Thursday, January 08, 2009


Loyola Marymount (1-15) at Pepperdine (3-13)
By - The Sports Network

GAME NOTES: Winners of 10 straight at home in the series against Loyola Marymount, the Pepperdine Waves try to maintain that momentum as they entertain the Lions in a West Coast Conference bout in Malibu tonight. Pepperdine has had a disappointing season thus far with a mere three wins in 16 tries. However, the team has picked up two victories in the last three games, thanks to a 77-67 triumph over Western Oregon a week ago at home. During the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii the team also posted a narrow 58-56 win against Coppin State.
As for the Lions, a team that had lost 15 in a row to begin this season and 23 straight overall dating back to a win against San Francisco on February 4th of last year, they finally got over the hump on Sunday with a 72-69 triumph versus Cal State Bakersfield to close out the non- conference portion of the schedule. LMU will now be fighting for back-to-back wins for the first time since stretching together three victories in a row versus Portland, Gonzaga and San Diego in early February of 2007. As the top rival for the Waves over the years, this meeting against LMU is number 148 in the all-time series, with Pepperdine holding an 87-60 edge over the Lions. The Waves, who have not lost to the Lions at Firestone Fieldhouse since the 1998-99 campaign, have swept the season series from Loyola Marymount in each of the last two seasons.
Needing a huge effort from someone in order to stop the bleeding that a 23- game winless streak brings, the Lions turned to Jarred DuBois who recorded 39 points to establish a new freshman record for the team as it posted a three- point win over Bakersfield. DuBois made 5-of-7 shots behind the three-point line, 11-of-15 from the floor and 12-of-15 free-throw chances in his outstanding game. LaRon Armstead and Kevin Young checked in with 12 and 11 points, respectively, and combined for 15 rebounds to offset their six turnovers.
It was only a matter of time before the Lions broke into the win column, but with Vernon Teel sidelined with an injury it took longer than expected. Now with 16 starts under his belt, DuBois leads all active players in scoring with 12.6 ppg, even though he is still shooting a mere 32 percent from the floor. In addition to his point production, DuBois is also first on the team with 49 assists, yet the group still has 100 more turnovers over 16 games. Because of the countless miscues, it should come as little surprise that LMU is scoring just 54.0 ppg thus far.
Upon returning from Honolulu after the tournament at the end of December, the Waves set themselves up for what should have been an easy win as they took down the Wolves by double digits. Mychel Thompson tallied a team-best 21 points, followed by Dane Suttle with 16 before he fouled out. while Taylor Darby registered a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds and Lorne Jackson pitched in with 10 points and five assists for a team that limited the visitors to a mere 5-of-27 shooting beyond the arc.
Despite shooting just 37.4 percent from the field thus far, Thompson leads the team with his 11.0 ppg, followed by Keion Bell with 10.6 ppg as the only other double-digit scorer at the moment. Like Thompson, Bell is also having a tough time finding the mark from the floor at just 39 percent, suffering from just 24.3 percent accuracy out on the perimeter as well. The team as a whole is converting 39.7 percent from the field and 33.6 percent behind the three-point line.
And, like the Lions, Pepperdine has had serious issues with keeping possession of the ball with 110 more turnovers (294) than assists (184). Neither one of these teams is playing all that well this season, but at least the Lions can be happy with the fact that they've finally worked their way into the win column before being taken down by Pepperdine tonight.

Men's Hoops Hosts LMU on Saturday on ESPNU
Courtesy: Pepperdine Sports Information
Release: 01/07/2009

Pepperdine Men's Basketball Game Notes

UPCOMING — The Pepperdine men’s basketball team begins West Coast Conference play at home this weekend against local rival Loyola Marymount. The Waves are going for their 11th consecutive home win in the series. The young Pepperdine squad has been improving and has won two of its last three games after a rough start. Underclassmen are dominating the lineup, as freshmen and sophomores are scoring 86% of the points.

GAME #17 — Saturday (Jan. 10) at Firestone Fieldhouse: Pepperdine (3-13, 0-0) vs. Loyola Marymount (1-15, 0-0) at 8 p.m. It will be preceded by the women’s game between the two schools at 5 p.m.

ON TELEVISION — The game will be shown live nationally on ESPNU. Steve Physioc and Krista Blunk are the announcers.

ON THE WEB — Subscribers to "Wave Casts" can catch all Pepperdine men’s basketball games on the internet at Veteran play-by-play man Al Epstein, now in his 24th season with the Waves, is behind the microphone.
Non-televised home games will have live audio and video, while road games will be audio only. Go to the Pepperdine Athletics website and look for the WaveCasts link. An annual pass costs $69.95 and monthly subscriptions are also available. Live statistics will be available for all home matches free of charge, and links are provided to the home team’s website when the Waves are on the road.

TICKETS — Men’s basketball single-game tickets cost $15 (lower reserved), $12 (upper reserved), $10 (adult general admission) or $5 (children general admission). Call (866) WAVE-TIX to purchase tickets.

OPPONENT — Pepperdine is 87-60 all-time against Loyola Marymount. As one might expect with your chief rival, Pepperdine has played LMU more times than any other school. The Waves are in the midst of a very good stretch, having won 20 of the last 22 meetings between the schools dating back to the 1998-99 season. The Waves have swept the season series each of the last two seasons. Pepperdine has won 10 straight meetings in Firestone Fieldhouse (the last home loss coming in 1997-98) and are 28-8 in Malibu against the Lions.

LAST GAME — Mychel Thompson scored 21 points, including a couple of big baskets down the stretch, to lead Pepperdine to a 77-67 win over NCAA Division II opponent Western Oregon on Saturday (Jan. 3) at Firestone Fieldhouse. Thompson scored Pepperdine’s final nine points of the game after the Wolves pulled to within three points at 68-65 with 2:50 to play. Taylor Darby had his third double-double of the season with a season-high 15 points and 13 rebounds. Dane Suttle Jr. also had a season-high 16 points in just 18 minutes before fouling out.

ROTATION — Among the 10 players that have seen the most playing time lately, eight are freshmen or sophomores and seven weren’t on the roster last year ... Pepperdine has been starting four freshmen and one sophomore, and has played five freshmen on the court at one time on an occasional basis.

FRESHMAN SCORING — Last year, freshmen scored 63.6% of Pepperdine’s points. It looks like the new group of freshmen will lead the way in 2008-09 as well. Right now they account for 58.1% of the scoring, compared to 27.9% by the sophomores and 14.0% by the seniors.
QUICK HITS — Pepperdine has led at halftime in each of the last four games. The Waves led at the half in only three of the first 12 games of the season ... After three straight games with 20+ turnovers (and 11 straight with 17 or more), the Waves have averaged just 12.3 in the last three game, including a season-low nine against Western Oregon .
Lorne Jackson has scored in double-figures in four straight games (13.0) and in nine of the last 11 games (12.0) ... Mychel Thompson has scored at least 18 points in three of the last five games and is averaging 14.8 ppg during that time.

INJURY UPDATE — Senior point guard Ryan Holmes suffered a sprained knee two minutes into the New Mexico State game on Nov. 21 and has missed 12 straight games. He was attempting a lay-up but an Aggie player landed on him. One of just three upperclassmen on the squad, the absence of Holmes’ experience and steady point guard play has been felt by the young Waves ... Sophomore forward Jonathan Dupre' suffered a sprained ankle against Georgia Tech on Dec. 20 and has not played in the last four games.

AGRE OUT — Sophomore center Denis Agre, in his first season at Pepperdine after transferring from Central Arizona College, is academically ineligible for the remainder of the season. He averaged 3.2 points and 3.6 rebounds and started seven of the first 16 games.

STAT LEADERS — Taylor Darby is fourth in the WCC in rebounding (7.6) ... Keion Bell is tied for sixth in steals (1.44), seventh in free throw percentage (.780) and 19th in scoring (10.6) ... Dane Suttle Jr. is sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.415) and three-pointers made (1.69) ... Rico Tucker is 11th in assists (2.50) ... Mychel Thompson is 16th in scoring (11.0).

SEASON NOTABLES — The win over Cal State Monterey Bay gave the Waves their first victory in a season opener since 2001-02 ... Veteran broadcaster Al Epstein called his 700th consecutive Pepperdine men’s basketball broadcast vs. Pacific on Dec. 13 ... The game at Cal State Northridge on Dec. 18 was the 2,000th in program history ... Pepperdine’s 12-game losing streak tied the third-longest in program history and was the longest since the 1965-66 season.

SOLES4SOULS — Pepperdine’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee, in conjunction with student-fan group Riptide, will be collecting shoes at Firestone Fieldhouse until Feb. 17 for Soles4Souls. Soles4Souls has already successfully donated more than one million pairs of shoes to those hurting both domestically and internationally. Fans can drop off shoes, both new and used, into the Soles4Souls collection box located near the concession stand at Firestone Fieldhouse, or among several additional boxes placed throughout Pepperdine’s Malibu campus.

ROSTER — The Waves have just five players that saw action last season. Only four of them were on the roster at season’s end, and because of injuries, only two of them played in the 2007-08 season finale at the WCC Tournament. The five returners accounted for 40.2% of last year’s scoring (950/2,365), 32.0% of the rebounding (357/1,117), 59.6% of the assists (239/401), 16.4% of the blocked shots (21/128) and 57.9% of the steals (183/316). To replenish the roster, the Waves added 10 newcomers. Two are sophomores that are junior college transfers, six are scholarship freshmen and two others are walk-on freshmen. Of the 15 players, 12 are underclassmen. The breakdown is three seniors, zero juniors, four sophomores and eight freshmen.

RETURNERS — Three players — senior Rico Tucker (10.7 ppg last season), sophomore Mychel Thompson (8.1 ppg) and senior Ryan Holmes (6.0 ppg) — were starters in 2007-08. Senior Mike Hornbuckle (5.5 ppg) saw extended playing time last season and started half of the 32 games. Sophomore Gus Clardy (1.3 ppg), a walk-on, appeared in 16 games last season.

NEWCOMERS — When Tom Asbury was hired in February, he was given a very late start to the recruiting process. The three recruits that signed letters-of-intent with the previous coaching staff were given their release, and several players transferred following the season. With many holes to fill, Asbury and his staff utilized their contacts, identified the best of the remaining unsigned talent that fit their needs and put together a very impressive group under the circumstances. The Sporting News ranked Pepperdine’s recruiting class #2 in the West Coast Conference.

NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE — The home schedule should have been much more palatable to Waves fans in 2008-09. A year after playing just three non-conference home games, Pepperdine supporters were treated to eight this time around, including ones against such big-time opponents as Brigham Young and Georgia Tech, and in-state foes such as Cal State Bakersfield, UC Irvine and Pacific. A few of the road games were notable too, including contests at Pac-10 foes Arizona State and USC. The Waves also took part in the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii right after Christmas.

TELEVISION — The Waves will appear on television several times once again in 2008-09. Six games will be shown locally (Nov. 21 at Arizona State on FSN Prime Ticket, Jan. 10 vs. Loyola Marymount on ESPNU, Jan. 22 vs. Gonzaga on FSN West, Feb. 14 vs. San Diego on FSN West, Feb. 21 at Gonzaga on ESPNU and Feb. 26 vs. Saint Mary’s on FSN West). A few other games will be televised out of market (Nov. 21 at New Mexico State on FSN Arizona, Dec. 28 vs. Buffalo on KFVE in Hawaii, Jan. 17 at Saint Mary’s on Comcast Sports Net California).

TOM ASBURY — It was announced on Feb. 19, 2008, that the architect of one of the best stretches in Pepperdine history, Tom Asbury, was returning to Malibu to become the Waves’ head coach again. Asbury was previously at Pepperdine for 15 seasons, the first nine as an assistant coach (1980-88) and then the next six as the head coach (1989-94). He then served as head coach at Kansas State from 1995-2000 and was most recently an assistant coach at Alabama from 2004-07. Asbury went 125-59 (.679) in his first six seasons with the Waves and 210-147 (.588) in his first 12 seasons overall as a head coach. The Waves went to the postseason five times in six years with three NCAA Tournament appearances (1991, ’92, ’94) and two in the NIT (1989, ’93). Pepperdine won three regular-season West Coast Conference titles, finished no worse than second in any of his six seasons and compiled a league record of 66-18 (.786). Pepperdine’s only three WCC Tournament championships came under Asbury.

ASSISTANTS — Tom Asbury wanted to find assistants with a passion for Pepperdine and an understanding of its mission, so he turned to three former student-athletes. It’s believed that Duke and Pepperdine have the only two college basketball staffs where the assistant coaches are all alums. Associate head coach Marty Wilson (1985-89) and assistant coaches Damin Lopez (1990-94) and Will Kimble (2001-03) played in three different eras, all successful. In the 13 seasons that made up their playing careers, Pepperdine went a combined 261-135 (.659), had 12 winning seasons, won six WCC regular-season titles and three WCC tournament titles, and made six NCAA Tournaments and four NITs.

RECRUITS — The Waves signed two players to letters-of-intent for 2009-10 during the early-signing period. They are 6-foot-3 point guard Josh Lowery (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista HS) and 6-foot-9 forward/center Tanner Kerry (Sydney, Australia).

WCC PRESEASON POLL — Unfortunately, Pepperdine was picked to finish eighth in the conference’s preseason poll, done by a vote of the coaches. The predicted order of finish went Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s, San Diego, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Portland, Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine.

LAST SEASON — The midseason resignation of Vance Walberg and several player departures that followed contributed to Pepperdine’s third straight losing season, as the Waves finished 11-21 overall and sixth in the WCC at 4-10. They defeated Portland in the first round of the WCC Tournament before falling to eventual champion San Diego in the quarterfinals.

PEPPERDINE HISTORY — This is the 71st season of Pepperdine basketball, and the Waves opened 2008-09 with an all-time record of 1,102-887 (.554). 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).
BEST IN THE WEST — Over the 30-season period from the 1978-79 season through the 2007-08 campaign, Pepperdine has proven itself as one of the top Division I programs on the West Coast. Of the 31 schools that currently play Division I basketball in California, Oregon or Washington, the Waves began the 2008-09 season ranking third overall in postseason appearances (16) and fifth in both wins (516) and winning percentage (.575) over the past 30 years.

WAVES IN THE PROS — Several former Pepperdine players have gone on to play in the NBA, most notably Dennis Johnson (the 1979 NBA Finals MVP) and Doug Christie (a 15-year NBA veteran who was a mainstay on the All-Defensive Team). Currently in the NBA is Yakhouba Diawara, now in his third season overall and his first with the Miami Heat. Alex Acker is on the Detroit Pistons’ roster for the second time, having also appeared briefly with the team in 2005-06. Some recent players have been playing in foreign countries, including Brandon Armstrong (Ukraine), Casey Crawford (Mexico), Tashaan Forehan-Kelly (New Zealand), Jelani Gardner (Greece), Kelvin Gibbs (Germany), Chase Griffin (Germany), Dana Jones (Switzerland) and Glen McGowan (Dominican Republic) and Levy Middlebrooks (Mexico). Robert "Hollywood" Turner, formerly a member of the Harlem Globetrotters, is now playing in Germany.

ABOUT PEPPERDINE — Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won a total of nine NCAA championships in five different men’s sports — one of just 14 schools to have accomplished this feat. Of the 14, Pepperdine is the only non-BCS school and has by far the smallest enrollment. The majority of Pepperdine’s teams are ranked nationally year after year and several compete for conference and national titles.

Pepperdine beats Loyola Marymount, 59-57
Preview Box Score Recap
11 hours, 10 minutes ago
MALIBU, Calif. (AP)—Keion Bell scored 14 points and Pepperdine held off a late rally by Loyola Marymount, for a 59-57 victory in both team’s West Coast Conference opener on Saturday night.
The two evenly matched teams traded the lead 12 times and shot similar percentages with Pepperdine making 36.4 percent of its field goals compared to Loyola Marymount’s 35.5 percent. Dane Suttle and Mychel Thompson added 12 points each for Pepperdine (4-14, 1-0 WCC) which won its second straight game.
The Lions pulled as close as 47-46 when LaRon Armstead scored on a layup, but Pepperdine answered with a 7-0 run capped by Mike Hornbuckle’s jumper to regain control.
But trailing 57-48 with less than a minute remaining, the Lions forced a few turnovers for a 6-1 run. Armstead nailed a 3-pointer from about mid-court before the shot clock expired for Loyola Marymount’s final two points.
Loyola Marymount erased a 9-point halftime deficit by out-scoring Pepperdine 15-2 to start the second half to take a 42-38 lead. A pair of freshman led the depleted Lions, who are down to seven scholarship players. Jarred DuBois had 17 points and Armstead 16 points and seven rebounds for Loyola Marymount (1-16, 0-1).
Tied 21-all, Pepperdine out-scored Loyola Marymount 15-6 in the final six minutes of the first half to take a 36-27 lead at the break.

Men's Hoops Beats LMU Again in Malibu
Courtesy: Pepperdine Sports Information
Release: 01/10/2009

Pepperdine-Loyola Marymount Box Score

MALIBU, Calif. ­— The Pepperdine men’s basketball team continued its home-court dominance of local rival Loyola Marymount, as the Waves pulled off a 59-57 victory in a West Coast Conference game at Firestone Fieldhouse on Saturday evening. The game was televised by ESPNU.

The Waves (4-13, 1-0) won their 11th straight home contest against the Lions (1-16, 0-1), and have been victorious in 21 of the last 23 meetings overall. Pepperdine also won for the third time in its last four games.

The final score wasn’t quite as close as it appeared, as the Waves led by nine with less than a minute to play and LMU’s LaRon Armstead banked in a three-quarter-court three-pointer at the buzzer.

Freshman guard Keion Bell (Los Angeles, Calif./Pasadena HS) scored a team-high 15 points for the Waves, and sophomore forward Mychel Thompson (Ladera Ranch, Calif./Stoneridge Prep) and freshman forward Dane Suttle Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif./Summit College Prep) each scored 12 points. LMU was led by Jarred DuBois’ 17 points and Armstead’s 16 points.

Pepperdine had a 44.7% to 35.5% edge in shooting percentage. The Waves finished with a 35-34 advantage in rebounding, but 11 LMU offensive rebounds helped the Lions to a 17-2 edge in second-change points. Suttle had seven of the Waves’ first 14 points, including two baskets in a 6-0 run that gave Pepperdine a 14-9 lead. The Lions countered with an 8-2 run, with two field goals by Armstead, as the Lions retook the lead at 17-16. With the score tied 21-21, Pepperdine outscored LMU 15-6 over the final five-plus minutes to go into halftime with a 36-27 lead.

A jumper by Thompson gave the Waves their biggest lead of the night at 38-27 to begin the second half, but the Waves then missed 10 straight shots and went scoreless for more than eight minutes. LMU, meanwhile, scored 15 straight points (five apiece by DuBois and Armstead) and went ahead 42-38 with less than 11 minutes to go.

Freshman forward Taylor Darby (San Marcos, Calif./Mission Hills HS) ended the drought with a lay-up off an inbounds pass off an assist from senior guard Rico Tucker (San Diego, Calif./University HS/Minnesota), and that began a 7-0 Pepperdine run that gave the Waves the lead back for good at 45-42 with 8:25 left.

Pepperdine’s lead was 47-46 with less than five minutes to go. It was then the Waves’ turn to make a defensive stand, as they held LMU scoreless for the next five minutes. The Lions missed five shots and turned the ball over three times during that time. The Waves scored the next seven points and led 54-46 with one minute remaining after senior guard Mike Hornbuckle (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian HS/Azusa Pacific) beat the shot clock with a jumper from the right side.

Thompson finished a fast break with a lay-up, was fouled and hit the free throw to help the Waves extend the lead to 57-48 with 46 seconds left. LMU cut into the lead, making it 57-52 with 20 seconds left and 58-54 with 8.7 seconds left but the Lions never had a chance to tie or take the lead. The game had a total of 12 lead changes and three ties.

Of the 10 players that saw action for the Waves, seven were freshmen or sophomores and six weren’t on the roster last year.

Senior guard Ryan Holmes (Phoenix, Ariz./Millennium HS/Phoenix CC), who had missed 12 straight games with a knee sprain, came off the bench and saw eight minutes of action. Sophomore forward Jonathan Dupre' (Houston, Texas/Marshall HS/Collin County CC) missed his fifth straight game with a sprained ankle.

The Waves continue WCC play next weekend at San Diego (Thursday, Jan. 15) and Saint Mary’s (Saturday, Jan. 17). Subscribers to “Wave Casts” at can hear Al Epstein’s call of the action.