Game #28-29: Ferris State vs. SVSU/GVSU
FSU Basketball At A Glance: The Ferris State men’s basketball team visits Saginaw Valley State for a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contest Thursday (Feb. 21) in Univ. Center, Mich. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (EST). Ferris then hosts nationally second-ranked Grand Valley State in its regular-season finale Saturday (Feb. 23) inside FSU’s Jim Wink Arena starting at 7:30 p.m. (EST) in Big Rapids, Mich. Both games will be the second contest of a women’s and men’s doubleheader.
Media Coverage: Both games can be heard live locally on News Talk 1460 AM (WBRN). Two live video and audio webcasts will be available for Saturday’s game. Live internet statistics will also be available for both contests. Visit the FSU Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports and click on internet event schedule for a complete list of all available links.
Live On TV: Saturday’s game against GVSU will be televised live for the first-time from Jim Wink Arena with Frank Landingham, Corey Terrell and Ira Childress calling the action and Amy Jo serving as the sideline reporter. The games will be televised live by the Ferris Television and Digital Media Production program and can watched live in the Big Rapids area on Channel 22 via Charter Communications. They will also be streamed free live over the internet with links available on FSU's athletics website at www.ferris.edu/sports prior to game time.
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. For more info on tickets for the SVSU game, please contact the SVSU Athletics Office directly at (989) 964-7306.
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 this week’s action in contention for the program’s fifth-straight GLIAC Tournament bid. FSU must win both of this week’s games to have a chance to qualify for the postseason event with several scenarios possible. GVSU has wrapped up the North Division and is 16-0 in league play heading into the week with Michigan Tech listed second (7-9) entering the week. Northwood, Lake Superior State and Northern Michigan all are 6-10 with both FSU and SVSU only one game behind (5-11) to date. Gannon is on top of the South (14-2) with Findlay in second place (12-3).
Hard Week: Ferris dropped a pair of games last week as the Bulldogs suffered a 86-63 setback Thursday (Feb. 14) at Hillsdale before falling to Lake Superior State 92-80 in Saturday’s (Feb. 16) home game inside Jim Wink Arena. Freshman guard Bryan Pasciak (Rockford) paced Ferris with 16 points while freshman guard DeJuan Wright (Detroit/Henry Ford) netted 10 points in the losing effort at Hillsdale. Five Bulldog players reached double-digits against LSSU with both Wright and redshirt freshman forward Lou Williams (Muskegon Heights) scoring a team-high 17 points apiece. Williams added eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Freshman center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) had 12 points, freshman guard Darryl Nobles (Van Buren Township/Detroit Country Day) scored 11 points off the bench and Pasciak finished with 10 points.
Big Night: FSU will attempt to sell out Wink Arena for the first time as “Pack The House” night will be held and a variety of special activities will take place Saturday night. For the first time, the game will be carried live and fans are asked to wear “white”. The broadcast will feature a live half-hour pregame “Basketball Gameday Live” show prior to the men's contest in front of the "Dawg Pound" student section. Free pizza and t-shirts will be given to all current FSU students with identification as supplies last. Pom-poms, fan signage and Bulldog tattoos will also be distributed. A "Bulldog Idol" competition will take place during halftime of both games. A raffle for all eligible FSU students in attendance will be held with the winner receiving a free upgrade to a private room. Free t-shirts and coupons for haircuts will be offered by SportClips, a barbershop franchise located in Grand Rapids, and they will be on site providing haircuts and massages to lucky fans throughout the night.
Senior Night: The Bulldogs will honor their lone senior prior to Saturday’s contest as forward C.J. Van Wieren (Holland/West Ottawa) will play his final home game at Wink Arena. Van Wieren, who was also a four-year Bulldog football letterwinner and the team’s starting quarterback last fall, presently has played in 102 outings and totaled 381 career points with 249 rebounds entering Thursday’s game at SVSU.
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.
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 92-92 (.500) 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 87-84 (.509) 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.
The GLIAC Tourney: The annual GLIAC Postseason Tournament will begin with four quarterfinal-round games at campus sites Saturday, March 1. The top remaining seed will host the semifinals/finals Friday and Saturday, March 7-8, with the tournament winner receiving the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional March 15-18. The top three teams in each division plus the next two best finishers will qualify for the annual postseason tourney. FSU has advanced to the tournament nine times, including the last four years in a row to date.
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 954-891 (.517) 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’ 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.
Great Future: 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 (7.3 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 1,470 of the squad’s 1,803 total points (82%) to date this season. Additionally, 731 of FSU’s 984 total rebounds (75%) this year have came from rookie players.
Statistics Leaders: Ferris presently leads the GLIAC in offensive rebounds (13.70 pg.) for all games this year ...... FSU ranks fourth in rebound margin (+4.0) ...... Justin Keenan currently is listed sixth in the GLIAC in scoring (16.1 ppg) along with eighth in rebounding (7.3 rpg). He’s second in offensive rebounds (3.67 pg.). FSU’s Lou Williams ranks fifth in blocked shots (1.50 bpg.). Keenan has the highest scoring and rebounding averages of any GLIAC freshman this season.
Bulldog Bites: FSU’s Justin Keenan has reached double-figure scoring in 24 of 27 outings this campaign and has netted six double-double (points & rebounds) efforts. He has also scored 20 points or more eight times this season .......... Ferris has already notched its sixth-straight season with 10 or more victories and matched its win total (10) of last year ........ Ferris nearly sold out Jim Wink Arena when GVSU came to town last season (Feb. 24) as a crowd of 2,120 fans witnessed the men's game won by the Lakers 75-68 inside Wink Arena. The crowd represents the largest to ever witness a Bulldog basketball game in the nine-year old facility.
Still In Front: FSU’s Justin Keenan has currently attempted 34 more free throws than any other GLIAC player this campaign. Keenan, who ranks seventh in free throw percentage among the GLIAC leaders, has converted 163 of 206 (.791) attempts this year. Keenan has 70 more attempts than any player found among the top 15 league leaders in free throw percentage. He had made more free throws this year than any other conference player had attempted prior to last week. Hillsdale’s Tony Gugino currently has the second-most attempts with 172 to date.
Scouting SVSU: The Cardinals are currently 10-14 overall and 5-11 in the GLIAC under first-year head coach Frankie Smith. Saginaw Valley State posted an 11-14 overall mark in 2006-07 and finished tied for third place (8-10) in the GLIAC North Division standings along with Ferris and Michigan Tech. Senior guard Mario Mackey, a NCAA Division I transfer from Idaho, is currently averaging a squad-best 17.7 points per contest. Smith is in his first season at the SVSU helm after serving as a NCAA Division I assistant coach at Miami (Ohio) since 1999. The Cardinals claimed two road wins in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula last week after dropping its five prior outings.
Scouting GVSU: Grand Valley State, which claimed a third consecutive GLIAC North Division title this season, is led in scoring by senior center Callistus Eziukwu (15.0 ppg). The Lakers, who are guided by fourth-year head coach Ric Wesley, were 29-5 overall and reached the NCAA-II Elite Eight during the 2006-07 campaign. Grand Valley State holds a 28-0 overall record and is 16-0 going into Thursday’s (Feb. 21) home game versus Northwood. The Lakers were listed second in this week’s (Feb. 19) National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II Top 25 poll. GVSU opened the year by beating NCAA-I Michigan State 85-82 in a double overtime exhibition thriller at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich. The Lakers unbeaten start this season is the longest such streak for a NCAA collegiate institution in the state of Michigan.
Series Information: Ferris maintains a 45-29 lead heading into Thursday’s 75th series meeting with Saginaw Valley State and posted a 68-66 league-opening home win over the Cardinals earlier this season (Nov. 29) at Big Rapids, Mich. Ferris head coach Bill Sall owns a current 8-3 career coaching mark against SVSU. The Bulldogs have won nine of the last 13 series’ encounters ............ Ferris holds a 46-42 advantage heading into Saturday’s 89th meeting with GVSU. The Lakers, however, have won six-straight meetings and recorded a 81-47 triumph in the most recent game (1/12/08) earlier this year at Allendale, Mich. FSU has won five of the last 12 series’ contests overall. Ferris’ last win was a 79-63 win two seasons ago (12/8/05) at Jim Wink Arena. Bill Sall currently holds a 5-9 career coaching mark versus Grand Valley State.