Game #18-19: Ferris State vs. Gannon/Mercyhurst

Jan. 17 - vs. Gannon, 8 p.m. (EST)
Jan. 19 - vs. Mercyhurst, 3 p.m. (EST)

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    FSU Basketball At A Glance: The Ferris State men’s basketball squad hosts the nationally-ranked Gannon Golden Knights Thursday, Jan. 17, starting at 8 p.m. (EST) inside Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. FSU then takes on the Mercyhurst Lakers Saturday, Jan. 19, with tipoff set for 3 p.m. (EST) at Wink Arena. Both are Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contests and will be the second game of a women’s and men’s league doubleheader.

    Jason Holder Media Coverage: Both games can be heard live locally on News Talk 1460 AM (WBRN). In addition, a live video and audio webcast will be available for both contests through B2 Networks for a $6 fee and can be found on the FSU athletics website at www.ferris.edu/sports (click on B2 Networks icon). Live internet statistics will also be available via the FSU website.

    Ticket Info: Tickets for all 2007-08 Ferris home basketball games are available at the door starting one hour prior to tipoff. All single-game general admission ticket prices are $7. FSU students are admitted free with ID. Call (231) 591-2860 for more info on home ticket sales.

    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.

    Hit The Road: Following Saturday’s game against Mercyhurst, the Bulldogs embark on their two longest GLIAC road trips in back-to-back weeks. FSU heads to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula next week for games at Northern Michigan (Jan. 24) and Michigan Tech (Jan. 26) before making a trek to Ohio the following week for contests at Ashland (Jan. 31) along with Findlay (Feb. 2). After the two trips, the Bulldogs will play four of their final six GLIAC games inside the confines of Wink Arena.

    Tough Home Loss: Ferris State may have still been feeling the affects of a tough loss at nationally second-ranked archrival Grand valley State as the Bulldogs fell to Northwood 77-62 in league play this past Monday (Jan. 14) evening at Jim Wink Arena. The visiting Timberwolves scored 12 of the game's first 15 points and held a 32-28 halftime edge before outscoring the Bulldogs 45-34 in the final frame. Northwood held its biggest lead at 17 points with 12:41 left to play and never trailed in the game while beating FSU for the second time this season. Both teams had four players reach double-figure scoring. Freshman guard DeJuan Wright (Detroit/Henry Ford) led the Bulldogs with 17 points, freshman center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) scored 15 points and freshman guard Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford) finished with 10 points. Additionally, Bulldog redshirt freshman forward Lou Williams (Muskegon Heights) posted a double-double effort with 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

    FSU Drops Rivalry Game: Nationally second-ranked Grand Valley State jumped out in front early and cruised to a 81-47 conference home triumph over rival Ferris State in men's basketball play last Saturday (Jan. 12) evening before a near capacity crowd at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale, Mich. The Lakers jumped out to a commanding 48-19 halftime advantage and outscored FSU 33-28 in the final period as they improved to 18-0 overall and 6-0 in league action this campaign. FSU saw its four-game winning streak come to an end with the loss. Senior All-America center Callistus Eziukwu led the Lakers with a game-high 20 points and 10 rebounds. Pete Trammell and Reed City native Justin Ringler both added 15 points apiece in the Laker triumph. For Ferris, DeJuan Wright paced the Bulldogs with nine points. Both Justin Keenan and freshman guard Darryl Nobles (Van Buren Township/Detroit Country Day) added eight points apiece in the losing effort.

    Next Home Game: Ferris’ next home game after Saturday’s tilt with Mercyhurst won’t be until Thursday, Feb. 7, when Northern Michigan visits Wink Arena for an 8 p.m. (EST) GLIAC encounter.

    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’ current 2007-08 roster includes one senior, two juniors and nine freshmen. Seven of the 12 players are guards while the remaining five are frontcourt players. All 12 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 89-85 (.511) 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 84-77 (.522) 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 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 951-884 (.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.

    All-Tourney Team: Ferris’ Justin Keenan was named to the all-tourney team as the Bulldogs split two games at the 16th annual AT&T Alascom Jamboree (Dec. 28-29) hosted by the University of Alaska-Anchorage in Anchorage, Alaska. He was also chosen as the event’s Player of the Game as the Bulldogs snapped a six-game losing skid with a win over Alaska-Fairbanks in the final day of action.

    Youth Served: FSU’s current roster this season includes nine freshmen, eight of whom are new to the program as true freshmen. The Bulldogs also have one redshirt freshman in Lou Williams. Ferris’ top six scoring leaders this campaign are all in their freshman seasons with forward/center Justin Keenan leading the team in both scoring (16.1 ppg) and rebounding (7.9 rpg) to date. Nine freshmen have played for FSU this year as the current roster features only three uppperclassmen and one senior in forward C.J. Van Wieren (Holland/West Ottawa).

    Freshman Production: Ferris’ freshman class has accounted for 920 of the squad’s 1,133 total points (81%) to date this season. Additionally, 479 of FSU’s 636 total rebounds (75%) this year have came from rookie players.

    Common Factor: Prior to Monday’s loss to Northwood, FSU also had suffered an 86-68 setback to NU in the first matchup between the two teams earlier this year (Dec. 1) in Midland, Mich. One common factor from those two games – the Bulldogs had exactly 27 turnovers and Northwood scored 39 points off those turnovers in both of the meetings.

    Bulldog Bites: Ferris presently leads the GLIAC in offensive rebounds (15.19 pg.) for all games played this year ...... FSU ranks third in the league in rebounding offense (37.1) and rebound margin (+5.5) ...... Justin Keenan currently is listed fourth in the GLIAC in rebounding (7.9 rpg) along with tied for seventh in scoring (16.1 ppg). He’s second in offensive rebounds (4.38 pg.) ........ The Bulldogs posted 10 blocked shots in last Wednesday’s (Jan. 9) home win over Wayne State, which was one shy of matching the school record of 11 blocks set at Grand Valley State in 2001 (1/22). FSU had six blocked shots in Monday’s loss to Northwood.

    The Records: The Bulldogs presently hold a 7-10 overall record and are 2-4 in the GLIAC this campaign. Gannon is currently 14-1 overall and a perfect 6-0 in league play this season while Mercyhurst enters Thursday’s game at GVSU with an 8-8 ledger along with a 2-4 conference record.

    Scouting Gannon: GU, which is ranked 13th in this week’s NCAA-II National Poll, is presently 14-1 overall and 6-0 in GLIAC action after posting a 77-68 league home win over Ashland last Saturday (Jan. 12). The Knights were 9-17 overall during the 2006-07 campaign and placed last (4-13) in the GLIAC’s South Division. Gannon, which was picked sixth in the 2007-08 GLIAC South Division Preseason Media Poll, presently is led by senior forward Vince Mosley (18.2 ppg & 7.4 rpg). The Knights lone loss was a 64-60 setback at Edinboro (Pa.). John T. Reilly is midst his third season as head coach at Gannon.

    Scouting Mercyhurst: Mercyhurst holds an 8-8 overall record and is 2-4 in the GLIAC going into Thursday’s contest at GVSU. The Lakers lost at home to league foe Findlay 71-42 last Saturday (Jan. 12). Mercyhurst compiled a 18-11 overall record during the 2006-07 campaign, which included a second-place tying 9-8 GLIAC South Division finish. The Lakers, who were picked fourth in this season’s league South Division poll, are currently led by senior guard Terry Smith (16.1 ppg). The Lakers have lost three of their last four contests going into Thursday’s tilt at Grand Valley State. Gary Manchel is in his fifth campaign as head coach at Mercyhurst.

    Series Information: Ferris holds a 4-8 all-time series’ record to date against Gannon. GU has claimed seven of the last nine series’ contests. FSU head coach Bill Sall is presently 2-4 against the Knights in his coaching career ........ Meanwhile, the Bulldogs trail Mercyhurst 8-5 all-time and have dropped six of the last nine meetings. MC maintains a 4-2 edge over FSU in the Sall era.