Justin Keenan Named GLIAC Player Of The Year

GLIAC Assistant Commissioner Jeff Ligney & the GLIAC Player of the Year Justin Keenan
GLIAC Assistant Commissioner Jeff Ligney & the GLIAC Player of the Year Justin Keenan

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Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University junior forward/center Justin Keenan has received the prestigious Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (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.

The annual league postseason awards were announced on Thursday (March 4) evening at a banquet held in conjunction with the GLIAC Men's Basketball Tournament Final Four in Findlay, Ohio.

Keenan is 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.  Ferris' other winners of the GLIAC Award since its inception have included Gerald Busby (1983), Gerald Woodberry (1987) and Jarvis Walker (1989).

A consensus preaseason All-America honoree, Keenan averaged a league-leading 21.1 points per game in 22 conference regular-season contests this season and currently owns a 20.1 points per game average for all league and non-league 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 (556) along with topping his own single-season record with 209 makes in all games to date 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 has guided the Bulldogs to a second consecutive conference tournament berth after leading the league with 13 scoring games of 20 points or more to date this year. He claimed GLIAC North Division Player of the Week accolades four-straight weeks earlier this season and has reached double-figure scoring in all but one contest this campaign.

In addition to leading the league in scoring, Keenan also concluded the regular-season ranked first in offensive rebounds (3.1 pg.) along with third in field goal percentage (56.5%) and fifth in total rebounding (6.6 rpg.).

To date, Keenan has 1,547 career points and ranks eighth on the school's career scoring chart.  He is 50 away from tying former Bulldog standout Adam Anderson (1,597) for seventh place overall.

Currently, his 200 free throws (209-303) this year has topped his own school single-season mark of 180 free throws recorded last season. He has shot 145 free throws more than any other GLIAC player this season for all games and made 94 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 27 of 28 games this season and 78 of 83 career outings. He’s tallied 10 points or more in 55 of his last 57 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.

The Bulldog men's basketball team advanced to the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals with a 65-59 road win at Saginaw Valley State in Tuesday's (March 2) quarterfinal round.  FSU will take on top-seeded Findlay on Friday (March 5) evening in the semifinals at UF's Croy Gymnasium in Findlay, Ohio.  Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (EST) with Saturday's (March 6) league tournament championship game starting at 7 p.m. (EST).

FSU currently owns a 16-12 overall record this season and this season represents the eighth consecutive year in which the Bulldogs have 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.