Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team has secured its first two recruits from the Chicago area in some time as the Bulldogs today (April 19) announced the signing of two talented student-athletes in Jibreel Jackson (Chicago/Curie) and Josh Fleming (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North). Both inked with FSU during the spring signing period.
A 5-11 guard, Jackson helped lead Chicago's Curie Metropolitan High School to the 2012 City Basketball Championship game. Meanwhile, Fleming, a 6-6 wing, led Glenbard North High School on Chicago's west side to the Illinois Class 4A Regional Championship contest.
"We're extremely thrilled to be able to sign these two talented players from the Chicago area," said FSU head coach Bill Sall, who has guided the Bulldogs to back-to-back Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division Championships the last two seasons. "The Chicago area was a point of emphasis for us and we were able to attract both of these young men out of the talent-laden area.
"This is a tremendous accomplishment for us and a great deal of thanks goes to the efforts of assistant coaches Andy Bronkema and Jim Lake," he added.
Jackson shot 55% from the floor and tallied 215 points in his final prep campaign while leading Curie to a 25-3 overall record. The Condors were among the top 10 teams in the state and ranked among the top 150 squads nationally. They also reached the Pontiac Holiday Tournament title game for the first time in 14 years as Jackson claimed all-tournament team recognition.
"Jibreel is the consummate point guard who did a great job of running his team," Sall said. "He sacrificed his own points for others and is a dedicated athlete who competed for a team in one of the state's top divisions. We're expecting him to come in and compete for playing time at the point guard spot."
The standout point guard averaged 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals per game in 2011-12. He twice claimed team player of the week honors. Additionally, he competed in football and was one of Curie's top receivers during his prep career.
Fleming earned Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) All-State laurels in his final campaign after averaging 18 points, five rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. The Chicago Tribune Player to Watch honoree tallied 482 total points and earned DuPage Valley Conference Co-MVP Award accolades.
A three-time first team all-area pick, Fleming twice led his team in scoring and also claimed all-conference recognition in both his junior and senior campaigns. He was listed among Illinois' top 100 players as a senior for a Glenbard North squad that gave the state's second-ranked team in Proviso East all it could handle in a three-point setback during the regional final (March 2). Fleming also earned Illiois Basketball Services All-State Honorable Mention kudos as a junior in 2010-11.
"Josh is coming off a great year and has oustanding length and athleticism," said Sall. "He has the ability to put the ball on the floor, is a good defender and has improved his perimeter game. He should help provide us with good depth on the wing along with an added boost in athleticism."
Ferris State ended the 2011-12 campaign with a 16-11 overall record after winning a share of a second-straight GLIAC North Division Championship with a 13-6 league mark.
The Bulldogs also made their 13th all-time GLIAC Tournament berth this past year, including the program's fourth-straight conference tournament appearance and seventh bid in the last eight years.
Additionally, Ferris State's 16 wins this campaign marked the 10th consecutive year in which the Bulldogs had won 10 or more games. It is also the third year in a row in which FSU has won at least 16 games and the fifth time the Bulldogs have done so in 10 years under Sall's direction.
In Sall's Bulldog head coaching tenure, Ferris State has won four league titles and made three trips to the NCAA Tournament.