Men's BB Game Notes: MTU/NMU (Jan. 20 & 22)

Men's BB Game Notes: MTU/NMU (Jan. 20 & 22)

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Thursday, Jan. 20
Men's Basketball vs. Michigan Tech, 6 p.m.

Live FSU Audio Broadcast via Ustream
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Saturday, Jan. 22
Men's Basketball vs. Northern Michigan, 1 p.m.

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* The Games: Ferris State men's basketball team hosts Michigan Tech on Thursday, Jan. 20, in a 6 p.m. (ET) Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) game at Jim Wink Arena. FSU then hosts Northern Michigan on Saturday, Jan. 22, with the league tipoff set for 1 p.m. (ET).

* Ticket Info: Tickets for both doubleheaders will be sold at the door starting one hour prior to the opening game. FSU students are admitted free with their student identification cards. For additional information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.

* Media Coverage: Both games will be streamed live via an internet-only audio broadcast from Ustream.  A live pay-per-view audio and video webcast from America One will also be offered along with live internet statisticss.  All links will be available at (click on the "upcoming events" scoreboard tab or team schedule page).

* Follow On Twitter/Facebook: In addition to radio and internet coverage, Bulldog fans can follow all FSU games this year via Twitter & Facebook. To access the feed, please visit or to follow the tweet-by-tweet social media coverage with periodic scoring updates.

* Last Week: Ferris State won for the fifth time in its last six outings as the Bulldogs pulled out a 94-85 GLIAC road victory over the Northwood Timberwolves on Saturday (Jan. 15) at the Bennett Sports Center. The Bulldogs grabbed a 46-38 halftime edge after a late opening half run and used another late run in the ball game to seize control and move within a game of divisional leader Grand Valley State in the GLIAC North Division. Senior forward/center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) spearheaded the Bulldogs with a game-high 33 points and 12 rebounds in a double-double effort. Senior guard Matt DeHart (Greenville) added 18 points, sophomore guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) chipped in 12 points while senior guard Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford) nearly had a triple-double with 14 rebounds, 10 assists and nine points.

* GLIAC Statistics: FSU's Justin Keenan leads the GLIAC in both scoring (21.7 ppg.) and rebounds (9.1 rpg.) for all games this year (as of Jan. 19) and is first in defensive boards (6.1 pg.) along with third in offensive caroms (3.0 pg.).  Meanwhile, senior forward Lou Williams (Muskegon Heights) is third in blocked shots (1.7 pg.) and sixth in offensive rebounds (2.7 pg.).  Junior guard Dontae Molden (Detroit/Pershing) is fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.8) and tied for seventh in assists (3.6 apg.) along with Darien Gay, who also ranks fourth in three-pointers made (2.7 pg.), sixth in scoring (16.5 ppg.) and fifth in three-point % (.462).

* The Records: Ferris State (11-5, 7-2 GLIAC) won 10 of its last 16 games overall last season en route to a 16-13 overall mark and reached the GLIAC Tournament semifinals.  Ferris placed second (13-9) in GLIAC North Division play.  FSU was 14-14 overall in 2008-09.

Michigan Tech (10-5, 5-3 GLIAC) recorded a 9-18 record a season ago and posted a 8-14 mark in the GLIAC.  

Northern Michigan (6-9, 1-7 GLIAC) recorded a 11-15 mark a season ago and was 8-14 in league play under former longtime head coach Dean Ellis.  NMU visits Grand Valley State on Thursday (Jan. 20).

* The Coaches: Ferris State  – Bill Sall (Calvin, 1994), 9th season, 133-126 (.513) – (8-9 vs. MTU, 16-3 vs. NMU).  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.

Michigan Tech – Kevin Luke, 17th season at MTU. Luke has led the Huskies to four GLIAC titles, five NCAA Division II Tournament berths and his teams have won an average of nearly 19 games per season. He was the Basketball Times National Coach of the Year in 2002-03.

Northern Michigan – Doug Lewis, 1st season at NMU.  Lewis took over the NMU program after guiding independent Central State (Ohio) to the NCAA-II Tournament a season ago. He served as the Marauders' head coach for seven years. The former Southwest Missouri State player won 125 games and had five winning campaigns at CSU.

* GLIAC Weekly Honor: FSU senior forward/center Justin Keenan was named this week's GLIAC North Division Player of the Week. He tallied a game-high 33 points and 12 rebounds in the win at Northwood.  The 6-7 Keenan also moved into third place on the school's all-time scoring list and scored 19 second-half points in his 100th career game.  Keenan made 11-of-18 (.611) field goal attempts and hit 11-of-14 free throws in the win.  It marked the third time in his career Keenan's scored 33 points or more and was only two shy of matching his personal career-high.

* Game Promotions: Bulldog fans will have a special opportunity to win on Thursday evening during "Meijer Madness" at Wink Arena.  During the evening, over $300 of Meijer gift cards will be presented to fans.  Additionally, one lucky FSU student will walk away with a $100 gift card. Meanwhile, Saturday's doubleheader will represent the third of FSU's Saturday "Kidz Dayz" events sponsored by Green's Sporting Goods at Wink Arena.  The fun, exciting and free activities for kids will include an arts and crafts table, bounce house, halftime events, face painting, photos with Brutus and more.  It is free to children in grades K-12 with paid adult.

* Approaching 1,000 Wins: Ferris State is currently only five wins away from notching the 1,000th victory in program history.  FSU heads into Thursday's game with an all-time mark of 995-925 (.518).

* Preseason National Player of The Year: A returning consensus NCAA-II All-American, Ferris senior center Justin Keenan was tabbed as the Division II Bulletin Preseason National Player of the Year for the 2010-11 campaign. The two-time All-GLIAC First Team honoree was the 2009-10 GLIAC Player of the Year after leading the league in scoring for the second consecutive campaign a year ago. A three-time team MVP, Keenan has reached double-figure scoring in 95 of 100 career outings. He's also tallied 10 points or more in 73 of his last 75 games.  Saturday marked his 100th game in a Bulldog uniform.

* Possible Breakthrough: The Bulldogs were listed as one of the nation's possible breakthrough teams for the 2010-11 campaign in The Sporting News Division II Preseason Top 10 poll.

* Last Season: FSU concluded the 2009-10 men's basketball campaign with a 16-13 overall record and the Bulldogs placed tied for second (13-9) in GLIAC North Division play. Additionally, FSU made its 11th GLIAC Tournament appearance last campaign, which was the program's fifth berth in the last six years.

* GLIAC Player of the Week: FSU's Justin Keenan was named the GLIAC North Division Player of the Week on Nov. 23 after averaging 25 points and 12.5 rebounds in two key regional home victories over St. Joseph's (Nov. 15) and Lewis (Nov. 20).  Keenan made 16-of-27 (.593) field goal tries and was 18-of-23 (.783) in free throws in the stretch.

* Looking At MTU: Michigan Tech is currently 10-5 and 5-3 in league play.  The Huskies recorded a 9-18 record a season ago and posted a 8-14 mark in the GLIAC.  They were picked to finish fifth in the GLIAC North this season under 17th-year head coach Kevin Luke.  Currently, they've lost four of their last five games, including a 70-61 league home setback to Saginaw Valley State last Saturday (Jan. 15). Junior forward Mike Hojnacki is scoring a team-high 17.8 points per game to date.

* Looking At NMU: First-year head coach Doug Lewis has the Wildcats at 6-9 overall and 1-7 in the GLIAC mark heading into Thursday's (Jan. 20) road game at Grand Valley State.  NMU recorded a 11-15 mark a season ago and was 8-14 in league play under former longtime head coach Dean Ellis. The Wildcats have lost six of their last seven games and fell at home to Lake Superior State 79-73 on Saturday (Jan. 15).  Junior center Jared Benson is scoring 15.7 points per contest.

* Series Info vs. MTU: The Bulldogs trail MTU 54-51 all-time although FSU has won eight of the last 14 games heading into Thursday's 106th series' meeting. FSU holds a 8-9 all-time mark versus MTU under Bill Sall and split two meetings with the Huskies during the 2009-10 season. FSU posted an initial 67-63 league home win over MTU (1/30/10) in Big Rapids before falling by a 70-67 count (2/13/10) in Houghton. Earlier this year (Dec. 18), the Bulldogs led MTU by 15 points in the first half before falling 74-71 in Houghton.

* Series Info vs. NMU: Ferris holds a 51-64 all-time series' record to date against NMU. The Bulldogs, though, have claimed 16 of the last 19 series' contests, including two a season ago – 82-75 in Big Rapids (1/28/10) and 90-76 in Marquette (2/13/10). FSU head coach Bill Sall is presently 16-3 against Northern Michigan in his coaching career and also led FSU to a 73-63 win over NMU in Marquette this year (Dec. 19).

* Another 10-Win Year: This year marks the ninth 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.

* Leading The Way: Ferris welcomes back seven letterwinners this season from a year ago. Included in the total are two returning all-conference picks in senior forward/center Justin Keenan and senior guard Darien Gay. They helped form one of the nation's youngest teams as part of a nine-member freshmen class three years ago.

* FSU Picked Second: Ferris was picked to finish second in the 2010-11 GLIAC North Division Preseason Media Poll in conjunction with the launch of the league's media day website.  The Bulldogs totaled 128 points in the balloting and picked up two first-place votes while finishing second in the North Division. FSU rival Grand Valley State earned 22 of a possible 25 first-place votes and led the division with 172 points. Findlay, which won the 2008-09 NCAA-II National Championship, claimed 23 first-place votes and 173 points as the South Division favorite.

* Preseason Honorees: Ferris had two players named to the 2010-11 GLIAC North Division Preseason All-Conference Teams as chosen by the league's head coaches.  Justin Keenan was chosen as a preseason first-team pick with Darien Gay on the five-member second team.  Keenan was also tabbed as the GLIAC's Preseason Player of the Year after winning the conference's top individual honor a year ago.

* The Bulldog Roster: Ferris' current 2010-11 roster includes four seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen. Six of the 14 players are primarily guards while the remaining eight are frontcourt players. All 14 players on the Bulldogs' roster hail from Michigan.

* Head Coach Bill Sall: A 1994 Calvin graduate, ninth-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 128-117 (.522) and claimed two divisional titles while making two NCAA-II Tourney appearances in his eight previous seasons. FSU won only four games (4-22) the year before Sall arrived in 2001-02.

* FSU Notebook: Senior forward Lou Williams has moved into sole possession of second place on the school's all-time blocked shots list with 132 total.  He now trails only Adam Anderson's (1998-03) school-record of 142 swats ...... Junior guard Dontae Molden has 287 assists to date and has moved past Kurt Stevens (1982-86) into eighth place all-time at FSU ..... Justin Keenan presently has scored 1,916 career points and needs only 46 more to catch Jesse Mangham (1,962) for second place.  He also ranks fifth on the FSU career rebounding list with 737 career boards to date and is 13 away from catching Ted Bee (1973-77).

* Bulldog Bites: Senior guard Darien Gay ranks fifth on the school's career list with 378 assists. He also ranks tied for eighth all-time with 126 steals at FSU ....... Darien Gay is currently third in career three-point field percentage at FSU as he's made 176 of 403 treys (.437) ..... The Bulldogs were listed 24th nationally in the NABC Division II Poll on Nov. 23 before dropping out after two losses at the Owensboro Classic (Nov. 26-27) ....... Senior forward Lou Williams had a personal career-high six blocked shots versus Lake Superior State (Jan. 6), which was only one shy of tying the school's single-game record of seven blocks set previously by both Dave Swilley and Adam Anderson ..... Darien Gay's 14 rebounds at Northwood marked a personal career-high .... Matt DeHart has reached double-figure scoring in his last three contests to date.

* Conference Record Book: The 465 points scored by FSU's Justin Keenan in conference regular-season games last season was only six away from matching the league's all-time seasonal record of 471 points recorded by Saginaw Valley State's Michael Williams in 1993-94. Additionally, Keenan's 176 free throws made and 253 attempts in league games topped the previous conference single-season records of 132 makes and 196 attempts owned by former Bulldog center Adam Anderson in 2000-01.

* 131 Showdown: The Ferris State men's and women's basketball teams will square off against rival Grand Valley State this season at Grand Rapids' Van Andel Arena in the first-ever "131 Showdown" presented by Amway. Details for the January 29, 2011, doubleheader were announced during a press conference (Oct. 20) involving both schools at Van Andel Arena.  Tipoff for the women's GLIAC tilt will be at 6 p.m. (ET) on Jan. 29 with the men's game to follow at 8 p.m. (ET). A portion of the proceeds from the "131 Showdown" will be donated to the Van Andel Institute as part of the Community for a Cure Purple Game. For additional information on the 131 Showdown and tickets, please go to the official web site for the game at  The Detroit Pistons' popular public address announcer, John Mason, will serve as the official PA voice for the contest.

* New Assistant Coach: The Bulldogs have a new full-time assistant coach this season in Andy Bronkema, who had served as a volunteer assistant for the past three years and replaces longtime assistant coach Cory Anderson. Bronkema was a collegiate standout at NAIA Division II member Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich. As a player, he served as team captain in both his junior and senior seasons. Bronkema was voted All-Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) three times and twice garnered NAIA Honorable Mention All-America laurels.

* Two 1,000 Point Scorers: FSU's Justin Keenan was honored last year for becoming the 26th player in school history to notch his 1,000th career point in the season opener at Lewis (11/15/09). Meanwhile, Darien Gay became the 27th player this year in a win at Northern Michigan (12/19/10).  Keenan presently owns career totals of 1,916 points along with 737 rebounds in 100 outings while Gay has 1,079 points and 378 career assists.

* One of a Kind: Ferris' Justin Keenan was honored as a 2009-10 State Farm® Coaches' All-America First Team selection, becoming the first-ever All-America pick at the Division II level in Ferris State men's basketball history.  He's the first Bulldog player in 36 years to claim All-America accolades and joins four previous players to achieve the distinction in Ferris men's hoops history.  He was also the first FSU player in 20 years to be named GLIAC Player of the Year in 2009-10.

* Bulldog Notes: Ferris has posted 40 winning campaigns and 46 non-losing seasons in its 83 seasons of competition ........ The Bulldogs own a current 77-63 (.550) overall record in Jim Wink Arena, which opened in the 1999-00 season. This year marks the team's 12th season in the 2,400-seat facility ...... Justin Keenan led the GLIAC with 13 games of 20 or more points last season ..... The GLIAC had only four players record 10 or more assists in a game last year and two of those efforts came from Bulldog players - Darien Gay (10 vs. Ashland - Dec. 3) and Dontae Molden (11 at Ashland - Jan. 16) ....... Senior guard Darien Gay's current .437 career three-point percentage is third-best in school history .... Justin Keenan's 737 rebounds is now fifth-most in FSU school history.

* New GLIAC Format: The GLIAC office recently announced that for the 2010-11 basketball season, the men's teams will play the first game of a doubleheader and the women's teams the second game whenever both teams are playing on the same day or night in the same venue. Meanwhile, the scenario will be reversed the following year with the women's teams playing the first game and the men's teams the second game in 2011-12. Along with the time format change, the conference will also now play a 19-game schedule this coming year instead of the previous 22-game format due to the addition of two new schools in Lake Erie and Ohio Dominican joining the league.

* D1 Regular-Season Meeting: FSU's visit to Eastern Michigan (Jan. 4) marked the second consecutive season the Bulldogs faced a Mid-American Conference (MAC) team in regular-season competition following last year's (11/16/09) 82-69 loss at Central Michigan.  FSU also suffered a 78-65 overtime loss at NCAA-I Indiana this preseason (Nov. 8) after falling 88-73 in exhibition play a year ago at nationally-ranked NCAA-I member Dayton.

* Great Game: Justin Keenan's 35-point effort last season versus the defending NCAA-II National Champion Findlay (Feb. 6) topped his previous career-high of 33 points set against Olivet in 2008 (11/25) and it marked the most points scored by a Bulldog player in a game during the eight-year tenure of head coach Bill Sall.  The last FSU player to score more than 35 points in a single contest came in 2001-02 (Jan. 19) when Marcus Wallace totaled 40 points in a 86-85 league overtime home loss to rival Grand Valley State.  The 35-point effort was the GLIAC's third-best individual performance last season and helped FSU defeat the Oilers for only the second time in the last 45 years.

* FSU Notebook: FSU's Justin Keenan made 215 free throws (215-312) last year and topped his own school single-season mark of 180 free throws recorded in 2008-09. He shot over 100 free throws more than any other GLIAC player last season and it marked the third-straight year he led the league in both makes and attempts ....... Justin Keenan claimed the GLIAC North Division Player of the Week Award four consecutive weeks from Jan. 19-Feb. 8 during the 2009-10 season.

* The Coaching Staff: In addition to full-time assistant coach Andy Bronkema, Bill Sall also has two longtime collegiate coaches serving as volunteer assistants in Bill Killian and Ed Douma. A FSU professor, Killian has been involved with the program throughout Sall's eight-year tenure and his association with Ferris basketball dates back to the late 1980's. Meanwhile, Douma served as Sall's collegiate head coach at Calvin during his playing career and previously spent 32 seasons as a head coach at several schools while winning more than 550 games.  He joined the Bulldogs last season after spending the final 11 years of his head coaching career at Hillsdale.

* Fifteen Wins: FSU's 16 victories last year represented the fourth time in head coach Bill Sall's eight years the Bulldogs had won at least 14 games in a campaign. Last year also marked the eighth consecutive year in which the Bulldogs have won 10 or more games under Sall.  Prior to his arrival, the Bulldogs had won 10 games or more only twice in the seven previous seasons.

* Veteran On Staff: Longtime college basketball coach Ed Douma joined the Bulldog staff for the 2009-10 season.  Douma most recently served as head coach at GLIAC-member Hillsdale 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 caoch Bill Sall played for Douma at Calvin and also served as one of his assistant coaches at both Calvin and Hillsdale.

* Transfer Additions: The Bulldogs added three transfer players who have played this year.  Junior forward Jerrell Sanders (Grand Rapids/Creston) joined the Bulldog program at midseason last year and sat out after playing JUCO ball at Columbus State (Ohio) before originally inking with NCAA-II Gannon.  Meanwhile, guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) played his initial collegiate campaign at NCAA-II Augustana (S.D.) a year ago with guard Brandyn Mungo (Westland/Detroit Renaissance) playing Division II ball at Clarion (Pa.).

* Key Bulldog Notes: FSU junior forward Jerrell Sanders was featured on ESPN's Top 10 Plays during Sportscenter episodes on Dec. 1 for a dunk he had at nationally-ranked Kentucky Wesleyan (Nov. 27) ........ The Bulldogs dropped a 78-65 overtime exhibition decision to the NCAA Division I Indiana Hoosiers this season (Nov. 8) at IU's Assembly Hall in Bloomington (Ind.) after leading for the entire second half and nearly winning the contest as the final horn sounded. A potential game-winning shot from FSU junior forward Jerrell Sanders at the buzzer in regulation was waved off after a replay review. Senior forward Justin Keenan finished the game with a team-high 21 points for FSU .......  FSU's Justin Keenan and Darien Gay were both named to the All-Classic Team at the Owensboro Classic (Nov. 26-27).  Keenan averaged 19.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in the two games while Gay chipped in 16.5 points per contest, including a team-high 25 versus Kentucky Wesleyan ..... Ferris owns a 7-0 mark at home this year and has won nine of its last 10 games at Wink Arena dating back to last year.