Pepperdine Waves (6-4) at Washington State Cougars (4-4)
Date: Sunday, December 15, 2013
Location: Beasley Coliseum, Pullman, WA
Time: 5:00 PM PST
TV: Pac-12 Network
Head-to-Head: Tied 3-3
Last Meeting: Pepperdine won 58-56 in overtime on November 16, 2012 in Malibu, California.
Jeremy Major, 11.1 PPG, 5.3 APG
Malcolm Brooks, 7.5 PPG
Malte Kramer, 6.0 PPG
Stacy Davis, 16.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG
Brendan Lane, 15.0 PPG, 8.4 RPG
Royce Woolridge, 10.0 PPG, 2.1 APG
DaVonte Lacy, 21.4 PPG
Dexter Kernich-Drew, 6.6 PPG
D.J. Shelton 7.o PPG, 7.1 RPG
Jordan Railey, 4.0 PPG
Stopping Lacy the key for Pepperdine
After the graduation of Brock Motum this past season, the Cougars have found their new go-to scorer DaVonte Lacy. He is an excellent scorer who is averaging 4 three-point shots made per game. Malcolm Brooks will likely be the one guarding Lacy, and the goal for Brooks should be forcing Lacy to drive where at least Brendan Lane and Stacy Davis can give help. Since the Cougars do not have a true low post scorer, Davis and Lane should feel comfortable giving help on Lacy.
Brooks and Major cruical for Waves’ success on offense
In this game, both Lane and Davis will be guarded by someone considerably larger than themselves. They should also expect double teams, so finding open shooters in Malcolm Brooks and Jeremy Major will be key. These two newcomer guards have not been phased at all by Division 1 basketball and are playing some of their best basketball lately. Major will need to feed Lane and Davis when they are available, and look for his own offense when they are not.
Finding a floor leader key for the Cougars
Ever since three-year starting point guard Reggie Moore was dismissed from Washington State last fall, the Cougars have been looking for his successor and they have been unable to find it. Last year Royce Woolridge led the Cougars with only 2.7 assists per game. This year he is leading them with only 2.1 assists per game. He is going to have to step up and find Lacy more often behind the three point line in addition for looking for D.J. Shelton down low.
Don’t let the Cougars 4-4 record fool you. This team has played a difficult schedule, including a close loss to Butler and a victory against Purdue, both in the Old Spice Classic. They also played Gonzaga relatively closely. While the Waves are coming off of a nice victory at UC Irvine, it will be tougher to win at Washington State. I predict a 67-64 victory for the Cougars at home.