Bronkema & Bulldogs Land Three Newcomers From Chicago Area
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball program and first-year head coach Andy Bronkema have added three incoming student-athletes from the Chicago area. All three are currently enrolled in classes at FSU and will be members of the Buldog team during the upcoming 2013-14 campaign.
The recent additions include a pair of freshmen in guard Kyle Oden (Country Club Hills, Ill./Hillcrest) along with wing Robert Hudson (Schaumburg, Ill./J B Conant) along with transfer guard/forward Jayone Troutman (Chicago, Ill./Hillcrest), who spent the 2012-13 season playing Division II basketball at Southwest Baptist (Mo.).
"We're excited about these three additions and believe they'll be a great fit with the returning and other incoming talent in our program," said Bronkema. "We've been able to develop strong recruiting connections over the last few years in the Chicago area due to the tuition incentive opportunities and we believe they possess the skills to play important roles for us as we move forward."
The 6-5 Troutman appeared in all 26 games at Southwest Baptist last season and made 16 starts while averaging 4.6 points and 3.0 rebounds per contest. He shot 51.5% from the floor and averaged nearly 18 minutes per game while ranking among the team leaders with 17 steals and 13 blocked shots. Troutman previously played under head coach Don Houston on the prep level at Illinois' Hillcrest High School while leading the Hawks to a regional championship and a berth in the state semifinals. As a prep senior, he averaged 12 points and eight rebounds along with four steals per game while posting five double-double efforts.
"Jayone is a great athlete and provides us depth and size on the wing," Bronkema said. "He comes from a top high school program and is a versatile defender. We are looking forward to his career as a Bulldog."
Oden also prepped at Hillcrest High School under Houston while playing club basketball for the Illinois Crush. The 5-10 point guard helped lead the Hawks to their 25th consecutive conference championship as a senior in 2012-13. He averaged 12 points and six assists per game in his final campaign after totaling nearly seven points and four assists a contest for one of the state's top prep powers as a junior.
"Kyle also comes from Hillcrest High School and is a proven winner," said Bronkema. "He provides us with another perimeter player who can play the point. We are excited to have him in the program as we begin the fall."
Finally, the 6-5 Hudson is coming off a strong senior campaign at J B Conant High School in Hoffman Estates, Ill. He led his squad to the championship game of the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic along with an appearance in the regional finals for the second-straight year while claiming all-conference along with league all-academic accolades under head coach Tom McCormack.
"Robert is another big wing and can shoot the three very well," said Bronkema. "He was well coached in high school and understands the fundamentals of the game. He has a bright future with the Bulldogs."
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. 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.
Overall, Ferris State has won four league championships and twice reached the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen in the past decade. FSU also posted an impressive 10-1 mark at home in league regular-season action during the 2012-13 season at Jim Wink Arena.
A strong nucleus is expected back for the Bulldogs this fall in Bronkema's debut season as 11 of the Bulldogs' 13 team members from this past campaign are eligible to return.