Waves Basketball Tips Off

Stacy Davis

Pepperdine Waves men’s basketball player Stacy Davis is 374 points closer to being the school’s all-time leading scorer, and the Waves have started the season with a 1-1 record. 

Davis scored 15 points in Pepperdine’s 69-66 opening season loss against the Fresno State Bulldogs last Friday, Nov. 13, and rang up 14 points in Pepperdine’s 91-49 home win over the San Diego Christian Hawks on Monday, Nov. 16. 

Davis’ 29 points in the outings have moved him to 19th on the scoring list with 1,328 career points. The senior forward is expected to grab Pepperdine’s top scoring spot in history sometime during the Waves’ 29-game regular season or postseason. Last season, Davis averaged 15.7 points a game and scored 501 total points. 

The 6’6” player said becoming Pepperdine’s all-time scoring leader would mean a lot.

“When I first came here, that wasn’t one of my goals, I don’t think it is for anyone,” Davis said. “My first goal was just to play, and then to try to change the program. God willing, I’m able to get that plateau and mark my name in Pepperdine basketball history.”

Former Wave Dane Suttle has been the university’s all-time buckets leader with 1,701 career points for 32 seasons. Davis passed 2001-05 Wave Glen McGowan on the points list during the first two games.

Pepperdine coach Marty Wilson expects Davis to surpass Suttle’s scoring mark, set in the 1980-83 seasons. “He has worked very hard,” Wilson said. “There have been some great players that have come through [Pepperdine], and I think Stacy ranks up there with the best of them.” 

Wilson said he challenges Davis to do as much as he can on the hardwood. The coach envisions Davis posting double-digit numbers in points and rebounds each game. 

“He is physically gifted, he’s got the skills to be able to handle, pass and shoot,” Wilson said. “If he wasn’t capable of doing it, I wouldn’t challenge him.” 

Davis grabbed five rebounds against the Bulldogs and four boards against the Hawks. The Arizona native is also on pace to finish his career as one of Pepperdine’s top career rebounders. 

Davis is not the only Wave who can score. In the team’s opening season loss, junior guard Jeremy Major led Pepperdine with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Lamond Murray Jr. scored a career-high 23 points in the Waves win three days later. In fact, 12 of Pepperdine’s 13 players got in the scoring column during the contest, including freshman forward Kameron Edwards with 14 points. 

Wilson said the team’s overall offensive skill level is better than last season. 

“We have guys with a lot of skill,” he said. “Stacy, Jett [Rains], those guys have developed more and more over the years, and hopefully Jeremy Major will be more aggressive. I have challenged him more to show his speed. He is the quickest guy in the conference. I want people to fear that speed on both ends of the floor.”

Pepperdine entered its 2015-16 campaign coming off of its best season in at least a decade. The Waves finished with an 18-14 record after being bounced from the first round of the College Basketball Invitational by Seattle last March. The squad returned 12 players from last season’s team, including the entire starting five, and has been predicted to finish third in the 10-team West Coast Conference standings behind Gonzaga and BYU by the conference’s coaches in a preseason poll. 

Wilson said none of that matters though. 

“It’s a totally different year, totally different team, expectations change from within,” he said. “Last year’s team, although we have a majority of those guys back, has nothing to do with this year’s team. We still have to go out and perform.”

Along with Davis, Major, Murray and the senior forward Rains, some of the Waves top returning players include junior guard Amadi Udenyi and senior guard Atif Russell. 

Edwards — the squad’s lone scholarship newcomer — is someone who Wilson said has a chance to be a special player. 

“He is physical, tough and athletic,” he said. “One thing that surprised our staff is how sharp he is. He picks up things really well.” 

Wilson said his team is focused on getting better every game, and hopefully that will lead to a West Coast Conference Championship and gaining a bid in the NCAA Tournament.

“I think we have great chemistry,” he said. “Our guys know each other and are used to playing together.”