Nov. 5, 2008
When searching for a new head coach, the Pepperdine Waves looked to the past to help build their future. The architect of one of the best stretches in Pepperdine men's basketball history, Tom Asbury returned to Malibu to take over as the Waves' head coach in 2008-09.
Asbury was at Pepperdine for 15 seasons, the first nine as an assistant coach (1980-88) and then the next six as the head coach (1989-94). Asbury went 125-59 (.679) in his six seasons with the Waves, posting four 20-win seasons, including a high of 24 wins in 1991-92, a season in which Pepperdine also went a perfect 14-0 in the WCC. In fact, Pepperdine established a conference record by winning 32 consecutive league games from 1991-93 (38 straight including WCC Tournament games). The Waves went to the postseason five times in six years with three NCAA Tournament appearances (1991, '92, '94) and two berths in the NIT (1989, '93). Pepperdine won three regular-season WCC titles, finished no worse than second in any of his six seasons and compiled a league record of 66-18 (.786). Pepperdine's only three WCC Tournament championships have come under Asbury.
The Waves will have a much difference look this season as they return just five players from the 2007-08 squad that underwent a midseason coaching change and ended with an 11-21 record and a sixth-place finish in the West Coast Conference. The Waves welcome in nine newcomers, seven of whom are true freshmen, and two junior college transfers who will be sophomores. With only three upperclassmen, it's a team that will learn and grow together over the next three to four seasons.
2007-08 KEY STATS
||10.7 ppg, 3.2 apg, 2.2 spg|
||8.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 56 3-pt FGs|
||6.0 ppg, 2.1 apg, 2.5 rpg|
In addition to the three seniors, the Waves expect contributions from freshmen Keon Bell and Lorne Jackson. Bell, a 6-3 guard, was named the Pasadena Star-News' Player of the Year after averaging nearly 22 points per game as a senior. Jackson, a 6-2 point guard, finished his high school career as one of Ventura County's all-time leaders in steals and assists. He was an all-state second team selection and the Ventura County Star's Player of the Year after leading the county in scoring (22.9 ppg) and steals (4.3 spg), while finishing second in assists (6.8 apg).
Adding size to the Waves' frontline will be 6-10 freshman Corbin Moore and 6-11 freshman Andy Shannon. Moore made the All-SCIBCA Southern Section Division I-A first team and was the Sunset League's co-MVP as a senior after averaging 15.8 points, 12.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. Shannon blossomed as a senior in high school and averaged 11.0 points and 9.5 rebounds.
The Waves also add a pair of sophomore transfers in 6-8 Denis Agre and 6-8 Jonathan Dupre. The Waves will have a familiar name on the roster in freshman Dane Suttle Jr. The 6-6 wing is the son of Dane Suttle, Pepperdine's all-time leading scorer who went on to play in the NBA. Suttle Jr. was the 2006 L.A. City Player of the Year and an all-state honoree as a junior after averaging 22 points per game.