Jim Harrick will unveil the 1985-86 edition of his Pepperdine basketball team, defending West Coast Athletic Conference champion, at a press day next Thursday on the Malibu campus. But he could just as well keep the veil on.
With a couple of exceptions, the team, with all starters returning, is the same one that surprised last year by posting a 23-9 record and winning 17 of its last 20 games.
Harrick's Waves, who lost to Duke last year in an NCAA regional opener at Houston, won't surprise anyone this year. The team is loaded.
Pepperdine is led by senior guard Dwayne Polee, the former 4-A Los Angeles City player of the year at Manual Arts High School who last season was named the WCAC player of the year after averaging 15.7 points and 4.8 assists. Polee, the flashiest prestidigitator when he played for the Watts Magicians youth team, played abroad last summer for a U.S. college all-star team and has been named to the Sporting News' pre-season All-American checklist.
The only way Polee can surprise anyone this year is if he doesn't play as magically as he is able. Harrick said his 6-5 sparkplug "has been a legend in Los Angeles since the age of 13. Every basketball junkie in the United States knows about Dwayne."
Cage junkies may learn more about Pepperdine's other returning starters this season if the Waves play up to form. They include senior forward Anthony Frederick, who excels at blocking shots and rebounding; junior forward Eric White, who led the Waves in both scoring (averaging 15.9 points per game) and rebounds (9.2); senior guard Jon Korfas, the team's best outside shooter and steadying influence last year, and sophomore center Levy Middlebrooks, the WCAC freshman of the year last season.
Harrick also will not astonish anyone with a bonus veteran he has this season. Guard Grant Gondrezick, who led the Waves in scoring with a 13.7-point average in 1983-84, returns after redshirting last season because of knee surgery.
Other veterans back are sophomore guard Marty Wilson, senior forward Dave Brittain and senior center Mike Mounts.
The Venice High School B football team is 3-0 this season and has run its remarkable winning streak to 38 games over the past few seasons. What is not so remarkable is that the B team success has begun to pay dividends for the varsity, which has struggled the last couple of years.
Coach Al Dellinger's varsity, bolstered by a lot of B-team graduates, is off to a 2-1 start and won its Pac 8 League opener against Sylmar, 14-6, last week.
The Bees are coached by Kirk Alexander, a former Venice player. Alexander's chief assistant is Tom Ito, and the other assistants are Tod Tsujimura, Ed Amido, Ed Escarcega and Kris Miya.
Friday's Los Angeles City high school football games have been designated as the 53rd annual Action Bowl contests, which are fund-raisers for the 10th and 31st District PTSAs.
About 60% of gate receipts from the games go to buy clothing and shoes and to provide food and medical care for needy children, and the other 40% is used to buy athletic equipment for Los Angeles schools that cannot afford it.
Friday Action Bowl games at 8 p.m. that involve Westside teams are: University at Sylmar, Westchester at Venice, Hollywood at Monroe and Palisades at Van Nuys. Friday games at 3 p.m. include Locke at Fairfax and Canoga Park at Hamilton.