The hype-train has slowed down immensely for the Ferris men’s basketball team, as they were handed a 132-48 loss against the Duke University Blue Devils.
“We came in thinking we were going to set some records,” Ferris head coach Andy Bronkema said. “It looked like for a while there, a 100-point loss was going to be the record.”
Following last year’s NCAA Division II National Championship run, Bronkema and the Bulldogs were looking to roll some momentum into this season with a dominant performance against Duke.
Instead, the Bulldogs struggled to bury shots, making a miserable 16.7 percent of their shots in the first half before doubling that mark with 32.4 percent in the second. The Blue Devils, on the other hand, scored with ease, putting 59.5 percent of their shots through the hoop.
“They made a lot of open shots tonight and they made the extra pass…took advantage of some of our rotations – I thought that was pretty impressive,” Bronkema said. “They get you out of your system quick…They have a very big team, not a lot of traditional guards.”
The Blue Devils employed a “big three” system with three freshman forwards in Zion Williams, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish combining for 75 points. Barrett was a star for the Blue Devils, recording a game-high 32 points on 11 of 18 shooting.
While the Bulldogs are unlikely to face a roster quite as big as Duke’s, their effort crashing the glass must be a concern. Even with the addition of 6-foot-8 senior post Taylor Adway, the Bulldogs lost the rebound battle 61-35.
Adway was the top performer for the Bulldogs, posting a team-high 12 points but turning the ball over five times. Another problem for the squad was keeping the ball in their hands, giving it away 23 times on the night.
“They [Ferris] kept with their style and that’s the style that won their two exhibition games … they’re going to play their style and that’s the style their kids are accustomed to and they play it well,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
The Bulldogs finish their preseason 2-1 and look forward to starting the regular season.
Ferris will kick off their regular season 4:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, when they take on Fairmont State University in St. Joseph, Missouri, for the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic.