The Ferris State University men's basketball squad takes the floor for the first time this Thursday (Oct. 30) evening as the Bulldogs will host West Michigan opponent Cornerstone in an exhibition game starting at 5 p.m. (EDT) inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena at Big Rapids, Mich.
Admission for the exhibition contest is a canned good, which will be donated to the WISE shelter in Big Rapids.
The Bulldog men's basketball team, which is guided by seventh-year head coach Bill Sall, welcomes back eight letterwinners and four starters from last campaign as part of its 16-player preseason roster.
Ferris posted a 10-19 overall record with nine freshmen in the program during the 2007-08 season. FSU previously advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament in both 2004-05 and 2005-06 after claiming back-to-back league titles in 2003-04 and 2004-05 under Sall's direction. The Bulldogs also reached the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen in 2004-05.
Meanwhile, Cornerstone posted a 17-16 overall record in 2007-08 and placed fourth in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) under head coach Kim Elders. The Golden Eagles have been picked to finish third in this year's WHAC Preseason Coaches Poll Cornerstone finished 25-10 and won the WHAC regular-season championship two years ago. Elders has led the Golden Eagles to four NAIA Division II Final Fours, three 30-plus win seasons and one National Championship in recent history at CU.
The Bulldogs hold a 3-1 all-time series' lead in regular-season action against Cornerstone and the two teams last squared off to open the 2004-05 campaign at FSU's Jim Wink Arena. Ferris recorded a narrow 99-97 triumph in that game (11/16/04), which kicked off the Bulldogs' run to the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen in 2004-05.
Following Thursday's exhibition versus Cornerstone, both the Ferris men's and women's teams will then play exhibition games at home as part of a West Michigan doubleheader on Tuesday, Nov. 11. The women's team will host Hope College at 6 p.m. (EST) with the men taking on Calvin in the second game of the doubleheader at 8 p.m. (EST).
FSU's first official men's contest will be Saturday, Nov. 15, when the Bulldogs travel to Great Lakes Regional opponent Northern Kentucky for a 1 p.m. (EST) afternoon clash. The game will be the first official regular-season contest in NKU's new 10,000-seat state of the art Bank of Kentucky Center at Highland Heights, Ky. The Norse are ranked fourth nationally in the Division II Bulletin Preseason National Poll.
The Bulldog men will play a 27-game regular season schedule in 2008-09. FSU will open its 22-game league schedule at archrival Grand Valley State on Monday, Dec. 1, in Allendale, Mich.