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Men's Hoops Announces 2008-09 Schedule


MALIBU, Calif. – Pepperdine men’s basketball fans will have more chances to cheer in 2008-09, as one year removed from a schedule heavy with road games, the Waves will play a total of 15 regular-season contests in Firestone Fieldhouse.


A year ago, Pepperdine played only three non-conference home games along with the usual seven West Coast Conference home contests. But with the return of head coach Tom Asbury, it was important to restore balance to the schedule.


“We prefer a schedule with an even amount of home and away games,” said Asbury, who coached the Waves from 1989-94 before taking over once again this spring. “And we really like to play some difficult, highly competitive teams in the preseason. That has always been my M.O., to play teams like USC and BYU and Arizona State and Georgia Tech and those types of teams that will make the postseason. Previously, our thinking was that those were the types of teams that we were going to play in the postseason. Now, it will help our young team, although we may take our lumps playing some of those teams. But I think it will help develop this group of younger guys into an experienced team as they see the level of play and level of strength that we need to ultimately get to.”


At least nine contests (and possibly more depending on tournaments) will be against postseason teams from a year ago.


After two home exhibitions, the Waves open the regular season with a three-game homestand against NCAA Division II school Cal State Monterey Bay (Nov. 14), Arkansas-Little Rock (Nov. 16) and Brigham Young (Nov. 18). Pepperdine lost at both UALR and BYU last year but gets another chance against them this season at Firestone Fieldhouse. The Cougars played in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.


The Waves will then make a two-game road trip to New Mexico State (Nov. 21) and Arizona State (Nov. 23). The Sun Devils are expected to be one of the favorites in the Pacific-10 Conference and made the quarterfinals of the NIT last year.


That’s followed by six straight games against in-state opponents. The Waves host Cal State Bakersfield (Nov. 29), travel to Long Beach State (Dec. 3), host both UC Irvine (Dec. 6) and Pacific (Dec. 13) and travel to both USC (Dec. 15) and Cal State Northridge (Dec. 18). The Waves went 3-2 against this collection of teams last year (splitting two games against Pacific, beating Long Beach State and Cal State Bakersfield and losing to Cal State Northridge). It’s the first meeting between the Waves and UC Irvine since 2006-07, and the first between Pepperdine and USC since 2001-02. The Trojans played in the NCAA Tournament first round last year.


Another big-name school visits Firestone Fieldhouse on Dec. 20, as Atlantic Coast Conference power Georgia Tech comes to Malibu.


Immediately after Christmas, the Waves head to Hawaii for the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic (Dec. 27-30). The field and brackets have not yet been officially announced.


The New Year brings one final non-conference home game against NCAA Division II school Western Oregon on Jan. 3.


The WCC has changed to a Thursday-Saturday format this season. Pepperdine opens up WCC play at home against Loyola Marymount on Jan. 10. Three WCC teams made the NCAA Tournament last year, and those home contests for Pepperdine will be on Thursday, Jan. 22 (Gonzaga), Saturday, Feb. 14 (San Diego) and Thursday, Feb. 26 (Saint Mary’s).


The WCC Tournament, as previously announced, will be in Las Vegas for the first time. The event will be held at the Orleans Arena from March 6-9.


There are three home dates where there will be a doubleheader with the Pepperdine women’s team: Nov. 11 (exhibitions), Nov. 14 (the season opener for both squads) and Jan. 10 (Loyola Marymount).


The 2007-08 Waves went 11-21 overall and finished 4-10 in the WCC for sixth place. Pepperdine returns five letterwinners and will have at least nine newcomers.


Season ticket information will be released in the near future.




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