November 19, 2012

Men's Basketball Hosts Grace Bible & Winona State This Week

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* This Week: The Ferris State University men's basketball team will play a pair of home contests this week inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.  The Bulldogs host Grace Bible on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. (ET) before facing perennial Division II power Winona State (Minn.) on Sunday, Nov. 25, at 3 p.m. (ET).  Both are non-league contests.

* Ticket Info: Tickets for both games can be purchased in advance thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office by calling (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more information.  They can also be bought online via StarTickets.com. Adult general admission tickets are $7 or the cost is $5 for FSU faculty/staff, seniors ages 65 and up or students age 3 thru 12th grade.  FSU students are admitted free with a valid student ID card.

* Media Coverage: Both games will be broadcast locally by Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network starting with the Meijer Pregame Show a half-hour prior to tipoff.  Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston will call the action. A live audio broadcast and pay-per-view video webcast will be accessible online in addition to live internet statistics at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

* Follow On Twitter/Facebook: In addition to internet coverage, Bulldog fans can also follow Saturday's contst via Twitter and Facebook with updates. Please visit www.facebook.com/FerrisMBasketball or www.twitter.com/FerrisMBBALL to follow the periodic posts and tweet-by-tweet coverage with scoring updates.

* Looking Back: FSU came out on the short end of a 60-47 non-conference regional decision in its 2012-13 season opener versus the Lewis (Ill.) Flyers on Saturday (Nov. 17) night at Wink Arena. The Bulldogs shot only 33.3% from the floor and made only two-of-10 (20%) tries from behind the three-point arc in falling to the Flyers. FSU trailed 32-20 at halftime and the Flyers built their lead to as many as 18 points with 11:34 remaining in the contest.  Ferris State fought back to single digits late in the contest, but could not pull out the victory. Sophomore guard Dietrich Lever (Detroit/Canton) totaled 12 points in leading the Bulldogs while sophomore guard Drew Lehman (Toledo/Central Catholic) chipped in with 10 points and senior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) notched a double-double with 10 points along with 10 boards.

* The Exhibition Season: Ferris State, which is the two-time defending Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division Champion, split a pair of exhibition games with a 61-46 setback at NCAA Division I Loyola on Nov. 3 along with a 63-62 home victory over Calvin on Nov. 6.

* The Records: Ferris State (0-1, 0-0 GLIAC) posted a 16-11 overall mark a season ago while claiming a share of a second-straight GLIAC North Division Championship.  FSU won 16 of its final 24 outings of the campaign.  The Bulldogs won the GLIAC North Division Championship with a 16-3 record and recorded a 24-8 overall mark two years ago while reaching the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen in 2010-11.
   
Grace Bible (2-5, 0-1 NCCAA) currently holds a 2-5 mark this season heading into Monday's (Nov. 19) home game versus Finlandia.  The Tigers posted a 25-10 record a season ago and won the 2012 National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Division II National Championship, which was the program's fourth-straight national crown.
   
Winona State (4-1, 0-0 NSIC) is ranked seventh nationally in the NABC National Poll and currently owns a 4-1 overall mark to date this season heading into a road contest on Saturday (Nov. 24) at Northwood.  The Warriors a 66-57 home win over Colorado-Colorado Springs and their lone loss is to nationally-ranked Metro State (Colo.).  They finished 25-5 overall a season ago and return four starters this year.

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Bill Sall (Calvin, 1994), 11th season, 162-141 (.535).  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.
   
Grace Bible – Gary Bailey, 8th season at GBC. Bailey has guided the Tigers to the NCCAA II National Tournament Elite Eight in all seven of his previous seasons. They were crowned National Champions
in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The 31 wins in 2011 broke the school record for wins for the third time in three years. Grace has been ranked the #1 team in the country at the NCCAA level since '09.
   
Winona State – Mike Leaf (St. Mary's, Minn., 1983), 15th season.  Leaf has redefined success in his Winona State tenure, leading the program to national titles in 2006 and 2008.  They won a D2 record 57 consecutive games under his watch and have posted eight consecutive 20-win campaigns.  WSU was also the national runner-up in 2007.

* Home Sweet Home: Ferris State continues a three-game stand at home with the two contests this week following Saturday's season opener versus Lewis. Overall, the Bulldogs will play 14 regular-season home games this season, including 11 GLIAC contests.

* Preseason All-GLIAC: Ferris State senior guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) was tabbed as a preseason All-GLIAC First Team honoree as announced by the league office while senior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) claimed preseson second team accolades for the Bulldogs.

* Key Bulldog Notes: The Bulldog men's basketball team welcomes back eight letterwinners from last year's squad that won a share of a second consecutive GLIAC North Division Championship. FSU ended the 2011-12 men's hoops campaign with a 16-11 overall record. The Bulldogs also made their 13th all-time GLIAC Tournament berth last year, including the program's fourth-straight conference tournament appearance. Overall, Ferris State has won four league titles and made three trips to the NCAA Tournament in head coach Bill Sall's tenure. The Bulldogs were chosen third in this season's GLIAC North Preseason Poll.

* Back To Last Year: Ferris State recorded a 91-78 exhibition win over Grace Bible last season (Nov. 8) at FSU's Jim Wink Arena. The Bulldogs battled back from a seven-point deficit only nine minutes into the game to grab a 40-36 halftime edge.  Ferris State then outscored the visitors by a 51-42 count over the final 20 minutes of action. Daniel Sutherlin paced Ferris State with a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds.  He was joined in double-figures by Dietrich Lever with 19 points, Jerrell Sanders with 15 points and Drew Lehman, who had 14 points and four assists.

* FSU vs. Grace Bible: The Bulldogs are 2-1 all-time versus Grace Bible College, which does not count last season's exhibition victory.  GBC posted an 86-80 win over the Bulldogs in Big Rapids during the 2008-09 campaign.  The first meeting was held in 1999-00 with FSU posting a decisive 106-54 triumph.

* FSU vs. Winona State: The Bulldogs own a 1-0 all-time mark versus Winona State in series history heading into Sunday's matchup.  The only previous meeting between the two teams came in 1992-93 with the Bulldogs notching an 89-74 win in Minnesota.

* All-GLIAC Honors Last Year: FSU's Kenny Brown scored in double-digits in 22 of 26 games a year ago en route to claiming All-GLIAC First Team accolades. FSU forward Daniel Sutherlin was chosen as an All-GLIAC Second Team pick for the first time in his career while guard Dontae Molden wrapped up his standout career by being named to the GLIAC All-Defensive Team for the second consecutive campaign.  Sutherlin was also among the 10 named to the All-Defensive Team in addition to earning second-team accolades.

* GLIAC Preseason Poll: Ferris State was picked to finish third in the 2012-13 GLIAC North Division Preseason Coaches Poll announced by the league office.  Michigan Tech claimed top honors in the North Division with Wayne State listed second. Findlay was tabbed as the South Division favorite.

* League Opener: The Bulldogs will open GLIAC regular-season play on the road next week as FSU visits Lake Erie on Thursday, Nov. 29, for a 5:30 p.m. (ET) league tilt followed by a visit to Ashland on Saturday, Dec. 1, with tipoff set for 1 p.m. (ET).  As part of the league scheduling system this season, the men's games will be held prior to the women's contests during all league doubleheaders.

* First GLIAC Home Games: Ferris State's first league home games will be on Dec. 6 and Dec. 8 as FSU hosts Ohio Dominican and Tiffin, respectively, at Wink Arena.

* First Official Games:  The Bulldogs had five players make their first official collegiate debuts in regular-season play on Saturday against Lewis.  The figure included a pair of redshirt freshmen players in center Jared Stolicker (Middleville/Thornapple-Kellogg) along with guard Milton Cribbs (Detroit/Inkster).

* Chicago Connection:  The Bulldogs have three players from the state of Illinois and the Chicago area on their 2012-13 roster, including two freshmen in guard Jibreel Jackson (Chicago/Curie) along with forward Josh Fleming (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North).  The third player is junior transfer guard Bryant Orange (Chicago/Simeon), who spent the last two seasons at Triton Junior College.

* The Bulldog Roster: Ferris' 2012-13 roster includes two seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and five freshmen. Seven of the 14 players are primarily guards while the remaining seven are frontcourt players. Ten of the 14 players on the Bulldogs' roster hail from Michigan with three from Illinois and one from Ohio.

* Notes From Lewis Game: Ferris State did own a 38-30 rebounding advantage against Lewis and the Bulldogs held a 16-7 edge in second chance scoring with 13 offensive boards.  However, the Bulldogs also turned the ball over 14 times and were outscored 21-6 in points off miscues by the Flyers, who had only nine turnovers for the night ..... FSU was outscored 26-20 in the paint, but did hold a slim 10-9 margin in bench scoring.  The game featured only two lead changes.

* Head Coach Bill Sall: A 1994 Calvin graduate, 11th-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.

* Two Years Ago: Ferris State concluded the 2010-11 season two years ago by reaching the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen and the Midwest Regional Championship Game in Louisville, Ky.  The Bulldogs also won  the GLIAC North Division Championship and hosted the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals/Finals in 2010-11 while finishing with a 24-8 overall record.  FSU had to replace four key starters last campaign from a team that fell to eventual D2 national champion Bellarmine in the regional finals, but still managed to win a share of a second-straight league crown in 2011-12.

* Pertinent Fact: The Bulldogs' 24 victories in 2010-11 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 in 2010-11 tied for the program's most in the last 23 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: The 2010-11 campaign 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.  Last year's GLIAC title was the fourth under his direction.

* 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 157-133 (.541) and claimed four divisional titles while making three NCAA-II Tournament appearances in his 10 seasons at the helm. FSU won only four games (4-22) the year before Sall arrived in 2001-02.

* All-Tourney Team: Senior guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) came alive for the Bulldogs as a sophomore in the 2010-11 NCAA Tournament run 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: Senior forward Daniel Sutherlin (Detroit/Renaissance) has been a valuable contributor over each of his three seasons for the Bulldogs.  The 6-5 Sutherlin, a three-year letterwinner, has played in 84 games and made 39 starts in his FSU career.

* Great Campaign: FSU's 24-8 overall men's hoops mark in 2010-11 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 Award Winner: 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 in 2010-11.  FSU's 24 wins overall 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 11th-year head coach has guided Ferris State to seven GLIAC Tournament berths in the last eight years and FSU cracked the national rankings for the first time in more than four years two seasons ago.  Additionally, Sall's 2010-11 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 four GLIAC North Division titles, made eight GLIAC Tournament appearances, advanced to three NCAA-II Tournaments and claimed two conference tournament runner-up finishes over the last 10 seasons.

* Assistant Coach: The Bulldogs welcome back third-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, FSU's Bill Sall also has three familiar faces serving as assistants in Bill Killian, Ed Douma and Jim Lake. 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. Lake returned to the Bulldog staff last eason after coaching AAU basketball for the Grand Rapids Storm and serving as a prep head coach at Chippewa Hills High School.  He was also part of the Bulldog staff during FSU's back-to-back GLIAC title run in 2003-04 and 2004-05.  

* The Coaching Staff: Longtime college basketball coach Ed Douma joined the Bulldog staff for the 2009-10 season and embarks on his fourth 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.

* Sixteen Wins: FSU's 16 victories last year represented the sixth time in head coach Bill Sall's 10 years the Bulldogs had won at least 14 games in a campaign. It also marked the 10th 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.

* Former Standout: Ferris State entered last season having to replace four key players from its 2010-11 Sweet Sixteen squad, including the 2010-11 Division II Bulletin National Player of the Year in Justin Keenan.  He wrapped up his career as the GLIAC's all-time career scoring leader was a two-time GLIAC Player of the Year Award honoree along with twice earning All-America accolades.  Currently, he's midst his second season of professional basketball in Uruguay this campaign.

* Interesting Note: Last year represented the 10th consecutive year the Bulldogs had 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.

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