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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team reaped the benefits of its success this season as the Bulldogs were well-represented on the All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Teams for the 2010-11 season.
Senior forward/center Justin Keenan earned the GLIAC's Player of the Year Award for the second consecutive campaign. In addition, head coach Bill Sall claimed the GLIAC Coach of the Year Award for the first time in his career in voting conducted by the league's member head coaches as FSU took two of the three major conference awards.
The postseason awards and all-conference teams were announced at a banquet on Friday (March 4) evening at The Rock dining facility on the FSU campus in conjunction with the GLIAC Semifinals/Finals, which will be hosted by Ferris State this weekend (March 5-6) in Big Rapids.
Keenan and Sall weren't the only Bulldogs represented in the all-conference voting. Senior guard Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford) joined Keenan on the All-GLIAC North Division First Team after earning second team status a season ago.
In addition, senior forward Lou Williams (Muskegon Heights) claimed all-conference recognition for the first time in his career by being named to the GLIAC North Division Second Team.
Finally, the Bulldogs also had two of the division's five selections on the GLIAC All-Defensive Team as junior guard Dontae Molden (Detroit/Pershing) joined Williams on the squad.
The 6-7 Keenan is the first Bulldog player ever to earn the GLIAC's Player of the Year honor twice and the first player from any league school to win the award in back-to-back years since Michigan Tech's Josh Buettner in 2004 and 2005. He's also only the third player ever to claim the recognition twice in GLIAC history.
Meanwhile, Sall became the first FSU men's basketball coach to receive GLIAC Coach of the Year recognition in more than 20 years since former head coach Tom Ludwig earned the honor for the fifth time in 1990. He joins Ludwig and former legendary head coach Jim Wink as the only GLIAC Men's Basketball Coach of the Year winners ever from Ferris State.
Keenan paced the league in scoring for the third consecutive season by averaging a personal career-high 21.9 points per game. He also had his best season to date on the glass with a league-best 10 rebounds a contest and is presently the only player in Division II basketball to rank among the nation's top 20 performers in both categories. The returning GLIAC Player of the Year became the league's all-time career scoring leader in the regular-season finale versus Grand Valley State (Feb. 26) after being tabbed as the Division II Bulletin Preseason National Player of the Year.
In addition to leading the league in scoring and rebounding, Keenan also totaled a league-best 13 double-double efforts and had a conference-best three games of 30 plus points or more this campaign. The 6-7 Keenan also tallied a conference-high 15 games of 20 points or more and reached double-figure scoring in all but one game. His play helped the Bulldogs to their first league championship in six years and the right to host the GLIAC Semifinals/Finals for the first time since the 1994-95 campaign.
Sall directed the Bulldogs to their first GLIAC North Division Championship in six years as they recorded a 16-3 league regular season mark this season. FSU's 21 wins overall this campaign are the program's most since reaching the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen with a 24-7 mark under Sall's leadership in 2004-05. The ninth-year head coach also guided Ferris State to its sixth GLIAC Tournament berth in the last seven years and a second-straight final four appearance while cracking the national rankings for the first time in more than four years.
Additionally, Sall's squad earned the league's top overall seed and the right to host the GLIAC Semifinals/Finals for the first time since the 1994-95 season. A former All-American at Calvin College, Sall led the Bulldogs to 12 consecutive wins this year along with victories in 14 of their final 16 regular-season contests and a current 12-1 overall record at home inside Jim Wink Arena.
The 5-10 Gay currently ranks ranks fifth in three-pointers made (2.4 pg.), sixth in assists (3.9 apg.), eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.6) and eighth in scoring (15.2 ppg.) to date this campaign. Earlier this year, he became only the 26th player in school history to score 1,000 career points and presently ranks among the school's all-time career leaders in assists, steals, three-pointers made, three-point percentage and free throw percentage.
Williams had his most successful season to date in a Bulldog uniform as he is currently averaging more than eight points and five rebounds a contest. He also is among the league leaders in blocked shots and broke every FSU record in the category this season by posting the school's top single-game figure (8), single-season mark (55) and career total (160).
Finally, Molden has poured more than five points a game and currently is listed fourth in assists (4.3 apg.) and assist/turnover ratio (2.1) among the conference's performers. He also climbed into the all-time top 10 chart at FSU in both assists and steals this season.
Ferris State will host the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals/Finals this weekend and will face Michigan Tech on Saturday, March 5, with tipoff set for 1 p.m. (ET) at Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids. The winner advances into Sunday's (March 6) league tournament title game at 2 p.m.
(ET). FSU is the top overall seed for the league event and the title winner receives an automatic bid into the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament set for March 12-15 at a campus site to be determined.
Below are awards presentation photos of Justin Keenan and head coach Bill Sall with GLIAC Commissioner Dell Robinson.