Coach Vance Walberg Announces 2006-07 Men's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
June 27, 2006
Malibu, Calif. - A total of seven teams that advanced to postseason play in 2006 highlight the 2006-07 Pepperdine men's basketball non-conference schedule that was announced by first-year head coach Vance Walberg. The Waves will play 11 of 16 non-conference games on the road, including eight of their first nine, as they travel to Washington, Connecticut, Oklahoma State, Colorado and New Mexico in addition to playing a neutral-court contest against Northern Iowa.
Pepperdine will be tested early as it travels to Seattle, Wash., to play in the Basketball Travelers Classic beginning November 12. The Waves are tentatively scheduled to open the season against Washington before facing Northern Iowa and Nichols State during the three-day tournament.
Both Washington (26-7) and Northern Iowa (23-10) advanced to the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The Huskies, who finished second in the Pacific-10 Conference, advanced to the Sweet 16 while the Panthers lost to Georgetown in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
"Our schedule is definitely going to test us early in our first year," Walberg said. "It's going to be a challenge and at the same time a lot of fun. We're going to come in with a lot of enthusiasm and No-Excuse attitude. We will play hard and hopefully our style of play will create some match-up problems so we can surprise some people."
Following its season-opening trip to the Pacific Northwest, Pepperdine returns to Southern California to begin a stretch of four consecutive games against Big West Conference opponents. The Waves visit Cal State Northridge on November 18 before hosting long-time rival UC Santa Barbara at Firestone Fieldhouse on November 21 in its home-opener.
Pepperdine then ventures back out on the road for four straight contests against UC Irvine (November 25), Long Beach State (November 30), Oklahoma State (December 2) and Colorado (December 4). All four teams are coming off winning seasons in 2005-06, including Colorado, which earned a National Invitation Tournament bid.
The Waves return home on December 9 to host Cal State Fullerton in the first of three consecutive games at Firestone Fieldhouse. Pepperdine will welcome Cal State Bakersfield to Malibu on December 14 before closing out the homestand against Northern Arizona on December 16.
Cal State Bakersfield, which is transitioning from Division II, is beginning its first year playing a Division I schedule. The Roadrunners compiled a 21-8 overall record and advanced to the second round of the Division II West Regionals last season.
Northern Arizona, which was ranked No. 25 in the final 2005-06 CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll, went 21-11 and earned an NIT berth a year ago.
Pepperdine's final contest before taking an eight-day break for Christmas will be December 20 when it travels across country to take on perennial national power Connecticut. The Huskies compiled a 30-4 overall record, advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and finished No. 4 in the final ESPN / USA Today Coaches Poll.
Following the Christmas break, the Waves will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to compete in the Comcast Lobo Invitational December 28-29. Pepperdine's first-round opponent will be Binghamton from the America East Conference. Alcorn State and host New Mexico round out the tournament field.
Pepperdine concludes non-conference play on January 2 when it hosts Manhattan College. The Jaspers went 20-11 a year ago after posting a 14-4 mark in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and advancing to the second round of the NIT.
The Waves' non-conference schedule includes 14 teams that posted winning records during the 2005-06 season.
Pepperdine begins its 14-game West Coast Conference (WCC) schedule on Saturday, January 6, when it travels to Portland, Oregon. The WCC Tournament is slated for March 2-5 at the Chiles Center in Portland.
The 2006-07 season marks a new era for Pepperdine basketball as Walberg brings his high-octane and fast-paced style of play to Malibu.
Walberg comes to Pepperdine after a remarkable four-year run at Fresno City College where he compiled a 133-11 (.924) record, including a perfect 34-0 mark and a California State Championship in 2005. His teams won four straight Central Valley Conference (CVC) titles, made four consecutive trips to the Northern California Playoffs, advanced to the Final Four of the California State Championships three times and appeared in the state title game in 2003 and 2005.
Fans will have their first opportunity to see Walberg's AASAA (Attack, Attack, Skip, Attack, Attack) style of play when Pepperdine hosts Cal Baptist in its first exhibition game November 1 at Firestone Fieldhouse.
2006-07 PEPPERDINE MEN'S BASKETBALL NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
DATE - OPPONENT - TIME
$ - Basketball Travelers Classic; Seattle, Washington