Monday, January 25, 2010


Tom Asbury Has Pepperdine Playing Good BasketballTHE FACTS — The Pepperdine men’s basketball team’s three-game conference win streak may be over, but the Waves hope to take any momentum created from a very good showing at #15 Gonzaga into Saturday’s game at Portland. Pepperdine is in the middle of its first WCC road trip, and is going into its second game of a treacherous three-game stretch against what most consider to be the WCC’s top three teams (Gonzaga, Portland and Saint Mary’s).
LAST GAME — Keion Bell exploded for 34 of his career-high 37 points to help Pepperdine to one of its best showings at Gonzaga in years, but the #15 Bulldogs held on for a 91-84 home victory on Thursday. Gonzaga led by as many as 15 in both halves, but Bell, Lorne Jackson (17 points) and Mychel Thompson (13 points) would not let the Bulldogs pull away.
INSIDE BELL’S BIG GAME — Keion Bell’s second-half slam dunk over Gonzaga 7-footer Robert Sacre made ESPN SportsCenter’s Plays of the Day … Bell made 14 of 21 shots, three of four three-pointers and six of eight free throws … He also had five rebounds, four assists and four steals … He scored 22 of Pepperdine’s first 24 second-half points in an eight-minute span.

PLAYER OF THE WEEKLorne Jackson was named WCC co-Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 18.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in victories over Santa Clara and San Francisco. Mychel Thompson shared the award the previous week, giving Pepperdine two WCC Player of the Week honors in the same season for the first time since 2004-05.
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.

Men's Hoops Ends First Half of WCC Play at HomeCourtesy: Pepperdine Sports Information
Release: 01/26/2010

Pepperdine Men's Basketball Notes

THE FACTS - The Pepperdine men's basketball team closes out the first half of the West Coast Conference season at home this week with contests against Saint Mary's and San Diego. The Waves, who are in the midst of playing five of the first seven league games in Firestone Fieldhouse, opened up the conference season 3-0 at home.
GAME #22 - Thursday (Jan. 28) at Firestone Fieldhouse: Pepperdine (7-14, 3-2) vs. Saint Mary's (17-3, 4-1) at 7 p.m.
GAME #23 - Saturday (Jan. 30) at Firestone Fieldhouse: Pepperdine vs. San Diego (8-13, 1-4) at 7 p.m.
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. Most 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 Wave Casts link. 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.
PROMOTIONS - A lucky Pepperdine student will take part in a $10,000 halftime shootout at both games ... The postgame "Fifth Quarter" event after the Saint Mary's game will be a screening of the Michael Jackson film "This Is It" ... If the Waves are victorious and score 75 points or more in an upcoming home game, certificates will be given out afterward for a free piece of grilled chicken from the KFC in Malibu.
TICKETS - Men's basketball single-game tickets cost $15 (lower reserved), $12 (upper reserved), $10 (adult general admission) or $5 (child general admission). Call (866) WAVE-TIX to purchase tickets.
TELEVISION - Saturday's San Diego game will be aired live on Prime Ticket. Paul Sunderland and Michael Cage are the announcers.
SAINT MARY'S - Pepperdine is 68-52 all-time against Saint Mary's, with a 25-11 record in Malibu. The Gaels have won five straight in Firestone Fieldhouse, however, and 11 of the last 12 overall.
SAN DIEGO - Pepperdine is 53-32 all-time against San Diego, with a 23-7 record in Malibu. The Waves won at home last season, 57-52, ending a nine-game win streak by the Toreros.
LAST GAME - Pepperdine's trip to the Northwest ended with an 80-64 loss at Portland on Saturday. Keion Bell followed up his 37-point performance at Gonzaga with a team-high 21 in Portland. Two of the Waves' young big men had solid games, as Taylor Darby scored 13 points and Tanner Kerry had a season-high 11. The Waves got off to a great offensive start and led 24-18 after just 8 1/2 minutes. But Portland went on to lead 49-38 at halftime and went up by as many as 23 in the second half.
ROSTER - There are no seniors on the 2009-10 squad, and 12 of the 16 players are underclassmen. The roster features four juniors, seven sophomores and five true freshmen. Pepperdine does return 11 letterwinners from last season (believed to be among the most in school history). Twelve players are on scholarship and four are walk-ons.
SOPHOMORE SCORERS - Last season, Pepperdine's eight-man freshman class scored more than half of the Waves' points (57.4%). So far, the now-sophomore class has contributed 66.9% of Pepperdine's scoring. The sophomores have been the top-scoring class in every game this season.
THE TRIO - Lately, the Waves are at the their best when Keion Bell, Mychel Thompson and Lorne Jackson are all on. In Pepperdine's five conference games, they have averaged a combined 49.6 points per game (that's more than two-thirds of all of the Waves' scoring).
KEION BELL - Sophomore guard Keion Bell (Los Angeles, Calif./Pasadena HS) has been one of the most exciting and prolific players on the West Coast in 2009-10. He is currently averaging 20.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists. He now ranks #2 in the WCC and #25 in the nation in scoring (he ranked as high as ninth nationally in early December). He is the third-highest scorer in the nation among sophomores. After a good weekend where his averages rose, he is again one of just two players in the country averaging at least 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists (Dominique Jones of South Florida is the other). Bell has scored more than 20 points in 11 games this season, including a career-high 37 at Gonzaga. He's been in double-figures in every game but two. At the pace he's on, he could become Pepperdine's 35th 1,000-point scorer by the end of his sophomore season (he's got 834). In the WCC rankings, he's also fourth in steals (1.7), sixth in assists, eighth in minutes (32.3) and 17th in rebounding.
BELL'S 37-POINT GAME - The 37-point performance by Keion Bell at Gonzaga on Jan. 21 was extremely memorable for many reasons: 34 of the 37 points came in the second half ... He set the McCarthey Athletic Center record for points by an opponent ... Along with his 34-point game vs. Monmouth, he has the two highest scoring games in the WCC this season ... His second-half slam dunk over Gonzaga 7-footer Robert Sacre made ESPN SportsCenter's Plays of the Day ... Bell made 14 of 21 shots, three of four three-pointers and six of eight free throws ... He scored 22 of Pepperdine's first 24 second-half points in an eight-minute span ... The last time a Pepperdine player scored more points was in January 2001 when Brandon Armstrong notched 40 against Loyola Marymount ... It tied as the 24th-best single-game performance in Pepperdine history, and by players other than scoring great Bird Averitt, it was the eighth best.
MYCHEL THOMPSON - Junior forward Mychel Thompson (Portland, Ore./Stoneridge Prep) was selected as team captain for 2009-10 after a landslide vote by his teammates. He is Pepperdine's only player that has been with the team for two full seasons. Thompson is averaging 12.0 points this season (second-best on the team) and 9.6 points for his career. He has broken into Pepperdine's career top 10 in three-pointers made this season (he's now tied with Rick Welch at #8 at 125, Tom Lewis is #7 at 132). Since a rough start to his season from beyond the arc (0-for-21), Thompson has made 34 of 72 (47%). He's been in double-figures in five of the last six games and is averaging 14.2 ppg in conference play. He scored a career-high-tying 25 points in a win vs. Utah.
LORNE JACKSON - Sophomore guard Lorne Jackson (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) is averaging 14.4 points per game in conference play, and he has seen his overall scoring average increase to 9.0 ppg. He's scored in double-figures in four of five conference games, including a career-high 21 vs. San Francisco. He's also averaging 4.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists in WCC games.
BEYOND THE ARC - The three-point shot has been a big weapon for the Waves in conference play, as Pepperdine has made 43.6% of them so far (up from 34.3% in non-conference action) and is making 9.6 per game, best in the WCC. Mychel Thompson has made 16 of 30 (53.3%), Keion Bell is 12-for-26 (46.2%) Lorne Jackson is 11-for-27 (40.7%) and Jonathan Dupre' has hit six of 10 (60.0%). Thompson's 6-for-7 performance vs. LMU nearly equaled the school record for single-game percentage (6-for-6, 1.000).
2009-10 NOTABLES - The Waves were down 12 to Cal State San Bernardino with 8 1/2 minutes to play but came back to win by three ... The Waves were the team champion at the World Vision Challenge in Wyoming ... Pepperdine's win over Utah came against a 2009 NCAA Tournament team ... In the 150th meeting ever with LMU, the Waves came back from a 17-point first-half deficit to post a victory in the first game of WCC play ... Pepperdine beat Santa Clara at home for the 13th time in the last 14 meetings ... Pepperdine started 2-0 in league play for the first time since 2005 and 3-0 for the first time since 2002 (a year that the Waves started 11-0 en route to a 13-1 record and a tie for first in the WCC with Gonzaga) ... At 3-0, the Waves were three games over .500 in league play for the first time since 2004 ... Although it was a loss, the Waves' seven-point defeat at Gonzaga was an excellent effort and gave them their closest margin of defeat in Spokane in the last 10 years.
2009-10 HONORS - Keion Bell was named to the preseason All-WCC first team ... Bell (26.7 ppg) was named MVP of the World Vision Challenge at Wyoming and Dane Suttle Jr. (15.3 ppg) also made the all-tournament team ... Mychel Thompson was named WCC co-Player of the Week on Jan. 11 after scoring a game-high 22 points and making six of seven three-pointers in a win vs. LMU ... Lorne Jackson was named WCC co-Player of the Week on Jan. 18 after averaging 18.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in victories over Santa Clara and San Francisco ... Pepperdine has two WCC POTW honors in the same season for the first time since 2004-05, and had its first back-to-back winners since December 2002.
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
HECTOR HAROLD - There are no seniors on the roster but Pepperdine had one scholarship to offer for 2010-11. During the early signing period, they inked Hector Harold, a 6-foot-6 small forward from the Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.) School. He was given a rating of 88 out of 100 by's recruiting site and is considered one of the top seniors in New England. He is originally from Pasadena, Calif.
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 did for the first 16 games of the season. The Waves played 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 were at home.
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 standouts 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.

Gonzaga vs. Pepperdine

Gonzaga kept its West Coast Conference winning streak alive by opening league play with three consecutive road victories. Its first game back home might not be quite as easy as it once looked.
Pepperdine is surprisingly perfect in conference play, but will take on a No. 15 Bulldogs team shooting for its 25th straight conference win and 17th in a row over the Waves on Thursday night.
It's no surprise that Gonzaga (14-3, 3-0) is atop the WCC, but Pepperdine (7-12, 3-0) was picked to finish seventh by the conference's coaches. With 12 losses in 16 non-conference games - one of them a 67-65 defeat to California Baptist of the NAIA - it appeared the Waves were in trouble. Instead, they are tied with the Bulldogs for first place.
"The first part of the year we were 4-12, but we were motivated to start the new season (conference play)," forward Taylor Darby said after scoring 15 points in an 83-68 win over San Francisco on Saturday. "We need to continue playing smart. Right now we feel really good."
While Pepperdine has reason to be optimistic - sophomore guard Lorne Jackson was named conference player of the week after averaging 17.7 points in three games - it faces an imposing challenge in Spokane. Gonzaga has won 11 straight at home against the Waves since a loss in February 1998, and 16 overall in the series by an average of 20.5 points.
The Bulldogs have won six in a row since a 35-point loss to Duke on Dec. 19. They opened a stretch of five straight away from their home floor by beating Oklahoma 83-69 on Dec. 31 at Spokane Arena, then defeated Illinois in overtime at the United Center on Jan. 2. Gonzaga then won at Portland and St. Mary's before beating San Diego 68-50 on Saturday.
"I told them that's as good of a five-game stretch as I've ever seen one of our clubs play, especially in lieu of the fact that all of them were on the road and none of them on our home floor," coach Mark Few said. "It's a heck of a job. I'm really proud of them."
Elias Harris has been the star, averaging 23.0 points, 9.7 rebounds and 63.6 percent shooting in the three games that have extended Gonzaga's regular-season conference winning streak to 24.
"Before this game in the locker room guys were jumping around and ready to play," sophomore guard Demetri Goodson said after winning in San Diego. "We knew how big this game was for our team. At practice we were very focused. It will be good to finally get home and play in front of our fans."
Both Harris and guard Matt Bouldin suffered falls on separate plays against San Diego. Neither anticipates any problems for Thursday, although Bouldin - who averages 15.3 points but was held to six Saturday - said his shooting hand was sore.
One subpar effort from the senior shouldn't be too alarming to the Bulldogs. Bouldin averaged 20.0 points in the first three games of the road stretch, and 15.0 points and 8.0 assists against the Waves last season.
Pepperdine guard Keion Bell, the team's leading scorer at 19.2 points a contest, averaged 18.0 points and 11.0 rebounds versus Gonzaga in 2008-09.
Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC January 21, 2010 in Sports
Gonzaga BulldogsThe Spokesman-Review
RECORD: 14-3 overall, 3-0 WCC
COMING UP: Today vs. Pepperdine, 6 p.m. (KHQ/FSN); Saturday vs. Loyola Marymount, 5 p.m. (KHQ/FSN)
OUTLOOK: Pepperdine, picked to finish seventh in the WCC preseason poll, has jumped out to a 3-0 start, making tonight’s game a battle for first place. The Waves (7-12) are off to their best start since 2002 when they finished 13-1 and tied GU for the conference crown. Pepperdine doesn’t have a senior on its roster. Lorne Jackson (17.7 points), Mychel Thompson (16.7), Keion Bell (15.7) and Taylor Darby (10.3) lead the Waves in conference games. Pepperdine has made 31 of 60 3-pointers in WCC play. GU has won 16 straight in the series. Jarred DuBois leads LMU (10-9, 1-2) at 12.7 ppg.

Saint Mary's 88, Pepperdine 71Associated Press
MALIBU, Calif. -- Mickey McConnell's career-high 26 points led Saint Mary's, Calif., to an 88-71 victory over Pepperdine on Thursday night.
Omar Samhan, the West Coast Conference's top scorer and rebounder, nearly posted a 20-20 game. He finished with 23 points and a career-high-tying 19 rebounds for the Gaels (18-3, 5-1) in his 12th double-double of the season.
Ben Allen added 19 points, and McConnell tied a career best with six 3-pointers.
Keion Bell led the Waves (7-15, 3-3) with 24 points and seven rebounds. It was the third time in a row and 12th time this season Bell had scored 20 or more points.
Mychel Thompson added 16 and Lorne Jackson 14.
Saint Mary's shot 56.1 percent (32 of 57) to Pepperdine's 36.4 percent (28 of 77). The Gaels also held a 43-36 edge on the boards. The Gaels won for the eighth time in their last nine games.
Bell Scores 24, But Waves Fall to Gaels
Courtesy: Pepperdine Sports Information
Release: 01/28/2010

Pepperdine-Saint Mary's Box Score

MALIBU, Calif. - Sophomore guard Keion Bell scored 24 points for the Pepperdine men's basketball team but Saint Mary's came away with an 88-71 victory in West Coast Conference play at Firestone Fieldhouse on Thursday night.
The Waves (7-15, 3-3) lost for the first time at home in conference play after opening 3-0. The Gaels (18-3, 5-1) won for the eighth time in their last nine games.
Bell (Los Angeles, Calif./Pasadena HS) also had seven rebounds and four assists. He scored 20 or more points for the third straight game and the 12th time this season. He started the week 25th in the nation in scoring (third among the nation's sophomores).
Junior forward Mychel Thompson (Portland, Ore./Stoneridge Prep) added 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, while sophomore guard Lorne Jackson (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) had 14 points and four assists.Saint Mary's players had several career bests in the victory. Mickey McConnell led all scorers with a career-high 26. Omar Samhan, the WCC's leading scorer and rebounder, had 23 points and a career-high-tying 19 rebounds. Ben Allen added a career-high 19 points. The trio combined for 68 of the Gaels' 88 points.
The Gaels had a 56.1%-36.4% shooting edge and made 10 three-pointers, six by McConnell. The Waves kept things close by forcing 15 turnovers while committing only five.
The Waves took their only lead of the game at 10-9 with 15:45 left. Bell finished a fast break with a dunk and then pulled down a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast for a lay-up to end a 6-0 run.
The Gaels pulled ahead at 22-15, but the Waves got it back to a one-point game at 22-21 after another 6-0 run, with Bell making a lay-up, Thompson hitting two free throws and junior forward Gus Clardy (Nacogdoches, Texas/Nacogdoches HS) sinking a jumper.
A 6-0 Gaels run late in the half gave Saint Mary's its largest lead of the half at 39-29, but the Waves finished the half by scoring seven of the final nine points, making it a 41-36 game at halftime.
Saint Mary's led by double-digits for most of the second half.
Pepperdine, which has no seniors and has a roster where 12 of the 16 players are underclassmen, has been led in scoring by its sophomore class in 22 of 22 games this season.
The Waves close out the first half of conference play at home on Saturday (Jan. 30) against San Diego at 7 p.m. The game will be shown live on Prime Ticket. Fans can catch Al Epstein's broadcasts at with a subscription to Wave Casts.

Pepperdine (7-12) at (15) Gonzaga (14-3)
By Sports Network; The Sports Network
Published: 01/21/10 7:43 am

GAME NOTES: First place in the West Coast Conference standings is up for grabs in Spokane tonight, as the 15th-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs host the Pepperdine Waves at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Considering their struggles during non-conference play, Pepperdine's 3-0 start to the WCC season is a rather surprising one. The Waves defeated Loyola Marymount (79-75), Santa Clara (61-60) and San Francisco (83-68) for their best WCC start since the 2001-02 campaign. While none of the three teams Pepperdine defeated is expected to be a contender for the league crown, it is still a nice accomplishment for a squad that went just 4-12 against non- conference foes.
As for the Bulldogs, they are the favorite to win their 10th straight WCC regular-season title and they couldn't have gotten off to a better start. Despite playing its three main challengers on the road, Gonzaga was able to sweep the trip with victories at the University of Portland (81-78), Saint Mary's-CA (89-82) and San Diego (68-50). Winners of six straight, the Bulldogs are now 14-3 overall and seemingly in control of the WCC. Gonzaga leads the all-time series with Pepperdine, 36-31, and the Bulldogs have won the last 16 meetings overall and the past 11 in Spokane.
The Waves connected on 45.9 percent of their attempts from the floor and 9- of-19 from three-point range, as they came away with an 83-68 win over San Francisco on Saturday. The team also did a solid job at the foul line, where it finished 18-of-21. Lorne Jackson led the charge with 21 points and six boards, while Keion Bell turned in an all-around effort of 18 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Bell has proven he can do it all and he leads Pepperdine in scoring (19.2 ppg), assists (4.0 apg) and steals (30) while ranking third in rebounding (5.1 rpg). Mychel Thompson, who had 15 points and seven rebounds last game, is a second option for Pepperdine with an average of 12.2 ppg.
The Bulldogs had their way at both ends of the court, shooting 53.2 percent from the floor and holding San Diego to a dismal 34.5 percent effort in a 68-50 win on Saturday. Gonzaga also went 6-of-11 from downtown as well as winning the battle on the boards, 38-30. Elias Harris led the way with a 20- point, nine-rebound effort and Steven Gray tallied 17 points. With the solid performance, Harris has now taken over as the squad's top scorer (15.5 ppg), to go along with his team-high 7.9 rpg. Matt Bouldin, who was limited to just six points last game, is now second at 15.3 ppg and he also hands out a team- high 4.3 apg. Gray puts forth 13.3 ppg for the Bulldogs, who are averaging a solid 78.6 ppg. Robert Sacre rounds things out with 11.2 ppg and 5.4 rpg.
This is Gonzaga's first home game since late December, so expect the crowd to be ready to rock tonight. While the crowd may help out, the Bulldogs are still far superior talent wise and should have no trouble routing the Waves.

Jackson, Ayim Earn WCC Weekly Honors
Courtesy: Pepperdine Sports Information
Release: 01/18/2010

MALIBU, Calif. - Both the Pepperdine men's and women's basketball teams have opened the West Coast Conference season with 3-0 records, and both programs were rewarded today with WCC co-Player of the Week honors. Sophomore guard Lorne Jackson shared the men's award while senior center Miranda Ayim earned half of the women's award.
Jackson (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) helped the Pepperdine men to home victories over Santa Clara and San Francisco as he averaged 18.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists.
Ayim (London, Ontario, Canada/Saunders Secondary) led the Pepperdine women to road victories over the same two teams. She posted averages of 23.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks.
Both squads will be involved in first-place showdowns on Thursday night (Jan. 21). Pepperdine and Gonzaga are the only programs that are unbeaten in conference play left for either the men or the women. The women's game is at Firestone Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. The men's game is in Spokane at 6 p.m. (it will be shown locally on a tape-delayed basis by Prime Ticket at 10 p.m.).
The Pepperdine men are 3-0 in the WCC for the first time since 2002 (the last time Pepperdine won part of a WCC regular-season title). The Pepperdine women are off to their best start since 2003 (the last time they won a WCC regular-season title). Gonzaga earned the other half of both of the weekly awards: Elias Harris on the men's side and Heather Bowman for the women.
Jackson was the team's high scorer in both victories last week. He had a career-high 21 points, tied his career high with six rebounds and added three assists in Saturday's 83-68 win over San Francisco. Two days earlier, he led Pepperdine with 15 points and five assists in a one-point (61-60) win over Santa Clara. He also made a key defensive play at the end by stripping the Broncos' ball-handler as time expired. Over the two games, Jackson shot 60% from the field (9-for-15), 60% on three-pointers (6-for-10) and 92% on free throws (12-for-13). He played 71 of a possible 80 minutes.
Jackson is averaging 8.9 points per game overall this season, but is Pepperdine's leading scorer in conference play at 17.7 ppg.
Ayim scored a career-high 29 points and pulled down 11 rebounds at Santa Clara on Thursday for her fourth double-double of the season. She made 14 of 24 shots and connected on her only three-point attempt in the 83-67 victory. Then, she just missed another double-double with a game-high 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds at San Francisco in a 67-43 win. She also had six blocks at USF, her third time this season with at least six blocks. That moved her up to #3 on Pepperdine's career blocked shot list (134). Over the two games, she hit 58% of her shots from the field (23-for-40). She scored nearly a third of Pepperdine's points over the weekend (47/150).
Ayim leads Pepperdine this season in scoring (15.5), rebounding (6.8) and blocks (2.2) and ranks among the WCC's leaders in all three categories.
This is Jackson's first career WCC weekly honor. Mychel Thompson won a share of last week's award, giving the Pepperdine men two WCC Player of the Week honors in one season for the first time since 2004-05. The Waves haven't had back-to-back award winners since December 2002.

Ayim has shared the WCC award twice this season (the first two times of her career). She was also honored on Nov. 30. On Thursday, fans can watch the women's game or listen to Al Epstein's broadcast of the men's game live at with a subscription to Wave Casts.

WCC Announces Players of the WeekGON and PEP share both men's and women's honor
Jan. 18, 2010History was made over the weekend as Gonzaga's Heather Bowman became the WCC's all-time leading scorer in the game against San Diego as the Zags won both games over the weekend. She shares Player of the Week honors with Pepperdine's Miranda Ayim. On the men's side, Gonzaga's Elias Harris and Pepperdine's Lorne Jackson shared the weekly honor as both teams went 2-0 in the second week of conference play.
Men's Players of the Week Elias Harris, GON Harris averaged 25.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg, shot 63.6 percent from the field (13-20) and had 4 blocks as Gonzaga went on road and defeated Saint Mary's and San Diego to open WCC play 3-0 with three straight road victories...scored season-high 31 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for third double-double of year in 89-82 win at Saint Mary's, then came back with 20 points and 9 rebound at USD. The 31 points was first Gonzaga 30-point game since Adam Morrison scored 35 in 2006 NCAA Tournament first-round game against Xavier...went 13-for-20 from field against the Gaels, 8-for-13 at USD.
Lorne Jackson, PEP Jackson averaged 18.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists as Pepperdine defeated both Santa Clara and San Francisco and improved to 3-0 in the WCC for the first time since 2002 (the last time Pepperdine won part of the WCC title). He was Pepperdine's high scorer in both games. He had a career-high 21 points, tied his career high with six rebounds and had three assists in the win against San Francisco. Two days earlier, he led Pepperdine with 15 points and five assists in a one-point win over Santa Clara. He also made a key defensive play at the end by stripping the Broncos' ball-handler as time expired. Over the two games, Jackson shot 60% from the field (9-for-15), 60% on three-pointers (6-for-10) and 92% on free throws (12-for-13). He played 71 of a possible 80 minutes. For the season, Jackson is averaging 8.9 points, 2.9 assists and 2.8 rebounds.
Women's Players of the Week Heather Bowman, GON Bowman became the new all-time leading scorer in West Coast Conference history, surpassing Martha Sheldon, of the University of Portland's mark of 1,953 scored from 1987-92. Bowman has now scored 1,956 points. Bowman went into GU's contest against San Diego needing 19 points to top Sheldon and finished with 21 to increase her WCC leading total to 1,956 career points. Bowman claimed the title at the 9:49 mark of the second half when she received a pass from sophomore Katelan Redmon and scored a fast break layup. One minute later she added to her total with her final bucket of the game.

Miranda Ayim, PEP Ayim averaged 23.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks as Pepperdine won twice on the road at Santa Clara and San Francisco. She has helped Pepperdine to a 3-0 league start, its best in the WCC since 2003 (the last time Pepperdine won a regular-season title). The Waves have also won seven of their last eight games. Ayim scored a career-high 29 points and pulled down 11 rebounds at Santa Clara for her fourth double-double of the season. She made 14 of 24 shots and connected on her only three-point attempt. Then, she just missed another double-double with a game-high 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds at San Francisco. She also had six blocks at USF, her third time this season with at least six blocks. That moved her up to #3 on Pepperdine career blocked shot list (134). Over the two games, she hit 58% of her shots from the field (23-for-40). She scored nearly a third of Pepperdine's points over the weekend (47/150). For the season, she is averaging 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks.

Pepperdine Team ReportYahoo! Sports 3 hours, 5 minutes ago
Two things need to be said about Pepperdine’s 3-0 start in conference play.

First, Waves coach Tom Asbury and his players have every reason in the world to be proud of themselves. They entered West Coast Conference play reeling from losses in nine of their previous 10 games, including a loss to California Baptist.

It would not have taken much to crush the team’s spirit, and it seemed that was about to happen when the Waves got behind Loyola Marymount by 17 points in the first half.

But after a halftime tongue-lashing by Asbury, the Waves responded with a comeback win over Loyola Marymount and followed that up with home victories over Santa Clara and San Francisco, the latter being a decisive 15-point win over a team that had beaten Loyola Marymount two days earlier.

The Waves believe again.

“Our morale is higher than ever before,” guard Keion Bell said after the victory over San Francisco. “Coach reminded us to stay focused throughout the game. Everyone is contributing. When we are all scoring, things happen and we are that much stronger.”
Said Asbury: “Practices have been great. The team has been focused and playing really well. We’ve won four out of five at home. We’ve won the games we needed to win and we defended our home court. But things will get tougher now.”

Asbury’s final sentence alludes to the second thing that needs to be said about 3-0 start: The Waves merely won three home games against teams expected to finish near the bottom of the WCC, and a one-point home victory over Santa Clara should hardly be considered a badge of honor.

And now the Waves embark on the toughest weekend of the WCC season—road games against Gonzaga on Jan. 21 and Portland on Jan. 23. If the Waves even stay competitive in those games, it will suggest that Pepperdine is a legitimate force in the WCC.

There is little chance Pepperdine can contend for the conference title this season, but if it can avoid getting trampled in games like the next two, it would show that the Waves are capable of challenging for a top-four spot in the standings this season and might be a championship contender next season.

Those two games will also be a testing ground for Bell to see whether he deserves to be considered one of the best players in the WCC. His statistics say he is in that category, but he still needs to do it on the road against the best teams in the conference.
• Pepperdine started 3-0 in conference play for the first time since 2002, which was the last time the Waves won a regular-season title, a championship it shared with Gonzaga.
• The Waves started strong and finished strong against San Francisco. They hit seven of their first 11 shots to jump out to an 18-4 lead, and they outscored San Francisco, 19-6, over the final four minutes of the game to break open what had become a tight game.
• Pepperdine’s Jan. 14 victory over Santa Clara was the Waves’ 13th win in their last 14 home games against the Broncos. Santa Clara’s 60 points was the fewest allowed by Pepperdine this season.
On The Spot: Pepperdine is 0-5 on its opponents’ home court heading into its treacherous trip against Portland and Gonzaga. The Waves have not been close in their last two road games, and they have had trouble taking care of the ball away from home. Pepperdine has committed too many turnovers in its road games to give itself a chance, and a lot of that results from the fact that the Waves have a weakness at the point-guard spot. Keion Bell has become their primary playmaker, although he is not really a point guard and is needed to provide scoring.
Quote To Note: “These first three games are crucial for us.”—Pepperdine coach Tom Asbury, after the win over Santa Clara, the second of three victories to start the conference season.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNELSeason Recap: Pepperdine seemed to be headed to oblivion after losses in nine of 10 games dropped it to 4-12 heading into conference play. But a comeback victory over Loyola Marymout in the West Coast Conference opener started the Waves off on a 3-0 start in conference play, tying them with Gonzaga for first place as of Jan. 18. It’s a surprising turnaround for the Waves, who seemed to be getting worse rather than better, but the Waves’ toughest conference competition is yet to come.
Player Rotation: Usual Starters—G Keion Bell, F Mychel Thompson, F Jonathan DuPre, F Taylor Darby, G Lorne Jackson. Key Subs—F Dane Suttle Jr., G Joshua Lowery, F Gus Clardy.
Game Review:
Pepperdine 79, Loyola Marymount 75
Pepperdine 61, Santa Clara 60
Pepperdine 83, San Francisco 68
Game Preview:
at Gonzaga, Thursday, Jan. 21
at Portland, Saturday, Jan. 23
vs. St. Mary’s, Thursday, Jan. 28
vs. San Diego, Saturday, Jan. 30
at Loyola Marymount, Saturday, Feb. 6
In Focus: The Waves have little chance of winning the Jan. 21 game against Gonzaga and need to avoid having their confidence crushed so that they will have a chance in the Jan. 16 game at Portland. The Waves will be an underdog in that one, too, but if Keion Bell has a big game, shoots well and limits his turnovers, the Waves have a chance if the Pilots are not hitting a high percentage of their three-pointers. That’s asking a lot, but a lot would need to happen for Pepperdine to win that game, even though, as of Jan. 18, Portland is 1-2 in the conference and Pepperdine 3-0.
Roster Report:• F Mychel Thompson was selected WCC co-player of the week on Jan. 11 for his play in the Jan. 9 win over Loyola Marymount, when he scored 22 points and made 6-of-7 three-pointers.
• Lorne Jackson set a career high with his 21 points against San Francisco and matched a career high with six rebounds in that game.
• Keion Bell has come close to triple doubles before, but his performance against San Francisco was the closest, when he had 18 points to go along with eight rebounds and a season-high nine assists. More important perhaps was that he had only one turnover after having 13 turnovers in the previous two conference games.

Game Day: Pepperdine at Portland
By Jim Beseda, The Oregonian
January 23, 2010, 12:10AM When: 7 tonight Where: Chiles Center (4,852), Portland Records: Pepperdine (7-13, 3-1 West Coast Conference); Portland (11-7, 2-2)On the air: Radio on KCMD (970) Probable starters: Pepperdine -- F Mychel Thompson (12.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg), F Taylor Darby (5.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg), C Tanner Kerry (1.6 ppg), G Keion Bell (20.1 ppg, 4.0 apg), G Lorne Jackson (9.4 ppg); Portland -- F Ethan Niedermeyer (6.7 ppg), F Robin Smeulders (13.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg), C Kramer Knutson (5.1 ppg), G Jared Stohl (9.7 ppg), G T.J. Campbell (12.4 ppg, 5.5 apg).Briefly:

The Pilots came through with an extraordinary defensive effort in Thursday's 79-39 victory over Loyola Marymount. The Lions shot 25 percent (6 of 24) from the field in the first half and 21.2 percent (11 of 52) for the game, marking the first time the Pilots had held an opponent to fewer than 40 points since a 67-35 victory over Idaho State on Jan. 2, 2005. Of LMU's 11 field goals, eight were from three-point range and only three came from inside the arc.Portland's Luke Sikma scored a career-high 19 points off the bench Thursday to lead four players in double figures for the Pilots. "It's nice to have guys so willing to share the ball and find the open man," Pilots coach Eric Reveno said. "If defenses want to stay on our shooters, we'll score in the paint. If they want to double down, then we'll find the open shooter.

It's a fun group to coach like that."Pilots senior guard Nik Raivio is expected to miss his second consecutive game with a strained right Achilles' tendon suffered during Tuesday's practice. There is still no timetable for his return. "I'm pretty good about worrying about things I can control, so now I'm worried about my substitutions," Reveno said. "Am I making the right moves? Should we play two point guards at times? What's our best defense without Nik? So, it causes me to worry, but there's not much I can do."After starting conference play with three consecutive wins, Pepperdine lost 91-84 Thursday to No. 15 Gonzaga in Spokane.

Bell, the Waves' 6-foot-3 sophomore guard from Los Angeles, scored 34 of his career-high 37 points in the second half and after Gonzaga had opened a 41-29 halftime lead. The loss ended Pepperdine's longest winning streak of the season at three games. ... Through 20 games last season, the Waves were 4-16 overall and 1-3 in conference. ... The Pilots swept three games against Pepperdine last season, including a 69-45 victory in the quarterfinals of the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas. Pepperdine leads the all-time series 52-28, but the Waves have beaten the Pilots on twice in 10 games over the past four seasons.-- Jim Beseda
These Guys Can Play
By Andy Katz Archive

Dominique Jones, South Florida: Jones, a 6-foot-4 junior, scored 46 points in 45 minutes -- that's right all 45 minutes -- in a 109-105 overtime win at Providence. Jones scored nine of the 14 overtime points for the Bulls. He also had 10 boards, eight assists and three steals.
Adrian Oliver, San Jose State: The 6-4 junior guard lit up one-time league favorite Louisiana Tech with 39 points in an 11-point win over the Bulldogs. He then scored 22 in an upset win over New Mexico State to push the upstart Spartans to 4-3 in the WAC.
Anatoly Bose, Nicholls State: The native of Australia played 50 minutes Saturday in a 99-98 double-OT loss at Northwestern State, scoring 46 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
Keion Bell, Pepperdine: The 6-3 sophomore guard dunked over a handful of players during midnight madness, and then flushed one over Gonzaga 7-footer Robert Sacre in a game. But he can also score at a high clip, going for 37 in a loss to the Zags and then 21 in a loss at Portland.

Cal Announces 2010 Football ScheduleBears will play seven home games beginning Sept. 4 against UC Davis and ending with Dec. 4 Big Game.

Jan. 4, 2010
2010 California Football Schedule
BERKELEY - California will open the 2010 season at home against UC Davis on Saturday, Sept. 4, and play a total of seven home games at Memorial Stadium in the football schedule announced Monday by the Pac-10 Conference. Following the season-opener at home against the Aggies, the Bears will also host Colorado (Sept. 11), UCLA (Oct. 9), Arizona State (Oct. 23), Oregon (Nov. 13), Washington (Nov. 27) and Stanford (Dec. 4) in the Big Game.
The Bears will play their five road games at Nevada (Sept. 18), Arizona (Oct. 2), USC (Oct. 16), Oregon State (Oct. 30) and Washington State (Nov. 20). Bye dates are scheduled for Sept. 25 and Nov. 6 and were created when contests vs. Washington and Washington State were moved from their original dates. The previously published schedule had the Bears playing 11 consecutive weeks before a three-week gap prior to the Dec. 4 Big Game.
Game times and television broadcast arrangements for the 2010 schedule will be announced at a later date. Cal's 2010 slate features seven games against teams that played in a bowl this past year - Arizona (Holiday), Nevada (Hawaii), Oregon (Rose), Oregon State (Las Vegas), Stanford (Sun), UCLA (EagleBank) and USC (Emerald).
The Bears will play five of their nine Pac-10 games in 2010 at home, where they are 11-2 the past two seasons. Since the Pac-10 went to a full nine-game conference slate in 2006, Cal is a combined 13-5 in league contests when it plays five Pac-10 home games (2006, '08), including a conference co-championship in '06. By comparison, the Bears are 9-9 in Pac-10 games during the two seasons (2007, '09) they played one more road game in conference play.
Season-ticket renewal information will be announced soon. Check back at or call the Cal Athletic Ticket Office at (800) GO BEARS for more information.

2010 California Football Schedule

Sept. 4 - UC Davis
Sept. 11 - Colorado
Sept. 18 - at Nevada
*Oct. 2 - at Arizona
*Oct. 9 - UCLA
*Oct. 16 - at USC
*Oct. 23 - Arizona State
*Oct. 30 - at Oregon State
*Nov. 13 - Oregon
*Nov. 20 - at Washington State
*Nov. 27 - Washington
*Dec. 4 - Stanford
*Pac-10 Game; Times and Television Broadcast Arrangements TBA
All Home Games at Memorial Stadium
Former Golden Bears DeSean Jackson and Alex Mack Honored by Pro Football Weekly/PFWA
Jackson picks up All-NFL recognition as a punt returner, while Mack named to All-Rookie squad.

DeSean Jackson earned All-NFL honors as a punt returner for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009.

Jan. 20, 2010
BERKELEY - Former Cal football players DeSean Jackson (2005-07) and Alex Mack (2005-08) have been honored by Pro Football Weekly and the Professional Football Writers Association of America for their performances during the 2009 NFL season. Jackson was selected to the All-NFL team chosen by the organizations, while Mack earned a spot on the All-Rookie squad.
Jackson led the NFL with an average of 15.2 yards per punt return and was one of only two NFL players to bring back a pair of punts for a touchdown. He finished with 29 punt returns for 441 yards. Jackson was also among NFL leaders in receiving with 62 regular-season catches for 1,156 yards (No. 12-T NFL) and an 18.6 yards per catch average that was second in the league. He also caught nine touchdown passes to rank tied for 10th in the league.

Alex Mack was named to the 2009 Pro Football Weekly/PFWA All-Rookie Team in 2009. Mack started all 16 games as a rookie center for the Cleveland Browns.,0,7559420.column

For ex-Pepperdine basketball star William 'Bird' Averitt, sky was once the limit
The electrifying guard led the nation in scoring in 1972-73, averaging 33.9 points. But his skills never fully translated to the pros, and today, at 57 and partially disabled from a car accident, he's back in his Kentucky hometown.

Jerry Crowe

January 25, 2010
Winging west from Kentucky, William "Bird" Averitt once soared majestically for the Pepperdine basketball team.These days, he rarely leaves his nest.The nation's leading scorer during the 1972-73 season, when he averaged nearly 34 points a game for a school that had not yet built a gym on its then-newly opened Malibu campus, Averitt long ago clipped his wings."I pretty much stay to myself," he says from his hometown of Hopkinsville, Ky., where he returned more than 25 years ago and never left. "I stay around the house."That's partly because of an automobile accident 15 years ago that left him partially disabled and unable to drive.
Averitt, 57, says he was driving home from a fishing trip with a girlfriend and her three children when his vehicle flipped as he swerved on loose gravel to avoid a head-on collision. He suffered a broken neck and injuries to his right arm.He says the range of motion in his neck is limited, which is why he can't drive, and his right arm is mostly useless."I hurt all the time," says Averitt, who has a steel plate in his neck, "but I'm thankful that how the accident went down, by my driving, that everyone else came out all right. I'd probably be in worse shape, emotionally, if I'd hurt the kids or their mother."Twice divorced, he has two daughters of his own and five grandchildren. He lives only a short walk from the house he grew up in and says he stays there often with his mother, Mary.From a bedroom, he looks out on the vacant lot where he learned to play sports -- and friends gave him his nickname."It was from sandlot football," he says. "One day it got hot and I took my shirt off -- and they said I had the frame of a bird. That's how it started: It was Bird Chest. Then, after I started playing basketball, they dropped the 'Chest' and I became Bird."At Hopkinsville High, former coach Roy Woolum says, Averitt "was the kind of player that, if I'd have left him in ballgames, there's no telling how many points he would have scored."But perhaps because of his small frame, the 6-foot-1 left-hander was mostly overlooked by schools in his home state.

Fred Overton, a Pepperdine assistant from Kentucky, recommended Averitt to then-Pepperdine coach Gary Colson -- and the two coaches persuaded him to come to California.They knew they had a winner when Averitt, as a freshman, scored 43 and 44 points in games at Pauley Pavilion against a UCLA frosh team that included Bill Walton and Keith Wilkes."I liked to play the game," Averitt says, "and it seemed like just overnight it came to me. I just wanted to play against the best and I wanted to be one of the best."I wanted the whole hog."As a sophomore, Averitt broke most of the West Coast Athletic Conference's varsity scoring records.

As a junior, his Waves again playing their home games 20 miles off campus at the Culver City Auditorium, he averaged a national-best 33.9 points a game. In conference play, he averaged a whopping 39.1."I don't know if we ever realized what was going on," says Colson, whose vagabond team practiced wherever it could find a court, sometimes outside. "It was so exciting, and it hit like a ton of bricks. Pepperdine's usually on the ninth page of the sports section, eighth page maybe, but all of a sudden Bird starts cooking and Pepperdine starts moving up."It's all about entertainment, and he was an unbelievable entertainer. Nobody could contain him."Pepperdine included, he might have added. Averitt left school after his junior year and signed with the San Antonio Spurs, then in the ABA.

He played five professional seasons, three in the ABA and, after the ABA-NBA merger, two in the NBA.He averaged 14.2 points in the ABA and 8.3 in the NBA, enjoying his greatest success in two seasons with the Kentucky Colonels, where he was coached by Hubie Brown."He was an outstanding talent -- super quick, outstanding penetrator," Brown notes, adding that he was "kind of surprised" Averitt did not excel in the NBA. "He had a three-point game, a mid-range game and could finish in traffic."In 1975, playing alongside Artis Gilmore and Dan Issel, Averitt helped the Colonels win the ABA championship."That was beautiful," he says.So was this: Thanks to a contract that included more than $1 million in deferred payments, Averitt kept getting paid for more than 25 years after playing his last NBA game in 1978.Settled in California after retiring, Averitt moved back to Hopkinsville in 1984 after his father took ill.His former coaches are sorry to see him struggling.

"There aren't a lot of people who had more physical talent than he did," Woolum says. "I've got a picture of him in his freshman year stuffing the ball right over the top of Bill Walton."But he soars no more."I miss doing things," he says, "because I still played [basketball] until I got hurt -- you know, pickup games, community programs, things like that. I liked doing other things too -- bowling, tennis, softball. Anything athletic, I enjoyed."Those days are past, however, his glory days a memory.His three-year stay at Pepperdine, Averitt says, was "the most beautiful time I had. It was a whole different life."