PREVIEW: Bulldog Men Host Rival Grand Valley State On Saturday

PREVIEW: Bulldog Men Host Rival Grand Valley State On Saturday

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* The Week Ahead: The Ferris State men's basketball team returns home for its lone outing this week as the Bulldogs host archrival Grand Valley State on Saturday, Feb. 2, at Jim Wink Arena.  Tipoff for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contest is set for 1 p.m. (ET).  Fans are encouraged to wear red to support the Bulldogs.

* Home Ticket Info: Ferris State home basketball tickets can be purchased in advance thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office by calling (231) 591-2888 or visit for more information.  They can also be bought online via 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: Saturday's game 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 will be accessible online in addition to live internet statistics and a live pay-per-view video webcast.  For a full 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.

* Last Week: The Bulldogs won a pair of close league contests last week.  FSU topped divisional leader Wayne State and handed the Warriors their only league loss to date in an exciting 72-68 double OT game on Thursday (Jan. 24) at Wink Arena.  The Bulldogs then went on the road and pulled out a 50-47 triumph on Saturday (Jan. 26) over Saginaw Valley State in University Center, Mich.  Senior guard Kenny Brown led the Bulldogs in both games with 26 versus WSU and 15 against SVSU.  He also had a buzzer-beater in both contests for the Bulldogs.

* GVSU Series History: Ferris holds a 51-47 advantage heading into Saturday's 99th all-time meeting with rival Grand Valley State. Last year, the Bulldogs topped the Lakers twice with wins of 65-57 in Big Rapids (1/28/12) and 63-56 in the regular-season finale in Allendale (2/25/12), which clinched a share of the GLIAC North title.  Overall, the Bulldogs have won five of the last nine matchups, including three of the past four, with GVSU's last triumph coming two years ago inside Wink Arena by a 82-80 count (2/26/11).

* The Records: Ferris State (10-8, 9-5 GLIAC) has won six of its last eight games overall this season to date.  FSU 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.
Grand Valley State
(14-4, 11-3 GLIAC) currently ranks second in the division behind Wayne State, but fell to the Warriors 62-56 in Detroit last Saturday (Jan. 26).  The Lakers had won six consecutive games prior to the setback.  GVSU is receiving votes in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II Coaches poll.

* The Coaches: Ferris State – Bill Sall (Calvin, 1994), 11th season, 172-148 (.538) - (10-14 vs. GVSU).  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.
Grand Valley State – Ric Wesley, (Central Michigan, 1980), 8th season. Wesley spent five years as associate head coach at Southwest Missouri State before taking over at GVSU. He also spent time as a NCAA-I assistant at Lamar and Iowa State. Wesley's directed
GVSU to five national tourney bids, two Elite Eight showings and four league titles in his tenure.

* GLIAC Player Of Week: Ferris State senior guard Kenny Brown was chosen as this week's GLIAC North Division Player of the Week after leading FSU to two league victories with two big buzzer-beaters. He tallied a game-high 26 points with eight rebounds and two steals in FSU's double OT win over Wayne State while also hitting a game-tying jumper off an inbounds play with less than three seconds to play in the first OT. Brown then came back on Saturday (Jan. 26) and hit a game-winning three-pointer with six-tenths of a second left to play to lift the Bulldogs past Saginaw Valley State.  The 6-2 senior totaled a team-best 15 points with two boards and an assist along with a steal. In the two games, he averaged 20.5 points and 5.0 rebounds while totaling 41 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals.

* $10,000 Shootout: This season, one lucky Bulldog fan will have a chance to win $10,000 at every conference home game as part of the Lake Osceola State Bank $10,000 Shootout.  One contestant will be picked at random for a chance to make a layup, free throw, three-pointer and half-court shot in 25 seconds.

* Coming Up Next: Ferris State ventures to Michigan's Upper Peninsula for league road games at Michigan Tech (Feb. 7) and at Northern Michigan (Feb. 9).

* Rivalry Weekend In Big Rapids: Saturday's game is part of "Rivalry Weekend" in Big Rapids as the Bulldog men's ice hockey team will also host nationally sixth-ranked rival Western Michigan in CCHA play on both Friday and Saturday nights at 7:05 p.m. (ET). The two national powers both rank among the top four in the league and only five points seperate first-place WMU from the Bulldogs with six points possible this weekend.

* Home Court Advantage: Ferris State has presently won each of its last seven home contests this season and owns a current 7-0 mark inside Jim Wink Arena in league home games this year.  Overall, Ferris State holds a 8-2 mark to date in Big Rapids this season with one of the losses at home coming to national power Winona State (Minn.).  The Bulldogs have picked up eight of their 10 victories this season inside Wink Arena to date.

* 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.

* Looking At Grand Valley State: Grand Valley State holds a 14-4 overall record and is second in the GLIAC North Division standings to date behind Wayne State with a 11-3 league record.  The Lakers had won six games in a row prior to a 62-56 setback at WSU last Saturday (Jan. 26).  Sophomore guard Ryan Sabin is averaging a team-best 11.0 points per game on the year for head coach Ric Wesley, who's now in his 8th season at the Laker helm.  Ten of the Lakers' 14 wins have came at home where they are 10-1 to date this season.

* 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.

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

* 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).

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* Big Crowds For GVSU: Ferris State established a new Jim Wink Arena record crowd with 2,443 fans for its exciting 82-80 men's basketball overtime home setback to GVSU in the regular-season finale two years ago (2/26/11). It topped the previous mark of 2,430 fans who attended the Bulldogs' matchup with GVSU in '08 (2/23/08).  Four of the five largest crowds in the building's 14-year history have came during the rivalry matchup.

* Did You Know?: Ferris' 26-point victory over GVSU at Wink Arena in 2010 (11/26/10) was its most decisive win over the Lakers since a 111-79 home win on Feb. 11, 1970, and the second-largest ever. Additionally, the 41 points allowed by FSU in that game were the fewest the Lakers have ever scored versus the Bulldogs.

* 1,000 Career Points: Ferris State senior guard Kenny Brown scored his 1,000th career point in the Bulldogs' recent game at Lake Superior State (Jan. 19).  Brown has scored 1,043 career points to date and is the 26th player in school history to notch 1,000 career points.  He's currently fifth in the GLIAC in scoring to date at 17.2 points per game.

* National Stats: This week, Ferris State senior guard Kenny Brown ranks ninth in the nation in free throw percentage at 89.5% this season. He was first in the country a week ago at nearly 96.5% before the two games versus Wayne State and SVSU.  As a team, FSU also is listed seventh as a team in fewest turnovers with only 10.8 miscues per game.  Meanwhile, redshirt freshman center Jared Stolicker is 28th in the country in blocked shots (1.89 pg.) with the Bulldogs listed 34th nationally as a team in swats per contest this year with 4.2 per game.

* 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.

* 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.

* Home Court Edge: Ferris State owned a 14-2 mark at home in 2010-11 and has won 33 of its last 41 games at Wink Arena dating back to the 2009-10 campaign.

* 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 166-140 (.542) 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 99 games and made 54 starts in his FSU career.  He notched his 500th career rebound against Wayne State last week.

* 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.  

* Veteran Experience: 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. This year marks the 11th 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.

* Ten More Wins: This year represents the 11th consecutive year the Bulldogs have 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.