Monday, November 23, 2009


UCLA Hosts Pepperdine on Monday Night
The Bruins are 15-4 all-time against the Waves, who make their first visit to Pauley Pavilion since 2004.

Men's Basketball Home

Nov. 22, 2009
Complete Release in PDF Format
GAMEDAY CENTRAL DATE: Monday, Nov. 23, 2009 SITE: Pauley Pavilion (12,819)TIP-OFF: 8:06 p.m. PTTELEVISION: FS West TALENT: Bill Macdonald (play-by-play), Don MacLean (analyst) and Courtney Jones (sideline)RADIO: AM 570 KLAC TALENT: Chris Roberts (play-by-play) and Tracy Murray (analyst)
BRUIN INJURY REPORT Freshman forward
Tyler Honeycutt is out 1-2 more weeks with a stress reaction in his right tibia. It was announced on Nov. 8, 2009 that Honeycutt had the injury. He is the only Bruin slated to miss UCLA's contest with Pepperdine (Nov. 22) due to injury. However, the Bruins have missed plenty of practice time this year with seven different scholarship players missing at least one week of practice due to injuries.
POLLING UCLA UCLA finished the 2008-09 season ranked No. 18 in both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and the Associated Press poll. The Bruins are unranked in both polls to start the 2009-10 campaign, snapping a streak of 75 straight weeks (since the 2005-06 preseason) in the Top 25 in the AP poll and a streak of 78 consecutive weeks in the Coaches Poll (since 2004-05 final poll), which was the longest streak in the nation. The Bruins are receiving votes in both polls and are No. 29 in the Coaches Poll and No. 36 in the AP Poll.
SERIES VERSUS PEPPERDINE This is the 20th meeting all-time against Pepperdine with UCLA leading the series 15-4. The last 15 games of the series have all been contested in Pauley Pavilion (since 1945-46). The Bruins are 14-3 all-time against the Waves at home. UCLA won the last meeting, an 85-83 win at home in head coach
Ben Howland's second season (2004-05), which is the only time he has faced Pepperdine.
Dragovic's status remains unclear
His suspension is day to day after his arrest on suspicion of felony assault, and Coach Ben Howland says more information is coming to the appropriate people at the university.
By David Wharton
November 23, 2009

Nikola Dragovic could be on the UCLA bench tonight, but he won't be in uniform.Not only does the senior forward remain suspended for the matchup against Pepperdine, it remains unclear whether he will return for any of the four games the Bruins play over a tough seven-day stretch. Dragovic was arrested Friday and faces a felony assault charge stemming from an altercation at a Hollywood concert last month.Coach Ben Howland said Dragovic's suspension is day to day, adding: "We have to get more information that's going to be given to the appropriate people here on campus."Dragovic was expected to attend UCLA's practice Sunday afternoon but would not be allowed to participate. Similarly, Howland said he would watch tonight's game in street clothes. Team officials knew about the incident for weeks but seemingly did not expect formal charges. The coach and the player spoke Friday night, Howland saying that Dragovic "was obviously very apologetic and felt terrible about this whole situation."This is a second brush with the law for Dragovic, who was arrested last year and accused of shoving his former girlfriend during an argument. The city attorney decided not to prosecute but left open the possibility of revisiting the case within a year. It was not known if the current charge would affect his previous case, though a city attorney's spokesman said Sunday that with a felony involved, his office usually defers to the district attorney.

At UCLA, Howland said he now feels confident that he knows all the details of the incident but declined to elaborate."This is a legal case," he said. "This is a case that is obviously pending."Depth perceptionSenior James Keefe will remain in the starting lineup at Dragovic's power forward spot.Keefe made five of six shots against Cal State Bakersfield on Friday, scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds."We don't know what the situation is," he said of his sudden promotion and Dragovic's legal case."We don't know how long he's going to be out."The reshuffling also nudged freshman Brendan Lane into a backup role. Against Bakersfield, he had four points and three rebounds in 14 minutes.Another newcomer, Reeves Nelson, played 16 minutes at backup center, scoring eight points."All these freshmen are going to make mistakes," Howland said. "As long as they're trying their hardest and playing with their hearts, that's something we have to deal with."

Scouting report A tough field awaits at the 76 Classic over Thanksgiving, but first UCLA must deal with Pepperdine, a program trying to rebuild under Coach Tom Asbury. Howland expects an opponent that will play both zone and man-to-man defense, an opponent that will show different offensive looks with Keion Bell and Mychel Thompson on the wings. Bell became something of a YouTube hit this fall by leaping over five teammates to dunk at the Waves' preseason Blue & Orange scrimmage.

Updated: November 22, 2009, 5:05 PM ET
UCLA suspends Dragovic for 2nd game

Associated Press
-- UCLA will extend Nikola Dragovic's suspension for at least another game following his arrest and subsequent charge of felony assault.
Coach Ben Howland said Sunday that Dragovic won't play Monday against Pepperdine, although he will be allowed to sit on the bench in street clothes.
The 21-year-old senior from Belgrade, Serbia, was arrested Friday and charged by the Los Angeles district attorney's office for his involvement in an undisclosed incident last month at a concert in Hollywood.
Howland declined to provide any details on the incident, saying it would be inappropriate for him to comment on a pending legal case. Dragovic has hired an attorney.
The starter was suspended for Friday's victory over Cal State Bakersfield after playing in UCLA's season-opening, double-overtime loss to Cal State Fullerton.
Dragovic was set to attend practice Sunday, but not participate in his first reunion with the team since being arrested.
Howland said he met with Dragovic after Friday's game.
"He was obviously very apologetic and felt terrible about this entire situation," the coach said.
James Keefe will make his second start in Dragovic's place Monday.

Waves Begin Road Swing at UCLA on Monday
Courtesy: Pepperdine Sports Information
Release: 11/21/2009

Pepperdine Men's Basketball Notes
- After three games at home to start the season, the Pepperdine men's basketball team now plays five straight away from Firestone Fieldhouse. The stretch begins on Monday night just down the road at UCLA. The Waves are coming off their first win of the season.
GAME #4 - Monday (Nov. 23) at Pauley Pavilion: Pepperdine (1-2) at UCLA (1-1) at 8 p.m.
TELEVISION - The Pepperdine-UCLA game will be shown live on FOX Sports West. Bill Macdonald and Don MacLean 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 25th season with the Waves, is behind the microphone. 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.
UCLA - Pepperdine trails the all-time series with UCLA, 15-4. The Waves won three times in the 1940s early in the series, but the the Bruins won 12 straight between 1949 and 1999. Tom Asbury was 0-2 against UCLA during his first stint as head coach. The streak ended with perhaps the Waves' signature win of this decade, a memorable 85-78 victory at Pauley Pavilion on Nov. 28, 2001 against the #10-ranked Bruins. That was the last time Pepperdine beat a top 25 team on the road and was victorious against a top 10 team. The only meeting since then was an 85-83 UCLA home victory in December 2004, when Jordan Farmar made a lay-up with 4.7 seconds left and Alex Acker missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.
LAST GAME - Keion Bell helped rescue Pepperdine by scoring the team's final 12 points of a 72-70 comeback victory over Cal State San Bernardino on Friday. He scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, including 12 in the final three minutes. CSUSB, traditionally a strong team at the NCAA Division II level, led by as many as 12 points in the second half before the Waves rallied. Bell's putback with 40 seconds left put Pepperdine ahead 70-69 with 40 seconds left, and he added two free throws with 19.8 seconds left. CSUSB made one of two free throws with 12.1 seconds left, got an offensive rebound, but missed a potential game-tying jumper at the buzzer.
SUPER SOPHS - Last season, Pepperdine's eight-man freshman class scored more than half of the Waves' points (57.4%). After three games, the now-sophomore class has contributed 73.7% of Pepperdine's scoring.
BELL'S BIG START - Keion Bell scored 20 points against Pacific, 21 against Long Beach State and 22 against Cal State San Bernardino. Last year as a freshman, despite being Pepperdine's leading scorer (12.9 ppg), he had a total of only three 20-point games the entire season (none that were back-to-back). The last Pepperdine player to score 20 or more in three straight games in Tyrone Shelley in March 2008. The last to do it four games in a row was Glen McGowan in January 2005. The last member of the Waves to start the season with three 20-point games was Tom Lewis in 1987-88. The last to start a season with more than three was Dane Suttle Sr. with six in 1982-83.
MORE BELL - Keion Bell is saving his best for last. He's averaged 6.0 points in the first half and 15.0 points after halftime ... His eight assists against Cal State San Bernardino were a career high.
TEAM CAPTAIN - Mychel Thompson was selected as team captain for 2009-10 after a landslide vote by his teammates. The junior forward is Pepperdine's only player that has been with the team for two full seasons. Now in his third year as a starter, he is averaging 8.8 points for his career and made 91 three-pointers.
YOUTUBE SENSATION - Keion Bell, a preseason All-WCC first team selection, got Pepperdine a ton of publicity in mid-October. At Blue & Orange Madness, Pepperdine's event to kick off the start of practice, the sophomore guard finished up the dunk contest by leaping over five teammates and slamming it home. A Pepperdine fan happened to record the dunk on his iPhone and uploaded it onto YouTube. It quickly spread around the internet and at last check had nearly 1.1 million hits. ESPN's SportsCenter picked up the video and made the dunk the #2 Play of the Day.
WCC PRESEASON POLL - According to the WCC's coaches, the Waves are predicted to finish seventh in the conference. Their poll went in the following order: Gonzaga, Portland, Saint Mary's, San Francisco and Santa Clara (tied), San Diego, Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount. Several national publications and websites have differing opinions on the Waves, including fourth (The Sporting News), fifth (The Sports Network), sixth (Athlon and Lindy's) and seventh (, and
ROSTER - Pepperdine returns 11 letterwinners from last season (believed to be among the most in school history). There are also five newcomers, bringing the roster total to 16. There are no seniors on the squad, and 12 of the 16 players are underclassmen. The roster features four juniors, seven sophomores and five true freshmen. Twelve are on scholarship and four are walk-ons.
RETURNERS - Four of the five starters from last year's team return (Keion Bell, Taylor Darby, Corbin Moore and Mychel Thompson). Pepperdine's returning players account for 82.5% percent of last year's scoring (1629/1974), 88.3% of the rebounds (919/1041), 65.4% of the assists (223/341), 95.0% of the blocked shots (96/101) and 77.2% of the steals (166/215).
NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE - Tom Asbury believes in preparing his team for league play with a difficult non-conference slate of games, and so that's what the Waves are in the midst of. The Waves play six games against non-conference teams that took part in the postseason last year: Portland State, UCLA and Utah made the NCAA Tournament, Miami (Fla.) was in the NIT, Wyoming was in the College Basketball Invitational and Pacific was in the inaugural Tournament. Nine of the 16 non-conference games are at home.
TELEVISION - The Waves are slated to appear on television several times once again in 2009-10. Six games will be shown locally - Nov. 23 at UCLA on Fox Sports West, Jan. 14 vs. Santa Clara on ESPNU, Jan. 21 at Gonzaga on Prime Ticket (delayed), Jan. 30 vs. San Diego on Prime Ticket, Feb. 18 vs. Portland on Prime Ticket and Feb. 20 vs. Gonzaga on Fox Sports West.
TOM ASBURY - Now in his second stint in charge of the Waves is coaching great Tom Asbury. He returned to Malibu prior to the 2008-09 campaign to become the Waves' head coach again after 14 seasons away. Asbury was previously at Pepperdine for nine years as an assistant coach (1980-88) and then the next six as the head coach (1989-94). He went on to serve as head coach at Kansas State from 1995-2000 and was an assistant coach at Alabama from 2004-07. Asbury went 125-59 (.679) in his first head coaching job at Pepperdine and took the Waves 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 WCC titles and the school's only three WCC Tournament championships came under Asbury. Prior to the start of the 2009-10 season, his seven-year record at Pepperdine was 134-82 (.620) and his 13-year record as a head coach was 219-170 (.563).
ASSISTANTS - Upon his return, 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.
LAST SEASON - Tom Asbury's return to Pepperdine brought much-needed stability to the program in his first season back. With only five players returning, Asbury and his new staff brought in 10 newcomers well after the regular letter-of-intent signing period. The young Waves posted a 9-23 overall record but got much better as the year went on, placing sixth in the WCC with a 5-9 record and winning a first-round game at the WCC Tournament. Keion Bell was named to the WCC All-Freshman team after averaging a team-best 12.9 ppg.
PEPPERDINE HISTORY - This is the 72nd season of Pepperdine basketball, and the Waves opened 2009-10 with an all-time record of 1,111-910 (.550). 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 - Pepperdine has long been one of the top Division I programs on the West Coast. Over the 31-season period from the 1978-79 season through the 2008-09 campaign, of the 32 schools that currently play Division I basketball in California, Oregon or Washington, the Waves began the 2009-10 season ranking third overall in postseason appearances (16) and fifth in both wins (525) and winning percentage (.565) over the past 31 years.
WAVES IN THE PROS - This is the 34th consecutive season where at least one Pepperdine alum has been on an NBA roster. Currently in the NBA is Yakhouba Diawara, now in his fourth season overall and his second with the Miami Heat. A total of 16 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). Some recent players have been playing in foreign countries, including Alex Acker (Italy), Tezale Archie (Netherlands), Brandon Armstrong (Venezuela), Gerald Brown (Poland), Jelani Gardner (Greece),
Kelvin Gibbs (Germany), Chase Griffin (Germany), Dana Jones (Switzerland) and Glen McGowan (Dominican Republic). Robert "Hollywood" Turner, formerly a member of the Harlem Globetrotters, is now playing in Finland.
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 compete for conference and national titles.

Prepping for Pepperdine
UCLA, which has allowed opposing guards to slash through the lane in its first two games, will have its hands full with the Waves' Keion Bell. Bell averages 21 points per game and in 29 minutes, and he's getting to the free-throw line almost eight times a game.
Playing the pups
With a UCLA basketball roster that includes five freshmen, coach Ben Howland knew there would be growing pains. Now that he knows, though, he has to be OK with them.
After pulling freshman forward Reeves Nelson - who had 11 points and six rebounds - in the season-opening loss to Cal State Fullerton, Howland admitted his mistake and played Nelson along with fellow freshmen Brendan Lane and Mike Moser throughout Friday's win over Cal State Bakersfield.
"First of all, inside with Reeves - Reeves has played the most of the freshman - he's done a good job," Howland said. "It was my mistake not to play him more minutes. All these freshmen are going to make mistakes. As long as they're trying their hardest and really, really playing with their heart that's something you just have to deal with. The experience they get is going to help them."

PEPPERDINE: There is plenty returning for the Waves this year, including all five starters. The one problem however, is that Pepperdine only won nine games a year ago with its current roster. Getting the team to continue to strive forward is the task at hand for Tom Asbury. The leaders on this team include guard Keion Bell (12.9 ppg) and forward Mychel Thompson (9.6 ppg). Other key contributors include forward Taylor Darby (6.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and Lorne Jackson. The Waves know how to play tight defense, they just lack scoring punch. A streak of four straight losing seasons may continue this year, unless everything goes right in Malibu.
Cal Holds On, Knocks Off No. 14 Stanford In Big Game, 34-28
Shane Vereen fills Jahvid Best's spot nicely with 193 yards and three rushing touchdowns.

Tailback Shane Vereen posted career highs of 193 rushing yards on 42 carries and scored a career-high-tying three touchdowns in Saturday's Big Game at Stanford.
Nov. 21, 2009
Final Stats Quotes Notes Photo Gallery Gameday Sidebar: Vereen Powers California to 34-28 Big Game Victory
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Shane Vereen ran for a career-high 193 yards and three touchdowns on 42 carries and Mike Mohamed intercepted a Andrew Luck pass at the Cal 3-yard line with 1:36 left in the game as California spoiled No. 14 Stanford's Rose Bowl hopes with a 34-28 victory in the Big Game on Saturday.
What was billed as the biggest Big Game in years lived up to the pregame hype, with Stanford's Heisman Trophy contender Toby Gerhart rushing for 136 yards, four touchdowns and carrying defenders on a 29-yard reception that set up Stanford (7-4, 6-3) at the Cal 13 with less than 2 minutes left.
Luck then threw an incompletion on first down and was intercepted by Mohamed on second with 1:36 to go, setting off a wild celebration on the Cal sideline. After Kevin Riley took three knees, the Cal students rushed the field and Stanford Stadium as the Golden Bears (8-3, 5-3 Pac-10) won the coveted Axe for the seventh time in eight years.
Stanford came into the game off two of its biggest wins in recent memory, scoring 106 points in the back-to-back victories over nationally ranked Oregon and Southern California that put the Cardinal in position to win the conference title.
Stanford looked poised for another big win after jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. But the Golden Bears responded behind Vereen and a defense that flummoxed Luck.
The victory puts a bright spot on a mostly disappointing season for the Bears, who entered the season with hopes of a Rose Bowl bid or possible national title. That was dashed with blowout losses to Oregon and USC and the season looked lost when star tailback Jahvid Best was sidelined by a scary concussion in a loss two weeks ago against Oregon State.
Vereen has responded with the two best games of his career the past two weeks in wins over Arizona and Stanford. Running effectively off direct snaps in Cal's form of the wildcat, Vereen overpowered the Cardinal. The Bears drove more than 70 yards on three consecutive drives starting late in the second quarter, all ending with short runs by Vereen.
Riley added a 12-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones early in the fourth quarter to give the Bears a 31-21 lead, silencing Tiger Woods and the rest of the red-clad portion in the largest crowd of 50,510 in the fourth year at the remodeled Stanford Stadium. Riley went 17 for 31 for 235 yards with one touchdown.
After Gerhart cut Cal's lead to 31-28 on his fourth TD, Stanford got the ball back at its 21 with under 5 minutes to go. After two incompletions and a short run by Gerhart, coach Jim Harbaugh decided to go for it on fourth-and-8 despite having all three timeouts remaining. Luck badly missed his receiver on the fourth-down throw, giving Cal the ball back with 3:28 to go at the Stanford 23.
The Bears settled for a field goal to go up 34-28 with 2:42 to go, with coach Jeff Tedford calling for Riley to take a knee to center the ball on third down from the Stanford 9. Stanford drove down the field and was in position to win until Luck's interception. Harbaugh put his arm around his quarterback as they walked off the field following the key turnover.
Luck entered the game as the top-rated passer in the Pac-10 but finally looked like the redshirt freshman he is against a Cal defense that has played its best two games the past two weeks. Luck finished 10 for 30 for 157 yards, rarely finding open receivers and missing a few of them when he did have the chance to make a play.
Gerhart, who moved into the Heisman Trophy race with 401 yards rushing and six touchdowns the past two weeks, scored on a 61-yard run on the third play from scrimmage. Gerhart added three more short TD runs on the day, giving him a school-record 23 for the season and school-record 39 in his career. Gerhart scored again in the first quarter on a 2-yard run following a blocked punt.
This marked the third time this season that the Cardinal lost a game in which they led by at least 14 points. This one was especially painful because it came against Cal and ended the team's Rose Bowl hopes. Now Stanford could be looking at a possible bid to Sun Bowl or Emerald Bowl instead of the Rose.

Big Game Performance Earns Shane Vereen Multiple National Honors
Cal sophomore tailback rushed 42 times for 193 yards and three touchdowns in Saturday's 34-28 win Stanford.

Shane Vereen earned multiple national honors for his performance Saturday in Cal's 34-28 victory over Stanford in the 112th Big Game played at Stanford Stadium.
Football Home
Cal No. 21 in Latest USA Today Poll/No. 22 in AP Rankings and BCS Standings
Cal Football Postgame Notes - at Stanford (Saturday, November 21)
Cal Holds On, Knocks Off No. 14 Stanford, 34-28

Nov. 22, 2009
BERKELEY - Cal sophomore tailback Shane Vereen earned multiple national honors for his performance Saturday in Cal's 34-28 victory over Stanford in the 112th Big Game played at Stanford Stadium. Vereen became the first Cal player this season to be honored with a Walter Camp Football Foundation national weekly award when he was named the organization's BCS National Offensive Player of the Week. He is also one of four nominees for the Week 12 AT&T All-America Player of the Week Award and was an honorable mention selection for the College Football Performance Awards Running Back Performer of the Week. The national honors are all the first of Vereen's career.
Vereen rushed 42 times for 193 yards (both career highs) and three touchdowns (tied career-high) to lead the Golden Bears to their fifth win in their last six games overall, and their seventh victory in their last eight games against the Cardinal. The 42 rushing attempts tied for the most in the nation in 2009 along with Central Florida's Brynn Harvey, who had 42 carries against Memphis on Oct. 3.
Vereen now has 738 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground this season on a team-high 147 carries (5.0 average) to rank seventh in the Pac-10 in rushing (67.1 ypg). He is also fifth in the conference in all-purpose running yards per game (136.18) with a team-high total of 1,498 (738 rush, 199 receive, 10 punt return, 551 kick return). In addition, he is sixth in the league in kick returns with an average of 23.0 (24 kick returns, 551 yards).
Fans can help Vereen win the Week 12 AT&T All-America Player of the Week honor by voting for him in the only college football honor determined by fan voting. Text VOTE to 345345 and then reply with your selection. Fans have until 8:59 p.m. PT on Wednesday to submit their votes. The winner will be announced during Thursday's ESPN College Football Primetime presented by Applebee's. Standard text messaging rates apply.

There is no limit on fan voting and each vote counts as one entry into a sweepstakes to win a trip to the 2010 Bowl Championship Series National Championship game in Pasadena. Full sweepstakes rules can be found at
In December, four finalists for the AT&T All-America Player of the Year Award will be announced during a one-hour special on ESPN in conjunction with the announcement of the AT&T ESPN All-America Team as selected by the Football Writers Association of America. Fans will then get their chance to say who the best player in the nation is by voting for the AT&T All-America Player of the Year. Voting ends at 8:59 p.m. PT on Jan. 5, and the winner will be announced during the BCS National Championship game on ABC on Jan. 7.
Cal (8-3, 5-3 Pac-10, No. 21 USA Today/No. 22 AP/No. 22 BCS) will enjoy a bye week before traveling to Washington (3-7, 2-5 Pac-10) for the final regular season game of 2009 for both teams on Saturday, Dec. 5 (3:30 p.m. PT). The contest will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet California