#4 Saint Mary’s Gaels (21-10, 11-7) vs. #5 Pepperdine Waves (15-15, 8-10)
Date: Saturday, March 8, 2014
Location: The Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Time: 8:00 PM PST
This Season: Saint Mary’s won both matchups. They defeated the Waves 80-74 at McKeon Pavilion and 69-67 in overtime at Firestone Fieldhouse.
Jordan Giusti, 3.2 PPG
Stephen Holt, 15.0 PPG, 4.2 APG
James Walker III, 9.5 PPG
Beau Levesque, 9.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG
Brad Waldow, 15.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG
Jeremy Major, 9.1 PPG, 4.5 APG
Amadi Udenyi, 5.5 PPG, 2.8 APG
Malcolm Brooks, 10.3 PPG
Stacy Davis, 15.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG
Brendan Lane, 13.2 PPG, 7.4 RPG
Keys to the Game
Scoring outside of Waldow/Holt: Levesque, Walker, and Carter are all in shooting slumps, which makes the Gaels very predictable on offense. It’s either Stephen Holt driving to the basket or Brad Waldow posting up. If any of those 3 players can regain their stroke, the Gaels will be almost impossible to defend against in Vegas.
Utilize the Davis vs. Levesque matchup: Gonzaga did this against Saint Mary’s last year with Elias Harris being guarded by Levesque. Ideally Levesque would play the 3 but he has to play an undersized 4 in college. Therefore, he is often at a weight advantage defensively against bigger players such as Stacy Davis. If Davis aggressively posts up, he should have a field day against Levesque.
Malcolm Brooks vs. James Walker III: Two players whose shooting opens up so much more for their team. Brooks has played very well since the start of conference play while Walker has done the opposite. But both are very good shooters and can free up other players just by being a presence on offense.
This has been the most disappointing season for the Gaels since 2006-07 (The year before the influx of Australians began). Stephen Holt knows he is being compared to Matthew Dellavedova, Mickey McConnell, and Patty Mills. But all of those players led a team to the NCAA tournament as a starting point guard. While that might not happen for Holt, he will lead the Gaels to a strong postseason performance. Saint Mary’s 77, Pepperdine 67.