Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Waves Meet Rival LMU in WCC Tournament

Waves Meet Rival LMU in WCC TournamentCourtesy: Pepperdine Sports Information
Release: 03/02/2010

Pepperdine Men's Basketball Notes

THE FACTS - The Pepperdine men's basketball team begins the postseason this weekend at the West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas. The eighth-seeded Waves will be up against their local rival, fifth-seeded Loyola Marymount, in the first round on Friday evening. Pepperdine is aiming for its third straight first-round victory.
GAME #31 - Friday (March 5) at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.: #8-seed Pepperdine (7-23, 3-11) vs. #5-seed Loyola Marymount (16-14, 7-7) at 6 p.m. in the first round of the WCC Tournament.
IF PEPPERDINE WINS - A Pepperdine victory would put the Waves into the quarterfinals and a game against #4-seed San Francisco (12-17, 7-7), on Saturday (March 6) at 6 p.m.
ON THE WEB - Subscribers to "Wave Casts" can catch all of Pepperdine men's and women's basketball games at the WCC Tournament on the internet at Veteran play-by-play man Al Epstein, now in his 25th season with the Waves, is behind the microphone. Go to the Pepperdine Athletics website and look for the Wave Casts link.
WCC TOURNAMENT - In 23 previous events, Pepperdine has an all-time record of 27-19 (.587) at the WCC Tournament and won titles in the 1991, 1992 and 1994 seasons (all under Tom Asbury). The Waves won their first-round game in each of the last two years and in three of the last five.
WCC HALL OF HONOR - A 1963 All-American, a former Waves' head baseball coach and the first Pepperdine alum to make the Major Leagues, Dr. Gail Hopkins will be part of the second group of individuals inducted into the West Coast Hall of Honor this weekend. He may be the first Major Leaguer ever to have earned both an M.D. and Ph.D. Hopkins and his seven fellow inductees will formally be inducted at the 2010 WCC Hall of Honor Brunch on Saturday (March 6) at the Orleans Hotel and honored the next day during halftime of the first men's basketball semifinal game. Doug Christie was part of the inaugural Hall of Honor Class in 2009.

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT - Pepperdine is 90-61 all-time against Loyola Marymount. The two schools split the season series, but the Waves have won 23 of the last 26 meetings. Pepperdine holds a 4-2 advantage in WCC Tournament games. The schools last met in the 2005 first round, a 91-79 victory for the Waves. LMU won in the 1988 and 1989 semifinals, but Pepperdine has won the last four tournament meetings, three of which took place in the first round.
PCH CHALLENGE - WCC Tournament meetings between Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount count toward the newly created PCH Challenge, which is a season-long competition between the two local rivals covering all sports. The Waves lead 7.5-5.5 heading into this weekend.
FIRST GAME VS. LMU - Back on Jan. 9 at Firestone Fieldhouse ... The 150th meeting ever between Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount was a classic, as the Waves used a 23-4 run to start the second half to rally for a 79-75 victory in the WCC opener for both schools. It was Pepperdine's 12th straight win at home over LMU. Pepperdine fell behind 16-3 after 6 1/2 minutes, trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half and was down 38-25 at halftime. Mychel Thompson (22 points) and Lorne Jackson (17 points) were key figures in the second-half comeback. Jonathan Dupre' hit a three-pointer with two minutes left to put Pepperdine ahead to stay at 67-65. The Waves sank a season-high 14 three-pointers (going nine for 12 in the second half) and made 60.9% of their 23 attempts.
SECOND GAME VS. LMU - Back on Feb. 6 at Gersten Pavilion ... Pepperdine's seven-game win streak against Loyola Marymount came to an end as the Lions won at home, 77-61. Mychel Thompson led the Waves with 18 points. Like the first time the two schools met, the Waves trailed by 13 points at halftime, but this time around there was no second-half comeback. LMU outshot Pepperdine 50.0% to 35.3%.
ALL-WCC - Mychel Thompson and Keion Bell were both named to the All-WCC honorable mention team this week. It's the first time since 2005 that a pair of Waves earned postseason honors from the conference. It was the first All-WCC honor for both (though Bell made the All-Freshman team last season).
WCC ALL-ACADEMIC - A trio of Waves qualified for the WCC All-Academic first team: Taylor Darby, Gus Clardy and Corbin Moore. It was Clardy's second straight appearance on the first team.
ROSTER - There are no seniors on the 2009-10 squad, and 11 of the 15 players are underclassmen. The roster features four juniors, seven sophomores and four true freshmen. Pepperdine returned 11 letterwinners from last season (believed to be among the most in school history). Twelve players are on scholarship and three 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 nearly two-thirds (63.5%) of Pepperdine's scoring. The sophomores have been the top-scoring class in every game but two this season.
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 18.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Bell has scored more than 20 points in 14 games this season, including a career-high 37 at Gonzaga. He's been in double-figures in 25 of 30 games. Depending on the length of Pepperdine's stay at the WCC Tournament, he could become Pepperdine's 35th 1,000-point scorer (he's got 962) this weekend. In the WCC rankings, he's third in scoring, seventh in steals (1.3), eighth in assists and 15th in rebounding (5.3). At various points this season, he was one of just a handful of players in the nation averaging at least 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists, and in early December, he ranked as high as ninth nationally in scoring.
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 11.8 points this season (second-best on the team), 12.4 points in conference play and 9.8 points for his career. He scored a career-high-tying 25 points in a win vs. Utah. He has broken into Pepperdine's career top 10 in three-pointers made this season (he's now #7 with 139, Brandon Armstong is #6 at 142). Since starting the season 0-for-21 from beyond the arc, he's improved to 34.0% for the season. Thompson's 6-for-7 three-point performance vs. LMU nearly equaled the school record for single-game percentage (6-for-6, 1.000).
SUTTLE OUT - Sophomore guard/forward Dane Suttle Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif./Summit College Prep) will miss the remainder of the season and will have surgery on an injured left ankle. His last appearance was on Feb. 13 at Santa Clara. He was a key contributor through the non-conference season and was one of the top three-point shooters in the conference midway through the year. Through the first 16 games of the season, he was averaging 10.8 points per game, second on the team. But as his chronic ankle injury worsened, his output declined, and in West Coast Conference play he averaged 2.4 points. His final season stats will show four starts in 24 games with averages of 7.7 points and 2.5 rebounds in 19.1 minutes.
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.
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 loss at Gonzaga was an excellent effort and gave them their closest margin of defeat in Spokane in the last 10 years.
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 two of the three highest scoring games in the WCC this season (Bell's 37 is the most) ... 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.
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 were predicted to finish seventh in the conference, and that wasn't far off as Pepperdine tied for sixth place with two other schools. The preseason 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 had 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 appeared on television several times once again in 2009-10. Six games were 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.

March 2, 2010SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Can't make it to Las Vegas for the 2010 WCC Basketball Championships? You can still check out all of the exciting action as 10 of the 14 men's and women's basketball games will be streamed exclusively on for free. will video stream the first two rounds (Friday and Saturday) of the men's championship and all but the championship game of the women's tournament. Both men's semifinals will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2, while the men's final will be televised on ESPN. The women's championship game will televised nationally on ESPNU.
Sirius Satellite Radio will broadcast every men's game, while the men's championship game will also be carried nationally on Westwood One Radio.
In addition, WCCTV will bring you full video recaps of each contest and exclusive coverage of each press conference. See below for the full broadcast schedule.
FRIDAY, MARCH 5 Women's Basketball First Round #5 San Diego vs. #8 Santa Clara - 12:00 PM (Live video stream on
#6 Loyola Marymount vs. #7 San Francico - 30 mins after 1st game (Live video stream on
Men's Basketball First Round#5 Loyola Marymount vs. #8 Pepperdine - 6:00 PM (Live video stream on audio broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio)
#6 San Diego vs. #7 Santa Clara - 30 mins after 1st game (Live video stream on audio broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio)
SATURDAY, MARCH 6 Women's Basketball Quarterfinal Round#5 USD/#8 SCU vs. #4 Portland - 12:00 PM (Live video stream on
#6 LMU/#7 USF vs. #3 Pepperdine - 30 mins after 1st game (Live video stream on
Men's Basketball Quarterfinal Round#5LMU/#8 PEP vs. #4 San Francisco - 6:00 PM (Live TV: Full Court/SD Ch. 4/CSNNW/CSN BA Plus/Live video stream on audio broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio)
#6 USD/#7 SCU vs. #3 Portland - 30 mins after 1st game (Live TV: Full Court/SD Ch. 4/CSNNW/CSNBA/Live video stream on audio broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio)

SUNDAY, MARCH 7 Women's Basketball Semifinal Round#4 POR/#5 USD/#8 SCU vs. #1 Gonzaga - 11:30 AM (Live video stream on
#3 PEP/#6 LMU/#7 USF vs. #2 Saint Mary's - 30 mins after first game (Live video stream on
Men's Basketball Semifinal Round#4 USF/#5 LMU/#8 PEP vs. #1 Gonzaga - 5:30 PM (Live TV: ESPN2/ audio broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio)
#3 POR/#6 USD/#7 SCU vs. #2 Saint Mary's - 30 mins after 1st game (Live TV: ESPN2/ audio broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio)
MONDAY, MARCH 8 Women's Championship GameSemifinal #1 winner vs. Semifinal #2 winner - 12:00 PM (Live TV: ESPNU/Live audio stream on
Men's Championship GameSemifinal #1 winner vs. Semifinal #2 winner - 6:00 PM (Live TV: ESPN/ national audio coverage on Westwood One Radio/Live broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio)