USF Dons (8-11; 2-5 Conf Play) vs. Pepperdine Waves (12-6; 5-2 Conf Play)
Date and Time: Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 7:00 PST
Location: War Memorial Gym, University of San Francisco Campus
Audio: http://new.livestream.com/thewtv/USFmbbaudioonly featuring Pat Olson (Play by Play) with Jim Brovelli (Basketball Analyst, Commentator and former USF Men’s Basketball Head Coach.)
Meet the Teams
This game marks the next to the last of the first time through the WCC teams for USF. It has been a struggle. Playing really well and winning decisively in Portland; a blow out at Gonzaga, losing to San Diego in a game that was all but won; to the disappointing loss at Santa Clara last Saturday (January 17th). The Dons have dared to do it all in conference play.
Keys to the game for USF continue to be making free throws because they are leaving a lot of money on the line when they miss. The guards need to work the ball inside to their capable “bigs” Mark Tollefsen, Kruize Pinkins and Tim Derksen and not rely on the 3 point shot when they aren’t dropping them successfully. Devin Watson continues to sizzle with his pull up jumpers at the elbow. Matt Christianson has been bodying up to the best of them. Matt Glover has been playing very solid defense even though it caused him to foul out at Santa Clara. He was in good company there, Kruize Pinkins and Tim Derksen departed the game for the same reason.
USF has won 73 games to Pepperdine’s 50 games when the two teams have played each other, so the historical trend is there. USF can’t count the game as a win until it is in the bag. Perhaps Dwayne Polee, former Pepperdine player now USF’s Director of Player Development can infuse a Pepperdine insider’s view into the current Dons players’dashboards.
The Waves have been riding high and been playing white hot of late and there is no reason to expect the momentum to shift, especially playing at home with a newly energized home crowd at the games. Currently anchoring third place in the WCC, this team will continue to play hard to stay close to Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s at Number 1 and Number 2 respectively. Maybe the Kardashians will turn their attention away from the NBA and Kanye for a few moments and drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to see what all the fuss is about.
Stacy Davis continues to dazzle with his accurate shooting, high scoring offensive efforts usually racking up 15.1 points per game. [Writers aside: Could we just use round numbers? There aren’t any scoreboards that compute scores with extended decimal places. Final game scores aren’t 75.3 points to 62.8 points. Whole numbers preferred. Rant over.]
Jett Raines is nothing to sneeze at either averaging 17.5 points during last week’s two games with 75% of his shots are in the basket.
The Dons won’t be able to throw up 3 point shots galore and expect that to help bridge any scoring differential from the Waves. Pepperdine ranks second nationally for defending the three point shot, thwarting three point shots 25% of the time.
Key Players to Watch
Devin Watson. One of San Francisco’s most exciting players and a freshman to boot.
Mark Tollefsen. Game in game out consistency from this forward and on a double-double trend.
Tim Derksen. He might not be LA flashy but he is the hardest working and most unselfish player for USF.
Stacy Davis. See above Stats.
Jett Davis. Ditto.
Shawn Olden. Another freshman guard having a major impact on his team. Olden poured in 15 points against Portland last week.