Men's BB Game Notes: at Lewis (Nov. 19)

Men's BB Game Notes: at Lewis (Nov. 19)

Saturday, Nov. 19
Men's Basketball at Lewis, 3 p.m.

No FSU Broadcast Coverage
Live Lewis Audio Broadcast
Live Lewis Pay-Per-View Video Webcast
Live Internet Statistics
Live Facebook Scoring Updates
Live Twitter Scoring Updates


* The Game: The Ferris State University men's basketball team hits the road this Saturday, Nov. 19, for a 3 p.m. (ET) non-league road contest against the Lewis (Ill.) Flyers at LU'S Neil Carey Arena in Romeoville, Ill.

* Ticket Info: Ferris State home basketball tickets are sold on gameday at Wink Arena and are $7 for adults or $5 for FSU faculty/staff, senior (ages 65+) and students K-12.  Current FSU students are admitted free by showing a valid student ID card.  For more ticket info, please call the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or visit the official FSU website at

* Media Coverage: There will be no FSU broadcast coverage.  However, live internet statistics and video are slated to be offered by Lewis and links can be found online at  Click on the "upcoming events" scoreboard tab for links.

* Follow On Twitter/Facebook: In addition to internet coverage, Bulldog fans can also follow Saturday's contest and all other FSU games this year via Twitter and Facebook. Please visit or to follow the posts and tweet-by-tweet coverage with periodic scoring updates.

* About FSU: Ferris State University is a NCAA Division II member school located in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs are a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Big Rapids is located in West Michigan approximately 60 miles north of Grand Rapids or 40 miles west of Mount Pleasant, Mich. FSU plays NCAA Division I men's ice hockey in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA).

* Last Season: 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/Finals a year ago while finishing with a 24-8 overall record.  FSU must replace four key starters this campaign from a team that fell to eventual D2 national champion Bellarmine in the regional finals.

* The Records: Ferris State (0-2, 0-0 GLIAC) won 16 of its last 19 games a year ago, including 18 of its last 22 overall en route to a 24-8 overall mark.  The Bulldogs won the GLIAC North Division Championship with a 16-3 record and served as the host for the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals & Finals.  FSU was 1-2 in exhibition play this season.
Lewis (1-0, 0-0 GLVC) defeated Northern Michigan in its season opener by a 87-53 score in Marquette on Tuesday (Nov. 15) night.  The Flyers lost to DePaul on the road and beat Azusa Pacific at home in preseason exhibition play.  LU was 17-14 overall a year ago and finished with a 9-9 record in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC).

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Bill Sall (Calvin, 1994), 10th season, 144-131 (.524) – (2-3 vs. Lewis).  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.
Lewis – Scott Trost, (Minnesota-Morris, 1985), 6th season at Lewis, 86-62 (.581), 15th season overall, 239-148 (.617). Prior to arriving at Lewis, Trost enjoyed a highly successful tenure at Illinois Wesleyan, leading the club to three-straight league titles and four consecutive NCAA-III Tourney bids. He also served four seasons as head coach at Elmhurst and was an assistant at the University of Michigan.

* The Exhibition Season: The Bulldogs posted a 1-2 mark in exhibition play this season.  FSU fell to NCAA Division I Michigan State by a 85-58 score on Oct. 30 at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.  The Bulldogs bounced back to beat Grace Bible 91-78 at home (Nov. 2) before falling on the road at Calvin last Tuesday (Nov. 8) in Grand Rapids.

* First Of The Three: The Bulldogs opened the exhibition portion of their schedule with an 85-58 loss at NCAA Division I Michigan State on Oct. 30 at the Breslin Center.  The Bulldogs trailed by only eight points (49-41) with 16:55 to play before the Spartans seized control.  Senior forward Jerrell Sanders (Grand Rapids/Creston) and junior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) paced FSU with 14 points apiece before a crowd of 14,797 fans. Five Bulldog freshmen saw their first action in the game at the Breslin Center.

* Bulldog Quick Fact: Ferris State welcomes back eight letterwinners this season from last year's NCAA Tournament squad. Included in the total is a returning starter in senior point guard Dontae Molden (Detroit/Pershing). The roster also includes eight freshmen.

* Two Home Games Next Week: FSU returns back to Big Rapids for a pair of home contests next week.  The Bulldogs host Olivet in their 2011-12 home opener on Tuesday (Nov. 22) at 7 p.m. (ET) followed by a game versus Wisconsin-Parkside on Saturday (Nov. 26) at 3 p.m. (ET).

* Great Campaign: FSU's 24-8 overall men's hoops mark last year was the program's best since posting a 24-7 record and also reaching the regional final in 2004-05.  Overall, the 24 wins recorded by the Bulldogs was 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.

* GLIAC Preseason Poll: Ferris State was picked to finish third in the 2011-12 GLIAC North Division Preseason Coaches Poll announced last week.  Michigan Tech claimed top honors in the North Division with Grand Valley State listed second.  Findlay was tabbed as the South Division favorite.

* Improved Crisler: Last Friday's contest was the first regular-season contest in Michigan's newly renovated Crisler Arena, which includes new seats and a new HD scoreboard.  Ferris State had last played at Crisler Arena in 2007-08 when the Bulldogs opened with an exhibition contest against the Wolverines.

* Series Information: Ferris State and Lewis will square off for the 13th time Saturday with the Flyers holding a 8-4 series' advantage. Lewis has won eight of the last 11 encounters to date, but dropped a 64-61 decision to the Bulldogs a year ago (11/20/10) at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.  The Flyers recorded a narrow 65-60 win in the last matchup at Neil Carey Arena (11/15/09) at Romeoville, Ill.  Ferris head coach Bill Sall owns a 2-3 career coaching mark versus Lewis.

* The Last Meeting: FSU pulled out a hard-fought 64-61 non-league victory over Lewis (Ill.) last season at Jim Wink Arena. FSU bolted out to a 34-27 halftime edge, but trailed Lewis by a 59-55 count with only 4:19 to play in the contest.  However, the Bulldogs rallied with six points from standout Justin Keenan and a triple by Kenny Brown in the final four minutes to register the win. Keenan fueled the Bulldogs' win with a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds.  He also went 11-of-11 at the free throw stripe in 37 minutes of action. Ferris also received eight points from both Dontae Molden and Jerrell Sanders.  Molden dished out three assists and came up with three steals in a solid all-around performance.

* The Bulldog Roster: Ferris' 2011-12 roster includes four seniors, three juniors, one sophomore and eight freshmen. Eight of the 16 players are primarily guards while the remaining eight are frontcourt players. Fifteen of the 16 players on the Bulldogs' roster hail from Michigan with the one exception being freshman guard Drew Lehman (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic), who started versus Michigan State.

* Head Coach Bill Sall: A 1994 Calvin graduate, 10th-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.

* Pertinent Fact: The Bulldogs' 24 victories last year were the program's most since reaching the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen with a 24-7 mark in 2004-05 and the Bulldogs' 16 league wins tied for the most in school history along with the perfect 16-0 GLIAC record recorded in 1988-89.

* Outstanding Success: Ferris' 24 victories last year tied for the program's most in the last 22 seasons along with 2004-05 when the Bulldogs reached the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen and recorded a 24-7 mark.  Overall, the 24 wins tied for the program's third-most in more than 80 seasons of basketball action dating back to the 1920's.

* Going Back In Time: Last year marked the first time the Bulldogs had reached the NCAA-II Tournament, made the GLIAC Tournament Championship Game and achieved 20 wins or more all in the same season since the 1997-98 campaign.

* Back To The Dance: Ferris State head coach Bill Sall was an assistant coach under former head coach Edgar Wilson when the Bulldogs won the GLIAC Tournament for the only time in school history to reach the NCAA-II Tourney in 1997-98.  Therefore, he's been involved in the last four of FSU's nine NCAA Tournament appearances.

* A Great Run: Ferris won back-to-back GLIAC North Division crowns under Bill Sall in 2003-04 and 2004-05 while also reaching the NCAA-II Tournament in both 2004-05 and 2005-06.  FSU also previously advanced to the NCAA-II "Sweet Sixteen" during the 2004-05 season, which was Sall's third season at the helm.

* Tremendous Turnaround: 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 141-122 (.536) and claimed three divisional titles while making three NCAA-II Tournament appearances in his nine previous seasons at the helm. FSU won only four games (4-22) the year before Sall arrived in 2001-02.

* Returning Starter: Senior guard Dontae Molden (Detroit/Pershing) has 373 career assists to date and enters his senior campaign listed sixth on FSU's all-time assists leaders list.  The two-year starter needs 72 assists to catch Tim Herman (445; 1975-79) and move into fifth place on the Bulldogs' all-time chart. He was an All-GLIAC Defensive Team honoree last season and ranks ninth in FSU history with 133 career steals.

* All-Tourney Team: Junior guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) came alive for the Bulldogs in last year's NCAA Tournament and was recognized as an All-Tournament Team selection after helping the Bulldogs to the regional title game.  Brown came off the bench to average a team second-best 19.3 points per game in three NCAA contests, including a game-high 27 points in a regional-opening win over Wayne State and 22 versus Drury (Mo.) in the semifinals.

* Key Returnee: Junior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) has been a valuable contributor over each of the last two seasons for the Bulldogs.  The 6-5 Sutherlin has played in 58 games and made 13 starts in his FSU career.  He averaged 19.9 minutes per contest a year ago.

* Welcome Back: Senior forward Jerrell Sanders (Grand Rapids/Creston) was expected to be a key contributor for the Bulldogs last year and was until suffering a season-ending knee injury only seven games into the season on a breakaway dunk.  Sanders hit what appeared to be a game-winning jumper as time expired in last year's exhibition game against the Indiana Hoosiers, but the basket was waved off after a controversial replay review by the game officials.  He started four games for the Bulldogs last campaign prior to his injury.

* GLIAC Coach Of The Year: Ferris State head coach Bill Sall earned the GLIAC's Coach of the Year honor after directing the Bulldogs to their first GLIAC North Division Championship in six years with a 16-3 league regular season mark last season.  FSU's 24 wins overall last campaign were 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 10th-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.

* Change Of Fortune: Ferris suffered five-straight losing seasons from 1998-99 to 2002-03, but has since captured three GLIAC North Division titles, made seven GLIAC Tournament appearances, advanced to three NCAA-II Tournaments and claimed two conference tournament runner-up finishes over the last eight seasons.

* FSU History: Ferris State's impressive basketball tradition includes 12 GLIAC titles, nine 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 then league record four consecutive conference titles from 1986-90.

* Assistant Coach: The Bulldogs welcome back second-year full-time assistant coach Andy Bronkema, who had served as a volunteer assistant for three years before replacing longtime assistant coach Cory Anderson prior to the 2010-11 campaign. Bronkema was a collegiate standout at NAIA Division II 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.

* The Coaching Staff: In addition to full-time assistant coach Andy Bronkema, Bill Sall also has three familiar faces serving as assistants in Bill Killian, Jim Lake and Ed Douma. A FSU professor, Killian has been involved with the program throughout Sall's 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 in 2009-10 after spending the final 11 years of his head coaching career at fellow GLIAC member Hillsdale.  Lake returns to the Bulldog staff this season after coaching AAU basketball for the Grand Rapids Storm and serving as a prep head coach at Chippewa Hills High School.  He was part of the Bulldog staff during FSU's back-to-back GLIAC title run in 2003-04 and 2004-05.

* Keep Winning: FSU's 24 victories last year represented the fifth time in head coach Bill Sall's nine years the Bulldogs had won at least 14 games in a campaign. It also marked the ninth consecutive year in which the Bulldogs had 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 and embarks on his third season with the Bulldogs this year.  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 owned 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.

* Home Opener: The Bulldogs' regular-season home opener is set for Tuesday, Nov. 22, when Olivet visits Jim Wink Arena for a 7 p.m. (ET) tipoff in Big Rapids.  FSU then hosts Wisconsin-Parkside on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 3 p.m. (ET) in non-league action at home.

* Top-Ranked Recruiting Class: Michigan prep basketball guru Stephen Bell ranked Ferris State's group of eight incoming freshmen as the best recruiting class in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference following the signing period last spring.

* Going To Pro Ball: Former Bulldog standouts Justin Keenan and Darien Gay have moved on to professional basketball after leading FSU to the NCAA Tournament last season.  Keenan is currently playing this season in Uruguay while Gay is embarking on his professional career in Germany.

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