Waves Highlights

General Information

Founded: 1938

Conference: West Coast Conference (WCC)

Past Conferences: California Basketball Association (CBA), Independent

Arena: Firestone Fieldhouse

City: Malibu, California

Championships and Titles

  • 3 Conference Tournament Championships
  • 11 Conference Regular Season Championships

Pepperdine Waves Team History

After spending their first few seasons playing in the NAIA, the Pepperdine Waves entered NCAA Division I in the 1950s in the West Coast Conference. Under Robert “Duck” Dowell, the program made its first trip to the NCAA Tournament during the 1961-62 season. It also won its first of 11 conference regular season titles.

Its next trip to March Madness took place in 1976, with future NBA legend Dennis Johnson leading the way. Johnson led the Waves’ team stats and eventually won three championships with the Boston Celtics.

Pepperdine then made the second round in 1979. Beginning with Johnson, this proved to be the start of the program’s rise as Pepperdine consistently recruited several talented players for the better of the next two decades.

Repeat NCAA Appearances

In the 1980s, Jim Harrick would lead the Waves to repeat NCAA Tournament appearances. Players like Eric White and Dane Suttle, who would lead the Pepperdine Waves’ team stats, would help the team routinely win the WCC to qualify for March Madness.

In 1988, Pepperdine hit its golden years when Tom Asbury joined as head coach. Under Asbury, the Waves won several conference postseason tournaments and became a fixture in March Madness. However, the Waves failed to win a game.

Over the next seasons, the likes of Asbury and Lorenzo Romar (the current coach as of 2022) coached the Waves. Notable players like Doug Christie and Kessler Edwards would go on to have NBA careers. The Waves remained a decent program but last qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2002, under coach Paul Westphal.

However, in Romar’s second stint, the Waves won the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) in 2021. This program is still far from challenging the powers of the conference, but it can hold its own on the NCAAB odds from time to time.

All-Time Pepperdine Waves Records

Points Scored

  • Colbey Ross: 2,236
  • Stacy Davis: 1,786
  • Dane Suttle: 1,697


  • Dana Jones: 1,031
  • Stacy Davis: 994
  • Levy Middlebrooks: 972


  • Colbey Ross: 854
  • Jeremy Major: 494
  • Mark Wilson: 450

Pepperdine Waves FAQs

Is Pepperdine a Division 1 School?

The Pepperdine Waves are a Division 1 school in men’s basketball. They play in the West Coast Conference (WCC.)

Has Pepperdine Ever Made March Madness?

The Waves have qualified for the NCAA Tournament 13 times as of 2022. They reached the Elite Eight back in 1944 and have typically been a lower-ranked seed.

Who Is #37 at Pepperdine?

During the 2022-23 season, Jan Zidek wears the #37 for the Pepperdine men’s basketball team.

Latest NCAAB News

Back to top button

Bet like a PRO!

Subscribe now and get Weekly Expert Free Picks