Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's basketball squads both open preparations for the 2019-20 campaign by holding their first official practices on Tuesday inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.
The Bulldog men's squad returns seven letterwinners from last year's squad while the women's team boasts the return of 12 squad members from a year ago as part of its opening roster.
The Ferris State men's basketball program will open its seventh season under head coach Andy Bronkema with lofty preseason expectations again after notching its fifth consecutive season with 20 or more victories last year.
Last season, following a historic 2017-18 season in which FSU went 38-1 overall and won the school's first NCAA Division II National Championship, the Bulldogs compiled a 20-12 overall record and placed second in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division standings.
Along with the second-place league finish, the Bulldogs also reached the GLIAC Tournament for the fifth consecutive year and earned the right to host a quarterfinal-round home contest. Overall, FSU went 12-3 at home last season inside Jim Wink Arena. The past five years with 20 or more wins ranks as the greatest five-year stretch in program history.
Meanwhile, the Ferris State women's basketball squad will begin its fifth campaign under head coach Kendra Faustin with a strong nucleus from last year's team returning. FSU also added two incoming players to the lineup this year.
Ferris State finished the 2018-19 season with a 14-13 overall record while winning three of its final four games. The Bulldogs also made their second-straight GLIAC Tournament berth after making their first in five years the previous season (2017-18) while reaching the league semifinals.
The Bulldog men's squad will open its exhibition slate by squaring off against Muskegon Community College in its first preseason tilt this Saturday, Oct. 19, at Jim Wink Arena beginning at 7 p.m. (ET). FSU will also be in action on Sunday (Oct. 20) when the 'Dawgs host their annual Alumni Game at 3 p.m. (ET) followed by a second exhibition outing versus Calvin at home on Tuesday (Oct. 22) evening at 7 p.m.
The 2019-20 men's basketball regular season will tipoff on Nov. 1-3 when FSU gets an early start by taking part in the D2 Tip-Off Classic in Anaheim, Calif. The Bulldogs will face Wayne State (Neb.), Texas Permian-Basin and Concordia (Calif.) in the event with all three outings slated for 8:30 p.m. (ET) tipoff times. The regular-season home opener is Saturday, Nov. 9, against Davis & Elkins at 12 p.m. (ET).
Meanwhile, the Bulldog women will open the year with an exhibition contest against the Michigan State Spartans on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Breslin Center in East Lansing starting at 7 p.m. (ET). The regular-season begins with a trip to Lake Erie on Friday, Nov. 8, followed by a game at Walsh on Saturday, Nov. 9. The Bulldogs' first home outing is against Hillsdale on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 5:30 p.m. (ET).
For complete 2019-20 Bulldog schedules, please visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
Together, the Ferris State men's and women's basketball programs have a long track record of success that includes more than 1,500 all-time victories, 17 GLIAC Championships and 18 NCAA Tournament appearances combined. Over the past 15 years, the two squads have also combined to claim seven league regular-season championships and have made five NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen appearances.