Following a first round playoff exit, Ferris State flips its focus to getting better in the off-season.
With a 62-55 loss to Findlay in the first round of the GLIAC tournament in the rear-view mirror, players have already set their sights on getting better for next season.
“I think it’s time to look forward as soon as possible,” Ferris sophomore guard Drew Lehman said. “I feel like we had a decent year, but we under-achieved. And with a young team, it’s time to start preparing for next year.”
The Bulldogs (14-13) closed out the year with an impressive 10-1 home court record, but their 4-12 away record left much to be improved. With a little over six months until the first pre-season exhibition game, Ferris has the time to build upon its strengths and work on its faults for next season.
“We have a lot of key pieces returning for next season, and we have a lot of hard workers and guys who hate to lose,” Ferris freshman guard/forward Josh Fleming said. “I think we have a lot of positives to look forward to.”
The Bulldogs will have all but two players, senior forward Daniel Sutherlin and senior guard Kenny Brown, returning for next season. Brown and Sutherlin will be missed, but Ferris has players who are ready to step up and fill their vacancies.
Athletes like Fleming, redshirted freshman center Jared Stolicker, and sophomore power forward Trent Messer, to name a few, appear to have high ceilings playing for the Bulldogs and will have important roles next year.
“Sometimes it’s a surprise of who steps up in the off-season,” Ferris State head coach Bill Sall said. “The good thing is that we have a great pool of talent, so we will certainly see some guys rise up to the challenge.”
Sall, along with the rest of the coaches and players, looks to improve on this year’s performance and go into the off-season with a good mentality, as the team works on getting back on track.
The Bulldogs will also look to add talent and depth through recruiting and will judge any transfers to Ferris. Ferris has already inked all-state guard Marcus Hall out of East Grand Rapids in the fall to help bolster its line-up for next year.
“He’s a tremendous scorer and a good athlete who has the ability to do lots of different things,” Sall said.
Apart from Hall, the Bulldogs will lean on their young talent along with their returning veterans to help lead Ferris to another successful season.
With an entire off-season to work out the kinks in its game, Ferris certainly has the talent to improve its record from this year; now all it takes is the hard work and determination that the Bulldogs are known for to become a great team.