FSU Basketball At A Glance: The Ferris State men’s basketball team hits the road for the first time this season as the Bulldogs visit Alma for a non-league tilt Wednesday (Nov. 21) evening starting at 7 p.m. (EST) in Alma, Mich. FSU then returns home to square off against Great Lakes Regional foe Northern Kentucky Saturday (Nov. 24) with tipoff set for 1 p.m. (EST) inside Jim Wink Arena at Big Rapids, Mich.
Media Coverage: A live video and audio webcast will be available for Saturday’s home game through B2 Networks for a $6 fee. The webcast can be acccessed via the FSU Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports (Click on B2 Networks icon). “Live Stats” will also be available on the FSU website at www.ferris.edu/sports (Click on Live Stats icon) on Saturday. No media coverage is currently planned for Wednesday’s game at Alma.
Ticket Info: Ticket information for Wednesday’s game at Alma can be obtained by calling the Alma College Athletics Office at (989) 463-7265. Tickets for all 2007-08 Bulldog basketball home games will be available at the door one hour prior to tipoff. Single-game general admission ticket prices are $7 while FSU students are admitted free with ID. Call (231) 591-2860 for more information.
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.
FSU Posts First Win: Ferris recorded its first victory of the 2007-08 campaign in convincing fashion Monday (Nov. 19) evening as the Bulldogs defeated Grace Bible College 101-63 inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena. The two teams played even for the first seven minutes before the Bulldogs jumped out to a 30-point halftime lead (56-26). The Tigers could get no closer than 26 points the rest of the way. Freshman guard Matt DeHart (Greenville) led the Bulldogs in scoring for the second consecutive game as he had a game-high 19 points. He hit six-of-12 three-point tries and also dished out four assists. FSU also had three other players reach double-figure scoring. Freshman guard Darryl Nobles (Van Buren Township/Detroit Country Day) netted 17 points, freshman forward Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) scored 15 points and hauled down a game-high 12 rebounds in a double-double effort while freshman guard DeJuan Wright (Detroit/Henry Ford) finished with 12 points. All 11 Bulldog players who participated scored at least four points in the contest. Note: Ferris’ 101 points against Grace Bible were the school’s most since beating Northern Michigan 103-98 in the 2004-05 GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinals (3/1/05) at Wink Arena.
Ferris Drops Opener: Hillsdale used a strong second half spurt to spoil Ferris State’s season opener Saturday (Nov. 17) evening with an 84-72 non-league triumph inside Wink Arena. The two teams battled nearly even throughout the initial half before the Chargers took a slim 34-30 edge at the break. However, Hillsdale outscored FSU 50-42 the rest of the way to notch the victory. Ferris, which played eight freshmen in its first official contest of the year, was held to a 35.4% (23-65) shooting performance and had 22 turnovers. Meanwhile, the Chargers made 26-of-46 (56.5%) field goal tries, including 17-of-22 (77.3%) in the final period. Matt DeHart led the Bulldogs with a team-high 15 points on a five-of-eight shooting performance from behind the three-point stripe. Justin Keenan chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds.
Exhibition Recap: Ferris squared off against the Michigan Wolverines in a historic first-ever meeting between the two teams in exhibition play on Nov. 1, but dropped a 78-40 decision at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Wolverines jumped out to a 37-18 halftime advantage en route to the win. UM limited FSU to a 26.3% shooting effort from the floor and converted 10-of-28 (35.7%) three-point tries in the season-opening triumph. A crowd of 7,489 watch the first-ever matchup between the two schools in FSU's 80-year history of men's basketball. The contest also marked the debut for first-year Michigan head coach John Beilein, who previously led West Virginia to four consecutive postseason berths.
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’ 2007-08 roster includes one senior, four juniors and 10 freshmen. Eight of the 15 players are guards while the remaining seven are frontcourt players. All 15 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 83-76 (.522) 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 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 78-68 (.534) 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 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 newcomer to the staff is former Cornerstone University standout Andy Bronkema, who teaches at Big Rapids’ Crossroads Charter Academy.
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 945-875 (.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.
Welcome Back: The Bulldogs welcomed 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 lineup for 20 games. Holder made one start.
New To Campus: FSU’s roster this season includes 10 freshmen, nine 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, 10 players are new to the team this year as the Bulldogs also inked Alpena Community College forward/center Aaron Hincka (Posen) in the offseason.
Bulldog Bites: FSU’s Mark Gildersleeve tallied a personal career-high nine points versus Hillsdale ....... Ferris State has posted 38 winning campaigns and 43 non-losing seasons in its previous 79 seasons .......... 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 ........... The Bulldogs’ lone senior, guard/forward C.J. Van Wieren, added a game-high tying eight rebounds to go along with four points in Saturday’s opener versus Hillsdale, which came only one week to the day after finishing his collegiate football career as Ferris' starting quarterback this fall. He was an All-GLIAC Honorable Mention honoree on the gridiron this fall after throwing for 1,835 yards, running for 1,015 more and accounting for 25 touchdowns.
Scouting Alma: Alma, which is guided by first-year head coach and former Lake Superior State along with Grand Valley State head coach Terry Smith, is presently 0-2 overall this campaign after dropping a pair of games to open the year at the Case Western Reserve Tournament this past weekend (Nov. 16-17) in Cleveland, Ohio. Alma suffered an 88-69 setback to the host school in the season opener Friday before falling to Lake Erie College 74-44 Saturday. Freshman guard Jordan Redditt is averaging a team-high 15 points per game to date this year. The Scots posted a 3-22 overall record during the 2006-07 season. Alma was picked to finish last among the eight teams included in the 2007-08 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Preseason Poll. The team placed eighth in the NCAA Division III league last year with a 2-12 conference mark. Four starters and eight letterwinners are back this year.
Scouting NKU: NKU posted a 24-9 overall record during the 2006-07 campaign en route to a NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen finish and placed first in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) East Division with a 13-6 league slate. The Norse are guided by fourth-year head coach Dave Bezold. Northern Kentucky was picked second in the 2007-08 GLVC East Division Preseason Poll. NKU is currently 1-1 overall this campaign after falling to nationally-ranked Findlay 66-53 in Saturday’s (Nov. 17) John L. Griffin/Lions Club Classic title contest at Highland Heights. Freshman guard Dennis Gagai is averaging a team-best 12 points per game to date this season.
Series Information: Ferris State holds a 27-24 all-time series edge heading into Wednesday’s 52nd matchup
with Alma. The Bulldogs pulled out a 81-53 win over the Scots in the most recent contest
last year (11/27/06) at Big Rapids, Mich. FSU also defeated Alma 84-56 on the road
in 2004-05 (12/28/04), which was the first contest between the two schools in nearly
17 years ................ Northern Kentucky maintains a 5-0 series edge and beat the
Bulldogs 73-59 in the last meeting (11/17/06) a year ago at the NKU John L. Griffin/Lions
Club Classic in Highland Heights, Ky.