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* The Game: The Ferris State University men’s basketball team continues a three-game homestand this week with a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) games against Ashland on Thursday (Dec. 3) and Tiffin on Saturday (Dec. 5) at Wink Arena. Game times are set for 8 p.m. (EST) on Thursday with Saturday’s outing starting at 2 p.m. (EST).
* Ticket Info: Tickets for both doubleheaders will be available at the door starting one hour prior to the women’s tipoff. All single-game general admission ticket prices are $7. FSU students are admitted free with ID. For more info on home ticket sales, please call the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.
* Game Promotions: Thursday’s contest represents Student-Athlete Night as various FSU athletics teams will be in attendance helping support the Bulldogs. The Manton Youth Basketball Program will be in attendance for Saturday’s basketball doubleheader with more than 80 kids on hand and Bulldog players will sign autographs after the game.
* Media Coverage: Both games will be carried live by local radio station WBRN (1460 AM & 107.7 FM) with Jason DaDay providing the play-by-play coverage and Sandy Gholston offering color commentary. A live audio and video pay-per-view webcast via B2 Networks will also be available along with live internet statistics. Please visit FSU’s Athletics Website at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com to find links for all coverage in the “upcoming events” tab.
* Follow On Twitter: Bulldog fans can follow all FSU games this year via Twitter. To access the service, please visit www.twitter.com/ferrisathletics to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates.
* The Last Game: FSU dominated divisional preseason favorite and nationally 18th-ranked archrival Grand Valley State by a 67-41 count before a crowd of 1,280 home fans on Monday (Nov. 30) evening in the home and GLIAC opener at Jim Wink Arena. FSU gave up only 16 first-half points in taking a decisive 33-16 halftime edge during the “Big Monday” encounter. The Bulldogs increased the margin to as many as 27 points with 14:36 to play in the contest and outscored GVSU 34-25 over the final 20 minutes. The win was the first of the season for the Bulldogs. Ferris shot 51.2% (21-41) for the game and limited the Lakers to only 33.3% (17-51) shooting. FSU also forced 19 Laker turnovers. Justin Keenan paced the Bulldogs with a game-high tying 15 points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Darien Gay added 13 points in a balanced Bulldog attack.
* The Records: Ferris State (1-3, 1-0 GLIAC) recorded a 14-14 overall record during the 2008-09 season and placed third in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division with a 12-10 league mark.
Ashland (2-1, 0-0 GLIAC) posted a 10-15 overall record during the 2008-09 season and was fifth in the GLIAC South Division with a 8-13 league mark.
Tiffin (1-2, 0-0 GLIAC) finished the 2008-09 season with a 2-25 record and was last in the GLIAC South with a 1-21 conference ledger.
* The Coaches: Ferris State – Bill Sall (Calvin, 1994), 8th season, 107-111 (.491) – (7-2-0 vs. AU & 3-1-0 vs. TU). Sall was a two-time NCAA Division III All-American at Calvin College from 1985-90 and previously held assistant coaching positions at Calvin (1992-95), Ferris State (1995-98) and Hillsdale (1998-02). He served as FSU’s interim coach for a brief portion of the 1995-96 season.
Ashland – John Ellenwood (Wooster, 2000), 1st season at AU, 2-1-0 (.667), 4th season overall, 35-49 (.417). Ellenwood replaced former head coach Roger Lyons in the offseason after three years at NCAA-III Thomas More, leading the team to a national tourney berth last year. He was an assistant at both Ohio Wesleyan & Capital.
Tiffin – John Hill (Heidelberg), 1st season at TU, 1-2-0 (.333). Hill took over this year for Rodney Martin after serving as AD and Associate VP at Shenandoah since 2002. He formerly was a head coach and AD in a 27-year career at Heidelberg where he won 357 games and made two NCAA Tourney appearances.
* Stellar Defense: Ferris’ 26-point victory over GVSU was its most decisive win over the Lakers since recording a 111-79 home win on Feb. 11, 1970, and the second-largest ever. Additionally, the 41 points allowed by FSU were the fewest the Lakers have ever scored versus the Bulldogs ..... The 41-point total is the fewest points allowed by Ferris against any opponent since a 40-34 home win over Oakland in the 1989-90 season (2/15/90), nearly 20 years ago. It also marked only the fifth time since 1980 the Bulldogs have limited another team to 41 points or less.
* Keenan Honored: FSU’s Justin Keenan was honored prior to Monday’s game versus GVSU for becoming the 26th player in school history to notch his 1,000th career point in the season opener at Lewis (Nov. 15). He also grabbed his 400th career board in the same game and presently owns career totals of 1,052 points along with 417 rebounds in 59 outings.
* Looking At Ashland: The Eagles posted a 10-15 overall record during the 2008-09 season and were fifth in the GLIAC South Division with a 8-13 league mark. Currently, they are 2-1 overall this season under first year head coach John Ellenwood after being tabbed to finish fifth in the GLIAC Preseason South Division Media Poll. Three starters and seven letterwinners are back, including a preseason all-conference pick in junior forward Kale Richardson. Both AU wins came at home this year versus Ohio Northern and Urbana heading into their league opener at FSU this year. The lone setback was a 81-57 setback in their lone road game to date at Mount Vernon Nazarene (Nov. 21). Senior forward Bylynn Hatcher is the squad’s leading scorer to date (12.3 ppg.) and one of three Eagles averaging in double-figures.
* Series Information: Ferris holds a 11-6 series’ edge over Ashland and beat the Eagles twice last season, including a 100-74 triumph in the most recent game at Wink Arena last January (1/17/09). The Bulldogs have won five of the last six meetings versus AU to date and FSU head coach Bill Sall owns a current 7-2 career coaching mark against Ashland.
* Looking At Tiffin: Tiffin finished the 2008-09 season with a 2-25 record and was last in the GLIAC South with a 1-21 conference ledger. First-year head coach John Hill’s team is currently 1-2 overall this campaign heading into Thursday’s league road opener at Grand Valley State after a 79-71 non-conference home win over Cincinnati-Claremont last Saturday (Nov. 28). Their losses have came to perennial regional power Southern Indiana and highly-regarded West Liberty State (W.Va.). Sophomore forward Keenan Barlow is one of three Dragon players in double-figures with a team-high 15 points per game to date. Tiffin was selected to finish sixth in the GLIAC South Division Preseason Media Poll.
* Series Information: Ferris holds a 3-1 all-time series’ lead over Tiffin after beating the Dragons twice last season, which included a 98-63 home win in the most recent game (1/15/09) played at Big Rapids. Two years ago (2007-08), FSU suffered a 72-62 road setback in the first-ever series’ matchup (12/8/07) before rebounding to post an identical 72-62 win in the second meeting (1/4/08) at Big Rapids. FSU head coach Bill Sall is 3-1 to date versus Tiffin.
* New Wink Arena Look: The Bulldogs played their first contest on Monday at Wink Arena following the facility's most recent renovation this past spring. The gym floor was completely sanded down, refurbished and painted with a new design and color corresponding with the university's graphic identity. The new look in Wink Arena, which has been home to both the Bulldog men's and women's basketball programs since the 1999-00 season, now includes an extra large "Bulldog" head in the center of the floor replacing the former basketball design found in the center circle. Additional wording includes both the GLIAC logo and the "Wink Arena" designation in two seperate places. The floor is outlined in Ferris' official crimson color with gold wording. In addition, the lane found under both hoops now features a light open-colored appearance replacing the old maroon background. The women's three-point line maintains its black appearance with the men's line in crimson. The Ferris signature line remains on both baselines.
* FSU Picked Second: Ferris was picked to finish second in the 2009-10 GLIAC North Division Preseason Media Poll in conjunction with the league’s annual media day teleconference. 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. Defending NCAA Division II National Champion Findlay earned 22 first-place votes in being selected the South Division favorite by a group of 24 media members.
* Preseason Honorees: Ferris had two of the five players named to the 2009-10 GLIAC North Division Preseason All-Conference Team as chosen by the league’s head coaches. Both Justin Keenan and Darien Gay were on the five-member team. Keenan was a first-team all-league pick last season while Gay claimed All-GLIAC North Division Second Team kudos.
* Welcome Back: Ferris welcomes back eight letterwinners this season from a year ago. Included in the total are two All-GLIAC picks in junior forward/center Justin Keenan (first team) and junior guard Darien Gay (second team).
* Last Season: FSU finished 14-14 overall and placed third (12-10) in the GLIAC North Division last season. In 2008-09, Ferris also made its 10th GLIAC Postseason 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 head coach Bill Sall after the program had not done so in the four years prior to his arrival.
* The Bulldog Roster: Ferris’ current 2009-10 roster includes three seniors, four juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen. Eight of the 13 players are guards while the remaining five are frontcourt players. All 13 players on the Bulldogs’ roster hail from Michigan.
* Two Make Debut: The Bulldogs have utilized only two new players in the lineup thus far, which include freshman forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) and senior guard/forward Jon Yeazel (Middleville/Thornapple-Kellogg). Yeazel is a former Division I transfer from CMU, who redshirted at FSU last season.
* Head Coach Bill Sall: A 1994 Calvin graduate, eighth-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. 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.
* FSU 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.
* Great Run: Ferris won back-to-back GLIAC North Division crowns under Bill Sall in 2003-04 and 2004-05 while reaching the NCAA-II Tournament in both 2004-05 and 2005-06. FSU advanced to the NCAA-II “Sweet Sixteen” during the 2004-05 season, which was Sall’s third season at the helm.
* Turnaround Time: 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 102-103 (.498) and claimed two divisional titles while making two NCAA-II Tournament appearances in his seven previous seasons at the helm. FSU won only four games (4-22) the year before Sall arrived in 2001-02.
* Career Milestones: FSU’s Darien Gay notched his 550th career point against GVSU. He also needs only one assist to tie James Munger’s (1971-74) 12th-place school total of 234 career assists ....... Junior forward Lou Williams has 69 career blocked shots to date and needs three more to move into fourth place on the school’s all-time chart. Williams needs six points to score his 300th career point.
* GVSU Game Notebook: The win was FSU’s fourth in its last five GLIAC openers and FSU has now won six of its last eight home openers …….. FSU improved to 48-45 all-time against Grand Valley State with the win …… Freshman forward Daniel Sutherlin got the crowd excited late in the first half with an alley-oop dunk, which helped fuel a 8-0 run that increased FSU’s lead to 14 points ……… Ferris scored 13 of the final 15 points of the first half ……… The Bulldogs held a 14-2 edge in fast break points and the FSU reserves outscored GVSU’s bench by a 23-11 count ……… It marked the second consecutive year the Bulldogs have beat GVSU in Wink Arena.
* Good Exhibition Mark: With two exhibition wins this season, the Bulldogs have now claimed a victory in four of their last five preseason tilts going back ot last year. FSU had won three consecutive exhibition games prior to the loss at Dayton. Last year, the Bulldogs defeated Cornerstone 74-73 (10/30/08) and Calvin 80-66 (11/11/08) in home exhibition games at FSU’s Jim Wink Arena with the third victory coming in this year’s exhibition opener against Aquinas (10/29) at Greenville High School and the fourth in this year’s triumph at Calvin (11/10/09).
* Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs hit the road for a pair of GLIAC contests next week at Findaly (Dec. 10) and Hillsdale (Dec. 12). The game against defending NCAA-II National Champion Findlay starts at 7:30 p.m. (ET) with the Hillsdale contest set to begin at 3 p.m. (ET).
* Foul Discrepancy Last Year: Ferris ranked 256th last season out of 270 NCAA Division II teams listed in fouls per game as the Bulldogs averaged 22.2 personal fouls per contest. Meanwhile, Ashland finished the year ranked fourth nationally in the same category by only committing 14.8 personal fouls per game ......... The Eagles also ranked 15th nationally a season ago in three-point field goal percentage (.393) for the year .......... FSU’s Justin Keenan concluded the 2008-09 season ranked 24th nationally in scoring (20.2 ppg.) at the NCAA Division II level.
* Ashland Game Notebook: Ashland has lost three straight times at Wink Arena. AU’s last triumph at Ferris State came during the 2001-2002 season, 83-72 ....... In two games against AU last season, Justin Keenan averaged 19.5 ppg., and 7.0 rpg., while Darien Gay averaged 22.5 ppg., against Ashland last season. He had 23 points in the game at FSU and 22 points at AU.
* Six Games, Three Days, One Place: This week’s games will be part of FSU’s promotion of Six Games, Three Days, One Place! Both the Bulldog men’s and women’s basketball teams are at home on Thursday and Saturday with the nationally 17th-ranked FSU hockey team hosting Nebraska-Omaha across the hall in the Ewigleben Ice Arena in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series’ on Friday and Saturday evenings. Saturday features a tripleheader with hockey starting at 5:05 p.m.
* New Coaches: Ferris will face the GLIAC’s two newest head coaches in back-to-back games this week. Both AU’s John Ellenwood and Tiffin’s John Hill are midst their first seasons at their respective schools although both have coached at other schools. They are the only two new men’s basketball head coaches in the league this year.
* Preseason All-American: Ferris State junior center Justin Keenan has been named a NCAA Division II Preseason All-America selection by three different sources, including being tabbed to the Division II Bulletin “Super 16” Preseason squad. He also claimed acclaim from both The Sporting News and Basketball Times. Keenan was honored last season as a National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II All-Midwest District Second Team pick along with a Daktronics All-Midwest Region Second Team and All-GLIAC North Division First Team selection.
* Bulldog Notes: Monday’s crowd versus GVSU represented the sixth-straight year the Bulldogs have drawn more than 1,000 fans for their home game against Grand Valley State inside Wink Arena. The announced attendance was 1,280 for the game ......... This year’s game at Central Michigan (Nov. 16) represented the first regular-season matchup between the two teams since Dec. 3, 1990. It was also only the third official contest between the two schools since 1976 ..... Ferris has posted 38 winning campaigns and 44 non-losing seasons in its previous 81 seasons ........ FSU will play 11 regular-season home games this campaign inside Jim Wink Arena ....... The Bulldogs own a current 66-59 (.528) overall record in Jim Wink Arena, which opened in the 1999-00 season. This year marks the team’s 11th season in the 2,400-seat facility.
* More On Keenan: A preseason All-America pick, Justin Keenan led the GLIAC in scoring (20.2 ppg.) while ranking second in offensive rebounds (3.4 rpg.), fourth in rebounding (7.3 rpg.) and fourth in field goal percentage (.546) last year. He also made and attempted more free throws (180-237) than any other player in the league last season for the second-straight year. Keenan reached double-figure scoring in 24 of his 25 games and totaled 20 points or more in 14 outings a year ago, including a career-high 33 points versus Olivet (Nov. 25), en route to earning team MVP honors for the second-straight year. In 59 career contests to date, Keenan has recorded 1,052 points and 417 rebounds while starting 56 games. His 376 made free throws (376-493) currently ranks sixth on the school's career leaders list.
* A Familiar Foe: FSU senior guard Jon Yeazel faced a familiar foe in Central Michigan. The 6-2 Yeazel spent both the 2005-06 and 2007-08 campaigns at CMU before transferring to FSU. He appeared in all 28 games and made two starts for the Chippewas as a freshman in 2005-06, but did not see game action in ‘07-08. He averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in his initial year with CMU, including two double-figure scoring efforts. The Thornapple-Kellogg High School product also competed at Schoolcraft Community College the year between his two stints at Central Michigan (2006-07) and redshirted for the Bulldogs last year.
* Notes On Darien Gay: FSU junior guard Darien Gay was an All-GLIAC North Division Second Team pick last year and one of five players named to this year’s preseason all-conference team. The 5-10 Gay was the team's third-leading scorer (11.1 ppg.) and had 17 double-figure scoring performances in 28 games last year. Gay's 47 percent (54-115) shooting effort behind the three-point stripe ranked as the seventh-best seasonal mark in FSU history. He ranked second in the league behind teammate Donte Molden in assists (4.4 apg.). He was also second in steals (1.8 spg.) and fourth in three-point percentage (.470) among the GLIAC leaders. Gay placed first in the conference in assist to turnover ratio (2:1). His current .421 career three-point percentage is fourth-best in school history.
* Molden Paced GLIAC: Ferris sophomore guard Dontae Molden led the GLIAC with 132 assists (4.7 apg.) last year, which represented the 11th-best figure in school single-season history. The 2008-09 team Defensive MVP also had 177 (6.3 ppg.) points and added 76 rebounds (2.7 rpg.) in 28 appearances his rookie year, including 23 starts. The Detroit Pershing prep product compiled seven double-figure scoring contests and tallied six assists or more in 12 games. Molden was seventh in steals (1.7 spg.) in the GLIAC.
* The Coaching Staff: The Bulldog coaching staff includes top assistant coach Cory Anderson, who played for Ferris from 1996-98, and is in his 11th season as a full-time assistant. Volunteer Assistant Coach Bill Killian also returns for his eighth season on Sall’s staff. Former Cornerstone University standout Andy Bronkema, who teaches at Big Rapids’ Crossroads Charter Academy, is in his third season as a volunteer assistant at FSU while longtime collegiate head coach Ed Douma joins the staff for the first time this year as a volunteer after former volunteer assistant coach Dave Schlump departed to become the head coach at Muskegon CC.
* Douma Joins Staff: Longtime college basketball coach Ed Douma has joined the Bulldog staff for the 2009-10 season. Douma most recently served as head coach at GLIAC-member Hillsdale for nine years until 2007. His experience includes 33 years as a head coach at the collegiate level, including at his alma mater, Calvin College (NCAA-III), where he guided the Knights to the NCAA-III National Championship in 1991-92. He has also served as head coach at Alma College (NCAA-III), fellow GLIAC member Lake Superior State (NAIA), Kent State (NCAA-I) and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro (NCAA-III). Douma owns a career mark of 561-295 and also won two MHSAA Class C State Championships at Shelby High School. FSU head coach Bill Sall played for Douma at Calvin and also served as one of his assistant coaches at both Calvin and Hillsdale.
* B2 Video 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 $7 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.ferrisstatebulldogs.com.
* Live Internet Stats: “Live Stats” of all 2009-10 Ferris State home games will be provided in progress via the internet. Visit the site at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com and click the “Live Stats” icon to access.
* GLIAC Games On Air: All 22 of FSU’s 2009-10 league games are tentatively slated to be carried live by local radio station WBRN (News Talk 1460 AM or 107.7 FM). FSU Associate 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.ferrisstatebulldogs.com.
* On The Internet: Ferris State University Athletics’ official web site can be found at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com. The site features information on all FSU varsity programs including rosters, stats and more.