Pepperdine Basketball: 2019-20 season preview for the Waves

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LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 03: Pepperdine Waves mascot Willie the Wave throws T-shirts into the crowd during the team’s quarterfinal game of the West Coast Conference basketball tournament against the Saint Mary’s Gaels at the Orleans Arena on March 3, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Gaels won 69-66. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Pepperdine Basketball is ready to challenge the giants of the West Coast Conference in 2019-20. Will the Waves crack the top tier?

Head coach Lorenzo Romar has changed the culture of Pepperdine basketball in just one short season in Malibu.

Romar has made in clear that he wants Pepperdine to compete in the WCC quickly. In his first season he made an immediate impact, orchestrating a 10 win turnaround from the previous year. A 16-18 record is nothing to be in awe about, but after a 2017-18 season that ended with 5 wins over Division 1 opponents… I think there is reason for excitement in South Cal. To add to the hype, the Waves only lost one game by more than nine points to teams not named Gonzaga last season.

Gonzaga may still be the top dog in the conference, but with BYU and San Francisco expected to have a down year, the Waves are hoping to finish in the top 3 of the WCC for the first time since the 03-04 campaign. At worst, Pepperdine should be a team that people will want to watch. The Waves have athletes at every position and an adjusted tempo that ranked top 60 in the country, per KenPom.

The NCAA Tournament drought is now up to 17 straight seasons for the Waves, and the expectations for Romar and his team are at an all time high. Can the team come through in 2020?

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