Men's Basketball Sets Non-Conference Schedule
The Waves will meet at least six teams that played in the 2016 postseason.
MALIBU, Calif. – The Pepperdine men’s basketball team will play another challenging non-conference schedule in 2016-17, with at least six games against schools that advanced to postseason play and that won 19 or more games last year, as head coach Marty Wilson announced the first portion of the Waves’ schedule today.
The Waves will have five home games inside of Firestone Fieldhouse, including the first three contests of the season (November 11 vs. Cal Poly, November 15 vs. Weber State and November 17 vs. Life Pacific). Pepperdine will also host Portland State (November 27) and Belmont (December 3). Weber State played in the NCAA Tournament and Belmont was in the NIT.
Pepperdine will be tested in all of its road games, which includes Long Beach State (December 7), USC (December 11), Louisiana (December 20) and Montana (December 22). All four teams played in the postseason, including USC in the NCAA Tournament.
The Waves could add to their list of 2016 postseason opponents at the Lone Star Showcase. The multi-team tournament, which will be held near Austin, Texas, from November 21-23, has yet to announce its field.
“I believe our schedule will allow us to compete against some very successful basketball programs and versus some very respected coaches,” Wilson said. “Our players and staff will be challenged to compete at a high level every night.”
The Waves will return three starters and four key players from last year’s squad, which went 18-14 overall, finished fourth in the West Coast Conference at 10-8 and earned a spot in the College Basketball Invitational. Senior guard/forward Lamond Murray Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif./Bishop Montgomery HS) made the All-WCC second team and led the squad at 16.6 points per game, senior point guards Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS) and Amadi Udenyi (Oakland, Calif./De La Salle HS/St. Thomas More) are two of the top assist men in school history and sophomore forward Kameron Edwards (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Etiwanda HS) is coming off a WCC All-Freshman season.
Here’s a look at the entire non-conference schedule:
Friday, November 11: Cal Poly (Firestone Fieldhouse)
The Waves are 13-8 all-time against the Mustangs. Most of the matchups came in the 1940s and 1950s, and for much of that both schools were in the CCAA together. Pepperdine’s last win in the series came in 1953-54. In the last 60 years, Cal Poly has won all three meetings (1991-92, 2009-10, 2010-11). The Mustangs went 10-20 last season and finished eighth in the Big West Conference.
Tuesday, November 15: Weber State (Firestone Fieldhouse)
Weber State is the defending Big Sky champion and played in the 2016 NCAA Tournament (where the Wildcats suffered a 71-53 loss to Xavier in their first game). Weber State finished 26-9 overall. The Wildcats have won four of the five meetings with Pepperdine. The Waves’ only win came in the only previous matchup in Firestone Fieldhouse in 1995-96. The last time the two schools met came in 1996-97.
Thursday, November 17: Life Pacific (Firestone Fieldhouse)
This will be the first meeting between Pepperdine and Life Pacific College, which is located in San Dimas, Calif. The Warriors compete in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) and the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference. Life Pacific went 7-18 last season.
Monday-Wednesday, November 21-23: Lone Star Showcase (HEB Center; Cedar Park, Texas)
For the second straight season, the Waves will play in a pre-Thanksgiving tournament being managed by bd Global, LLC. The Lone Star Showcase was established last season as a women’s tournament, and is expanding for the men this season. The tournament field and schedule has not yet been announced. The Waves have three freshmen on the roster from Texas who will be returning to their home state.
Sunday, November 27: Portland State (Firestone Fieldhouse)
Pepperdine leads the all-time series with Portland State, 3-2. The Waves won the first three meetings in the 1960s and 1970s, while the Vikings won a home-and-home series in 2009-10 and 2010-11. Portland State went 13-18 last season and came in eighth place in the Big Sky Conference.
Saturday, December 3: Belmont (Firestone Fieldhouse)
An NIT participant last season, Belmont went 20-12 overall and won the Ohio Valley Conference’s East Division in the regular season. This will be the first-ever meeting between the Bruins and the Waves.
Wednesday, December 7: at Long Beach State (The Walter Pyramid; Long Beach, Calif.)
Another NIT squad from a year ago, Long Beach State posted a 20-15 record and came in third place in the Big West Conference. The Waves hold a 17-8 advantage over the 49ers in the all-time series, and recorded a 77-75 home victory last season.
Sunday, December 11: at USC (Galen Center; Los Angeles)
USC played in the NCAA Tournament last season (falling to Providence in its first game) while going 21-13 and tying for sixth in the Pac-12 Conference. Despite the two schools’ proximity, Pepperdine and USC have only met six times previously. The Waves are 2-4 against the Trojans. The schools last met in 2008-09.
Tuesday, December 20: at Louisiana (Cajundome; Lafayette, La.)
Pepperdine evened the all-time series with Louisiana at 2-2 last season with a 79-59 home victory. The Ragin’ Cajuns went on to post a 19-15 record while finishing in fourth place in the Sun Belt Conference and advancing to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. This will be the Waves’ first visit to Lafayette since 1978-79.
Thursday, December 22: at Montana (Dahlberg Arena; Missoula, Mont.)
Pepperdine defeated Montana 69-63 at home last season, and the Grizzlies would go on to finish with a 21-12 record and a second-place finish in the Big Sky. Like the Waves, the Grizzlies played in the 2016 College Basketball Invitational. Pepperdine has a 4-1 edge in the all-time series and will be making its first trip to Missoula since 1992-93.
The West Coast Conference schedule will be announced later this summer. The first game is slated for Thursday, December 29.