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SOUTHLAND ROUNDUP : Fuller Eager to Repeat Pepperdine Experience

October 15, 1994|JERRY CROWE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Tony Fuller will find himself in familiar surroundings this morning when he conducts his first practice as Pepperdine's basketball coach.

"It's kind of like deja vu, " said Fuller, a former player and assistant at Pepperdine who was hired in April to replace Tom Asbury after Asbury moved to Kansas State. "Sometimes, I feel like I've never left."

Fuller, whose record in two seasons at San Diego State was 20-37, inherits a program that has ranked among the most successful on the West Coast during the last 16 seasons, making eight NCAA tournament appearances.

"It's my mission to try to keep it going," said Fuller, who has only one returning starter from last season's NCAA tournament team. "I'm real excited about finally getting started."

Elsewhere:

--Cal State Fullerton was scheduled to open practice at 12:01 a.m. today under interim Coach Bob Hawking, who replaced Brad Holland only three weeks ago when Holland left for the University of San Diego.

--Cal State Northridge, preparing for its fifth season in Division I and its 24th under Coach Pete Cassidy, also scheduled its first practice for 12:01 a.m.

--Long Beach State Coach Seth Greenberg welcomes back three starters, among them guard James Cotton, last season's Big West Conference freshman of the year, and forward Mike Atkinson, who averaged 15.4 points last season and led the nation with a .695 shooting percentage.

--Rod Baker, UC Irvine coach, also has three returning starters, including guard Chris Brown, who averaged 17.4 points last season and was named co-most valuable player in the Big West tournament after leading the 10th-seeded Anteaters to the final.

--At Loyola Marymount, Coach John Olive's four returning starters include All-West Coast Conference forward Wyking Jones, who averaged 19.7 points and eight rebounds, and Jim Williamson, last season's WCC freshman of the year.

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