Men's Basketball Picked Second In GLIAC North

FSU head coach Bill Sall speaks to the media during Wednesday's league teleconference
FSU head coach Bill Sall speaks to the media during Wednesday's league teleconference

Click Here For Audio From Coach Bill Sall (Windows Media File)
Click Here For 2009-10 Preseason Poll & Release (PDF File)
Click Here For 2009-10 GLIAC Media Day Team Information (PDF File)

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team was picked to finish second in the 2009-10 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Men's Basketball North Division Preseason Poll and two Bulldog players were honored as preseason all-conference selections, both of which were announced Wednesday (Oct. 28) during the league's third annual media day teleconference.

Ferris head coach Bill Sall was joined by local media representatives inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena for the teleconference and media members had an opportunity to conduct one-on-one interviews following the call.

The poll was chosen for the third year in a row by selected members of the media and the GLIAC's Sports Information Directors. The 24-member group tabbed Grand Valley State and Findlay to win the conference's North and South Division titles, respectively.

The Bulldogs totaled 107 points in the balloting and picked up two first-place votes while finishing second in the North Division. Grand Valley State earned 17 of a possible 24 first-place votes and led the division with 130 points. Lake Superior State placed third overall with 94 points and tallied four first-place votes followed by Michigan Tech with 84 overall points and a single vote in fourth place. Saginaw Valley State claimed fifth place (51 points), and Northern Michigan came in sixth (36).

Findlay earned 22 first-place votes in the South Division and led the way with 140 total points. Hillsdale came in second (109) and had the remaining two first-place votes while Northwood finished third (85).

In addition to the preseason media poll, the league also released a Preseason All-GLIAC Team, which was chosen by the conference's head coaches. Findlay senior guard Marcus Parker was chosen as the GLIAC's Preseason Player of the Year.

The Bulldogs had two players named to the Preseason All-GLIAC North Division team in junior forward/center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) and junior guard Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford).  Keenan, who was been chosen as a Preseason All-American by two different sources, earned the league preseason recognition for the second-straight campaign after attaining All-GLIAC First Team accolades last season.  Gay finished as an All-GLIAC Second Team pick in 2008-09.

"As players and coaches, we have some high expectactions for what we can accomplish this year," said Sall, who will be entering his eighth season at the helm. "We have some pieces to the puzzle and are in the process of trying to figure it all out.

"We're pleased with where we are at, but we now we need to get a whole lot better to get where we want to be this season," he added.

The Bulldog men's basketball team welcomes back eight letterwinners from last campaign when FSU finished 14-14 overall and placed third (12-10) in the GLIAC North Division. In 2008-09, Ferris also made its 10th GLIAC Tournament appearance and fourth in the last five years. Last year represented the seventh consecutive year the Bulldogs had won 10 or more games under Sall after the program had not done so in the four years prior to his arrival.

The Bulldog men's basketball squad first hits the hardwood with an exhibition contest Thursday, Oct. 29, against Aquinas with tipoff set for 7 p.m. (EDT) at Greenville High School's North Gym in Greenville, Mich.

In addition to the game against Aquinas, the Bulldogs will also play exhibition games at NCAA Division I Dayton (Ohio) on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and against Calvin on Tuesday, Nov. 10, in Grand Rapids before tipping off the regular season with a non-league tilt at Lewis (Ill.) on Sunday, Nov. 15, at Romeoville, Ill. The following night, Nov. 16, the Bulldogs visit Central Michigan for a regular-season contest against the NCAA-I Chippewas in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

The following is the complete 2009-10 GLIAC Men's Basketball Preseason Media Poll with first-place votes in parenthesis.

North Division
1. Grand Valley State (17) - 130 points
2. Ferris State (2) - 107 points
3. Lake Superior State (4) - 94 points
4. Michigan Tech (1) - 84 points
5. Saginaw Valley State - 51 points
6. Northern Michigan - 36 points

South Division
1. Findlay (22) - 140 points
2. Hillsdale (2) - 109 points
3. Northwood - 85 points
4. Wayne State - 81 points
5. Ashland - 63 points
6. Tiffin - 26 points

Below is the 2009-10 GLIAC Men's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team (chosen by head coaches).

North Division
Grand Valley State - Justin Ringler (G-F/Jr.)
Ferris State - Justin Keenan (F/Jr.)
Ferris State - Darien Gay (G/Jr.)
Lake Superior State - Scott Perkins (G/Sr.)
Saginaw Valley State - Avery Stephenson (G/Sr.)

South Division
Ashland - Kale Richardson (F/Jr.)
Findlay - Marcus Parker (G/Sr.)
Northwood - Chris Johnson (G/Sr.)
Hillsdale - Luke Laser (F/Sr.)
Wayne State - Jerry Oden (F/Jr.)

Preseason Player of the Year
Findlay - Marcus Parker (G/Sr.)