Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ferris State Exhibition Preview

Game Preview
WhoFerris State Bulldogs (NCAA Div. II)
WhatExhibition Game
WhereVan Nord Arena -- Calvin College
WhenTuesday Nov. 8, 7:30 PM
AudioStretch Internet
VideoStretch Internet
Live StatsCalvin Live Stats
Tickets$5 at the door or online
Last YearFerris 91, Calvin 69

When We Last Met
The Knights traveled to Big Rapids at the beginning of last season for a game that didn't count in the regular season standings for Calvin, but did for Ferris State. The Division II season starts on Nov. 11 (I believe), so they can count the games from that date on, but the Division III regular season doesn't begin until Nov. 15.

Anyway, Calvin was able to hang in the game for 23 or 24 minutes (they trailed by only three points three minutes into the second half), but in the end, Calvin wasn't necessarily trying to win the game. Coach Vande Streek was still trying to see exactly what he had, and hadn't zeroed in on his eventual rotation yet. Tyler Kruis received only nine minutes of playing time, Mitch Vallie got 15 minutes of action, and even Mike Fabiyi saw a handful of minutes.

This Season
Like Calvin, Ferris State will be looking to replace a ton of production. They return eight players from last year's team, only one of which was in the starting lineup a season ago. Most notably, they're missing Justin Keenan, who was one of the most dominating players in Division II for the past few seasons.

Calvin is returning 48% of their minutes, 45% of their points, and 44% of their rebounds from last year. Ferris State returns only 41% of their minutes, 31% of their points, and 38% of their rebounds. In addition to Ferris' eight returning players is six freshmen.

Ferris already has two exhibition games under their belts, a 27 point loss to Michigan State at the Breslin Center, and a 13 point win over Grace Bible up in Big Rapids.

My gut feeling for Ferris State is that they'll be able to score the ball, but defense may be a concern for them. In order to be successful, Calvin is going to need to limit second chances for the Bulldogs, and be efficient with their own offensive opportunities.

Sure-to-be-wrong Prediction
I really have no beat on how this game will go, because I don't even know this year's version of the Calvin team, let alone the Ferris squad. I think we should be ecstatic if Calvin wins, reasonably happy if they stay within single digits, "fine" if the margin is 10-15, and concerned if it approaches or exceeds 20.

This game and season could go either way. We could see a 14-13 final record, or we could be surprised by a player or three and find 19 or 20 wins by the end of the year (though, if I had to guess, I'd say 17 wins). In the same way, I have no Idea if Ferris is going to easily run away with this one, or if Calvin is going to send them away with the loss. Really, no idea here.

But I'll say Ferris by 9. Calvin's going to impress us at times though.

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