Monday, December 21, 2009


Pepperdine Team Report
Yahoo! Sports Dec 16, 4:25 pm EST

When the season began, Pepperdine seemed to have ingredients for a major improvement. A rise into the upper-division of the West Coast Conference seemed within their reach.
The Waves had four starters back from a team that seemed to be making progress late last season, and the leadership of coach Tom Asbury seemed to have things going in the right direction. However, it simply has not happened for the Waves this season, at least not yet.

The Waves have been disappointing through nonconference play, and as of Dec. 14, Pepperdine seemed like one of the two worst teams in the conference, along with San Francisco. Keion Bell has been putting up big numbers in a variety of categories, but Pepperdine cannot win games. Its only two Division I victories came against Monmouth and Hampton, and, as of Dec. 14, it was riding a five-game losing streak. The home loss to California Baptist, an NAIA school, on Dec. 10 was particularly tough to take and had to affect the team’s confidence.

The Waves have some difficult non-conference games remaining before the start of West Coast Conference play, so they must avoid having their resolve crushed before conference play begins.
An injury to freshman point guard Joshua Lowery seemed to hurt the team’s cohesiveness, and Asbury is now shuffling the starting lineup and rotation trying to find a combination that works.

It’s hard to put a finger on what is wrong with Pepperdine, other than an inability to win close games. The Waves have lost two games in overtime and another by two points. The 67-65 loss to California Baptist may have been indicative, because the Waves had a nine-point lead with less than four minutes left.

Against Fresno State, the Waves trailed by just three points with less than three minutes left and had possession but crumbled down the stretch. The Waves let a 19-point first-half lead get away in a loss to Cal Poly.

Bell has been outstanding, but he has not been getting consistent scoring support from any particular teammate. Mychel Thompson, the most likely candidate to be the No. 2 scorer, had scored more than 13 points only once and was shooting 34.5 percent from the field as of Dec. 14.
The Waves need to create more turnovers to create more open-court opportunities, because that is the their strength.


• Nine players have started at least three games already this season, and Keion Bell is the only Waves player who started each of the first 11 games. Nine players are averaging more than 12 minutes of playing time, and two others are averaging more than eight minutes, as Tom Asbury continues to search for a rotation.

• G Keion Bell was averaging 22.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists as of Dec. 14, making him one of just three players in the nation, averaging more than 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. He also is hitting 50.3 percent of his shots from the floor.

Key Early-season Conference Game: vs. Loyola Marymount, Saturday, Jan. 9—This is the conference opener for the Waves, who start WCC play with three home games, all against teams they are capable of beating. The opener against its Southern California rival may set the tone for the entire conference season, and if Keion Bell can get some scoring support from Mychel Thompson, the Waves can get off on the right foot.

Last Year ‘S CONFERENCE RECORD: 5-9, sixth in the West Coast Conference.

Quote To Note: “We’re a pretty quick team and when we get out in the open floor, we’ve got a pretty good chance. We’ve got some guys that can score.”—Pepperdine coach Tom Asbury.


What We Learned In November: The Waves just don’t seem to be as improved as expected, and the home loss to California Baptist suggests this team, which is laden with sophomores, may still be too young to play consistently well. Keion Bell has shown he has enough offensive skill to lead the conference in scoring, but the Waves need to develop two other consistent scorers.

December At A Glance: This is a dangerous time for the Waves, whose confidence has to be shaken. They play Utah and Georgia to finish up December before playing Miami (Fla.) in early January. That is a demanding stretch heading into conference play, and the Waves merely need to survive with their confidence intact, even if they lose all three, which seems likely.

Player Rotation: Usual Starters—G Keion Bell, G Lorne Jackson, F Mychel Thompson, F Jonathan DuPre, F Taylor Darby. Key Subs—F Dane Suttle Jr., G Joshua Lowery, F Gus Clardy.
Roster Report:

• Freshman G Joshua Lowery started the first seven games before missing the Cal Poly game with a sprained ankle. He missed two games, then came off the bench in the next two.

• Hector Harold, a 6-5 forward from North Mount Hermon, Mass., was the only player Pepperdine signed in the November signing period.

• Sophomore G Lorne Jackson had offseason knee surgery and was cleared to play just before the start of preseason practice. He had a season-high 16 points in the loss to Portland State on Dec. 13.
Pepperdine (3-9) at UC Irvine (5-5)
The Sports Network
Posted: Monday, Dec. 21, 2009

GAME NOTES: Two teams looking to get back in the win column will collide this evening when the UC Irvine Anteaters host the Pepperdine Waves at the Bren Events Center.
The Waves have lost nine of their 12 games this season, and come into this contest stuck in a six-game slide. The most recent setback for Pepperdine was a tough, 78-72 loss to New Mexico State. The Waves are winless in three road games this season and since the start of last year the team is just 2-14 as the visitor.
As for the Anteaters they have dropped back-to-back games on the heels of a three-game winning streak. The most recent loss for UCI was a 69-56 setback to San Jose State. It was the first home loss for the Anteaters, who won their first three contests at the Bren Events Center.
The all-time series between the two teams is tied at nine games apiece, but the Anteaters have won five of the last six matchups, including a 71-63 decision over Pepperdine last year.
The Waves have a dynamic offensive source on the roster and that is Keion Bell. Bell has done everything for Pepperdine on the year and is pacing the team with 21.9 ppg, 50 assists and 22 steals. Dane Suttle Jr is contributing 11.3 ppg on the season, while Mychel Thompson is posting 9.8 ppg, to go along with 5.8 rpg. The last time Pepperdine was in action the team scored 72 points, but it was not enough for the Waves to crash over New Mexico State. Pepperdine shot just 37.3 percent from the floor and made only 11-of-20 attempts from the foul line. Bell once again led the way with 19 points, while Jonathan Dupre added 18 points and six boards. Suttle Jr chipped in with 11 points in the loss.
The Anteaters put forth a terrible effort in their last contest, netting just 56 points in a loss to San Jose State. UC Irvine shot just 37.1 percent in the loss and made only 5-of-25 attempts from behind the arc. Eric Wise paced the team with 15 points, and also added six rebounds and five assists. Michael Hunter contributed 13 points, while Zack Atkinson posted 12 points. Hunter has been the main scoring threat on the floor for Irvine and comes into this game netting 14.5 ppg. Wise has done a little of everything, as the forward is posting 13.1 ppg, to go along with 5.5 rpg and 34 assists. On the season, Irvine has been mediocre at best offensively, netting just 69.4 ppg, behind a 43.7 percent shooting effort. The Waves have been dreadful defensively this year, so if there was a time for the Anteaters to enjoy a solid offensive performance, tonight would be the night.

Cal 2009 Position Previews: Running Backs
by Avinash on in Football 37 comments
Copyright © 2009 Sportsblogs, Inc

More photos » by Marcio Jose Sanchez - AP
California running back Jahvid Best, left, runs his drills. Will he be running the Bears offense again in 2009?
Browse more photos »

Give it to Best. GIVE IT TO BEST. GIVE IT TO BEST!!!!
I'm not sure how many times I uttered that phrase last season. I'm not sure how many times other Cal fans were mumbling it under their breath. What I AM sure of is that Jahvid Best's 2008 campaign was something to behold.
Yes, he piled it up on craptacular teams, and yes, some of our commenters had the gall to start the nonsensical Quizz-Best debate (They do different things people. They do different things). But quite simply, our 2008 offense WAS Jahvid Best. He accounted for over HALF of Cal's offense in the final four games of last season.

Our Bus is Langston Jackson
Langston Jackson is the one who stands out in fall camp as a short yardage back; the guy is absolutely huge, but with quick feet and agility. Diagnosis? Put him in at 3rd and 1.
I thought Debo was much bigger since I heard he put on a lot of extra muscle during the off-season. I was very high on him…until I saw him at the spring game. He doesn’t look any bigger than Vereen and was stuffed about 4 times in a row at the Goal line. Diagnosis? Put on another 25lbs and be fullback please.
Yarnway is a mini-beast already. Next year, full fledged man-beast. Diagnosis? Redshirt.
Sofele is too good to keep off the field. Play him this year. He’s small but all muscle and fast twitch tendons. Diagnosis? Play him!
by DavidsonBear on Aug 19, 2009 10:06 AM PDT reply actions 1 recs

I have to admit, I did hours of research for this post, and this is the first time I’ve ever heard of Langston Jackson, ever.
Kudos sir. Where’d you hear about Langston’s abilities?
Contact me:
by Avinash on Aug 19, 2009 10:12 AM PDT up reply actions 0 recs

He’s been mentioned on BI a fair amount, also I think a couple practice reports from JO in spring.
Some say his powerade gives you infrared vision...and that his sweat towels wipe away sin. All we know is he's called giantfan5.
by Spazzy Mcgee on Aug 19, 2009 12:27 PM PDT up reply actions 0 recs

He's #24; Redshirt Freshman. 225 lbs. Big as a full back, but plays TB.
He’s been mentioned in some of the fall camp reports. With Best and Vereen sitting out (as they should), Yarnway, Debo and Jackson have been getting reps.
Tedford commented on his agility and quickness for being a big guy. Personally, I think he’s going to see the field this year. He’s had good runs consistently on short yardage situations.
As you know, we have a terrible time with 3rd and 1 yard. Best and Vereen typically get -1 or 60 yards (ha). And I think we all remember Forsett trying to pound it unsuccessfully 2 years ago.
by DavidsonBear on Aug 19, 2009 10:19 AM PDT reply actions
Busy Day of Poinsettia Bowl Events for Golden Bears Sunday
Cal players tour San Diego Zoo, practice and visit kids from Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego.
Dec. 20, 2009
SAN DIEGO - The Cal football team had a full day of Poinsettia Bowl events on Sunday that included a morning visit to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, an afternoon practice and a visit to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego.
The day started with the arrival at the front gates of the zoo of three buses carrying the majority of the team's players. The team was greeted at the front entrance of the by the Poinsettia Bowl committee and shortly after entering, several of the Cal players were given an opportunity to participate in the zoo's Backstage Pass program. The players were treated to up-close and behind-the-scene visits with a pair of rhinoceros, a binturong and a cheetah, who remained amazingly calm while the players posted for a series of photos with the big cat.
The visit with Karroo, a South African cheetah, was the highlight of the zoo trip. The elegant animal was brought in on a leash by the zoo's handlers along with her canine companion, Sven Olof. According to the zoo staff, the golden retriever's presence helps keep the cheetah calm. A couple of the team's - linebackers Eddie Young and Mychal Kendricks - were even brave enough to pet the cheetah ... with the zoo staff's permission, of course.
Earlier, several members of the Cal contingent were introduced to Surat and Soman, a pair of Indian rhinos, who weigh more than 3,000 pounds each. They were given instructions and then the chance to feed the animals from a bucket of carrots, celery sticks and alfalfa treats.
The Golden Bears spent the remainder of the morning visiting the entire park before heading back to the hotel to prepare for an afternoon practice.
San Diego Practice #2 Cal was on the field at the University of San Diego's Torero Stadium before 4:00 p.m. and conducted a crisp hour-and-a-half session that was a combination of individual and team work. The team will have only one remaining full workout on Monday and a Tuesday walk-through to prepare for their Poinsettia Bowl opponent Utah (9-3, 6-2 Mountain West Conference). The game will be televised live by ESPN on Wednesday, Dec. 23 (5:00 p.m. PT). An online broadcast will also be available on

The contest matches a pair of teams that have combined for 12 consecutive bowl victories, with Cal winning its last four postseason games and Utah it's past eight. Cal is also extending its school-run of post-season appearances to seven. "Today was very focused and high energy," said head coach Jeff Tedford. "I've been pleased with the way these guys have responded and prepared throughout bowl practices, and here we've been able to hone in on it."
"I feel very comfortable with the way we prepare for bowl games," Tedford added later. "I feel comfortable with how our kids go into it. I've been pleased with how we prepared."

More Bowl Week Activities Scheduled In addition to conducting its third workout in San Diego at Torero Stadium, Cal players and coaches are scheduled to take part in the Poinsettia Bowl Grand Prix along with members of the Utah team at the Miramar Speed Circuit on Monday afternoon. Members of both teams are scheduled to race karts at speeds up to 40 mph in a friendly competition on an indoor ¼-mile asphalt track. The Poinsettia Bowl March through the Gaslamp begins at 6:00 p.m., with the marching bands and spirit squads parading through the district and meeting at 5th and Market Streets for a Battle of the Bands.
The official Poinsettia Bowl press conference featuring Cal head coach Jeff Tedford and Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham at the Omni Hotel San Diego kicks off Tuesday's activities at 10:30 a.m. Both teams will then participate in the AT&T Team Luncheon on the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum beginning at 11:30 a.m.