seventh straight season and the 10th time in 11 years. It's a compacted schedule at the start, with Pepperdine playing four games over an eight-day stretch.

GAME #13 -- Saturday (December 28) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: Pepperdine (7-5, 0-0 WCC) vs. San Diego (9-4, 0-0 WCC) at 5 p.m.

GAME #14 -- Monday (December 30) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: Pepperdine vs. Brigham Young (8-5, 0-0 WCC, plays at Loyola Marymount on Saturday) at 7 p.m.

WAVECASTS -- A live video broadcast of the San Diego game will be free to all users at, as well as an audio broadcast of the BYU game. Veteran play-by-play man Al Epstein is behind the microphone (now in his 29th season, he has a streak going of 857 consecutive broadcasts).

TELEVISION -- The BYU game will be televised locally on Time Warner Cable SportsNet as well as on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Fans outside of these markets can watch the game online at Ari Wolfe and Jarron Collins will be the announcers.

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 -- $30 for a reserved seat and $20 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased through the Pepperdine ticket office (866-WAVE-TIX) or online via

PROMOTIONS -- The first 200 Pepperdine fans to arrive at the BYU game will receive a game day T-shirt.

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, and both PepperdineHoops and PepperdineWaves on Instagram.

HOOPS EXTRA -- Pepperdine is providing more insider content to its fans this season via the Hoops Extra basketball blog, which can be accessed at

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-based platform is also available to watch live video of home games. Go to your app store and search for "Pepperdine Athletics."

SAN DIEGO -- Pepperdine is 56-40 all-time against San Diego, and 24-10 inside of Firestone Fieldhouse. In each of the last three seasons, the Waves and Toreros have met three times, twice in the regular season and once at the WCC Tournament. Pepperdine won all three in 2011, while USD won all three in both 2012 and 2013. San Diego has won five of the last seven in Malibu.

BRIGHAM YOUNG -- Pepperdine is 4-8 all-time against Brigham Young, and 1-3 in Firestone Fieldhouse. The Waves are 0-4 against the Cougars since they joined the WCC.

LAST GAME -- Locked in a close game throughout, the Waves outscored Houston Baptist 16-2 over the final 3 1/2 minutes and beat the Huskies, 76-64, in Firestone Fieldhouse on Saturday. Brendan Lane (21 points/11 rebounds) and Stacy Davis (21 points/10 rebounds) helped the Waves dominate the Huskies in the paint (outscoring them 52-20) and on the boards (41-33). Pepperdine won for the fourth time this season when trailing at halftime, and the second time when trailing with five minutes to go.

LANE -- Senior forward Brendan Lane could give the Waves two straight WCC Newcomers of the Year. The UCLA transfer is averaging 14.9 points and 8.6 rebounds and leads the WCC with 2.3 blocks per game. Lane only scored in double-figures once in his three years with the Bruins but did it in each of the first nine games this season and has done it 10 times overall. He has five double-doubles this year (and was twice one rebound away from having more). Lane's 61.9% field-goal percentage ranks fourth in the WCC and 13th nationally. 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 six times already this season en route to a team-high 16.3 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. He's posted two double-doubles in the last three games.

LANE AND DAVIS -- It was expected that Brendan Lane and Stacy Davis would give the Waves one of the best starting frontcourts in the WCC (if not the best), and the stats tilt in their favor thus far. Their combined averages of 31.2 points and 15.6 rebounds rank first and second, respectively, among other conference big men duos. Against Houston Baptist, they became the first pair of Waves to post at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game in nearly 25 years.

MAJOR -- A strong candidate for WCC All-Freshman honors, Jeremy Major has been the point guard that everyone hoped he would be so far. In addition to averaging 11.4 points, he ranks sixth in the WCC with 4.7 assists per game and has a 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio. He set a Pepperdine true freshman record with 12 assists against Green Bay.

SKOUEN -- Senior guard Nikolas Skouen became the 14th Wave ever to surpass 100 career three-pointers earlier this season vs. Utah Valley. He now has 104 and he will eventually need 125 to break into the Pepperdine top 10.

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 ... Lane was named to's list of the top five WCC players in November (15.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg).

WCC STATS -- Stacy Davis is seventh in scoring (16.3), 14th in field goal percentage (.542), ninth in rebounding (7.0) ... Brendan Lane is first in blocked shots (2.3), fourth in field goal percentage (.619), fourth in rebounding (8.6), 10th in scoring (14.9) ... Jeremy Major is sixth in assists (4.7), sixth in assist/turnover ratio (2.2) ... Malte Kramer is seventh in three-point percentage (.448).

HALFWAY THERE -- Pepperdine is 4-2 when trailing at halftime and 2-3 when leading at halftime. In the Waves' last six wins, they've outscored the opponent in one half but not both (and they've yet to outscore the opponent in both halves this season). Pepperdine's halftime splits have been 34.5 ppg and 47.2% shooting in the first half and 38.5 ppg and 51.1% shooting in the second half.

SCORING UP -- As is the case for much of the NCAA, Pepperdine's scoring (73.0 points per game) has increased this season. Last year, the Waves averaged 65.0 points at the end of non-conference play and 62.8 points overall. The last time the Waves averaged 70+ points for a season was 2007-08. Pepperdine is shooting 49.1%, on pace to be the Waves' best mark since 1992-93.

HOME SWEET HOME? -- In Firestone Fieldhouse, Pepperdine is shooting 45.7% from the field and 22.5% on three-pointers. In road/neutral-site games, those percentages are 51.7% and 45.4%, respectively.

GOOD NUMBERS -- Pepperdine is 7-1 when holding the opponent below 46% shooting .... The Waves have shot better than the opponent in nine of 12 games (and are 6-3 in those games) ... Free throw shooting has been a good indicator of success, as the Waves are 5-0 when shooting better than 68%, and 5-2 when outshooting the opponent from the line ... Sometimes less is more, as the Waves are 4-2 when just two players score in double-figures, and 3-3 when three or more players do so.

INJURY UPDATE -- Amadi Udenyi suffered a knee injury early in the UC Riverside game. He's expected to miss at least a month ... Jett Raines missed the first eight games of the season with a hand injury before returning on December 4 vs. Cal State Fullerton.

DEBUTS -- Seven of the 13 Waves that have gotten into a game are in their debut season with Pepperdine. That includes the majority of the starters in all 12 contests. The new guys (which includes Brendan Lane, a redshirt) have scored 55.5% of the Waves' points this season (486/876).

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 17-point win at Central Michigan was the largest in a road game for the Waves since December 2007 ... The Waves had two consecutive road wins for the first time since November 2007, and three straight for the first time since February 2004 ... Pepperdine started with a 3-0 road record for the first time since 1988-89 ... 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 ... Pepperdine finished non-conference play with a winning record (7-5) for the third straight season.

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).

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.



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