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Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University's entire men's basketball senior class has been recognized for their accomplishments in leading the Bulldogs to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division Championship and NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen this past season.
The four senior standouts in Matt DeHart (Greenville), Darien Gay (Detroit/Henry Ford), Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) and Lou Williams (Muskegon Heights) all recently attained Grand Rapids Press All-Area accolades for the 2010-11 campaign.
Keenan was tabbed as the West Michigan Small College Player of the Year by the Grand Rapids Press for the third consecutive year along with earning first team status. Gay was chosen to the five-member second team while both DeHart and Williams claimed honorable mention all-area accolades.
The annual Grand Rapids Press list recognizes the top players and coaches in one of the nation's premier areas for small college basketball. The Press coverage area includes some of the finest small college programs from the NCAA Division II, III and NAIA levels including Ferris State, Calvin, Hope, Grand Valley State, Aquinas, Davenport and Cornerstone among others.
This year marks the third consecutive campaign Keenan has been tabbed by the publication for its highest men's basketball individual honor. The Press assembled a panel of writers to put together the 2010-11 All-Area Small Colleges Basketball Teams.
Keenan was joined on the first team by Grand Valley State's Justin Ringler, Allen Durham of Grace Bible, Davenport's Nathan Cox and Will Bowser of Hope. Five others were chosen as second-team picks, including Gay, with five third team honorees and 11 named to the honorable mention list. Cornerstone's Kim Elders was selected as the men's basketball Coach of the Year after leading his squad to a NAIA National Championship.
Ferris State concluded the 2010-11 season by reaching the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen and the Midwest Regional Championship Game in Louisville, Ky. The Bulldogs also captured the GLIAC North Division Championship and hosted the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals and Finals this past season. They earned runner-up laurels in both the conference and NCAA regional tournaments.
FSU's 24-8 overall mark this year was the program's best since posting a 24-7 record and also reaching the regional final in 2004-05. FSU posted its first NCAA Tournament wins since the '04-05 season with back-to-back victories over Wayne State and Drury (Mo.) in the opening two games of this year's regional tournament before falling to host and eventual national champion Bellarmine (Ky.).
Overall, the 24 wins recorded by the Bulldogs this season is tied for the third-highest total in school history and FSU's 16 league regular-season victories was best in the conference and tied for the most GLIAC wins in Bulldog annals.
In addition, FSU made its 12th GLIAC Tournament appearance and sixth in the last seven years this season. This year also represented 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.
The Division II Bulletin National Player of the Year, Keenan paced the conference in scoring for the third year in a row and was the only player in Division II to rank among the nation's top 20 players in both scoring and rebounding this campaign. He also became the GLIAC's all-time career scoring leader and only the third player in league annals to win the coveted GLIAC Player of the Year honor twice.
Meanwhile, Gay was an All-GLIAC First Team pick and wrapped up his career as a member of the school's 1,000 points club. He also was recognized as a GLIAC All-Tournament Team honoree and concluded his career ranked among the school's top 10 career leaders in assists, steals, three-pointers, free throw percentage and three-point percentage.
The 6-7 Williams broke every Ferris State blocked shots record this campaign as he became the school's leader at the single-game (8), single-season (57) and career (162) levels. He had his best season as a Bulldog by averaging eight points and more than five rebounds per contest while ranking among the league leaders in both blocks and offensive boards.
Finally, DeHart concluded his FSU career as one of the program's all-time bests in three-pointers made and three-point percentage. He tallied nine points and four rebounds a game while making the third-most three's (78) in school single-season history. The Greenville native also picked up GLIAC Player of the Week honors this season and finished the year as one of the league leaders in three-pointers made and three-point percentage.