Pepperdine Game Preview: Waves Look to Regroup at UC Irvine

Nov 14, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; UC Irvine Anteaters center Mamadou Ndiaye (34) shoots a free-throw during the 2nd half against the Washington Huskies at Alaska Airlines Arena. UC Irvine defeated Washington 86-72. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Pepperdine Waves (5-4) at UC Irvine Anteaters (5-4)

Date: Saturday, December 7, 2013

Location: Bren Events Center

Time: 7:00 PM PST

TV: None

Livestream: http://www.pepperdinesports.com/allaccess/

Audio: http://www.ucirvinesports.com/media/listen_live/index

Head-to-Head: Pepperdine leads 11-10

Last Meeting: Pepperdine won 72-62 on 11/24/2012 in Malibu, Calif.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Pepperdine

Jeremy Major, 10.3 PPG, 5.8 APG

Malcolm Brooks, 6.6 PPG, 2.6 RPG

Malte Kramer, 6.3 PPG

Stacy Davis, 16.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG

Brendan Lane, 16.2 PPG, 8.7 RPG

UC Irvine

Alex Young, 10.4 PPG, 4.2 APG

Luke Nelson, 11.6 PPG, 3.0 APG

Chris McNealy, 11.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.8 APG

Will Davis II, 11.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG

Mamadou Ndiaye, 8.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG

OVERVIEW

Waves need to get Davis going early

Stacy Davis only scored 5 points Wednesday night against Cal State Fullerton, and his failure to develop as an inside presence early in the game made it difficult for Pepperdine to get open perimeter looks.  When both Davis and Brendan Lane are in the game at the same time, defenses have to sag in the paint leaving more room for Pepperdine’s three point shooters.  Defensively, it will also be crucial to keep Stacy Davis on the floor because he has to match up against Will Davis II, a prolific scoring and rebounding power forward who has two inches on Stacy Davis.  It will also be key for Lane to stay out of foul trouble as he has to go against Mamadou Ndiaye, a center from Senegal who checks in at 7’6 and 290 pounds.  Lane, despite giving up 9 inches and 55 pounds to Ndiaye, maybe the only Waves big man with the toughness to guard him.  Lane will need to hit the glass much more than he did against CSF, where he corralled only 2 rebounds.

3 Anteater guards will provide tough defensive challenge for the Waves

Aside from the two big men mentioned above, UC Irvine has three solid guards, and all of them average double figures in scoring and at 2.8 assists.   Since Malte Kramer, who plays plays the 3 for Pepperdine, will not be able to keep up with Luke Nelson or Chris McNeely, expect the Waves to play some zone at some point, possibly to protect Lane or Davis if they are in foul trouble.  Since UC Irvine is not a particularly strong three point shooting team, a zone should work as long as Lane, Davis, and Jett Raines (when he plays) to find Ndiaye and Will Davis and box them out.

Prediction

The Anteaters lost to WCC team Pacific but played the California Bears fairly closely.  Pepperdine doesn’t seem to be playing its best basketball right now and will need Jeremy Major to step up and lead this team on the road.  I say UC Irvine wins 77-68.

Topics: Basketball, College Basketball, Pepperdine, Pepperdine Waves, WCC, West Coast Conference

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