Men's Hoops Takes 2-0 WCC Record to Santa Clara, San Francisco
Dec. 31, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. -- Off to the squad's best start in West Coast Conference play since 2009-10 and coming off thrilling home wins against San Diego and BYU, the Pepperdine men's basketball team heads out on the road for the next four games, beginning Thursday at Santa Clara and Saturday at San Francisco. The Waves went 3-1 on the road in non-conference and will hope to continue their good form away from home. The Waves are in the midst of a stretch with four games in eight days to start league play. Pepperdine last started 3-0 in the WCC in 2010. A victory over Santa Clara would be the team's quickest to 10 wins in a season since 2004-05. Malcolm Brooks was named WCC Player of the Week on Tuesday after averaging 22.0 points in the last two victories.
GAME #15 -- Thursday (January 2) at the Leavey Center in Santa Clara, Calif.: Pepperdine (9-5, 2-0 WCC) at Santa Clara (8-7, 1-1 WCC) at 7 p.m.
GAME #16 -- Saturday (January 4) at War Memorial Gym in San Francisco, Calif.: Pepperdine at San Francisco (8-6, 1-1 WCC, hosts LMU on Thursday) at 1 p.m.
WAVECASTS -- Live audio broadcasts of both the Santa Clara and San Francisco games 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 859 consecutive broadcasts).
TELEVISION -- The Santa Clara game will be shown online on TheW.tv. Rich Celleni, John Stege and Amanda Blackwell are the annoucers. The San Francisco contest is the WCC Game of the Week and it will be televised by Time Warner Cable SportsNet, ROOT Sports, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, and shown online at TheW.tv for out-of-market viewers. Barry Tompkins and Jarron Collins are the announcers.
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 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-based platform is also available to watch live video of home games. Go to your app store and search for "Pepperdine Athletics."
SANTA CLARA -- Pepperdine is 56-70 all-time against Santa Clara, and 20-41 in road games. The Waves won both meetings in 2011-12, while the Broncos won both matchups last season. Santa Clara has won seven of its last eight home games in the series.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Pepperdine is 50-71 all-time against San Francisco, and 19-39 in road games. The Waves have lost four straight at USF (last win: 2009) and the Dons have won five of the last six overall.
LAST GAME -- Malcolm Brooks led another three-point barrage and Pepperdine held off BYU to post arguably its biggest win in several years in an 80-74 win at Firestone Fieldhouse on Monday night. The Waves hadn't beaten the Cougars in four previous tries since BYU joined the WCC and had lost seven overall in the series. Brooks set a career high for the second straight game with 24 points and made six of nine three-pointers. The Waves were 13-for-24 from beyond the arc, while the Cougars were 1-for-11. Pepperdine led 40-28 at halftime and by 13 with 8 1/2 minutes to play. BYU closed the gap to three points on a couple of instances but the Waves finished the game strong. Five Waves scored in double-figures for the first time this season.
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 7.9 rebounds and leads the WCC with 2.4 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 12 times overall. He has five double-doubles this year (and was twice one rebound away from having more). Lane's 61.2% field-goal percentage ranks third in the WCC and prior to the BYU game he ranked ninth 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 15.6 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 four double-doubles in the last five games, including three straight.
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 30.5 points and 15.6 rebounds rank first and second, respectively, among other conference big men. 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. They have nine double-doubles combined this season, more than any other league duo.
FRESHMAN POINT GUARDS -- It turns out that the Waves have more than one outstanding freshman point guard, both of whom could earn consideration for WCC All-Freshman honors at this rate. Jeremy Major is averaging 11.6 points, ranks seventh in the WCC with 4.4 assists per game and has a 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He set a Pepperdine true freshman record with 12 assists against Green Bay. Amadi Udenyi missed 10 games with a knee injury but came back at the start of league play without missing a beat. He's had five assists in each game since his return and made four three-pointers against BYU.
BROOKS -- After a fairly uneventful non-conference season (7.7 ppg, only scoring once in double-figures), Malcolm Brooks exploded onto the scene with 20 and 24-point efforts in the first two league games against San Diego and BYU. He made 12 three-pointers in the first 12 games, then had 10 in one weekend. His six three-pointers vs. BYU were the most by a Wave since January 2010.
SKOUEN -- Senior guard Nikolas Skouen became the 14th Wave ever to make 100 career three-pointers earlier this season vs. Utah Valley. He now has 105 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 CollegeHoopsDaily.com's list of the top five WCC players in November (15.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg) ... Malcolm Brooks was named WCC Player of the Week on December 31 after averaging 22.0 points in the league-opening wins against San Diego and BYU ... Brooks and Davis have given the Waves two WCC Players of the Week in one season for the first time since 2009-10.
WCC STATS (OVERALL) -- Stacy Davis is seventh in rebounding (7.7), eighth in scoring (15.6), 15th in blocked shots (0.8) ... Brendan Lane is first in blocked shots (2.4), third in field goal percentage (.612), sixth in rebounding (7.9), 12th in scoring (14.9) ... Jeremy Major is third in three-point percentage (.471), seventh in assists (4.4), seventh in assist/turnover ratio (2.1), 14th in field goal percentage (.513) ... Malcolm Brooks is 12th in three-point percentage (.431).
HALFWAY THERE -- Pepperdine is 4-2 when trailing at halftime, 1-0 when tied at halftime and 4-3 when leading at halftime. The San Diego win is the only time this season when the Waves have outscored the opponent in both halves. Pepperdine's halftime splits have been 34.9 ppg and 46.6% shooting in the first half and 38.8 ppg and 50.8% shooting in the second half.
SCORING UP -- As is the case for much of the NCAA, Pepperdine's scoring (73.6 points per game) has increased this season. Last year, the Waves averaged 62.8 points overall. The last time the Waves averaged 70+ points for a season was 2007-08. Pepperdine is shooting 48.6%, on pace to be the Waves' best mark since 1992-93.
HOME SWEET HOME? -- In Firestone Fieldhouse, Pepperdine is shooting 45.8% from the field and 31.7% on three-pointers. In road/neutral-site games, those percentages are 51.7% and 45.4%, respectively.
GOOD NUMBERS -- Pepperdine is 9-1 when holding the opponent below 46% shooting .... The Waves have shot better than the opponent in 11 of 14 games (and are 8-3 in those games) ... Free throw shooting has been a good indicator of success, as the Waves are 6-0 when shooting better than 68%, and 6-2 when outshooting the opponent from the line.
INJURY UPDATE -- Pepperdine opened WCC play at full strength for the first time this season ... Amadi Udenyi returned on December 28 against San Diego after missing 10 games due to a knee injury suffered early in the UC Riverside game ... 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 14 contests. The new guys (which includes Brendan Lane, a redshirt) have scored 58.2% of the Waves' points this season (600/1031).
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 ... The Waves won their WCC opener for the fifth time in the last six years ... Pepperdine improved to 2-0 in the WCC for the first time since 2010 ... The Waves have had two three-game winning streaks in one season for the first time since 2004-05.
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.