Men's BB Notes: LSSU/SVSU (Jan. 7 & 9)

The Bulldogs host Lake Superior State & Saginaw Valley State this week (Photo Courtesy Dan Teliski - Gannon Sports Information)

Click Here For Complete Game Notes (PDF)

* This Week:
The Ferris State University men’s basketball team opens the 2010 portion of its schedule by returning home for a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contests this week inside Jim Wink Arena at Big Rapids, Mich.

* The Matchups: FSU first hosts Lake Superior State in a battle of the GLIAC North Division’s top two teams on Thursday, Jan. 7, with tipoff set for 8 p.m. (EST). Ferris then squares off against Saginaw Valley State during the first-ever “Basketball Bonanza” on Saturday, Jan. 9, beginning at 5 p.m. (EST).

* Ticket Info: Tickets for both outings will be available at the door with gates opening one hour prior to the day’s first scheduled game. All-Day tickets on Saturday are only $5 (adults) and $4 (students). For more info on ticket sales, contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.

* Media Coverage: Both games will be carried live locally on WBRN 1460 AM and 107.7 FM with Jason DaDay providing the play-by-play coverage. A live audio and video pay-per-view webcast will also be offered via B2 Networks in addition to live internet statistics. Complete links will be available via FSU’s Athletics Website at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com - click on the “upcoming events” tab for links.

* Follow On Twitter: Bulldog fans can follow all FSU games this year via Twitter. To access the service, visit www.twitter.com/ferrisathletics to follow the tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates.

* Last Time Out: Ferris State captured the 36th annual Porreco Cup Championship hosted by Gannon University with a pair of victories last week (Dec. 29-30) inside the Hammermill Center at Erie, Pa. The Bulldogs topped Taylor (Ind.) by a 77-66 count in the tournament opener on Tuesday (Dec. 29) before beating Seton Hill (Pa.) 71-64 in Wednesday’s (Dec. 30) title contest.

* All-Tourney Team Picks: FSU junior forward/center Justin Keenan and freshman forward Daniel Sutherlin were both named to the Porreco Cup All-Tournament Team after their respective performances in last week’s event. Keenan tallied a team-high 18 points in the championship game following a 14-point effort versus Taylor. Meanwhile, Sutherlin chipped in with six points and eight rebounds in the final after scoring a team-high 17 points in the opening round win over Taylor.

* Another “Big Monday” Matchup: Ferris will visit rival Grand Valley State on Monday, Jan. 11, for an 8 p.m. (EST) league tilt in Allendale, Mich. It will be this year’s final regular-season matchup versus GVSU.

* The Records: Ferris State (6-4, 4-1 GLIAC) has won six of its last seven games to date this year. FSU 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.

Lake Superior State currently leads the GLIAC North Division with a 5-1 league mark and is 7-4 overall this campaign.

Saginaw Valley State holds a 6-4 overall record and is 3-2 in league action to date this season heading into a conference road game on Thursday (Jan. 7) night at Grand Valley State.

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Bill Sall (Calvin, 1994), 8th season, 112-112 (.500) – (9-5-0 vs. LSSU, 9-5-0 vs. SVSU). 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.

Lake Superior State – Steve Hettinga, 3rd season at LSSU. He guided the Lakers to an NCAA Division II Tournament appearance and divisional crown last season. Previously, he served as a head coach at Olivet and MacMurray (Ill.) along with coaching the Grand Rapids Flight in the International Basketball League (IBL).

Saginaw Valley State – Frankie Smith, 3rd season at SVSU. Smith took over prior to the 2007-08 after helping NCAA Division I Miami (Ohio) to three-straight postseason appearances as an assistant.

* The “Basketball Bonanza”: FSU squares off against Saginaw Valley State in a conference home contest as part of the "Basketball Bonanza" high school-college quadruple header on Saturday, Jan. 9. The event will feature both two high school and collegiate contests with two local prep schools, Big Rapids and Chippewa Hills, facing off in high school boys and girls contests, making it a full-day of hoops action. Saturday's action begins at 1 p.m. (EST) with the prep girls game between BRHS and the Warriors. The two collegiate contests will follow the girls high school game with the Bulldog women squaring off against SVSU at 3 p.m. (EST) and the FSU men taking on the Cardinals at 5 p.m. (EST). Finally, the day's events wrap up with the high school boys contest between Big Rapids and Chippewa Hills at 7 p.m. (EST).

* Back At Home: Thursday’s home game versus LSSU represents the Bulldogs’ first outing at Wink Arena in more than a month since a win over Tiffin (Dec. 5).

* Looking At LSSU: Lake Superior State currently owns a 7-4 overall record and is 5-1 in GLIAC action. The Lakers advanced to the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Tournament a year ago and finished the 2008-09 campaign with a 22-9 overall record along with a first-place 17-5 mark in GLIAC North Division play. Head coach Steve Hettinga is midst his third season at the Laker helm. LSSU has also won six of its last seven contests to date and posted a 64-60 road win at Saginaw Valley State in their most recent action last Saturday (Jan. 4). Senior guard Scott Perkins is averaging a team-high 19.6 points per game and is one of four players with a double-digit scoring average for LSSU this year.

* Looking At SVSU:
Saginaw Valley State heads into Thursday’s (Jan. 7) league road game at Grand Valley State with a 6-4 overall record and is 3-2 in GLIAC action to date this season. A year ago, SVSU posted a 9-17 overall record and finished fifth in the GLIAC North Division standings with a 9-13 league record. The Cardinals have dropped two-straight games to date, including a 64-60 home setback to Lake Superior State last Saturday (Jan. 4) in University Center, Mich. Senior guard Avery Stephenson leads three players in double-figure scoring at a team-best 18.8 points per game this campaign.

* Series Information vs. LSSU: Ferris holds a 73-46 lead heading into Thursday’s 120th meeting versus LSSU. FSU topped the Lakers 86-59 last season (1/8/09) at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., before suffering a 76-69 home setback (2/21/09) to LSSU in Big Rapids. Ferris head coach Bill Sall owns a current 9-5 career coaching mark against Lake Superior State. The Bulldogs have won nine of the last 13 series’ matchups overall.

* Series Information vs. SVSU: Ferris maintains a 46-31 lead heading into Saturday’s 78th series meeting with Saginaw Valley State. Last year, the two teams split a pair of meetings with the Cardinals winning by a 93-84 score in University Center (1/10/09) and Ferris capturing a 80-69 win in Big Rapids (2/19/09). Ferris head coach Bill Sall owns a current 9-5 career coaching mark against SVSU. The Bulldogs have won 10 of the last 16 series’ encounters overall.

* Last Campaign: Ferris split a pair of meetings with both LSSU and SVSU a year ago. The Bulldogs beat LSSU on the road and lost to the Lakers in Big Rapids. FSU dropped its game at Saginaw Valley State, but then came back to beat the Cardinals at Wink Arena.

* Band of Brothers: Thursday’s game will pit two brothers against each other as FSU sophomore center Jim Boylan and Lake Superior State sophomore center Mike Boylan will be on opposing sides. Both played limited minutes against each other in last year’s game at Sault Ste. Marie with Mike Boylan netting five points and Jim Boylan finishing with four points. Neither played in the final meeting at Big Rapids.

* Key Notes: Lake Superior State presently ranks first in the GLIAC in both three-pointers (7.9 pg.) and assist/turnover ratio (1.1) while senior guard Scott Perkins is the league’s leading scorer (19.6 ppg.) to date this year ......... Saginaw Valley State features two of the league’s top five scorers in Avery Stephenson (18.8 ppg.) and Keithan Jackson (18.6 ppg.), who are rankd fourth and tied for fifth, respectively. Jackson also leads the league in rebounding (13.1 rpg.) ........ SVSU is first in the GLIAC in scoring (17.7 ppg.) and rebounding margin (+6.6 pg.).

* 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 welcomed back eight letterwinners this season from a year ago. Included in the total are two returning 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.

* 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 107-104 (.507) 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.

* FSU Notebook: FSU’s Darien Gay notched his 600th career point during the Porreco Cup ............. Junior forward Lou Williams presently has 79 career blocked shots and is now only nine away from tying Marcus Kennedy (88; 1986-89)???for third place on the school’s all-time list. Williams tallied five blocked shots in the win over Seton Hill ..... Senior guard Josh Young needs 14 points to garner his 500th career point. Young has reached double-digit scoring in four of his last five outings to date.

* Porreco Cup Notebook:
Last Wednesday's title game represented the first-ever series' matchup between FSU and Seton Hill ....... The Bulldogs won both of their games in this year's Porreco Cup after previously dropping both contests in their most recent cup appearance during the 2003-04 season ....... Daniel Sutherlin tallied a personal career-high 17 points in the opening game win over Taylor ....... The Bulldogs posted a commanding 50-34 rebounding edge and tallied 16 offensive boards in the win over Seton Hill.

* Past History: Several Bulldogs have had scoring success in the past versus LSSU and SVSU. Justin Keenan has averaged 17.3 points and 5.6 rebounds in three meetings versus LSSU and tallied 13.3 points with 5.8 rebounds against SVSU. Darien Gay has four-game averages of 7.3 points (LSSU) and 11.8 points (SVSU) while Josh Young tallied 14.5 points against LSSU and 18 points versus SVSU in two meetings last year.

* 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).

* Statistics Notes: 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. Presently this year, FSU is averaging 19.1 fouls per game .......... This season, the Bulldogs currently rank 16th nationally out of 270 schools in three-point field goal percentage defense (27%) .......... FSU’s Justin Keenan concluded the 2008-09 season ranked 24th nationally in scoring (20.2 ppg.) at the NCAA Division II level. Presently this year, he’s listed 71st nationally (18.6 ppg.) as of Jan. 3 games.

* GLIAC Statistics: Ferris is currently tied for second in the GLIAC this year in blocked shots (3.6 bpg.) along with third in field goal percentage (.460), third in assists (13.2 apg.), fourth in steals (8.5 spg.) along with fourth in scoring (73.0 ppg.) for all games ....... Justin Keenan is presently tied for fifth in the league in scoring (18.6 ppg.) along with fourth in field goal percentage (55.2%) ....... Darien Gay is fourth in the league in assist/turnover ratio (2.0) while Lou Williams is second in blocked shots (1.8 bpg.) and Matt DeHart ranks second in three-point percentage (.500).

* Preseason All-American: Ferris State junior center Justin Keenan was 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.

* 1,000 Point Scorer: FSU’s Justin Keenan was honored prior to FSU’s conference opener against Grand Valley State (Nov. 30) 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 1,171 points along with 447 rebounds in 65 outings.

* Back In Town: Two of Ferris’ coaches returned to Hillsdale for FSU’s most recent conference contest on Dec. 12 after playing key roles in the Charger program prior to their arrival at FSU. With the win over HC, Ferris head coach Bill Sall improved to 6-5 in his head coaching career against Hillsdale where he served as a Charger assistant coach from 1998-02. He helped the Chargers to a 72-41 (.637) overall record and two consecutive (2001-02) NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tourney appearances during his stint at HC where he worked under Ed Douma, who is currently midst his first season as a volunteer assistant coach for the Bulldogs. Douma served as HC’s head coach for nine years until 2007.

* All-Decade Team: FSU’s Justin Keenan was one of five players named to the All-Decade Team compiled by journalist Sandy Gholston of the Bulldog Athletics Blog (http://ferrisstateathleticsblog.blogspot.com/). Additionally, Darien Gay was chosen among other Bulldog players greats receiving honorable mention status from Gholston in his All-Decade Series, which debuted this week.

* Bulldog Notes: Ferris has posted 38 winning campaigns and 44 non-losing seasons in its previous 81 seasons ........ FSU will play a total of 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 ...... Justin Keenan has reached double-figure scoring in all 10 games this season and 59 of 62 career outings. He’s tallied 10 points or more in 38 of his last 39 contests ....... Justin Keenan made his 400th career free throw in FSU’s game at Hillsdale (Dec. 12). His 32 points versus the Chargers was one shy of matching his personal career-high of 33 points scored last year (11/25/08) in a home win over Olivet .... FSU’s trip to Findlay and Hillsdale (Dec. 10 & 12) began a stretch in which the Bulldogs play nine of 11 games away from home from Dec. 10-Jan. 23.

* 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.

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