Thursday, January 07, 2010

WELCOME TO 20$$$10!

Waves, Lions Meet for 150th Time on Saturday
Click on the above video for an interview with Pepperdine's Mychel Thompson.
Pepperdine Men's Basketball Notes (PDF)
January 6, 2010
THE FACTS - The Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount men's basketball teams meet for the 150th time this Saturday. It's the West Coast Conference opener for both schools. The Waves have had the upper hand lately, including 11 straight home wins over LMU, though the Lions are greatly improved this season. A point will be up for grabs in the newly created PCH Challenge, a season-long competition between the two local rivals.
GAME #17 - Saturday (Jan. 9) at Firestone Fieldhouse: Pepperdine (4-12, 0-0) vs. Loyola Marymount (9-7, 0-0) at 7 p.m. It will be preceded by the women's game at 4 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. 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. 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.
PROMOTIONS - This is Pepperdine's Alumni Game ... Starting with the women's game, the first 300 students and alumni will receive a "Beat LMU" T-shirt, and they can purchase general admission tickets to the men's game for $5 ... Sodexho will host a tailgate buffet from 3:30-7:30 p.m. at the intramural field between the tennis courts and baseball field (Pepperdine Wave Points and cash only) ... Postgame, the first 300 students and alumni can get free food (provided by the Grilled Cheese Truck) and Coffee Bean made to order (provided by Matt's Coffee Truck) ... If the Waves 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.
PCH CHALLENGE - The newly created PCH Challenge is a season-long competition between local rivals Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount. The Waves lead 4.0-3.5 heading into Saturday's two games. A home win is worth one point, while a road victory is valued at 1 1/2 points.
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT - Pepperdine leads the all-time series, 89-60, including a 45-21 record in home games and a 29-8 mark in games played in Malibu. The Waves haven't lost at home to the Lions since 1998 (a streak of 11 home wins in a row). Pepperdine has swept the last three seasons' home-and-home matchups and has won six straight overall in the series (LMU's last victory was a home overtime win in 2006). The Waves have won 22 of the last 24 meetings. The Lions, however, have already tripled their 2008-09 season total of three victories and head into Saturday with a six-game winning streak.
LAST GAME - Keion Bell reached the 20-point mark for the ninth time this season, but Pepperdine lost 86-63 to Miami (Fla.) in Firestone Fieldhouse on Sunday (Jan. 3). Miami improved to 14-1 and has one of the best winning percentages in the country. Bell made half of his 22 points at the foul line. Mychel Thompson added 15 points and four steals and Dane Suttle Jr. posted 13 points. Miami never trailed in the game and led 45-36 at halftime. The Waves cut it to seven, but the Hurricanes later went on a 12-0 run to go ahead 68-46 with less than 11 minutes to play.
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 66.6% of Pepperdine's scoring. The sophomores have been the top-scoring class in every game this season.
KEION BELL - Sophomore guard Keion Bell has been one of the most exciting and prolific players on the West Coast in 2009-10. He is currently averaging 19.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists. He currently ranks #2 in the WCC and #27 in the nation in scoring (he ranked as high as ninth nationally last month). Until about two weeks ago, he was one of just two players in the country averaging at least 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. Bell has scored more than 20 points in nine games this season, including a career-high 34 against Monmouth. 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 729). In the WCC rankings, he's also fourth in steals (1.8), fifth in assists, 10th in minutes (31.9), 14th in free throw percentage (.768) and tied for 16th in rebounding.
MYCHEL THOMPSON - Junior forward Mychel Thompson 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 11.3 points this season (second-best on the team) and 9.3 points for his career, and has made 109 career three-pointers (he needs 113 to break into the school's top 10). He's been in double-figures in seven of the last nine games (averaging 14.3 ppg over that span), including a career-high-tying 25 vs. Utah.
- Sophomore guard/forward Dane Suttle Jr., third-best on the team at 10.8 points per game, is one of the conference's best three-point shooters so far this season. He is averaging 2.1 per game and making 45.6% of them (31-for-68), both of which rank fifth in the WCC.
REBOUNDING - Rebounding is one area where the Waves are showing improvement over previous years. Last season the team had a negative-1.4 rebound margin, but this season it's at a positive 2.1. Pepperdine has had as many rebounds or more than opponents in 10 of 16 games this season. The last time the Waves finished a season with a positive rebounding margin was 2000-01.
2009-10 HONORS - Keion Bell was named to the preseason All-WCC first team ... Bell was named MVP of the World Vision Challenge at Wyoming and Dane Suttle Jr. also made the all-tournament team ... The Waves were also the team champion at the World Vision Challenge.
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.
ONE RECRUIT - 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.



Streaking Lions Start WCC With Rival
Men's basketball enters WCC play on six-game winning streak and will look to snap an 11-game road skid at rival Pepperidne when opening conference play Saturday.

The Lions begin WCC play Saturday
Men's Basketball Home

Jan. 8, 2010
Game Notes in Printable PDF Format

LMU men's basketball will look to continue one six-game streak and end another as play in the West Coast Conference for 2010 begins with a trip to rival Pepperdine on Saturday, Jan. 9. The Lions enter on a six-game win streak and hope to end an overall six-game skid to the Waves, who have won the last 11 games played in Malibu. This will be the 150th meeting between the two schools that sit 19 miles apart and is part of a doubleheader with the women, who start at 4 p.m. The men tip-off at 7 p.m. Both games can be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM.
INSIDE THE LIONS The Lions, who do not feature a senior on the roster and who are starting three sophomores, a freshman and a junior, already have surpassed their win total of the last two seasons combined and are 9-7 after an 81-73 win over Cal State Bakersfield on Sunday afternoon. The Lions have their longest win streak since the 1995-96 season, the most non-conference wins since that season and have won three straight road games for the first time since they won their last road game of 1994-95 and first two road games of the 95-96 campaign. They hadn't won three straight road games in one season since 1991-92. The Lions enter the game against Pepperdine averaging 80.2 points per game, which ranks 31st in the nation (as of Jan. 4) and is the most by a Lions' squad since they averaged 91.1 on the 91-92 team 18 years ago. Two of the Lions' wins this season have come on the road against teams from the "Power 6" conferences (Nov. 21 at USC, 67-59; Dec. 12 at Notre Dame, 87-85). In addition, five of the Lions' seven setbacks have come by six points or less, and combined are at an average of just over four points. In all five of those games, the Lions were tied or held a lead with under three minutes to play. The Lions entered the week (Jan. 4) of play ranked first in the WCC in steals (7.9), turnover margin (+0.1), offensive rebounds (13.9) and offensive rebound percentage (39.4); second in scoring offense (80.2), rebounding offense (37.8), blocked shots (4.9), and assist/turnover margin (1.1); and third in field goal percentage (47.3), three-point field goal percentage (38.7), field goal percentage defense (43.6), and assists (15.2).
FIVE DOUBLESThe Lions have five players averaging double figures, led by sophomore Drew Viney, who leads the team in scoring at 16.7 points per contest and rebounds at 7.2 per contest. The first-year player who transferred from Oregon in 2008, has three double-doubles this season. He entered the week (as of Jan. 4) ranked fourth in the WCC in scoring and fifth in rebounds. Vernon Teel is second on the team at 14.6. Teel has been the spark plug for the Lions, ranking fourth in the nation (as of Jan. 3) and first in the WCC (as of Jan. 4) in assists at 6.5 per game. He has been flirting with a triple-double the last three games and also averages 6.1 rebounds and 1.81 steals. Sophomore Jarred DuBois has scored 20 or more points in three of the last five games and has risen his average to 12.3 on the season. He had 24 in the first meeting against CSUB, 24 against Sac. State, and 21 against Seattle. He enters the week ranked 17th in the WCC in scoring. Sophomore Kevin Young had his fifth double-double of his career with 16 points and 12 rebounds against Wyoming and is now averaging 10.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest. He is shooting 58.0 percent from the field (69-for-119), which is tops in the WCC (as of Jan. 4). Junior Larry Davis made his first appearance in six games against Notre Dame, and made an instant impact with the assist on the game winner against Notre Dame and the three-pointer with 15 seconds left to send the LBSU game to overtime. He is fifth on the team with 10.6 points and did not play in the second game against CSUB due to soreness in his Achillies Tendon.
2009-10 QUICK HITTERS• The Lions set the tone for their scoring right out of the gates in the first two games of the season, going for more than 80 points in consecutive games since the 2005-06 season. In the final game of the decade, they scored 104 against Seattle, cracking the century mark for the first time since Jan. 29, 1998. The Lions have now had a 100-point game in every decade since the 1940s, a decade in which they missed three seasons due to World War II. The Lions have 10 80-plus games on the season, five more than the total of the previous three seasons combined. The Lions are averaging 24.5 more points than a year ago, putting in 80.2 points per game this season, after averaging just 55.7 a year ago. The Lions are second in the WCC in scoring (as of Jan. 4) and 31st out of 334 schools nationally (Jan. 3). The Lions had just one game of 70 or more points a year ago, after 16 games this season they have 13.• The Lions finished the game against Seattle attempting just seven three-pointers, hitting four of them (57.1 percent). But they dominated in the paint and finished the game shooting 59.3 percent (32-for-54) from the field. Since 1998, it matches the third highest shooting percentage since going 32-for-54 against Vanguard on Nov. 17, 2000. They shot 62.3 percent in a win over Texas A&M on Dec. 2, 2001 and 60.9 percent in a 74-71 win over Santa Clara on Jan. 27, 2007. On the season they are shooting 47.3 percent from the field, which is third in the WCC, and 38.7 percent from long distance, also third.• The Lions entered the season without a road win since 2007. They sleighed that dragon in a big way, breaking that streak with a 65-57 win at USC and then an even bigger statement with an 87-85 win at Notre Dame. With the win at Cal State Bakersfield, the Lions have posted three consecutive road wins in a single season for the first time since 1990-91. It was the Lions' first win on the USC campus since the first game of the 1976-77 season, a span of 33 years.
It is also the first overall road win since Dec. 8, 2007 against Boise State, snapping a streak of 24 games. It was the first win against a Pac-10 team since the Lions beat the Trojans on Dec. 4, 1995, 86-83, at Gersten Pavilion. The win against Notre Dame was the first over a current member of the Big East since 1988 when the Lions beat Marquette, 102-98 on Jan. 6, 1988. It also snapped Notre Dame's home non-conference winning streak at 42 games, giving them their first setback since Dec. 3, 2005.• The Lions finished the game against Notre Dame with a 40-33 edge in rebounding. On the season, the Lions have out rebounded 11 of their 16 opponents. It was just the second time all season Notre Dame had been out rebounded and in Wyoming, the Lions finished with 53 rebounds, the most since grabbing 54 at UNLV, Jan. 3, 2001. The Lions had 27 offensive rebounds and out rebounded the Cowboys by 23. That is the largest margin since a plus-25 in a 74-65 win over Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 14, 2001 at the Guardian's Classic held at the University of Alabama. LMU leads the WCC in offensive rebounds with 13.9 per game.