Raines Leads Pepperdine to Win over San Jose State


Behind 21 points and 8 rebounds from Jett Raines, the Pepperdine Waves rolled to a convincing 68-44 victory over San Jose State on Wednesday night to improve to 3-0 on the season. Stacy Davis and Jeremy Major also reached double figures with 13 and 10 points respectively, and Atif Russell came just short of a double-double with 9 points and 7 rebounds.

San Jose State fell to 1-2 with the loss. They were led by Frank Rodgers who had 9 points and 11 rebounds. Both of the Spartans’ two losses this season have come against WCC opponents. The Portland Pilots came back to defeat them last week in an overtime thriller. They have one more meeting with a WCC team when they host Santa Clara on December 6th.

The Waves were able to exact some revenge this year after falling to the struggling Spartans in an upset loss last season. Last year the Spartans won just seven games all season, with one of them coming against the Waves. They also played Portland and Santa Clara but lost both those matchups. The Spartans are again expected to struggle this season as they are predicted to finish in last place in a very strong Mountain West Conference.



After entering the season with a very talented young core and being a favorite to be a breakout team, the Waves are completely living up to the hype through three games. They have comfortable won each game by an average margin of 16.3 points, and they have looked comfortable and talented despite having a young team with no seniors.

A fast start is exactly what a team like this needed, and the fact that they are rolling along early is a great sign. A young team can only get better with experience, so the fact that they are this good this early is a scary though for their WCC opponents. Fresno State and San Jose State are not marquee opponents, but they are seasoned squads that play in a very tough Mountain West. So to have comfortably beaten both when they easily could have struggled in closer games is very positive so early.


The biggest question entering the season was how would the Waves make up for the loss of guys like Malcolm Brooks and Brendan Lane. With an extremely talented core of Stacy Davis and Jeremy Major, it was critical that they find support players to step in and take some of the burden off those stars.

Perhaps the biggest reason for the early success has been the emergence of Jett Raines in a key support role. His numbers are arguably the best on the team, even compared to Stacy Davis. Raines is averaging 15 points and 8.7 rebounds per game through the first three contests. That is the second best point total on the team behind Davis, and first in rebounds at a full rebound per game ahead of the Davis. Not only has Raines filled a key support role, he is actually becoming a full-fledged key player who is turning the dangerous duo of Davis and Major into a trio of quality players.


Even with the emergence of Raines as a star in the making, there is still a need for support in a smaller capacity. Three players alone still can’t carry the entire load, so even more positive on top of Raines is the core of players who are putting up quality numbers behind him. It appears the Waves have found a solid rotation to support their three stars.

Amadi Udenyi has been a quality starter and floor general the Waves had hoped for. He leads the team in assists averaging 5 per game while also putting up 7.3 points per game. Shawn Olden is also averaging 7.3 points as a starter and leads the team in blocks at 1.3 per game. Those are quality numbers from guys who won’t be asked to do any more than just continue to put up decent numbers in support of the top trio.

Atif Russell and Lamond Murray Jr. are also playing key roles off the bench. Murray Jr. is also averaging 7.3 points per game, and Russell is averaging 6.3 plus 4.3 rebounds per game after his near double-double against San Jose State. They form a quality core off the bench to support what has become a very solid starting five for the Waves.

After all that, the Waves still have the potential to add another to the rotation in highly regarded freshman A.J. John. While he hasn’t done much offensively yet, he is looking excellent as a big man getting over 10 minutes per game and already averaging 2 rebounds and 1 block per game in those limited minutes. If he gets going, this is one of the deepest and complete teams in the entire West Coast Conference.


The Waves get some time off to rest before embarking on their first real road trip of the year. They leave California for the first time this season as they head to Iowa on Monday to face Hawkeyes in their first true test. Iowa is 3-0 and coming off a big season highlighted by an NCAA Tournament appearance. They will be one of the toughest teams on the Waves’ non-conference schedule, and playing in Iowa in front of a raucous fan base will be a challenge.

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The Hawkeyes will also be even more seasoned by the time this game happens as they play in the 2K Classic in New Y0rk starting today. They face Texas followed tomorrow by either Syracuse or California. They will be able to return to Iowa for time to rest before facing the Waves, and they will be that much more seasoned by the time Pepperdine hits town.

This is a huge early season test, and it will go a long way to helping us figure out if the Waves are for real or not.