Waves Get In the Game, 107-77

During pregame warmups and introductions, EA Sports' All-Stars created quite a buzz among the crowd of 456 at Firestone Fieldhouse. 1995 NCAA champion Ed O'Bannon and fellow UCLA alumni Matt Barnes and Ray Young highlighted a team of recognizable former college standouts who certainly looked like a formidable exhibition opponent for Pepperdine. <p><p> It didn't take long for the Waves to put them in their place.

Five Waves scored in double figures as Pepperdine coasted to an easy 107-77 shellacking of a travelling team that offered little resistance and showed all the signs of having been put together within the past few days.

The Waves came out blistering hot, nailing over 60% of their shots in the first half, including 10 of 17 three-pointers, as they built a hefty 24-point cushion by halftime. The All-Stars were more competitive in the second half, but the game was long decided.

Yakouba Diawara led all scorers with 19 points. Glen McGowan aded 15 and a team-high seven rebounds. Terrance Johnson added 13 points, Jesse Pinegar 12, and Robert Turner 11.

Alex Acker left the scoring to his teammates but picked up five points, five rebounds, and seven assists (though also six turnovers).

In a notable statistical achievement that could only happen in a preseason laugher, walk-on Keith Jarbo played just three minutes and managed four points, six rebounds, an assist, and two fouls. Jarbo's production was no fluke -- he will be a very good reserve for this team. But to do all that in three minutes is unheard of for anyone.

Not evidenced in the box score is how good some of the Waves' young newcomers looked. Shaun Davis recorded six points and four assists and looked very much like a star point guard in the making. Cody Horning was very active and picked up nine points, five rebounds. Marvin Lea is a defensive terror and surprisingly adept at getting to the basket off the dribble.

Young led the All-Stars with 20 points, and O'Bannon recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 boards. Barnes added 16 points.

Pepperdine showed that its greatest assets will be depth and balance. Every Wave played, and only walk-on Shane Griffin failed to score (he didn't attempt a shot in just two minutes). Eight different Waves hit three-pointers, and Alex Acker, expected to be the Waves' top perimeter scorer, was not one of them. Any one of six players is capable of leading the team in scoring on any night.

The starting lineup featured Acker and Johnson at the guards, and Diawara, McGowan, and Pinegar up front. It's hard to say which forward was officially considered to be which position, as all three of them are adept inside and out.

Gone are the days when players simply took their man off the dribble in an NBA-style one-on-one contest. Paul Westphal's offense revolves around passing and moving without the ball, as evidenced by the Waves recording 21 assists on 40 baskets. Guards were breaking down the defense and finding open teammates. Big men were posting up and getting easy looks or kicking it back out of double-teams. Everyone was so smooth and determined, it was hard to believe it wasn't midseason.

The Waves play a final tune-up against a German League team on November 13th at 7:00pm at the 'Stone before opening up with a phenomenal intersectional matchup with Dayton on the 21st.