FSU Basketball At A Glance: The Ferris State men’s basketball team continues its seven-game road stretch by visiting Great Lakes Regional power Southern Indiana Wednesday (Dec. 19) evening for a 8:30 p.m. (EST) non-league tilt in Evansville, Ind.
Media Coverage: There will be no Ferris State radio/webcast coverage available for the game. However, Southern Indiana will provide in-game “live stats” on its website at www.usi.edu/sports. The Screaming Eagles will also have two live audio-only webcasts available with corresponding links posted on the school’s official athletics website.
Ticket Info: Tickets will be available at the door on gameday. For more information, please contact the USI Athletics Ticket Office at (812) 465-7165. Single-game chairback seats will be $10 with single-game bench seats being sold for $8.
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.
Trip To Alaska Next: Following Wednesday’s game at Southern Indiana, FSU next travels to the North to take part in the AT&T Alascom Jamboree set for Dec. 28-29 in Anchorage, Alaska. FSU will face host Alaska-Anchorage Friday (Dec. 28) at 11 p.m. (EST) and then square off against Alaska-Fairbanks on Saturday (Dec. 29) at 9 p.m. (EST).
FSU Drops Monday Tilt: Ferris State suffered its fourth-straight loss of the year as the Bulldogs dropped a 90-74 non-conference decision Monday (Dec. 17) evening to Saint Joseph's (Ind.) in Rensselaer, Ind. The Bulldogs trailed by only two points, 43-41, at halftime but were outscored 47-33 in the final period by the host Pumas. The loss came despite a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds from freshman center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills). He was 11-of-11 from the free throw stripe in the contest. In addition to Keenan, freshman guard/forward DeJuan Wright (Detroit/Henry Ford) chipped in 18 points for FSU, which shot 48.1% (26-54) from the floor in the outing. SJC sank 28-of-56 (50.0%) field goal tries and made seven-of-13 (53.8%) attempts from behind the three-point arc. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, hit only one-of-nine (11.1%) long range attempts.
Dawgs Fall In Upper Peninsula: FSU traveled to Michigan's Upper Peninsula for the first time this season and dropped a 85-79 decision to Lake Superior State in GLIAC Saturday (Dec. 15) afternoon at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The Lakers built a 39-32 halftime advantage as FSU was only four-of-14 (28.6%) from the free throw line in the initial period. The Bulldogs cut a double-digit Laker lead down to only five points with less than five minutes to play, but could get no closer. DeJuan Wright paced the Bulldogs with 18 points. Justin Keenan chipped in 15 points while freshman guards Darryl Nobles (Van Buren Township/Detroit Country Day) and Matt DeHart (Greenville) both added 14 points for FSU.
FSU vs. Michigan: 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, 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 85-81 (.512) 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 80-73 (.523) 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 947-880 (.518) 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).
Freshman Production: Ferris’ freshman class has accounted for 493 of the squad’s 616 total points (80%) to date this season. Additionally, 213 of FSU’s 345 total rebounds (62%) this year have came from rookie players.
Bulldog Bites: Ferris is averaging 23.9 personal fouls per contest this year compared to the opponents’ 18.9 total .......... Ferris is only three wins away from notching the program’s 950th all-time victory ......... The Bulldogs are currently 0-2 this season versus Great Lakes Valley Conference schools ....... FSU’s lone senior C.J. Van Wieren was the starting quarterback for the Ferris State football team this fall. Van Wieren needs six points to notch his 300th career point ........ Following Ferris’ trip to Alaska (Dec. 28-29), the Bulldogs will play six of their next seven games at home inside Jim Wink Arena to open the month of January ..... Justin Keenan is the team’s leading scorer (15.6 ppg) and has reached double-figure scoring in eight of nine contests this season.
Scouting USI: USI presently is 5-2 overall and 1-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) this season following Saturday’s (Dec. 15) 87-49 non-league home win over Tiffin (Ohio). Southern Indiana posted a 29-6 overall mark a season ago, including a first-place 14-5 GLVC West Division finish. The Screaming Eagles, who are directed by seventh-year head coach Rick Herdes, were picked to finish second in the 2007-08 GLVC West Division Preseason Coaches Poll. Southern Indiana, which was the national runner-up in 2003-04, presently is led in scoring by senior forward Norman Plummer (21.1 ppg). The Screaming Eagles, who were ranked 10th in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II Top 25 Preseason Poll, are currently 4-2 overall at home this season. Southern Indiana has won 25 or more games each of the last five years to date. USI is 227-15 (.938) at home dating back to the 1992-93 season.
Series Information: The Screaming Eagles hold a 7-2 series’ edge and recorded a 91-76 win over FSU last year (12/21/06) in the GLIAC/GLVC Challenge hosted by Wayne State at Detroit, Mich. FSU has won two of the last four meetings, including a 93-87 triumph in the 2004-05 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Semifinals (3/13/05) in Findlay, Ohio. The Bulldogs own a 2-3 overall record versus USI in the Bill Sall head coaching era.
The Last Meeting: Ferris State played a strong opening half, but nationally fifth-ranked Southern Indiana regrouped in the second period for a 91-76 triumph in the final day of action at the 2006 GLIAC/Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Challenge (12/21) in Detroit, Mich. The Screaming Eagles used a 21-11 run over the first six minutes of the second frame to take control. Ferris led the contest 40-39 at halftime as the Bulldogs shot 57.7% (15-26) from the floor in the initial half of the game, which was hosted by Wayne State. Southern Indiana forced 18 Bulldog turnovers and nailed 12-of-24 (50.0%) three-point attempts in the victory.