Pepperdine University's basketball team has won 28 of its last 33 games, dating back to December 1984, when it lost to Temple.
It's a remarkable record, but the Waves looked far from impressive in all but one of the four most recent losses, to some of the nation's best teams on the road.
And that has Coach Jim Harrick worried. Tonight, Pepperdine (12-2) is again on the road against one of the nation's best. It plays DePaul (8-3) at the Rosemont Horizon in suburban Chicago at 6 PST.
Pepperdine was routed by DePaul, 90-65, last January and later was defeated by Duke, 75-62, in an opening-round game of last year's NCAA Midwest Regional tournament. The Waves began this season with a 67-61 loss to Kansas in an opening-round game of the preseason NIT, and in December were overwhelmed by Kentucky in the Wildcats' tournament, 88-56.
"The only game of those past four (losses) that I feel we played up to our potential is the Kansas game, and that concerns me," Harrick said.
Harrick said his team might have been a little intimidated against DePaul and Duke last year, but not against Kentucky. "We just didn't perform," he said. "We had been on the road a little and ran out of gas."
Pepperdine will need a full tank of premium against DePaul tonight. The Blue Demons are 3-0 in the series with the Waves and are 83-6 at the Horizon.
Forward Tyrone Corbin and guard Kenny Patterson, leaders of last year's onslaught against the Waves, have graduated. But Coach Joey Meyer's Blue Demons have 6-9 junior Dallas Comegys, who is averaging a team-high 14.3 points and 6.4 rebounds a game; freshman guard Rod Strickland, averaging 11.8 points, and 6-8 senior Kevin Holmes, the former Reseda Cleveland High School star, who is averaging 8 rebounds and 9.7 points.
"I think they have some strong individuals at DePaul, but they're normal, like everybody else," Harrick said. "When they've gone on the road they've struggled."
DePaul has lost at home to Georgetown and on the road to Purdue and Navy.