BAY CITY, Mich.– Last year was a year of superstar-led teams as student-athletes like Justin Keenan, from Ferris State University; Justin Ringler, from Grand Valley State University; and Nathan Hyde, from the University of Findlay, lived up to their star billing on the hardwood. With those familiar faces having graduated, however, the door is open for new stars to emerge in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
A large group of student-athletes are poised to take aim at being the GLIAC’s stars of the future in basketball. That group, however, is not exclusive as the league returns a large group of talented veterans ready to lead their teams through what should be a competitive race in the North Division and the South Division this winter.
Ferris and Findlay reigned last winter as the co-champions of the GLIAC while Wayne State emerged as the GLIAC tournament champion. The Bulldogs and Warriors both advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament where Ferris State knocked out Wayne State in a 90-88 thriller in the opening round. FSU advanced to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Final where it was defeated, 85-66, by a Bellarmine (Ky.) team that would go on to win the national championship.
In the 2010-11 GLIAC Preseason Men’s Basketball Poll, Findlay was picked first in the South Division with 173 points and 23 of 25 first-place votes. The Oilers were followed by Hillsdale College with 146 points and two first-place votes, Wayne State with 115 points, Ashland with 111, Lake Erie College with 63, Tiffin University with 47 and Ohio Dominican University with 45.
In the North Division, Michigan Tech was picked to finish first with 156 points and 12 first-place votes, Grand Valley State was picked second with 151 points and 11 first-place votes, Ferris State was third with 125 points and two first-place votes, Lake Superior State was fourth with 91 points, Saginaw Valley State was tabbed fifth with 86 points, Northwood was chosen sixth, with 50 points and Northern Michigan was seventh, with 40 points.
The 2011-12 North Division Preseason All-GLIAC First Team consists of NMU senior center Jared Benson, SVSU senior guard Greg Foster, MTU junior forward Ali Haidar, LSSU junior guard Kyle Hunt and Grand Valley State senior guard James Thomas. The Second Team is comprised of MTU’s Mike Hojnacki, a senior forward; GVSU’s Breland Hogan, a junior guard, NU’s Cameron Joyce, a junior guard; FSU’s Jerrell Sanders, a senior forward; and NU’s Andrew VanDierenDonck, a junior guard.
In the South Division, Findlay was first with 170 points and 20 first-place votes, Hillsdale was second with 140 points and three first-place votes, Wayne State was third with 134 points and two first-place votes, Ashland was fourth with 96 points, Tiffin was fifth with 72 points, Ohio Dominican was sixth with 53 points and Lake Erie was seventh with 35 points.
The 2011-12 South Division Preseason All-GLIAC First Team consists of UF’s Kyle Caiola, a senior guard, HC’s Tyler Gerber, a senior guard, HC’s Brad Guinane, a senior forward; WSU’s Mike Hollingsworth, a junior guard; and AU’s Evan Yates, a junior center. The Second Team includes TU’s Karl Finley, a senior guard; ODU’s Aaron Gibbs, a senior forward; TU’s Joe Graessle, a sophomore guard; UF’s Aaron Robinson, a junior guard; and WSU’s Ike Udanoh, a senior center.
Prepared by Sandy Gholston; GLIAC
# # # NMU # # #
1. Michigan Technological University
2. Grand Valley State University
3. Ferris State University
5. Saginaw Valley State University
6. Northwood University
7. Northern Michigan University
1. University of Findlay
2. Hillsdale College
3. Wayne State University
5. Tiffin University
6. Ohio Dominican University
7. Lake Erie College