He only played one single season for the Pepperdine Waves, but UCLA transfer Brendan Lane made a big impact in that one year. As a senior leader, Lane anchored the paint for Pepperdine and earned WCC Defensive Player of the Year honors for his excellence on the defensive end of the court.
In 2014, the Waves are without their faithful center from last, but freshman center Nate Gehring will do his best to replace all the scoring, rebounding, etc. that Lane left behind in Malibu.
At Waukee High School
Lane was a three year varsity letter earner in basketball at his hometown high school, and was named All-Central Iowa Conference second team and first-team All-Eastern Division twice.
Gehring put up consistent numbers as a prep player, with his best naturally coming during Gehring’s senior season. As a fourth-year student, Gehring averaged 11.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. As a junior, he averaged 10.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks and shot 58 percent from the field (shot only 54.0 percent as a senior). As a sophomore, his first season on varsity, Gehring averaged 8.5 points, a respectable number for a newcomer.
By the fall before his senior season, Gehring ended his recruitment by committing to Pepperdine, choosing the Waves over offers from schools such as Indiana State, Oakland, Nevada, Kent State, South Dakota State and Drake – according to Verbal Commits.
Impact at Pepperdine
At the power forward position, the Waves are very well off. However, that is not necessarily true for the center position.
As mentioned before, Lane’s departure’s leaves a significant hole in the Waves frontcourt. There is no returning player on the Waves that possesses the combination defensive and offensive acumen that Lane had.
Jett Raines is a good player, but is undersized for the center position at 6-foot-7. Returning sophomore David Jesperson showed some good signs as a freshman last year, but projects more to be a rebounder and hustle player. Two freshmen on the Waves roster – Gehring and Minnesota native Ryan Keenan – have a very good chance of starting next to junior forward Stacy Davis based on the aforementioned facts.
Gehring possesses good size – 6-foot-10, 225 pounds – for the five spot and can run the floor well, just like Lane. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see Gehring in the starting lineup by the end of the season, based on his readiness for the Division I game and his skillset.