Men's Basketball

FSU Continues Road Swing This Week With Trip To Erie

Game #17-18 at Mercyhurst/Gannon
Jan. 18 & 20, 2007

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    Courtney Blackmore
    Ferris junior guard/forward Courtney Blackmore and his teammates visit Mercyhurst & Gannon for two league games this week in Erie
    FSU Basketball At A Glance: The Ferris State men’s basketball team continues a four-game Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road swing this week with two games in Erie, Pa. FSU will first face Mercyhurst Thursday, Jan. 18, in a 8 p.m. (EST) conference game at MC’s Athletic Center. FSU then visits Gannon Saturday, Jan. 20, for a 3 p.m. (EST) league encounter inside GU’s Hammermill Center. Both games in Erie will be the second contest of a women’s and men’s doubleheader.

    The Records: Ferris enters the trip with a 5-11 overall record and a 3-4 GLIAC slate. Mercyhurst owns a 11-6 record and is 3-4 in league action entering Thursday's game. Gannon is currently 5-9 overall and 1-5 heading into a conference home tilt Thursday evening versus Lake Superior State.

    Media Coverage: Both of this week’s games will be carried live locally by News Talk 1460 AM WBRN in Big Rapids. Rob Bentley will handle the play-by-play coverage. A Ferris internet audio-only broadcast is slated to be available for Saturday’s game at www.ferris.edu/sports. In addition, Mercyhurst will offer both live audio and internet statistics on Thursday evening. The audio will be available at http://wmce.mercyhurst.edu with live stats on MC’s official athletics website at www.hurstathletics.com. Gannon will have both an audio webcast and live internet stats for Saturday’s game at www.gannon.edu/sports. The game at Mercyhurst is also scheduled to be televised live locally in Erie by Image Sports Network.

    Looking At The Division: Despite dropping three of its first four GLIAC tilts, the Bulldogs (3-4) still remain in the hunt in GLIAC North Division action. Grand Valley State leads the division with a 6-2 GLIAC mark entering Thursday’s play. Saginaw Valley State is second (4-3) followed by Michigan Tech (4-4). Ferris, Lake Superior State and Northwood all have 3-4 conference marks with Northern Michigan rounding out the division with a 2-6 league record. Findlay leads the South Division heading into Thursday’s GLIAC play with a perfect 8-0 mark.

    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.

    Ticket Info: Ticket information along with travel directions for this week’s games can be obtained by directly contacting the Mercyhurst and Gannon Athletics Departments, respectively. MC’s main office number is (814) 824-2228 while Gannon can be reached by dialing (814) 871-7416.

    Ferris Splits In Upper Peninsula: Ferris split a pair of games to open a four-game conference road swing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula this past weekend (Jan. 11 & 13). FSU defeated Northern Michigan 65-64 in Thursday’s (Jan. 11) outing at the Berry Events Center in Marquette before falling to Michigan Tech 61-49 Saturday (Jan. 13) inside MTU’s Student Development Complex Gym at Houghton, Mich. Sophomore guard Jessie York (Muskegon Heights) led Ferris with 15 points at NMU while senior forward Terrance Shaw (Saginaw/Bridgeport) chipped in 12 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman guard Anthony Sydnor (Muskegon Heights) totaled 11 points. Shaw had 19 points at MTU with York and senior forward Michael Daniels (Detroit/Murray-Wright) notching 10 points apiece.

    Last Campaign: Ferris State posted an 18-13 overall mark en route to making its second consecutive NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament berth during the 2005-06 campaign. FSU posted a second-place 13-5 mark in GLIAC North Division regular-season action after claiming back-to-back league crowns in 2003-04 and 2004-05. Ferris also received GLIAC Tournament runner-up accolades last season.

    Two Years Ago: Ferris State capped off a banner 2004-05 season with a runner-up finish in the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament (March 12-15) held in Findlay, Ohio. FSU reached the regional championship game for only the third time in school history. The Bulldogs, who won their second-straight GLIAC North Division Championship in 2004-05, concluded the year with a 24-7 overall record and fell one game shy of advancing to the NCAA-II Elite Eight for the second time ever. FSU's 24 victories represented the third-most wins in school history.

    Head Coach Bill Sall: A 1994 Calvin graduate, fifth-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 77-68 (.531) career mark.

    The Bulldog Tradition: The 2006-07 campaign marks the 79th 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 939-867 (.520) 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.

    Leading The Way: Among the returnees this year is Terrance Shaw, who received All-GLIAC Second Team accolades a year ago. The 6-5 Shaw averaged 13 points and a team-best 6.8 rebounds in 2005-06. Shaw, Michael Daniels and senior guard Julius Vines (Muskegon Heights) are serving as team captains this year.

    The Bulldog Roster: Ferris’ 2006-07 roster includes three seniors, four juniors, two sophomores and six freshmen. Eight of the 15 players are guards while the remaining seven are frontcourt players. All 15 players on the Bulldogs’ 2006-07 roster hail from Michigan.

    B2 Broadband Webcasts: A live broadband video and audio webcast will be available via B2 Networks for FSU’s remaining 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 2006-07 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 2006-07 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. Selected 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.

    Impressive 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.

    National Rankings: FSU is not ranked in the current (Jan. 8) National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II Top 25 Poll after being listed among other teams receiving votes with four points in the preseason national rankings. Defending NCAA-II National Champion Winona State (Minn.) is presently ranked first nationally this week. GLIAC members Findlay and Grand Valley State are listed 7th and 9th, respectively, in the current rankings. Southern Indiana was ranked fifth in the poll and Quincy 10th from the Great Lakes Region. Hillsdale and Mercyhurst from the GLIAC both received votes.

    Tough Slate: In addition to a narrow 70-63 loss at ninth-ranked Grand Valley State (Dec. 7), the Bulldogs have also faced three other teams currently ranked nationally this season. They include Southern Indiana (5th), 17th-ranked Christian Brothers (Tenn.) and Armstrong Atlantic State (20th) of Ga. FSU also faced two NCAA Division I programs, Toledo (Ohio) and Detroit Mercy, on the road in exhibition play to start the year.

    Turning It All 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 72-60 (.545) and claimed two divisional titles while making two NCAA-II Tournament appearances in his four previous seasons at the helm. FSU won only four games (4-22) the year before Sall arrived in 2001-02.

    Coming Up Next: Ferris returns home to host Ashland Thursday, Jan. 25, in an 8 p.m. (EST) league tilt inside FSU’s Jim Wink Arena at Big Rapids, Mich. Nationally-ranked Findlay then visits Wink Arena Saturday, Jan. 27, for a 3 p.m. (EST) GLIAC encounter.

    Top Of The Pack: Last season represented the third-straight year the Bulldogs finished either first or second in the GLIAC North Division. Ferris claimed back-to-back divisional titles in 2003-04 and 2004-05 with 14-4 and 13-5 conference marks, respectively. FSU’s 13-5 league ledger last season trailed only rival Grand Valley State’s first place 16-2 division record. Ferris had not won a GLIAC Championship since 1994-95 prior to its first title run in 2003-04 under head coach Bill Sall.

    Bulldog Bites: Terrance Shaw needs only two points to become the 25th player in school history to eclipse the 1,000 career points mark ....... Ferris posted its ninth win in the program’s last 11 meetings against Northern Michigan last Thursday. FSU head coach Bill Sall also improved his career coaching mark to 9-2 overall versus the Wildcats ........ Saturday’s loss at Michigan Tech was only FSU’s second series’ setback to the Huskies in the last six encounters ........ Ferris has won 43 of its last 61 conference regular-season outings dating back to the 2003-04 campaign ...... Michael Daniels is only 15 rebounds away from notching his 500th career board. Daniels is shooting a career-best 51.4% from the floor this campaign ...... FSU currently ranks 33rd nationally in free throw percentage (.744) according to the latest (Jan. 8) NCAA-II National Statistical leaders along with third among the GLIAC schools.

    Trend Reversal: Ferris State currently holds a 3-6 overall mark this season in games decided by 10 points or less. The Bulldogs posted a 23-12 overall record in such games over the two previous seasons while making back-to-back national tournament appearances ...... The Bulldogs are currently averaging 65.2 points per game this year as compared to last year’s (2005-06) season average of 72.7 points per outing.

    Ferris Picked Second: Ferris State was picked to finish second in the 2006-07 GLIAC Men's Basketball Coaches Preseason North Division Poll. The Bulldogs totaled 27 points but had no first-place votes in the balloting, which was conducted by the conference's head coaches. Defending GLIAC North Division Champion Grand Valley State was selected as this year's divisional favorite as the Lakers recorded 36 points along with six of a possible seven first-place votes. Findlay took the top spot in the South Division with 25 points and five first-place votes. The league's 13 head coaches voted for the division in which they play.

    Ferris State vs. Mercyhurst/Gannon Notebook:

    Scouting Mercyhurst: Mercyhurst holds a 7-5 series advantage and has won five of the last eight meetings entering this Thursday’s contest. The Bulldogs have claimed three of the last four encounters, but suffered a 61-59 home setback in the most recent meeting (1/19/06) at Big Rapids, Mich. MC is currently 11-6 overall and 3-4 in league play under fourth-year head coach Gary Manchel as a result of its 71-68 league road loss to Saginaw Valley State Saturday (Jan. 13). Mercyhurst compiled a 19-9 overall record during the 2005-06 campaign, which included a third-place 9-8 GLIAC South Division finish. The Lakers, who were picked third in this season’s league South Division coaches poll, are currently led by senior guard Avi Fogel (18.9 ppg). MC has lost three of its last four outings to date this season. FSU head coach Bill Sall is 3-2 to date versus MC in his head coaching career.

    Scouting Gannon: The Knights maintain a 7-4 series edge heading into this Saturday’s contest, but lost a 68-47 decision to FSU last season (1/21/06) at Big Rapids, Mich. GU, which has won six of the last eight series’ contests, is presently 5-9 overall and 1-5 in GLIAC action after posting a 100-50 non-league home triumph over Penn St.-McKeesport Monday (Jan. 15) evening. The Knights, who are coached by second-year head coach John Reilly, were 12-15 overall during the 2005-06 campaign and placed tied for fifth (6-11) in the GLIAC’s South Division. Gannon, which was picked sixth in the 2006-07 GLIAC South Division Preseason Coaches Poll, presently is led by senior forward Aurimas Truskauskas (15.1 ppg & 10.4 rpg). The Knights have lost four of their last six games to date this year. FSU head coach Bill Sall is presently 3-2 all-time versus Gannon. Gannon hosts Lake Superior State Thursday (Jan. 18) prior to Saturday’s game against the Bulldogs.

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