FSU men’s basketball ‘excited’ to get back on home court

JUMP SHOT: Ferris State University senior Josh Fleming (3) shoots over a defender this season. The Bulldogs host Wayne State University and the University of Findlay this weekend. (Ferris State Athletics photo)

JUMP SHOT: Ferris State University senior Josh Fleming (3) shoots over a defender this season. The Bulldogs host Wayne State University and the University of Findlay this weekend. (Ferris State Athletics photo)

BIG RAPIDS — Ferris State University’s men’s basketball program has practiced just three times in the past 33 days at its home court.

The Bulldogs return home this weekend for their first games at Jim Wink Arena since Nov. 24. They play the University of Findlay at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Wayne State University at 3 p.m. Sunday.

FSU last played Dec. 13 at Tiffin University — an 84-83 loss to drop to 8-2 overall and 2-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It was its second loss in three games, but head coach Andy Bronkema said he hopes the holiday break and home court can be the recipe to getting back on track.

“We’re definitely excited to get back on the floor this weekend at Wink Arena,” he said. “There’s been a lot of anticipation to get back at it.”

The Bulldogs have had four home games — only two at Jim Wink — so far this season. They played two at Big Rapids High School while a NCAA Division II volleyball regional tournament was being hosted at Jim Wink.

“It was tough, but it might be a blessing in disguise, too,” Bronkema said. “We got off to a hot start and then just had some tough things we’ve had to battle through with no home games and being away from home. Overall, I think we are doing great. Every team out there doesn’t have it perfect. They have different things they have to overcome, so 8-2 is a good start.

“If you chunk the season and look at it as a 10-game chunk, it’s pretty good. We’re happy and just trying to be the best we can be, and I think that we can be a very good team. We haven’t hit our ceiling yet.”

WSU is 2-5 overall and 2-2 in the GLIAC. The Warriors are last in the GLIAC at 66 points per game, but sophomore guard Ronald Booth and redshirt junior forward Michael Lewis are averaging 16.1 and 14.3 points per game, respectively.

“They have talented guys,” Bronkema said, “not just those two guys. It’s mainly the toughness they play with year in and year out. With coach (David) Greer and their defensive system and the way he holds those players accountable, it makes them real tough competitors.”

Findlay (5-4, 2-2 GLIAC) enters Saturday on a three-game win streak. Five players are averaging eight points or more per game for the Oilers.

“They’re both good teams with a lot of experience,” Bronkema said. “Like any other team in our league right now, they’re fighting just like we are to win games. It will be good competition.”

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Posted by Ryan Zuke

Ryan is the sports editor for the Big Rapids Pioneer, covering local prep sports and Ferris State athletics. He can be contacted at (231) 592-8363 or rzuke@pioneergroup.com.

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