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FSU Basketball At A Glance: The Ferris State University men’s basketball team will open the 2007-08 with the opportunity of a lifetime as the Bulldogs will square off against the University of Michigan for the first-time ever in an exhibition contest Thursday, Nov. 1, inside Crisler Arena at Ann Arbor, Mich. Game time for the contest is set for 7 p.m. (EDT) and it will represent Ferris’ first game action of the 2007-08 season.
Media Coverage: The game will be televised live by the Big Ten Network, which is available to selected satellite and cable subscribers nationwide. The radio broadcast will be carried live locally by Bulldog Radio, which can be heard locally on television Channel 21 both via on-campus cable and Charter Communications in Mecosta County. A live audio-only webcast of the game will also be offered at www.bulldogradio.org. “Live Stats” are slated to be available for the game via Gametracker coverage on Michigan’s official athletics website at www.mgoblue.com.
Ticket Info: Tickets for the exhibition contest went on sale Wednesday, Oct. 24, beginning at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) and can be obtained by calling the Michigan Athletic Ticket Office at (866) 296-MTIX or (734) 764-0247. Fans can also log on to www.mgoblue.com/tickets to obtain additional information. The U-M Ticket Office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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.
Alumni Function: The Ferris State University Alumni Association will be holding a reception in conjunction with the contest. The reception and dinner will take place prior to tipoff at the Pizza House in Ann Arbor starting at 5 p.m. (EDT). The $15 cost includes dinner and a ticket to the game. For more information, please contact the FSU Alumni Office at (888) 378-3647.
Season Opener: The Bulldogs are officially slated to open the 2007-08 campaign by hosting fellow GLIAC member Hillsdale in a non-conference contest Saturday, Nov. 17, starting at 7 p.m. (EST) inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
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 last 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 nine freshmen, eight 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, nine players are new to the team this year as the Bulldogs also inked Alpena Community College forward/center Aaron Hincka (Posen). The 6-6 Hincka attained 2006-07 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II All-Region XII accolades.
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 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 nine freshmen. Seven of the 14 players are guards while the remaining seven are frontcourt players. All 14 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 last Wednesday (Oct. 24) during the league's media day teleconference. 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 is currently the starting quarterback as a senior on the Ferris State football team and won’t join the squad until after FSU’s gridiron campaign is complete in mid-November. Van Wieren, who has started 42 of his 75 career basketball games at FSU, has directed the Bulldog football team to a 4-5 overall record this year heading into Saturday’s (Nov. 3) league home contest versus Northwood at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids. He’s thrown for 1,477 yards and 10 touchdowns this year while also running for a squad-best 737 yards and nine 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 nine 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.
FSU Against NCAA-I Schools: Last season (2006-07), the Bulldogs dropped a pair of exhibition games to NCAA Division I schools. FSU fell at Toledo (Ohio) in its exhibition opener 97-71 (Nov. 7) before dropping a 68-53 decision at the University of Detroit Mercy (Nov. 10). The Bulldogs narrowly suffered a 67-55 non-conference regular season decision two years ago (12/10/05) versus Toledo in UT's Savage Hall at Toledo, Ohio. In 2003-04 (11/17), the Bulldogs dropped a 73-58 decision to Central Michigan in CMU’s Rose Arena at Mt. Pleasant, Mich. That contest was played as a regular-season game for Ferris and an exhibition outing for CMU per NCAA regulations involving the season's official starting date. Ferris’ last win over a NCAA Division I school came in 2000-01 (11/21) when the Bulldogs defeated Oakland by a score of 75-70 in regular-season action at Rochester, Mich.
Michigan Game Fact: Thursday’s game, which is the first-ever series’ meeting between the two schools, will also represent the debut for first-year Michigan head coach John Beilein, who led the University of West Virginia to four consecutive postseason berths, including two trips to the NCAA Division I Sweet 16 and an Elite Eight appearance in 2005. He directed the Mountaineers to the NIT Championship last campaign before taking over at Michigan.
About The Wolverines: The Wolverines return 12 letterwinners from last season's team, which posted a 22-13 overall record and tied for seventh place in the Big Ten (8-8) under former head coach Tommy Amaker. The lone returning starter, however, from a year ago is junior guard Jerret Smith, who averaged 5.7 points per contest. Last season, the Wolverines defeated Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) members Wayne State 85-51 (11/2) and Michigan Tech 85-50 (11/5) in exhibition play at Crisler Arena. Michigan officially begins the year versus Radford Friday, Nov. 9, with tipoff set for 7 p.m. (EST) at Crisler Arena.
About Crisler Arena: Crisler Arena has been the home for Michigan men's basketball games since it opened in 1967. The building stands at 107 feet with telescopic seating encircling the arena floor and bringing the total seating capacity to 13,751. Over two million Michigan basketball fans have been treated to Crisler Arena performances by some of the nation's top men's and women's basketball talent such as the Wolverines' 1989 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship Team.