FSU Basketball At A Glance: The Ferris State men’s basketball team continues a four-game Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road swing by heading to Ohio this week. The Bulldogs will face Ashland Thursday (Jan. 31) at 7:30 p.m. (EST) in Ashland, Ohio. Ferris then takes on nationally-ranked Findlay Saturday (Feb. 2) with tipoff set for 3 p.m. (EST) at Findlay, Ohio. Both games will be the second contest of a women’s and men’s doubleheader. Thursday’s outing at AU is being biled as “Pack The House” night with a variety of activities planned.
Media Coverage: Both games can be heard live locally on News Talk 1460 AM (WBRN) with Rob Bentley providing the play-by-play action. In addition, an audio-only webcast is slated to be available via the official FSU athletics website at www.ferris.edu/sports. A live video and audio webcast will be available for Saturday’s game at Findlay through B2 Networks for a $6 fee. Visit the FSU athletics website and click on internet event schedule for respective game links.
Ticket Info: Ticket information along with travel directions for this week’s games can be obtained by directly contacting the AU and UF Athletics Departments, respectively. Ashland’s main office number is (419) 289-5441 while UF can be reached by dialing (419) 434-4663.
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.
The Standings: The Bulldogs enter the week still right in the mix in the GLIAC North Division. Grand Valley State leads the division (10-0) with Northwood (5-5) second followed by MTU and NMU, which are both at 5-6 overall. Ferris is next with a 4-6 mark with Lake Superior State (4-8) and Saginaw Valley State (3-7) rounding out the list. Gannon currently leads the South Division with a 9-1 conference record.
Home Sweet Home: After this week’s trip to Ohio, the Bulldogs will play four of their final six GLIAC games inside the confines of Wink Arena. Ferris’ next home game is set for Thursday, Feb. 7, when Northern Michigan visits Jim Wink Arena for an 8 p.m. (EST) GLIAC encounter. The Bulldogs then take on Michigan Tech Saturday, Feb. 9, in a 3 p.m. (EST) league home tilt.
Good Showing: Ferris State put together one of its best offensive performances of the season as the Bulldogs scored a 88-83 win over the Michigan Tech Huskies last Saturday (Jan. 26) afternoon in league action at MTU's Student Development Complex Gymnasium in Houghton, Mich. The Bulldogs shot 57.1% (28-49) from the floor and connected on nine three-point baskets along with a 23-of-29 (79.3%) showing from the free throw line. FSU had a season-low nine turnovers in the game. Freshman guard DeJuan Wright (Detroit/Henry Ford) led the Bulldogs' offensive showing a personal career-high 30 points. Freshman center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) chipped in 19 points, senior forward C.J. Van Wieren (Holland/West Ottawa) scored a career-best 17 points and freshman guard Bryan Pasciak (Rockford) added 10 points for FSU. The Bulldogs' 88 total points in the contest represented the second-most points FSU has scored in a contest this campaign.
FSU Falls At NMU: Northern Michigan jumped out to an early advantage en route to a 71-57 league win over Ferris State last Thursday (Jan. 24) evening inside NMU's Berry Events Center at Marquette, Mich. The Wildcats led 23-7 only eight minutes into the game and took a 35-27 halftime edge. FSU trimmed the deficit to only two points with 15:57 to play, but could get no closer. Ferris was only 17-of-51 (33.3%) from the field and hit four-of-16 (25.0%) attempts beyond the arc. Justin Keenan paced FSU with 16 points and eight rebounds. Redshirt freshman forward Lou Williams (Muskegon Heights) added 14 points in the losing cause.
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 91-87 (.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.
What A Change: 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 86-79 (.521) 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 953-886 (.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.
Youthful Energy: 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 (16.7 ppg) and rebounding (8.1 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. Ferris’ freshman class has accounted for 1,143 of the squad’s 1,402 total points (82%) to date this season. Additionally, 587 of FSU’s 778 total rebounds (75%) this year have came from rookie players.
Statistics Leaders: Ferris presently leads the GLIAC in offensive rebounds (14.24 pg.) for all games played this year ...... FSU ranks third in the league in rebounding offense (37.0) and fourth in rebound margin (+5.3) ...... Justin Keenan currently is listed fifth in the GLIAC in rebounding (8.1 rpg) along with seventh in scoring (16.7 ppg). He’s second in offensive rebounds (4.05 pg.). FSU’s Lou Williams ranks fourth in blocked shots (1.43 bpg.).
Bulldog Bites: FSU’s Justin Keenan has reached double-figure scoring in 19 of 21 outings this campaign and has netted six double-double (points & rebounds) efforts. He has also scored 20 points or more six times this season .......... The Bulldogs have posted only a 7-17 record during the months of November and December the last two years, but are presently 12-13 in the same span following the New Year ........ Ferris’ 57.1% shooting figure at Michigan Tech was its best since shooting 58.6% in a 97-77 win at Northwood (2/4/06) ........ Ferris is only a single win away from posting its sixth-straight season with 10 or more victories ........ FSU’s DeJuan Wright and C.J. Van Wieren combined to make 17-of-21 (.810) free throws versus MTU. Wright (11-15) entered the game as a 51% free throw shooter this year while Van Wieren (6-6) had been shooting only 39%.
See You At The Stripe: FSU’s Justin Keenan has currently attempted 43 more free throws than any other GLIAC player this campaign. Keenan, who ranks 10th in free throw percentage among the GLIAC leaders, has converted 124 of 158 (.785) attempts this year. Keenan has 70 more attempts than any player found among the top 15 league leaders in free throw percentage. He’s also made more free throws this year than any other conference player has attempted. Gannon’s Vince Mosley currently has the second-most attempts with 115 to date.
Scouting Ashland: AU heads into the contest with a 9-10 record and owns a current 3-6 conference ledger. The Eagles have currently lost five consecutive outings this season following last Saturday’s (Jan. 26) 96-88 conference road loss at Lake Superior State. Junior guard Bret Wackerly is currently averaging a team-best 16.7 points per game this campaign. The Eagles posted a 16-12 overall record in 2006-07 and placed fourth (8-9) in the GLIAC South Division. AU was picked third in this year’s league preseason divisional poll. Roger Lyons is presently in his 15th year at the Ashland helm.
Scouting Findlay: Findlay maintains a 16-3 overall record after Saturday’s (Jan. 26) 71-45 league win at Northern Michigan and is currently 6-3 in GLIAC action. The nationally 11th-ranked Oilers have won five consecutive games this year heading into Thursday’s (Jan. 31) league road game at Wayne State. UF holds a 93-4 (.959) record at home over the last five years and have won 54-straight regular-season games in Croy Gymnasium to date. The Oilers are presently led in scoring by junior forward Morgan Lewis (12.8 ppg). UF has claimed six consecutive league South Division crowns and tallied a 29-2 overall record along with a first-place 17-0 league slate last year. Ron Niekamp is midst his 23rd season on the Oiler bench.
Series Information: Ferris holds a 9-5 series’ edge over Ashland and defeated the Eagles 81-78 in last year’s meeting (1/25/07) at Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs have won four-straight meetings versus AU and Ferris head coach Bill Sall owns a current 5-1 career coaching mark against Ashland ....... Findlay is presently 11-3 all-time against the Bulldogs and pulled out a 75-70 victory in overtime last year (1/27/07) at Big Rapids. Sall is 1-6 overall versus the Oilers in his career. Findlay has won 10 of the last 11 series’ meetings.