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Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University junior forward/center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) has added yet another impressive honor to his men's basketball resume as he was tabbed today (March 12) by the Grand Rapids Press as its West Michigan Small College Player of the Year for the 2009-10 campaign.
This year marks the second consecutive campaign Keenan has been tabbed by the publication for its highest men's basketball individual honor. The Press assembled a four-person panel of writers -- Howie Beardsley, Steve Kaminski, Steve Ungrey and Brian VanOchten -- to put together the 2009-10 All-Area Small Colleges Basketball Teams.
The annual Grand Rapids Press list recognizes the top players and coaches in one of the nation's premier areas for small college basketball. The Press coverage area includes some of the finest small college programs from the NCAA Division II, III and NAIA levels including Ferris State, Calvin, Hope, Grand Valley State, Aquinas, Davenport and Cornerstone among others.
Keenan was joined on the first team by Grand Valley State's Justin Ringler, John Mantel of Calvin, Hope College's Peter Bunn and John Lierman of Aquinas. Five others were chosen as second-team picks with nine named to the honorable mention list. Davenport's Burt Paddock was selected as the men's basketball Coach of the Year.
Keenan's selection by the Grand Rapids Press marks the third time in the last five years the Bulldogs have had a player honored as the publication's West Michigan Player of the Year as former standout point guard Dennis Springs was the 2005-06 recipient prior to Keenan's nomination each of the last two campaigns. He was the lone FSU men's player named to this year's list with junior forward Tiara Adams (Lansing/Waverly) of the Bulldog women's team claiming honorable mention status from The Press.
This past week, Keenan was named to the 2009-10 Daktronics
All-Midwest Region First Team after being honored as the winner of
the prestigious GLIAC Player of the Year Award for the 2009-10
season, becoming the first Bulldog men's basketball player in 20
years to attain the recognition. He was only the fifth player in
school history to be tabbed as the league's top seasonal performer
and the first since David Tuck in 1990.
A consensus preaseason All-America honoree and two-time first team All-GLIAC recipient, Keenan averaged a league-leading 21.1 points per game in 22 conference regular-season contests this season and held a 20.1 points per game average for all games this campaign. Additionally, his 465 points in league games finished only six shy of matching the league's single-season scoring record of 471 points set by Saginaw Valley State's Michael Williams in the 1993-94 season.
The 6-6 Keenan also broke two GLIAC single-season records with his 176 made free throws and 253 total attempts in league regular-season play this season while becoming the school's all-time leader in career made free throws (562) along with topping his own single-season record with 215 makes in all games at the charity stripe. He shattered the previous league records of 132 free throws made and 196 attempts that had been set by former Bulldog center Adam Anderson in the 2000-01 season.
Keenan guided the Bulldogs to a second consecutive conference tournament berth and a trip to the semifinals after leading the league with 14 scoring games of 20 points or more overall this year. He claimed GLIAC North Division Player of the Week accolades four-straight weeks during the season and reached double-figure scoring in 28 of 29 contests this campaign.
In addition to leading the league in scoring, Keenan also concluded the season ranked first in offensive rebounds (3.2 pg.) along with third in field goal percentage (55.1%) and fifth in total rebounding (6.9 rpg.). To date, Keenan has 1,569 career points and ranks eighth on the school's career scoring chart.
His 215 free throws (215-312) this year topped his own school single-season mark of 180 free throws recorded last season. He shot 154 free throws more than any other GLIAC player this season for all games and made 90 more than any other league player. This year marks the third-straight year he’s led the league in both makes and attempts.
Overall, Keenan has reached double-figure scoring in 79 of 84 career outings. He’s tallied 10 points or more in 56 of his last 58 contests, which included a personal career-high 35 points in a league home win over defending NCAA Division II National Champion Findlay in early February (Feb. 6) as the Bulldogs beat the Oilers for only the second time in the last 45 years.
Keenan led the Bulldog men's basketball team to a 16-13 overall record this season and this season represented the eighth consecutive year in which the Bulldogs had won 10 or more games under current eighth-year head coach Bill Sall after doing so only twice in the seven seasons prior to his arrival.