FSU Basketball At A Glance: The Ferris State men’s basketball team visits Lake Superior State Saturday, Dec. 15, for a 3 p.m. (EST) Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) tilt in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The Bulldogs then head to Saint Joseph’s (Ind.) Monday (Dec. 17) evening for an 8:30 p.m. (EST) non-league encounter in Rensselaer, Ind.
Media Coverage: Saturday’s game at LSSU can be heard live locally on News Talk 1460 AM (WBRN) with Rob Bentley providing the play-by-play coverage. Also, a live video and audio webcast will be available for the 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). No radio or webcast coverage will be available for Monday’s game, but “Live Statistics” will be offered via the SJC website at www.saintjoe.edu/athletics.
Ticket Info: Tickets will be available at the door on gameday for both contests. For more information, please contact either the Lake Superior State Athletics Department at (906) 635-2877 or the SJC Athletics Office at (219) 866-6000. Saturday is NCAA Take a Kid to the Game Day at Lake Superior State and all children age 14 and under will be admitted for free if they are accompanied by an adult who purchases a ticket.
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.
Next Home Game: The Bulldogs’ next home contest at Jim Wink Arena is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 3, when FSU hosts Grand Rapids-based Kuyper (Mich.) College for a 7 p.m. (EST) outing in Big Rapids, Mich. Tickets will be available at the door beginning one hour prior to tipoff.
Trip To USI Next: Following Monday’s game at Saint Joseph’s, the Bulldogs will continue on to Evansville, Ind., where FSU will square off against perennial Great Lakes Regional power Southern Indiana Wednesday, Dec. 19, with tipoff set for 8:30 p.m. (EST).
FSU Drops Non-League Tilt: Ferris State led for much of the way, but suffered a disappointing 72-62 non-league road loss to previously winless Tiffin last Saturday (Dec. 8) evening in GU's Gillmor Center at Tiffin, Ohio. Freshman center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) scored the Bulldogs' initial seven points of the contest en route to a team-high 23-point performance. The two teams were tied 7-7 early in the contest before FSU went on a 12-2 run to take a 19-9 lead with 11 minutes left in the opening period. FSU maintained that lead for much of the rest of the half, taking a 36-29 advantage at halftime. Tiffin held an eight-point cushion (64-56) with 3:35 left, but FSU pulled back within four with only two minutes to go. However, the Bulldogs would get no closer the rest of the way in dropping to 3-4 overall this campaign. Freshman guard/forward Lou Williams (Muskegon Heights) added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Bulldogs in the losing cause.
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 85-79 (.518) 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 80-71 (.530) 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 947-878 (.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. 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: Ferris State has posted 38 winning campaigns and 43 non-losing seasons in its previous 79 seasons .......... Ferris is only three wins away from notching the program’s 950th all-time victory .......... FSU head coach Bill Sall will take his young Bulldog squad to Alaska for a pair of games over the holiday break. FSU will compete in the Alaska-Anchorage AT&T Alascom Jamboree Friday and Saturday, Dec. 28-29, in Anchorage, Alaska.
Scouting LSSU: The Lakers are 1-7 overall and 1-3 in league play this season following its first victory of the season with an 80-59 home triumph over Mercyhurst last Saturday (Dec. 8). Junior guard Tim VanOudheusden holds a team-best 12.8 points per game scoring average this season and adds 5.5 rebounds per contest. 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. Sophomore guard Scott Perkins as chosen as this week’s GLIAC North Division Player of the Week after averaging 21 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in two games last week.
Scouting SJC: The Pumas are presently 3-2 overall heading into Saturday’s (Dec. 15) non-league home contest against Purdue-Calumet. Saint Joseph’s, which is guided by second-year head coach Richard Davis, is currently 2-0 in Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) action this season after a 90-82 home win over Missouri-St. Louis in its most recent action (12/1/07). Senior guard/forward Ronald Coleman is the team’s leading scorer (18.4 ppg) to date this season. SJC was picked fifth in the 2007-08 GLVC East Division Preseason Poll after posting a 16-12 overall record last year along with a second-place finish (11-8) in the division.
Series Information: Ferris holds a 72-43 lead heading into Saturday’s 116th series meeting, and posted a 68-62 road win over the Lakers in the last contest (2/17/07) at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Ferris head coach Bill Sall owns a current 8-2 career coaching mark against Lake Superior State. The Bulldogs have won eight of the last nine series’ matchups, but dropped the initial meeting last year (12/18/06) to the Lakers 84-77 in Big Rapids ........ The Pumas own a 8-2 series’ edge over FSU entering Monday’s game and beat the Bulldogs 86-69 last season (1/3/07) at Big Rapids. Sall is 1-4 versus SJC to date in his head coaching career. The Bulldogs lost a 74-69 decision to Saint Joseph’s in the 2005-06 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament Quarterfinals (3/11/06) hosted by the Pumas in Rensselaer.