Men's Basketball

FORMER FERRIS MEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYERS BACK WITH HOLLAND BLAST

Dennis Springs & Epps Brothers Return For IBL Franchise's Second Season

Holland Blast
IBL ALL-STAR
Dennis Springs
Former Bulldog point guard Dennis Springs was an IBL All-Star in his initial season with the Holland Blast in 2006. He will be one of three former FSU players in uniform when the Blast tipoff the 2007 season Friday (March 23) evening.
The International Basketball League's (IBL) Holland (Mich.) Blast recently announced three former Ferris State University men's basketball guards will return for the franchise's second season, which begins Friday (March 23).

The trio includes former Bulldog backcourt standout Dennis Springs (Toledo, Ohio/Scott) along with twin brothers Carlton and Corey Epps (Benton Harbor). All three players were key members of the Blast's 2006 squad that reached the IBL Final Four in the team's expansion season.

The 5-6 Springs, who concluded his collegiate eligibility by leading FSU to its second consecutive NCAA Division II National Tournament appearance in March of 2006, ranked among the league's scoring leaders last year (21.7 points per game) and was recognized as a 2006 IBL All-Star in his initial professional season.

The IBL, which played its inaugural season in the spring and summer of 2005, is the newest professional basketball league designed around the concept of a faster, more skilled game. Specifically, the IBL speeds up time between play with a 22-second shot clock, immediate inbounds and allows fewer timeouts. The absence of dead time typically leads to a faster and more entertaining high-scoring game where skilled players shine. The IBL scoring average per team in its first two seasons was over 126 points per game.

The Holland Blast, who will be coached this season by first-year head coach and former Grand Valley State men's basketball coach Terry Smith, will officially open the 2007 season at home this Friday (March 23) against the Chicago Heights Soliders with tipoff set for 7:15 p.m. (ET) inside the Holland Civic Center. The league, which is comprised of 26 teams in regional clusters, will feature four squads in Michigan this season including the locations of Holland, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Battle Creek.

A 2005-06 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Great Lakes Region All-District First Team and Daktronics All-Great Lakes Region Second Team selection, Springs joined the Epps brothers as members of last year's Holland Blast team upon the conclusion of Ferris State's season. The 6-2 Epps twins were among the franchise's first additions for the league's 2006 campaign after helping Springs guide FSU to the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen as collegiate seniors in 2004-05.

The 5-6 Springs, who led the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) in assists (5.74 apg) as a senior and ranked as the league's third-leading scorer (16.8 ppg), was honored as a first-team All-GLIAC North Division selection in 2005-06. Springs’ career average of 6.2 assists per game ranks tied for 17th place all-time in NCAA Division II history and is the GLIAC’s top career performance average. His 713 career assists not only ranks as the school's top figure, but also presently is listed 13th on the all-time NCAA Division II assists leaders list. Springs was honored as both Ferris State's Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player Award recipient during the 2005-06 campaign and claimed FSU's 2005-06 Dean Davenport "Bulldog of the Year" Award as the school's most outstanding male student-athlete.

The two-time (2003-04 & 2004-05) GLIAC North Division Second Team honoree compiled 28 double-figure scoring outings as a collegiate senior and currently is listed among the school's all-time performers in five statistical categories, including ninth in scoring with 1,504 career points. Springs received GLIAC North Division All-Defensive Team kudos for the third-straight season and picked up GLIAC All-Tournament Team recognition last year. During his playing career, Springs led Ferris to back-to-back GLIAC North Division Championships (2003-04 & 2004-05), guided FSU to a runner-up league regular-season finish last year and directed the Bulldogs to consecutive NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament appearances. He was the conference's assists leader three of his four collegiate seasons.

A two-time (2004-05) All-GLIAC North Division First Team honoree, Carlton Epps concluded his collegiate career ranked among the school's all-time leaders in scoring (1,544), rebounds (454), steals (270), assists (250), free throw percentage (.820), three-point field goal percentage (.426), made three-pointers (240) and blocked shots (53). In addition to posting school career records for three-pointers and steals, he also notched single-season marks with 102 treys, 95 steals and a .883 free throw percentage as a senior in 2004-05.

Carlton Epps became only the sixth player in Bulldog history to score over 600 points in a campaign during the 2004-05 season as he finished the year with 602 total points. The two-time (2003-05) GLIAC North Division All-Defensive Team pick also attained Daktronics All-Great Lakes Region First Team kudos in addition to being named to the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional All-Tournament Team and the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II Great Lakes Region All-District First Team.

Corey Epps was presented with FSU's Defensive Player of the Year Award following his senior campaign in 2004-05. Corey had his best season in a Bulldog uniform as a senior, evidenced by his personal career-highs in scoring (309), field goals (112), rebounds (97), three-pointers (57), assists (82), steals (63) and blocked shots (11) in his final collegiate campaign. He finished his career with 876 points, 305 rebounds, 232 assists, 149 made three-pointers and 176 steals. Corey presently ranks fourth in school history in both career steals and three-point field goals made.

The Ferris men's basketball team registered its fourth-straight GLIAC Tournament appearance in 2006-07 under fifth-year head coach Bill Sall and concluded the year with a 10-18 overall record. 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.

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