FSU Basketball At A Glance: The Ferris State men’s basketball team visits Tiffin (Ohio) Saturday, Dec. 8, for a 7 p.m. (EST) non-league outing in TU’s Gillmor Center at Tiffin, Ohio. The contest will follow the FSU-Tiffin women’s game, which starts at 5 p.m. (EST). The Dragons have been accepted as a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) member effective for the 2008-09 season.
Media Coverage: No local radio coverage is planned for the non-league outing. However, a live video and audio webcast will be available for the game through B2 Networks for a $6 fee. The webcast can be acccessed via the FSU Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports (Click on B2 Networks icon).
Ticket Info: Tickets will be available at the door on gameday or for additional ticket information, please contact the Tiffin Athletics Department at (419) 448-3453.
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.
Next Home Game: The Bulldogs’ next home contest at Jim Wink Arena is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 3, when FSU hosts Grand Rapids-based Kuyper (Mich.) College for a 7 p.m. (EST) outing in Big Rapids, Mich. Tickets will be available at the door beginning one hour prior to tipoff.
One Game Next Week: Ferris will have a single game again next week as the Bulldogs visit Lake Superior State Saturday, Dec. 15, for a 3 p.m. (EST) league encounter in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The game, which comes at the conclusion of the school’s final exams week, will be FSU’s last GLIAC contest until the New Year.
Ferris Wins GLIAC Opener: Ferris had its freshmen talent on display last Thursday (Nov. 29) evening as the Bulldogs captured a thrilling 68-66 league triumph over visiting Saginaw Valley State at FSU's Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs claimed the league-opening win as freshman guard Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford) nailed a long jumper in transition with only four seconds remaining. Gay, however, was hardly the only Bulldog freshman to step up and make key plays in the victory. Freshman guard DeJuan Wright (Detroit/Henry Ford) recorded a game-high tying 20 points for the Bulldogs while freshman center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) added 19 points and a contest-best seven rebounds. The Bulldogs built a 37-28 halftime advantage, but SVSU outscored FSU 38-31 in the final period. The Cardinals tied the contest on a pair of made free throws by Lawrence Ross with only nine seconds to go before Gay took the ball the length of the floor and found enough space to get off the game-winning shot.
Tough Loss At Northwood: A late first-half run sparked the Northwood Timberwolves past Ferris State in conference action last Saturday (Dec. 1) evening inside the Bennett Sports Center at Midland, Mich. Ferris held a five-point lead with eight minutes to play in the opening period before NU closed the half on a 30-6 run to take a 43-24 halftime edge. The Bulldogs outscored NU 44-43 in the final period but could not get any closer the rest of the way. The Bulldogs fell to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the GLIAC after turning the ball over 27 times compared on only 13 for the Timberwolves. DeJuan Wright led FSU with 11 points and Darien Gay chipped in 10 points for NU.
Exhibition Recap: Ferris squared off against the Michigan Wolverines in a historic first-ever meeting between the two teams in exhibition play on Nov. 1, but dropped a 78-40 decision at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Wolverines jumped out to a 37-18 halftime advantage en route to the win. UM limited FSU to a 26.3% shooting effort from the floor and converted 10-of-28 (35.7%) three-point tries in the season-opening triumph. A crowd of 7,489 watch the first-ever matchup between the two schools in FSU's 80-year history of men's basketball. The contest also marked the debut for first-year Michigan head coach John Beilein, who previously led West Virginia to four consecutive postseason berths.
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, four juniors and 10 freshmen. Eight of the 15 players are guards while the remaining seven are frontcourt players. All 15 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 85-78 (.521) 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 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 80-70 (.533) 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.), will be 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 947-877 (.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.
Welcome Back: The Bulldogs welcomed back only two starters and four letterwinners from last season's squad. The returnees this season include senior guard/forward C.J. Van Wieren (Holland/West Ottawa), junior guard Jessie York (Muskegon Heights), junior forward Mark Gildersleeve (Byron Center) and junior forward Jason Holder (Saginaw/Arthur Hill). Van Wieren made 14 starts last campaign while York was in the lineup for 20 games. Holder made one start.
New To Campus: 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). In all, 10 players are new to the team this year as the Bulldogs also inked Alpena Community College forward/center Aaron Hincka (Posen) in the offseason.
Bulldog Bites: Ferris State has posted 38 winning campaigns and 43 non-losing seasons in its previous 79 seasons .......... Ferris is only three wins away from notching the program’s 950th all-time victory .......... Saturday's game at Northwood marked the beginning of an extended road stretch featuring seven-straight outings away from home for the Bulldogs. Ferris does not have another home contest until after the New Year .......... FSU’s game last Saturday at Northwood marked the school’s 150th game since Bill Sall took over as head coach prior to the 2002-03 campaign ....... FSU has presently won nine of its last 13 matchups with Saginaw Valley State following last Thursday’s victory over the Cardinals ........ Sall will take his young Bulldog squad to Alaska for a pair of games over the holiday break. FSU will compete in the Alaska-Anchorage AT&T Alascom Jamboree Friday and Saturday, Dec. 28-29, in Anchorage, Alaska.
Leading The Way: FSU’s DeJuan Wright led the Bulldogs in scoring during both games last week. The 6-4 Wright tallied a personal career-high and game-tying best 20 points and was 10-of-13 (.769) from the floor in FSU’s win over Saginaw Valley State. Wright added six rebounds, one block and one steal in the victory. He then netted a team-high 11 points and had four rebounds along with two assists in Saturday’s setback at Northwood. He was four-of-seven (.571) from the floor versus the Timberwolves.
Scouting Tiffin: The Dragons presently remain winless this season with an 0-8 overall record under second-year head coach Rodney Martin. Tiffin has lost a total of five games to three GLIAC-member schools including Ashland, Findlay and Wayne State. The squad’s closest game was a 75-63 setback versus Urbana (Ohio) at home (Nov. 27). In its past three games, the Dragons have been outscored 275-127 (49.3 ppg). Sophomore guard Alex Strok is the squad’s leading scorer (10.9 ppg) to date this year. Tiffin is in its first season as a NCAA Division II Independent team this year and will join the GLIAC for the 2008-09 athletics campaign. TU will play 12 of its final 19 games this year, including Saturday’s contest, versus GLIAC schools. The Dragons posted a 5-22 overall record in 2006-07 after losing its first 13 contests of the year.
Series Information: Ferris and Tiffin will meet for the first time in school history Saturday evening at Tiffin, Ohio ............. The Bulldogs and Dragons will battle for a second time this season on Saturday, Jan. 5, when TU visits FSU for a 3 p.m. (EST) non-league tilt at Jim Wink Arena ....... Bulldog volunteer assistant men’s basketball coach Dave Schlump’s daughter, Elyse Schlump, is currently a freshman on Tiffin’s women’s basketball squad. She played prep basketball at Cedar Springs (Mich.) High School.