October 5, 2009

Justin Keenan Tabbed As Preseason All-America

Click Here For Sporting News All-America Listing (PDF)

Big Rapids, Mich. - The first preseason basketball publication has hit the newstands and Ferris State University men's basketball standout Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) has been tabbed as a Preseason Honorable Mention All-America selection for the 2009-10 campaign by The Sporting News.

The 6-6 Keenan, who will be a junior for the Bulldogs in eligibility this season, was one of 42 players from the NCAA Division II level recognized by the magazine.  The publication listed five preseason first-team picks along with five second-team picks and 32 honorable mention recipients.

The Sporting News featured only two players from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) on its list with Keenan joined by point guard Marcus Parker from the University of Findlay, which is the defending Division II National Champions.

In addition to the preseason All-America listing, the publication also included a Presseason Top 10 list with GLIAC-member Grand Valley State found seventh.  Another school from the NCAA-II Midwest Region, Bellarmine (Ky.), was the magazine's number-one ranked preseason squad after narrowly falling to Findlay in the regional final last season.  Findlay, Northern Kentucky and Southern Indiana were regional representatives included on a list of 32 "Possible Breakthroughs" this campaign.

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.

One of five players named to the Preseason All-GLIAC North Division squad in voting by the league's member head coaches last year, 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). He also made and attempted more free throws (180-237) than any other player in the league last season. 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 his initial FSU season (2007-08), Keenan was the Bulldogs' top scorer (15.9 ppg.) and rebounder (6.9 rpg.) as a freshman when he claimed team Most Valuable Player Award recognition in his initial collegiate season. He tallied 26 double-figure scoring performances in 29 contests his rookie year, including eight games with 20 points or more. Keenan ranked ninth in scoring along with 10th in rebounding among the GLIAC leaders. Additionally, he also placed ninth in the GLIAC in both field goal (.539) and free throw (.788) percentage while registering six double-double (points & rebounds) efforts in his initial collegiate campaign. Keenan also shot the most free throws of all GLIAC players as a freshman, hitting 167 of 212 (.788) in 2007-08.

In 55 career contests to date, Keenan has recorded 985 points and 392 rebounds while starting 52 games. His 347 made free throws (347-449) currently ranks sixth on the school's career leaders list while he needs only 15 more points to become only the 26th player in Ferris history to score more than 1,000 career points. Keenan's current .543 (317-584) field goal percentage figure is tied for 10th place on FSU's career chart.

Last season, Keenan set a school record by making 180 free throws, which surpassed former Bulldog Adam Anderson's record of 179 made free throws recorded in the 2000-01 campaign. His 20.2 points per game average represented the fifth-best figure by a sophomore player in school history. Twice last season Keenan claimed GLIAC North Division Player of the Week accolades.

By earning all-region laurels a year ago, Keenan became the first Bulldog men's player to achieve all-district recognition since former standout point guard Dennis Springs picked up NABC First Team All-District status as a senior in the 2005-06 campaign. Keenan is only the 11th different Ferris player since 1980 to claim all-region or all-district honors.  He also became the second FSU men's player in the last four years to be chosen as West Michigan's "Player of the Year" by the Grand Rapids Press, joining Springs who earned the honor following his senior campaign in 2005-06.

Keenan will be one of eight returning letterwinners for the Bulldogs this season.  Last year, FSU finished 14-14 overall and placed third (12-10) in the GLIAC North Division. In 2008-09, FSU also made its 10th GLIAC Tournament appearance and fourth in the last five years.  Last year also represented the seventh consecutive year the Bulldogs have 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 Bulldogs are slated to play a pair of exhibition games starting on Thursday, Oct. 29, with a preseason matchup against Aquinas College at Greenville (Mich.) High School. 

The exhibition slate also includes a visit to NCAA Division I preseason nationally-ranked Dayton (Ohio) on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 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.

FSU officially opens practice for the 2009-10 season on Oct. 15.

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