FSU Basketball At A Glance: The Ferris State men’s basketball squad visits archrival and nationally second-ranked Grand Valley State for a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) game Saturday (Jan. 12) evening inside GVSU’s Fieldhouse Arena at Allendale, Mich. The Bulldogs then host Northwood in league play Monday (Jan. 14) night at Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Both games tipoff at 8 p.m. (EST).
Media Coverage: Both games can be heard live locally on News Talk 1460 AM (WBRN). Saturday’s game will also be televised live in selected areas statewide by Comcast Local and a special free live video and audio webcast will be available from the NCAA and CSTV. A live video and audio webcast will be available for Monday’s home game through B2 Networks for a $6 fee. Live internet statistics will also be available for both games. The webcast/live stats links can all be found on the FSU Athletics website at www.ferris.edu/sports (click on internet event schedule).
Ticket Info: Tickets for both games will be available at the door. For additional ticket information for Saturday’s game, please contact the GVSU Ticket Office at (616) 331-8800. All single-game general admission ticket prices for Monday’s home game against Northwood are $7 and will be sold starting one hour prior to tipoff. FSU students are admitted free with ID. Call (231) 591-2860 for more info on home ticket sales.
About Ferris State: Ferris State University is a NCAA Division II school located in Big Rapids, Mich., with an enrollment of 12,578. The Bulldogs are a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Big Rapids is located in West Michigan approximately 60 miles north of Grand Rapids or 40 miles west of Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Back Home: After Saturday’s visit to Grand Valley State, the Bulldogs return home for three more GLIAC games inside Wink Arena against Northwood (Jan. 14), Gannon (Jan. 17) and Mercyhurst (Jan. 19). Ferris played four home games in November before having none in December. The Bulldogs have six January home contests and will have four more regular-season home tilts in February.
Good Home Court Win: Ferris put together one of its best performances of the season Wednesday (Jan. 9) evening as the Bulldogs recorded their fourth consecutive victory with an exciting 79-71 league home triumph over Wayne State inside Jim Wink Arena. Ferris received a 27-point and six-rebound performance inside from freshman center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills). Besides Keenan, three other Bulldog players also reached double-figure scoring. Freshman guard Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford) had a career-high 15 points in addition to six boards and six assists. Freshman guard DeJuan Wright (Detroit/Henry Ford) chipped in 11 points, four rebounds and four assists while junior forward Jason Holder (Saginaw/Arthur Hill) added 10 points, nine boards and three assists to go with his five blocked shots. FSU raced out to a 36-29 halftime lead and increased the margin to 14 points with 15:20 left. WSU pulled within three twice in the last nine minutes but couldn’t get closer.
FSU Earns Revenge: Ferris State reversed the score on Tiffin (Ohio) last Saturday (Jan. 5) as the Bulldogs posted a 72-62 triumph over the visiting Dragons at Wink Arena. The Bulldogs, who suffered an identical 72-62 setback on the road against Tiffin earlier this year (Dec. 8), took a slim 32-29 halftime advantage before outscoring TU 40-33 in the final period. The Dragons will join the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) for the 2008-09 season. FSU forced 26 Dragon turnovers in a miscue-plagued contest. DeJuan Wright tallied 18 points and seven rebounds for Ferris State in the victory. Justin Keenan added 15 points and seven boards in a supporting cause while the Bulldogs also received a personal career-high 14 points off the bench from Jason Holder.
Last Campaign: Ferris wrapped up its 2006-07 men's basketball season with an 10-18 overall record and made its fourth consecutive GLIAC Tournament appearance last campaign. The Bulldogs placed tied for third in the GLIAC North Division regular-season standings with a 8-10 league slate this campaign after advancing to the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament the previous two seasons. FSU captured back-to-back GLIAC North Division titles in 2003-04 and 2004-05 along with advancing to the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen in 2004-05.
The Bulldog Roster: Ferris’ 2007-08 roster includes one senior, three juniors and 10 freshmen. Eight of the 14 players are guards while the remaining six are frontcourt players. All 14 players on the Bulldogs’ 2007-08 roster hail from Michigan.
Head Coach Bill Sall: A 1994 Calvin graduate, sixth-year FSU head coach Bill Sall previously held assistant coaching positions at Calvin (1992-95), Ferris State (1995-98) and Hillsdale (1998-02) prior to being named Ferris State’s 11th head coach. The Zeeland, Mich., native served as Ferris’ interim head coach for a portion of the 1995-96 campaign and led the Bulldogs to a 5-8 mark. Before joining the coaching ranks, Sall was a standout player at Calvin from 1985-90. He twice (1989-90) received second-team National Association of Basketball Coaches Division III All-America honors and led Calvin to three Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAA) championships, four NCAA-III Tournament bids and the 1990 NCAA-III Final Four. Sall has a current 89-83 (.517) career mark.
B2 Broadband Webcasts: A live broadband video and audio webcast will be available via B2 Networks for all of FSU’s home games and selected road contests this season. The cost is $6 per game and includes live video along with a radio audio feed. To access the service or obtain more info, please visit the FSU Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports.
Live Internet Stats: “Live Stats” of all 2007-08 Ferris State home games will be provided in progress via the internet. Visit the site at www.ferris.edu/sports and click the “Live Stats” icon to access.
GLIAC Games On The Air: All eighteen of FSU’s 2007-08 league games are tentatively slated to be carried live by local radio station WBRN (News Talk 1460 AM). FSU Assistant Athletics Communications Director Rob Bentley will once again call the play-by-play action on the road while Jason DaDay will be the on-air talent for home games. The audio from road contests can also be accessed live via the internet by clicking on the Bulldog Athletics Webcasts icon at www.ferris.edu/sports.
On The Internet: Ferris State University Athletics’ official web site can be found at www.ferris.edu/sports. The site features information on all FSU varsity programs including rosters, stats, yearbooks and more.
Bulldog History: Ferris State’s impressive basketball tradition includes 11 GLIAC titles, eight NCAA Division II Tournament appearances and a berth in the 1988 NCAA-II Elite Eight. Ferris, which last won the GLIAC Tournament championship during the 1997-98 campaign, captured a league record four consecutive conference titles from 1986-90. FSU has won more GLIAC Championships (11) than any other league member.
Turning It Around: The Bulldogs had posted only a 21-82 (.204) mark in the four seasons prior to head coach Bill Sall's arrival, but have since went 84-75 (.528) and claimed two divisional titles while making two NCAA-II Tournament appearances in his five previous seasons at the helm. FSU won only four games (4-22) the year before Sall arrived in 2001-02. Additionally, Ferris notched its fifth-straight 10-plus win campaign in 2006-07. Prior to the current stretch under Sall, the Bulldogs had not won more than eight games in the previous four seasons.
Ferris Picked Fourth: Ferris State was picked to finish fourth in the 2007-08 GLIAC Men's Basketball North Division Preseason Poll, which was announced during the league's media day teleconference (Oct. 24) held this season. The poll was chosen for the first time in league history by selected members of the media and the GLIAC's Sports Information Directors. The 30-member group tabbed Grand Valley State and Findlay to win the conference's North and South Division titles, respectively. The Bulldogs totaled 114 points in the balloting.
The Coaching Staff: FSU head coach Bill Sall returns his coaching staff intact from a year ago, including top assistant coach Cory Anderson. Anderson, who played for Ferris from 1996-98, is in his ninth season as a full-time assistant coach. Volunteer Assistant Coach Bill Killian also returns for his sixth season on Sall’s staff. Longtime West Michigan high school coach Dave Schlump, who formerly coached at Cedar Springs (Mich.), is currently in his fourth campaign as a volunteer assistant for the Bulldogs. The newcomer to the staff is former Cornerstone University standout Andy Bronkema, who teaches at Big Rapids’ Crossroads Charter Academy.
The Bulldog Tradition: The 2007-08 campaign marks the 80th season of Bulldog men’s basketball. The program began in 1925 although Ferris did not field a team from 1942-45 due to World War II. FSU has compiled a 951-882 (.519) all-time mark. The Bulldogs have won 11 GLIAC titles, made eight NCAA Division II Tournament appearances and reached the 1988 NCAA-II Elite Eight. Ferris captured a league-record four consecutive GLIAC titles from 1986-90.
All-Tourney Team: Ferris’ Justin Keenan was named to the all-tourney team as the Bulldogs split two games at the 16th annual AT&T Alascom Jamboree (Dec. 28-29) hosted by the University of Alaska-Anchorage in Anchorage, Alaska. He was also chosen as the event’s Player of the Game as the Bulldogs snapped a six-game losing skid with a win over Alaska-Fairbanks in the final day of action.
Youth Served: FSU’s roster this season includes 10 freshmen, nine of whom are new to the program as true freshmen. The Bulldogs also have one redshirt freshman in guard/forward Lou Williams (Muskegon Heights). Ferris’ top six scoring leaders this campaign are all in their freshman seasons with forward/center Justin Keenan leading the team in both scoring (16.7 ppg) and rebounding (8.3 rpg) to date. Nine freshmen have played for FSU this year as the current roster features only three uppperclassmen and one senior in forward C.J. Van Wieren (Holland/West Ottawa).
Freshman Production: Ferris’ freshman class has accounted for 821 of the squad’s 1,024 total points (80%) to date this season. Additionally, 414 of FSU’s 564 total rebounds (73%) this year have came from rookie players.
Bulldog Bites: Ferris State notched its 950th all-time win with last Saturday’s triumph over Tiffin at Wink Arena ........ Wednesday’s win was only FSU's second over the Warriors dating back to 1996. Ferris previously snapped a nine-game series' losing streak to the Warriors in the last contest played between the two teams at Wink Arena two seasons ago ........ The Bulldogs posted 10 blocked shots in the win over Wayne State, which was one shy of matching the school record of 11 blocks set at Grand Valley State in 2001 (1/22).
Scouting Grand Valley State: Grand Valley State, which claimed a second consecutive GLIAC North Division title last season, is led in scoring by senior guard Jason Jamerson (15.4 ppg). The Lakers, who are guided by fourth-year head coach Ric Wesley, were 29-5 overall and reached the NCAA-II Elite Eight during the 2006-07 campaign. Grand Valley State is currently 17-0 overall and 5-0 in the GLIAC this year. The Lakers are listed second in this week’s (Jan. 8) National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II Top 25 poll. GVSU is presently 8-0 at home this campaign and earlier (Nov. 2) beat NCAA-I Michigan State 85-82 in a double overtime exhibition thriller at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich.
Scouting Northwood: NU’s currently 5-7 overall and 2-3 in GLIAC play this season heading into home games versus Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan this weekend (Jan. 10 & 12). NU, which was picked to finish seventh in the 2007-087 GLIAC North Division Preseason Media Poll, is led in scoring by junior guard Antonio Harrison (14.5 ppg) to date. The Timberwolves are guided by 11th-year head coach Bob Taylor. Northwood was 9-18 overall during the 2006-07 campaign and placed seventh in the GLIAC North Division with a 4-14 mark.
Series Information: Ferris, which has won five of the last 11 series’ contests, holds a 46-41 advantage heading into Saturday’s 88th meeting with GVSU. The Lakers, however, have won five-straight meetings and recorded a 72-59 triumph in the most recent game (2/27/07) during last year’s GLIAC Tourney Quarterfinals at Allendale, Mich. Ferris’ last win was a 79-63 win two years ago (12/8/05) at Jim Wink Arena. FSU head coach Bill Sall currently holds a 5-8 career coaching mark versus Grand Valley State ............ Ferris holds a 46-22 advantage entering Monday’s 68th meeting with Northwood. The Bulldogs have claimed five of the last seven matchups to date, but suffered a 86-68 setback earlier this year (Dec. 1) in Midland, Mich. Sall owns a 7-5 mark to date in his head coaching career versus Northwood.