Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University basketball fans will have an opportunity to watch the Bulldog men's hoops squad for the first time under new head coach Andy Bronkema as FSU opens exhibition play at home on Thursday (Oct. 24) night versus Madonna at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
Tipoff between the Bulldogs and the Crusaders is set for 7 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids.
Expectations are high heading into the 2013-14 season with the FSU men returning 10 letterwinners from a year ago.
Ferris State will open a new era this season under Bronkema, who was elevated to the position after six years as an assistant coach in July. Overall, Ferris State has won four league championships and twice reached the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen in men's basketball over the past decade.
Last year, with Bronkema as the Bulldogs' top assistant, Ferris State wrapped up the 2012-13 season with a 14-13 overall record and the Bulldogs reached the GLIAC Postseason Tournament for the eighth time in the last nine years, which ranks as one of the conference's top showings over the past decade.
In his first year as the program's top assistant in 2010-11, the Bulldogs won the GLIAC North Division Championship and reached the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen. FSU followed up the memorable campaign by winning a share of a second-straight GLIAC North Division crown in 2011-12. The Bulldogs have made five-straight league tournament berths to date in Bronkema's tenure as an assistant coach and FSU has recorded more victories in the competitive GLIAC North than any other school over the last three years.
Bronkema takes over a Ferris State program with a long track record of success that includes more than 1,000 all-time victories, 13 GLIAC Championships and nine NCAA Tournament appearances entering the 2013-14 season. FSU also posted an impressive 10-1 mark at home in league regular-season action during the 2012-13 season at Jim Wink Arena.
Among Bronkema's top returnees this season will be three starters in junior guards Dietrich Lever (Detroit/Canton) and Drew Lehman (Toledo/Central Catholic) along with sophomore center Jared Stolicker (Middleville/Thornapple-Kellogg).
The other letterwinners back include five sophomores in wing Milton Cribbs (Detroit/Inkster), guard Jibreel Jackson (Chicago/Curie), forward Josh Fleming (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North), wing Matt Sinnaeve (Gwinn) and forward Dan Chilcote (Jackson/Lumen Christi) along with redshirt junior forward Matt Stoll (Kent City) and senior forward Raymoan McAfee (Detroit/Pershing).
In addition to Thursday's exhibition contest, the Bulldogs will also host Davenport on Monday, Oct. 28, and visit Calvin on Nov. 7 during the exhibition season in addition to holding an alumni day/game on Nov. 2.
The official season opener for the Bulldog men takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 20, as FSU opens the 2013-14 campaign on the road against regional foe Lewis (Ill.) in Romeoville, Ill.
Tickets for Tuesday's home exhibition tilt are available for purchase in advance thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office in person at the Ewigleben Sports Complex, online at StarTickets.com or by calling (800) 585-3737. 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.
For more information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.