FSU Basketball At A Glance: The Ferris State men’s basketball team opens the 2007-08 campaign by hosting Hillsdale in non-conference action Saturday (Nov. 17) starting at 7 p.m. (EST) inside FSU’s Jim Wink Arena at Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs then square off against Grace Bible College Monday (Nov. 19) in non-league home play with tipoff set for 7:30 p.m. (EST).
Media Coverage: A live video and audio webcast will be available for both games through B2 Networks for $6 per contest. The webcast can be acccessed via the FSU Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports (Click on B2 Networks icon). “Live Stats” will also be available on the FSU website at www.ferris.edu/sports (Click on Live Stats icon).
Ticket Info: Tickets for all 2007-08 Bulldog basketball home games will be available at the door one hour prior to tipoff. Single-game general admission ticket prices are $7 while FSU students are admitted free with ID. Call (231) 591-2860 for more information.
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.
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 prior to arriving in Ann Arbor.
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.
Back In The Mix: The Bulldogs welcome 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 initial five for 20 games. Holder made a single start.
Welcome 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.
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 82-75 (.522) career mark.
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 944-874 (.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.
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.
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 77-67 (.535) 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.
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 while finishing fourth in the North Division.
Late Arrival: The squad’s lone senior, guard/forward C.J. Van Wieren finished up his final collegiate football season as Ferris’ starting quarterback in a 17-13 GLIAC road victory at Wayne State last Saturday (11/10). Van Wieren, who has started 42 of his 75 career basketball games at FSU, directed the Bulldogs to their fourth winning season in the last five years with a 6-5 overall record this campaign. He threw for 1,835 yards and 13 touchdowns this year while also running for a squad-best 1,015 yards and 12 TD’s. Van Wieren was named the D2Football.com Co-National Offensive Player of the Week in addition to being the GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week after helping account for five of the Bulldogs’ six touchdowns in a 42-19 season-opening home win over Kentucky State (Sept. 1). He averaged four points and three rebounds on the hardwood last year.
Bulldog Bites: FSU’s Jason Holder transferred from NCAA Division I Cleveland State prior to last season ..... Ferris State has posted 38 winning campaigns and 43 non-losing seasons in its previous 79 seasons .......... FSU will play 14 home games this campaign inside Jim Wink Arena ............. Ferris State’s 2007-08 GLIAC opener is set for Thursday, Nov. 29, versus Saginaw Valley State beginning at 8 p.m. (EST) in FSU’s Wink Arena ........... Four of FSU’s 10 newcomers played prep basketball in Detroit last season, including guard Darien Gay (Henry Ford), guard/forward DeJuan Wright (Henry Ford), guard/forward Darryl Nobles (Country Day) and forward/center Chris Stanley (Central).
What A Change: Ferris State notched its fifth-straight 10-plus win campaign in 2006-07. Prior to the current stretch under sixth-year head coach Bill Sall, the Bulldogs had not won more than eight games in the previous four seasons.
Moving Into The Top 10: FSU’s Jessie York presently has 109 career three-point field goals and ranks 11th on the school’s all-time list. In addition, he presently also ranks 11th in career three-point shooting percentage (.375; 109-291) on the school’s all-time list.
About Jim Wink Arena: FSU’s Jim Wink Arena is named after legendary men’s basketball coach Jim Wink. Wink, who passed away Aug. 26, 1987, won a team-record 326 games while coaching the men’s program from 1959-81 and was inducted into the Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000. His 21 seasons at the helm of Ferris State’s program included five National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Tournament appearances and two GLIAC Championships. A six-time NAIA District 23 Coach-of-the-Year, Wink won 20 or more games in a season five times while FSU suffered only four losing campaigns during his tenure. Wink, an associate professor emeritus of health and physical education, also coached golf at Ferris from 1960-78. The Bulldogs own a current 50-45 (.526) overall record in the facility, which opened in the 1999-00 season. This year marks the team’s ninth season in the 2,400-seat facility.
A Look At Hillsdale: Hillsdale returns four starters from last season’s 15-11 squad that placed fifth (7-10) in the GLIAC South Division. First-year head coach John Tharp’s squad was chosen fifth in the 2007-08 GLIAC Preseason Poll. The Chargers, who were slated to open the season Thursday (Nov. 15) at Bellarmine (Ky.), split two exhibition games as they lost 83-81 at Central Michigan (11/4) before beating Kalamazoo 79-52 at home (11/12).
A Look At Grace Bible: Grace Bible College is a National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Division II member and was 18-20 overall last year. Third-year head coach Gary Bailey’s Tigers opened the year with a 3-4 overall record prior to this past weekend’s (Nov. 16-17) Calvin College Tournament. GBC, based in the Grand Rapids area, won the 2006 NCCAA-II National Championship.
Series Information: Ferris holds a 60-37 all-time series’ mark versus Hillsdale and defeated the Chargers 65-51 last season (11/6/07) at Wink Arena. FSU has won the last five series’ meetings to date over HC. FSU is 5-4 in the previous nine series’ encounters against the Chargers ................ FSU defeated Grace Bible 106-54 in the only previous meeting between the two teams in 1999-00 (12/18) at Jim Wink Arena.
We Meet Again: Ferris head coach Bill Sall currently holds a 5-1 career heading coaching mark against the Chargers. Sall served as a Hillsdale assistant coach under former Charger head coach Ed Douma from 1998-02. He helped the Chargers to a 72-41 (.637) overall record and two consecutive (2001-02) NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tourney appearances during his stint at HC.