Men's Basketball Opens GLIAC Action In Ohio This Week

Men's Basketball Opens GLIAC Action In Ohio This Week

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* The Games: The Ferris State men's basketball team hits the road for two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) games this week.  FSU visits Lake Erie on Thursday, Nov. 29, for a 6 p.m. (ET) league game in Painesville, Ohio.  The Bulldogs then face Ashland on Saturday, Dec. 1, with tipoff set for 1 p.m. (ET) in Ashland, Ohio.

* Ticket Info: Tickets for both doubleheaders will be available at the door. For additional info on ticket sales, please contact the LEC and AU Athletics Offices at (440) 375-7480 or (419) 289-5954, respectively.

* 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 will call the action. A live audio broadcast will be accessible online while the opposing schools will provide live internet statistics and video.  For a complete listing of links, please visit

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

* GLIAC Doubleheaders: As was the case two years ago, the men's teams will play the first game of all GLIAC doubleheaders and the women's teams the second game whenever both teams are playing on the same day or night in the same venue this season. Along with the time format change, the conference will also again play a 22-game league schedule this coming year with the addition of two new schools in Walsh and Malone.

* First Win Of Year: The Bulldogs picked up their first victory of the year with a 76-73 win over four-time defending National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Champion Grace Bible last Tuesday (Nov. 20) at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.  Sophomore guard Drew Lehman (Toledo/Central Catholic) tallied a personal career-high 26 points in the win while senior guard Kenny Brown (Farmington Hills/Harrison) chipped in with 11 points and sophomore guard Dietrich Lever (Detroit/Canton) netted 10 points.

* Last Time Out: Ferris State battled nationally 11th-ranked Winona State (Minn.) much of the way before falling 69-56 in non-league play on Sunday (Nov. 25) afternoon at home. The Bulldogs returned from the holiday break and held a slim 33-31 lead over the perennial Division II power at the break, but the Warriors came back to post the win.  Kenny Brown had 16 points for FSU while Drew Lehman added 13 points in the loss.

* The Records: Ferris State (1-2, 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.
Lake Erie (3-0, 0-0 GLIAC) is off to a 3-0 start this season after a 10-16 overall mark a year ago to go with a 5-14 league ledger.  The Storm posted a 80-73 home win over Slippery Rock (Pa.) in its most recent game on Saturday (Nov. 24).
Ashland (1-1, 0-0 GLIAC) placed fourth in the GLIAC South Division a year ago with a 15-12 overall record along with a 10-9 conference mark.  The Eagles own a 1-1 mark to date this season heading into Thursday's league home game versus Grand Valley State.

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Bill Sall (Calvin, 1994), 11th season, 163-142 (.534) - (2-0 vs. LEC, 11-2 vs. AU).  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.
Lake Erie – Cliff Hunt, (Hiram, 1969), 8th season at LEC. The school's all-time winningest coach began his tenure with three-straight winning seasons. Prior to Lake Erie, Hunt spent a total of 24 years as a head coach in the high school ranks in Ohio..
Ashland – John Ellenwood (Wooster, 2000), 4th season at AU, 7th season overall. Ellenwood replaced former head coach Roger Lyons after three seasons at NCAA-III Thomas More where he led the team to a national tourney berth his final year. He was an assistant at both Ohio Wesleyan & Capital.

* League Openers: Ferris has won six of its last seven league openers heading into Thursday's matchup, including a 81-64 road win at Tiffin a year ago (12/1/11). Overall, FSU is 6-4 under Bill Sall in its first league game of the year, including a 3-2 mark in road contests.

* Hitting The Road: Ferris State wrapped up a three-game stand at home with Sunday's setback versus 11th-ranked Winona State and will play five of its next seven outings on the road. 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.

* Scouting LEC: Lake Erie currently owns a 3-0 overall mark heading into Thursday's league opener.  The Storm posted a 80-73 home win over Slippery Rock (Pa.) in its most recent outing last Saturday (Nov. 24).  LEC posted a 10-16 overall mark in 2011-12 and was 5-14 in GLIAC play as a second-year conference member.  They are coached by Cliff Hunt and paced in scoring by sophmore guard Jamil Dudley (18.7 ppg.).

* Scouting AU: Ashland maintains a 1-1 record to date heading into a matchup versus Grand Valley State on Thursday (Nov. 29) prior to facing FSU.  The Eagles dropped a 71-68 decision at Urbana (Ohio) in their most recent game (Nov. 20).  AU posted a 15-12 mark in 2011-12 and was 10-9 in conference action.  Fourth-year coach John Ellenwood's team is led in scoring by senior forward Evan Yates (18.0 ppg.).

* FSU vs. Lake Erie: Thursday's meeting will mark the third-ever series' matchup between Ferris State and Lake Erie following the Bulldogs' decisive 82-57 home win a year ago (2/9/12) in Big Rapids.  Ferris State posted a 77-64 road win two years ago (2/10/11) in the initial matchup at Painesville, Ohio.  This will be FSU's second trip to Painesville.

* FSU vs. Ashland: Ferris holds a 15-6 series' edge over Ashland and beat the Eagles last season 87-66 in Big Rapids (2/11/12).  FSU was a 83-67 winner in its last visit two Kates Gymnasium two year ago (2/12/11) in Ashland, Ohio.  The Bulldogs have won nine of the last 10 meetings versus AU to date and FSU head coach Bill Sall owns a current 11-2 career coaching mark against Ashland.

* 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.

* 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 in the season opener against Lewis (Nov. 15).  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.

* Last Season's Meetings: Ferris State swept Lake Erie and Ashland a year ago in GLIAC action at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.  The Bulldogs recorded a 82-57 win over Lake Erie (2/9/12) followed by a 87-66 triumph against Ashland (2/11/12).  Senior guard Kenny Brown tallied 29 points in the win over the Storm followed by 24 points against the Eagles in two key league wins for the Bulldogs en route to the GLIAC North Division Championship.

* Bulldog Notes: Ferris State has posted 40 winning campaigns and 46 non-losing seasons in its more than 80 seasons of competition.

* Successful Season: Last year's divisional title was FSU's fourth under head coach Bill Sall and second in a row. FSU also won back-to-back GLIAC North crowns in 2003-04 and 2004-05.  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 regular-season wins tied for the most in school history along with the perfect 16-0 GLIAC record recorded in 1988-89.

* Home Court Edge: Ferris State owned a 14-2 mark at home in 2010-11 and has won 26 of its last 34 games at Wink Arena dating back to the 2009-10 campaign.

* Toledo Connection: Sophomore guard Drew Lehman (Toledo/Central Catholic) is the Bulldogs' first player from Toledo since former standout point guard Dennis Springs, who led FSU to back-to-back GLIAC titles and NCAA Tournament berths during his Ferris State career from 2002-06.  He was part of head coach Bill Sall's first recruiting class at Ferris State.

* Youth Served: The Bulldogs have nine freshmen or sophomores on the roster this season.  Ferris State had one of the nation's youngest teams and largest rookie classes in 2007-08 with nine freshmen.  Four of those freshmen became four-year letterwinners and led FSU to the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen in 2010-11 with Justin Keenan, Darien Gay, Matt DeHart and Lou Williams.

* FSU History: Ferris State's impressive basketball tradition includes 13 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.

* Season Of Firsts: The FSU men's basketball team was one of three Bulldog teams to win a league championship last winter along with the women's hoops team that won the GLIAC North Championship and the Bulldog Hockey team, which claimed the CCHA Regular-Season crown and reached the national championship game at the 2012 NCAA Frozen Four.

* 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 157-134 (.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 85 games and made 40 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, 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.