Friday, March 06, 2009


Pepperdine, Loyola have one last shot in West Coast Conference tournament
Both teams have struggled this season, but coaches believe they're headed in right direction as tournament opens Friday in Las Vegas.
By Robyn Norwood,0,4162213.story
From the Los Angeles Times

Pepperdine, Loyola have one last shot in West Coast Conference tournament
Both teams have struggled this season, but coaches believe they're headed in right direction as tournament opens Friday in Las Vegas.By Robyn NorwoodMarch 6, 2009After a season overflowing with losses for Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine, the Lions and Waves are down to one more challenge as the West Coast Conference tournament opens tonight in Las Vegas."Everybody says, 'Well, I bet you can't wait for the year to get over,' " said Max Good, coach of a Loyola Marymount team that finished 3-27. But Good -- citing the attitudes of the players he inherited when Bill Bayno left the bench and later resigned for health reasons related to stress and anxiety -- said that isn't the case. "I hate for the year to get over," Good said, contending that anyone who watched his LMU team practice might "think the record was reversed."Because it isn't, the eighth-seeded Lions open tonight against fifth-seeded San Diego (15-15), one of two conference teams they defeated during the season.The other was No. 7 San Francisco (11-18), which plays No. 6 Pepperdine (8-22) in the other opening-round game.Pepperdine won five conference games but lost its last four, including a 70-62 loss to San Francisco last week."We brought in eight freshmen," said Pepperdine Coach Tom Asbury, in his first season since returning to the school where he coached in its heyday. "Candidly, it's been about exactly what we expected. . . . We're hoping to build this thing the right way and it's going to take time."The winners advance to Saturday's quarterfinal games. The two top-seeded teams, Gonzaga -- ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press poll after going 24-5 and undefeated in the WCC -- and St. Mary's received byes into Sunday's semifinals.
The title game is Monday.St. Mary's (24-5) is the WCC team the NCAA tournament selection committee will watch most closely. Once ranked in the top 25, the Gaels initially stumbled after Patrick Mills -- the Australian star who scored 20 points against Team USA in the Beijing Olympics -- broke two bones in his right hand in a January game against Gonzaga. Mills is poised to return in the WCC tournament, giving the NCAA committee -- which is allowed to take injuries into consideration -- a chance to decide if the Gaels deserve to make the field even if they don't win the WCC title and its accompanying automatic bid.

The other notable aspect of the WCC tournament is that it is being held at a neutral site for the first time, after shuttling among campus sites over the years -- sometimes forcing the regular-season champion to play on an opponent's home floor. WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich said the 7,845-seat Orleans Arena is a near-sellout for the event.The women's tournament is also in Las Vegas, with No. 3-seeded Pepperdine (16-12) and No. 4-seeded Loyola Marymount (17-11) scheduled to play their first games Saturday against winners of today's opening-round games. The favorite is regular-season champion Gonzaga (24-6).Perhaps no one is happier about the neutral site than Gonzaga Coach Mark Few, who often complained about playing on lower-seeded teams' homecourts."It's a great deal, and the reason it's great is it's finally fair to the student athlete," Few said."It's never been fair, and that should be first and foremost the No. 1 criteria."

WCC men's tournament preview
(03-05) 21:57 PST
-- When most people think of Las Vegas, "fair" probably isn't the first, second or 33rd word that comes to mind.

Yet when asked what he thought about the West Coast Conference tournament taking place at Vegas' Orleans Arena, Gonzaga head coach Mark Few extolled its equality.
"It's a great deal," Few said, "and the reason it's great is it's finally fair to the student-athletes. It's never been fair."
Few was referring to the fact this is the first WCC tournament not held at a campus site, suggesting the host school had an inherently unfair advantage. Even though the host team won only three times in 21 tries, Few does have a point.
Now to some points about each of the Bay Area schools, in chronological order of their tournament debuts:
USF (11-18, 3-11, 7th place)
The Dons start with Pepperdine. They beat the Waves 70-62 in Malibu on Saturday. ... USF is looking for its first winning streak since late November. ... The Dons' Dior Lowhorn had a double-double in each game against Pepperdine: 28 points and 10 rebounds in a 69-67 loss at Memorial Gym on Jan. 29, and 16 points and 10 rebounds Saturday.
The Waves' Keion Bell, a member of the WCC's All-Freshman team, has gone 21-for-27 from the field and scored 50 points in the two games against USF. ... Before USF head coach Rex Walters suspended four players, the Dons were 1-8 in conference play and only one of their eight losses was by fewer than 10 points. Since the suspensions, the Dons are 2-3, with their losses by five, five and four points, respectively.

Waves report: Getting inside
March 4, 2009
The Sports Xchange
If the conference tournament had been held three weeks earlier, the Waves might be feeling pretty good about their chances.
They played their best basketball of the season during a five-game stretch between Jan. 29 and Feb. 12.Pepperdine won four of those games and had victories over Santa Clara and San Diego in the final two of that span.
The young Waves had taken a quantum leap, it seemed, with a 5-5 conference record, an amazing accomplishment considering the Waves were picked to finish eighth and had been 4-17 before that two-week surge.With a team built around freshmen, further improvement appeared possible and a big finish looked like a real possibility.
However, the Waves got battered and bruised in their two-game road trip against Portland and Gonzaga and finished the regular season losing their final five games.
The last game was particularly troubling because it was a home loss to San Francisco, which was tied for last place and had been beaten by the Waves earlier in the season on the Dons' home court.
The Waves got off to a horrible start against San Francisco, hitting just two of their first 17 shots and scoring just six points in the game's first 10 1/2 minutes.They were never able to recover.
"We went up to Portland and Gonzaga and got beat up pretty badly," coach Tom Asbury said."We missed all kinds of shots against Portland.And we struggled to score the ball the last few games."
Young teams typically do not respond well after finishing the regular season poorly, so it's hard to imagine Pepperdine making much noise in the conference tournament.
Finishing sixth is still a major accomplishment for the Waves, who lost their first 12 games of the season against Division I opponents and seemed destined to finish seventh or eighth in the WCC.

West Coast Conference
When: Friday-Monday. Where: Las Vegas Final TV: ESPN, 9 p.m. Format: All league teams qualify. The top two seeds get byes into the semifinals. The Nos. 3 and 4 seeds get byes into the second round. The No. 5 seed plays the No. 8 and the No. 6 plays the No. 7 in the first round. Regular-season champ: Gonzaga Projected NCAA bids: 1-2 The buzz: Gonzaga breezed through the regular season, finishing unbeaten in league play and winning the title by four games. But Saint Mary's played the majority of its conference schedule without star point guard Patrick Mills, who is supposed to play in this tournament. His return gives the Gaels a huge boost. Gonzaga comes in having won 16 of 17, but the Zags won by just two at Saint Mary's in mid-February, when Mills was out. Mills' return arguably gives the Gaels three of the league's top eight players: he, forward Diamon Simpson and center Omar Samhan. Gonzaga and Saint Mary's have byes into the semifinals, and it would be a shock if they didn't meet in the final. Keep an eye on fourth-seeded Santa Clara as a sleeper. The Broncos have won eight of their past 11 and have the league's player of the year in 7-footer John Bryant (18.0 ppg, 13.9 rpg, 60.7 field-goal percentage, 2.5 blocks per game). The pick: Saint Mary's

Waves report: Strategy and personnel
March 4, 2009
The Sports Xchange

Strategy and personnel · Getting inside · Notes, quotes

The Waves were outrebounded in each of their last two regular-season games and had a minus-1.1 rebounding margin per game heading into the WCC tournament.But that is still considerably better than the recent past, when the Lions were outrebounded by an average of 4.4 boards a game last season and by 12.3 rebounds two years ago.
PLAYER ROTATION Usual starters -- G Keion Bell, G Ron Holmes, F Taylor Darby, C Corbin Moore,F Mychel Thompson. Key subs -- F Jonathan Dupre', G Michael Hornbuckle, G Lorne Jackson, G Dane Suttle Jr.
Gonzaga 92, Pepperdine 58
St. Mary's 62, Pepperdine 49
San Francisco 70, Pepperdine 62
vs. San Francisco inWCC tournament first round at Las Vegas, Friday, March 6.

IN FOCUS Pepperdine plays the same team that beat the Lions in the regular-season finale, but the Waves beat San Francisco earlier in the season on the road.The Waves got off to a lousy start in the Feb. 28 loss to the Dons, and starting all the seniors in their final home game might have been part of the reason.The fact that USF is playing better now than it was in their first meeting is another reason. Keion Bell had big games both times, and he needs to do it again. Both teams are young, so the team more poised in the tournament setting will win.
--Gus Clardy, a walk-on, was named to the WCC all-academic squad. He made his first start in the Feb. 26 game against St. Mary's, primarily because of his strong post defense.
--Freshman Lorne Jackson made good use of his court time in the final two regular-season games. He played just nine minutes in the Feb. 26 game against St. Mary's but had 10 points, and he played 10 minutes two days later against San Francisco but had 11 points. He was 5-for-6 on 3-pointers in the two games.
--Keion Bell was named to the WCC's five-man all-freshman team.
--Blake Wallace, a San Francisco forward who played for Pepperdine when he was a freshman, did not cause his former team much trouble this season, scoring just four points in each game against the Waves.
Copyright (C) 2009 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.
--The Waves had a season-low seven turnovers in the Feb. 28 game against San Francisco.
--Pepperdine's five conference wins were its most since 2005, when it won six, but it was the fewest for Tom Asbury as the Waves' coach. In his first stint (1989-94), the Waves never won fewer than eight games and never finished worse than second.
QUOTE TO NOTE "They really don't know what a tournament is about other than what they've heard or seen on TV." -- Pepperdine coach Tom Asbury, on his team's inexperience heading into the WCC tournament.
Copyright (C) 2009 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

Men's Hoops Ready for WCC Tournament
Courtesy: Pepperdine Sports Information
Release: 03/03/2009

Pepperdine Men's Basketball WCC Tournament Notes

UPCOMING — For the second time in less than a week, the Pepperdine men’s basketball team will face San Francisco as the two schools have been paired up in the first round of the West Coast Conference Tournament. The winner between the #6-seeded Waves and the #7-seeded Dons will advance to face #3 Portland in the quarterfinals. Pepperdine has never lost to USF at the WCC Tournament, which has moved to a neutral-site venue for the first time and will be held at the Orleans Arena from March 6-9. rates the Waves as having the eighth least-experienced team in the country, and freshmen and sophomores are combining for more than 83% of the points. Regardless of the tournament outcome, Tom Asbury’s return has had a great impact on Pepperdine’s program, as the young Waves have improved greatly over the course of the year and are poised for further successes in the future.
GAME #31 — Friday (March 6) at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.: #6-seed Pepperdine (8-22, 5-9, sixth place) vs. #7-seed San Francisco (11-18, 3-11, seventh place) at approximately 8:15 p.m. in the first round. The game will start 30 minutes after the conclusion of the other first-round game, between San Diego and Loyola Marymount, which begins at 6 p.m.
GAME #32 — If Pepperdine defeats San Francisco ... Saturday (March 7) at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.: #6-seed Pepperdine vs. #3-seed Portland (18-11, 9-5, third place) at approximately 8:15 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
ON THE WEB — Subscribers to "Wave Casts" can catch all Pepperdine men’s and women’s basketball games at the WCC Tournament over the internet at Veteran play-by-play man Al Epstein, now in his 24th season with the Waves, is behind the microphone. Go to the Pepperdine Athletics website and look for the WaveCasts link. An annual pass costs $69.95 and monthly subscriptions are also available.
WCC TOURNAMENT HISTORY — In 22 previous events, Pepperdine has an all-time record of 26-18 at the WCC Tournament and won titles in the 1991, 1992 and 1994 seasons (all under Tom Asbury). The Waves are the #6 seed for the second straight year (last year they defeated #7 Portland in the first round before losing to #3 San Diego in the quarterfinals).
TOURNAMENT INEXPERIENCE — Pepperdine’s entire roster adds up to just five games of experience at the WCC Tournament. Mike Hornbuckle and Mychel Thompson each appeared in two games at last year’s event and Ryan Holmes played in one.
WCC HALL OF HONOR — Pepperdine great Doug Christie will be among the first class inducted into the WCC Hall of Honor this weekend. Christie was a two-time All-American and WCC Player of the Year in 1991 and 1992. The other seven set to be honored are Hank Gathers (Loyola Marymount), Frank Burgess (Gonzaga), Clive Charles (Portland), Carroll Williams (Santa Clara), Tom Meschery (Saint Mary’s), Bernie Bickerstaff (San Diego) and Joe Ellis (San Francisco). The group will be inducted at a brunch on Saturday (March 7) and introduced at halftime of the first men’s semifinal on Sunday (March 8).
SAN FRANCISCO — Pepperdine is 46-65 all-time against San Francisco. The Waves’ win at USF in January ended a six-game losing streak in the series, but the Dons posted a victory in the regular-season finale in Malibu last weekend. The Waves are a perfect 5-0 against the Dons in WCC Tournament play, with the last meeting in the 1999 first round. Tom Asbury went 13-3 against the Dons in his first stint as head coach (4-0 in the WCC Tournament, with wins in the semifinals of four straight tournaments from 1991-94). USF junior forward Blake Wallace played for the Waves as a freshman.
FIRST GAME VS. SAN FRANCISCO — Back on Jan. 29 ... Keion Bell scored a career-high 32 points on 13-for-14 shooting to lead Pepperdine to its first road victory of the season and a 69-67 win at San Francisco. The Waves led nearly the entire contest. Bell hit his first nine shots of the game and sank all four of his three-pointers. Pepperdine built a 16-3 lead early and was ahead 31-30 at halftime. The Dons took a couple of one-point leads midway through the second half, but Bell’s three-point play with 12:33 to go put the Waves ahead to stay at 47-45. Although USF cut into Pepperdine’s lead at the end, the Dons never had a chance to tie the game or take the lead. Ryan Holmes added nine points and five assists.
SECOND GAME VS. SAN FRANCISCO — Back on Feb. 28 ... Pepperdine had a hot-shooting second half but couldn’t overcome a cold first half and lost 70-62 to USF in both schools’ regular-season finale at Firestone Fieldhouse. The Waves shot 24.1% in the first half and fell behind 27-20 at halftime. Despite more than doubling their success rate to 50%, the Waves could only pull within one point with 13:14 left in the second half. Each time Pepperdine got close, USF answered with a big shot. Keion Bell had team highs of 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Lorne Jackson added 11 points.
ALL-FRESHMANKeion Bell was named to the WCC All-Freshman team this week and has proven himself as a rising star in the conference. He is averaging team highs of 12.6 points (14th in the WCC and third among conference freshmen), 2.2 assists (15th in the WCC, third among freshmen) and 1.5 steals (tied for fourth in the WCC, second among freshmen) and is second on the squad with 4.7 rebounds per game. In conference play, he was even better, averaging 15.0 points (eighth in the WCC, second among freshmen), 6.4 rebounds (ninth in the WCC, second among freshmen), 2.6 assists (12th in the WCC, second among freshmen) and 1.6 steals (tied for second in the WCC, second among freshmen). He was the team leader in all four categories during league play. Bell scored in double-figures in 12 of 14 conference games, including one streak of 10 consecutive games. He nearly set or tied two school records in the win at San Francisco on Jan. 29. His 32 points were two shy of the Pepperdine freshman record and his 13-for-14 shooting was one field goal made short of the single-game record for field-goal percentage. Bell had four point-rebound double-doubles in conference play.
ALL-ACADEMIC — Sophomore Gus Clardy was awarded a spot on the 2009 WCC All-Academic team. The history major, who is a walk-on, has nearly a 3.7 GPA. He played sparingly during the non-conference season but earned more minutes during the WCC campaign due to his post defense. He made his first two starts of the season during the final weekend of WCC play.
GOOD NEWS — The return of Tom Asbury and his staff and the immediate impact they have made has led to some notable successes that haven’t been seen in Malibu for a while ... Pepperdine earned its most conference wins since 2005, when the team had six victories ... The last time the Waves were at .500 or better at the 10-game mark of WCC play was 2004 ... Pepperdine’s three-game winning streak was its first in conference play since February 2004 ... With home wins over Santa Clara and San Diego, Pepperdine had its first two-game weekend sweep in WCC action since January 2005.
OTHER 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 ... The Waves beat Loyola Marymount in Firestone Fieldhouse for the 11th consecutive time ... Pepperdine won its conference opener (vs. LMU) for the first time since 2005 ... The season sweep of LMU was Pepperdine’s third in a row, and the Waves have now won 22 of the last 24 meetings ... The Waves ended a nine-game losing streak to San Diego and a six-game streak to San Francisco.
COMEBACKS — Three of Pepperdine’s victories have come after rallying from double-digit deficits. The Waves trailed by 11 points in the first half vs. Coppin State, by 15 points early in the second half vs. Santa Clara (as well as by eight points with four minutes remaining) and by 11 points in the first half vs. San Diego.
ROTATION — Of the 12 players that saw action in the last game vs. San Francisco, nine were freshmen or sophomores and seven weren’t on the roster last year. Pepperdine has started four freshmen 11 times, three freshmen 11 times, two freshmen seven times and one freshman once. The Waves have even 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’s certain that the new group of freshmen will lead the way in 2008-09 as well. Right now they account for 57.5% of the scoring, compared to 25.6% by the sophomores and 16.9% by the seniors. The two games where freshmen contributed the most were at Hawaii and vs. Portland (76%). The freshmen have been the highest-scoring class in all but two games.
STAT LEADERS — In the WCC, Keion Bell is tied for fourth in steals (1.53), 13th in free throw percentage (.724), 14th in scoring (12.6) and 15th in assists (2.23) ... Taylor Darby is ninth in rebounding (6.3) ... Andy Shannon is 11th in blocked shots (0.76) ... Dane Suttle Jr. is 12th in three-point field goal percentage (.368) ... Mychel Thompson is 14th in blocked shots (0.57).
PLAYER OF THE WEEKKeion Bell became Pepperdine’s first WCC Player of the Week in about two years on Feb. 16. In home victories over Santa Clara and San Diego, he averaged 16.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.5 steals. He had 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals against Santa Clara. As the Waves rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit, his two free throws gave Pepperdine the lead for good with 1:56 left. He then collected his third double-double of the season with game highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds against San Diego, as well as five steals and four assists. Bell scored 12 of Pepperdine’s final 15 points of the game as the Waves held off the Toreros. The five steals were the most by a Pepperdine player this season. Bell is Pepperdine’s first WCC Player of the Week honoree since Chase Griffin won the award in February 2007. He’s the first Pepperdine freshman to win the award since Shaun Davis in December 2003.
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.
AGRE OUT — Sophomore center Denis Agre, in his first season at Pepperdine after transferring from Central Arizona College, became academically ineligible at the start of the semester. He averaged 3.2 points and 3.6 rebounds and started seven of the first 16 games.
RETURNERS — Three players — senior Rico Tucker, sophomore Mychel Thompson and senior Ryan Holmes — were starters in 2007-08. Senior Mike Hornbuckle saw extended playing time last season and started half of the 32 games. Sophomore Gus Clardy, a walk-on, appeared in 16 games last season.
NEWCOMERS — When Tom Asbury was hired in February 2008, 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 rivals 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 have appeared on television several times once again in 2008-09. Six games were 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 were 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.
ASSISTANTSTom 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 — Thankfully, the coaches got it wrong. Picked to finish eighth and last in the conference’s preseason poll, done by a vote of the coaches, the Waves achieved a sixth-place finish. 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). This is the 33rd consecutive season where at least one Pepperdine alum has been on an NBA roster. Currently in the NBA is Yakhouba Diawara, now in his third season overall and his first with the Miami Heat. Alex Acker began the season with the Detroit Pistons but has come home after being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. 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.

West Coast Conference To Stream 10 WCC Tournament Games Exclusively On
Ten of the 14 WCC Tournament games to be streamed exclusively on

All 14 of the WCC Tournament games will be broadcast live with 10 of the games on and four on the ESPN family of networks.

March 3, 2009
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - The West Coast Conference announced today that it will be streaming all of the non-televised games of this week's WCC Tournament for free exclusively on In all, 10 of the 14 games will be shown exclusively on, including all but the championship game of the women's tournament and the semifinals and final of the men's championship.

To watch all of the early round action, fans just need to log-on to and sign up for a free WCC All-Access pass. The women's basketball final will be televised nationally on ESPNU, while the men's semifinals will be on ESPN2 and the men's final will be televised in primetime on ESPN.

The 2009 WCC Tournament marks the first year that the conference's premier event will be held at a neutral site. The capacity for the Orleans Arena at the four-day event is 7,845, making it the largest venue to ever house the WCC Tournament. The 2009 basketball championships will be the 23rd annual event on the men's side and the 17th annual women's tournament. The WCC advanced three teams to last year's NCAA Tournament, the most in conference history and the fifth highest percentage of teams from one conference last season. All-Access Tournament Schedule

Friday, March 6
Women's Basketball First Round - No. 5 Saint Mary's vs. No. 8 Santa Clara - 12:00 PM
Women's Basketball First Round - No. 6 San Diego vs. No. 7 San Francisco - 30 mins. after conclusion of game
Men's Basketball First Round - No. 5 San Diego vs. No. 8 Loyola Marymount - 6:00 PM
Men's Basketball First Round - No. 6 Pepperdine vs. No. 7 San Francisco - 30 mins. after conclusion of game 1

Saturday, March 7
Women's Basketball Quarterfinal Round - No. 5 SMC/No. 8 SCU vs. No. 4 Loyola Marymount - 12:00 PM
Women's Basketball Quarterfinal Round - No. 6 USD/No. 7 USF vs. No. 3 Pepperdine - 30 mins. after conclusion of game

Men's Basketball Quarterfinal Round - No. 5 USD/No. 8 LMU vs. No. 4 SCU - 6:00 PM
Men's Basketball Quarterfinal Round - No. 6 PEP/No. 7 USF vs. No. 3 Portland - 30 mins. after conclusion of game 1

West Coast College Hoops - Pepperdine Waves

Pepperdine is on a nice little run right now, having won four of its last five games. The Waves did not take down any of the real powers of the conference (assuming there are any real powers beyond Gonzaga) but they posted wins over San Francisco, LMU, Santa Clara and San Diego. The latter two would probably be considered upsets, but you still have to beat the teams you're supposed to beat, and in this regard Pepperdine is getting the job done.
Believe it or not, Pepperdine has a chance to finish among the top four teams in the West Coast Conference. They are only a half-game behind Santa Clara, and a game and a half behind Saint Mary's. This kind of positioning is important; if the Waves are able to finish in the top half, they will get a first-round bye in the conference tournament in Las Vegas.
This is the most successful Portland edition since 1996, as this team now has 16 wins. There is a shot the Pilots could get an at-large bid to the NCAA's even if they didn't win the conference tourney, but with a "best win" over Saint Mary's, they might have to do more. You have to hand it to this team that is getting Great three-point marksmanship from Jared Stohl (46%) and T.J. Campbell (54%), as well as the steady contributions from Nike Raivio and Robin Smeulders.

Portland is relatively new to this business of laying big numbers to the have-nots in the West Coast Conference. Pepperdine might be considered one of the have-nots, but they are not the same team that began the conference schedule. Tom Asbury, who has led this school to tournament appearances in the past, has had his hands full trying to cleanse the program of the Vance Walberg tenure, which featured a dribble-drive offense, and installing his own system here. It makes sense that his team might start to jell a little toward the end of the season.
DONS AND WAVES- USF squares off against Pepperdine for the 112th time in the all-time series dating to 1955-56. It is the sixth WCC Tournament showdown between the two teams and the first since 1999.- Pepperdine owns a 5-0 record vs. USF in WCC Tournament play, the last a 67-65 opening round win in 1999.- The Dons have won seven of eight meetings dating back to 2006 and own a 10-8 record against Pepperdine since 2001.- Dior Lowhorn averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Kwame Vaughn and Peter Smith added 13.5 points vs. the Waves in 2009.- Waves boss Tom Asbury is 14-4 lifetime vs. USF after posting a split in 2009.
GAME #30, WCC TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND - SCOUTING PEPPERDINE: The Waves enter the 2009 West Coast Conference Tournament with an 8-22 overall record and posted a 5-9 mark in league action, good for the No 6 seed in the league showcase. Pepperdine dropped its regular season home finale 70-62 to USF Saturday and prepares to play the Dons for the second time in six days. The Waves are on a four-game losing streak after posting three straight wins against LMU (58-43), Santa Clara (64-52) and San Diego (57-52). Freshman guard Keion Bell keys
Pepperdine at both ends of the floor, averaging 12.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Sophomore forward Mychel Thompson chips in 9.7 points and 3.5 boards, while freshman forward Taylor Darby adds 6.0 points with a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game. Coaching veteran Tom Asbury nears the completion of his seventh overall season and second stint with the Waves. Asbury previously guided Pepperdine for six seasons and propelled the Waves to five postseason trips and three WCC titles while posting a 66-18 record from 1989-94. Asbury then spent five seasons as the head coach at Kansas State (1995-00) and was an assistant at Alabama from 2004-07. Asbury owns a career record of 218-169 in his 13th year and is 133-81 in Malibu.
LAST FOUR MEETINGS: USF 70, at Pepperdine 62 (2/28/09); Pepperdine 69, at USF 67 (1/29/09); at USF 88, Pepperdine 63 (3/3/08); USF 85, at Pepperdine 82 (2/2/08)
SERIES RECORD/STREAK: USF leads 65-46/USF won one
WCC TOURNAMENT RESULTS: PEP 67, USF 65 - 1999 First Round (SCU) - 2/27/99PEP 82, USF 79 - 1994 Semis (SCU) - 3/6/94PEP 88, USF 67 - 1993 Semis (USF) - 3/7/93PEP 67, USF 65 - 1992 Semis (POR) - 3/8/92PEP 65, USF 56 - 1991 Semis (SCU) - 3/3/91
ON THE AIR/ON THE WEB: Radio Broadcast: Green 960 Television Broadcast: None Internet Audio: Yes - (Yahoo Broadcast)GameTracker: Yes Pepperdine Official Website:
WAVES AND DONS - WCC TOURNAMENT BULLETS: - Pepperdine is the only team the Dons have not beaten in West Coast Conference Tournament action- The Dons and Waves met in the postseason four straight seasons from 1991-94- Gerald Zimmerman scored a team-high 20 points and Terrence Moore turned in a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double, but USF dropped a 67-65 decision to Pepperdine (2/27/99) in the last tournament game between the Dons and Waves- Pepperdine has bounced USF from the semifinals four times- After the Dons posted a 100-85 upset of No. 2 LMU in the opening round of the 1992 tournament, Pepperdine eliminated USF with a 67-65 semifinal victory. Tomas Thompson scored 20 points an Darryl Johnson added 16 points and 11 rebounds.- Tom Asbury is 4-0 vs. USF in the WCC Tournament
WAVES AND DONS - THE LAST TIME: - USF freshmen accounted for 50 points as the Dons posted a 70-62 victory against Pepperdine in Malibu (2/28/09) - Dons freshman Peter Smith led the charge with a career-high 21 points and went 9-for-10 at the free throw line- Dior Lowhorn recorded his third career double-double against Pepperdine with 16 points and 10 rebounds
USF IN THE WEST COAST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT: USF owns an overall record of 12-21 in the West Coast Conference Tournament. The Dons won the event in 1998 as the No. 5 seed, defeating Gonzaga 80-67 in the finals at Santa Clara's Toso Pavilion. After winning the league's automatic berth and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1982, San Francisco owns a 3-10 record in the event since 1999. Before taking an opening round 79-60 victory against Loyola Marymount last season, USF's last win came in 2005 when No. 6 USF dispatched No. 7 Portland 65-60 in the opening round.
USF VS. THE WEST COAST CONFERENCE - TOURNAMENT SERIES RECORDS: Gonzaga 1-0, Loyola Marymount 4-0; Pepperdine 0-5, Portland 2-1, Saint Mary's 1-3, San Diego 2-6, Santa Clara 2-6