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FSU Basketball At A Glance: The Ferris State men’s basketball team hits the road for a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contest against the Hillsdale Chargers Thursday (Feb. 14) in Hillsdale, Mich. Tipoff for the Valentine’s Day outing is set for 8 p.m. (EST). Ferris then hosts Lake Superior State in league action Saturday (Feb. 16) inside FSU’s Jim Wink Arena starting at 3 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). 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 for Saturday’s game only.
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 Hillsdale game, please contact the HC Athletics Office directly at (517) 437-7364.
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’ hopes for a GLIAC Tournament bid are still alive as FSU is involved in a four-way tie for third place in the league’s North Division entering this week’s action. Grand Valley State has already clinched the divisional title (14-0) with Michigan Tech (7-7) currently second followed by Northwood, Ferris, Lake Superior State and Northern Michigan, which are all at 5-9 overall. Saginaw Valley State (3-11) rounds out the list. Gannon currently leads the South Division with a 13-1 conference record with Findlay in second a couple of games back at 10-3.
One More Week: The Bulldogs will play two of their final four GLIAC regular-season games inside the confines of Wink Arena starting this week. Next week, the Bulldogs visit Saginaw Valley State Thursday (Feb. 21) for a 8 p.m. (EST) league tilt in University Center, Mich. Ferris then hosts archrival Grand Valley State in the regular-season finale Saturday, Feb. 23, with the league home tilt starting at 7:30 p.m. (EST).
Home Split: Ferris split a pair of league games at home last week. FSU defeated Northern Michigan 64-59 Thursday (Feb. 7) before suffering a heart-breaking 65-63 setback to Michigan Tech Saturday (Feb. 9). MTU’s Brandon Ball scored his only basket with less than one second to play to give the Huskies the win after Bulldog freshman guard Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford) had tied the contest up with six seconds to play. Ferris played much of the second half versus MTU with a smaller lineup due to foul trouble. Freshman center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) fouled out of the game after scoring 10 points with 12:48 left and redshirt freshman forward Lou Williams (Muskegon Heights) did likewise with 6:20 to play. Gay led FSU with a team-high 17 points in the contest while freshman guard DeJuan Wright (Detroit/Henry Ford) chipped in with 11 points and seven boards in the 100th series’ meeting between the two teams. Keenan provided the production inside over NMU with 20 points and seven boards. Wright added 17 points and freshman guard Bryan Pasciak (Rockford) contributed 16 points. FSU rallied from a 16-point first half deficit in the win over the Wildcats. The Bulldogs trailed 43-27 with 16:25 to play, but limited the Wildcats to only 16 points the rest of the way.
Saturday Full Of Events: Ferris will be holding "Health Care Awareness Day" in conjunction with Saturday’s home games. As part of the day's activities, health informational and screening events will be conducted free of charge for fans attending the day's contests from 1-8 p.m. (EDT) inside the facility. Displays and materials will be available for those interested in a variety of medical areas including diabetes, immunizations, heartburn, hypertension, oral health and eye health. In addition, diabetes, hypertension, oral cancer and general health screenings will be performed by students and professional staff from various FSU colleges. The event will also coincide with FSU's first-ever "Think Pink Day", which is an important initiative sponsored by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association to promote Breast Cancer Awareness.
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 92-90 (.505) 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 87-82 (.515) 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 954-889 (.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.
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.
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 (16.6 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 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 1,351 of the squad’s 1,660 total points (82%) to date this season. Additionally, 677 of FSU’s 903 total rebounds (75%) this year have came from rookie players.
Statistics Leaders: Ferris presently leads the GLIAC in offensive rebounds (13.48 pg.) for all games this year ...... FSU ranks fourth in rebound margin (+3.6) ...... Justin Keenan currently is listed fifth in the GLIAC in scoring (16.6 ppg) along with eighth in rebounding (7.6 rpg). He’s second in offensive rebounds (3.76 pg.). FSU’s Lou Williams ranks fifth in blocked shots (1.46 bpg.).
Bulldog Bites: FSU’s Justin Keenan has reached double-figure scoring in 23 of 25 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 notched its sixth-straight season with 10 or more victories and matched its win total (10) of last year with Thursday’s win ...... Saturday’s loss to MTU was FSU’s first (5-1) in games decided by five points or less this season ......... The Bulldogs’ win over Northern Michigan gave FSU its 11th victory against the Wildcats in the last 14 series’ meetings. Additionally, the Bulldogs' 64-59 triumph versus NMU matched the exact same score the FSU women's team posted in its win over the Wildcats during Thursday's opening game of the league doubleheader ............. “Pack The House”: FSU will attempt to sell out Jim Wink Arena for the first time as “Pack The House” night will be held and a variety of special activities will take place during the regular-season finale versus GVSU next Saturday. For the first time, the game will be carried live locally in addition to the internet as the Ferris Television and Digital Media Production program will broadcast the game. Visit www.ferris.edu/sports for more information.
Still In Front: FSU’s Justin Keenan has currently attempted 43 more free throws than any other GLIAC player this campaign. Keenan, who ranks seventh in free throw percentage among the GLIAC leaders, has converted 157 of 198 (.793) attempts this year. Keenan has 93 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. Hillsdale’s Tony Gugino currently has the second-most attempts with 155 to date.
Scouting Hillsdale: Hillsdale currently holds a 12-11 overall record this season and is 6-8 (fifth-place) in GLIAC South Division action. The Chargers were 15-11 overall in 2006-07 and placed fifth (7-10) in the GLIAC South Division. First-year head coach John Tharp’s squad was chosen fifth in the 2007-08 GLIAC Preseason Poll. The Chargers, who currently lead the GLIAC in scoring (80.4 ppg.), feature the conference’s top two individual scorers in junior forward/center Tony Gugino (19.8 ppg.) and senior forward Tim Homan (18.4 ppg.). HC lost at Mercyhurst 90-80 in its most recent action last Saturday (Feb. 9).
Scouting LSSU: The Lakers are 7-14 overall and 5-9 in league play this season after a 86-64 non-league home win over Finlandia last Saturday (Feb. 9). Junior forward Ryan Kuhl holds a team-best 14.4 points per game scoring average this season. The Lakers totaled a 9-18 overall mark in 2006-07 and were sixth (6-12) in the GLIAC North Division. LSSU, which was picked to finish sixth in the 2007-08 GLIAC North Division Preseason Media Poll, is guided by first-year head coach Steve Hettinga. The Lakers visit Grand Valley State Thursday (Feb. 14) prior to facing FSU.
Sall & Hillsdale: Ferris head coach Bill Sall currently holds a 5-2 career heading coaching mark against the Chargers. Sall served as a Hillsdale assistant coach under former Charger head coach Ed Douma from 1998-02. He helped the Chargers to a 72-41 (.637) overall record and two consecutive (2001-02) NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tourney appearances during his stint at HC.
Series Information: Ferris holds a 60-38 all-time series’ mark going into Thursday’s 100th series’ meeting with Hillsdale, but suffered a season-opening 84-72 non-league home loss to the Chargers this year (Nov. 17) at Big Rapids, Mich. FSU had won five-straight series’ meetings prior to the loss. FSU is 5-5 in the last 10 series’ encounters against the Chargers ........ Ferris holds a 72-44 lead heading into Saturday’s 117th meeting versus LSSU, but lost an 85-79 decision this year (Dec. 15) at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Ferris head coach Bill Sall owns a current 8-3 career coaching mark against Lake Superior State. The Bulldogs have won eight of the last 10 series’ matchups.