The Bulldogs are back in the GLIAC champion’s circle once again.
The No. 11 nationally ranked Ferris men’s basketball team won the GLIAC regular season Championship outright on Thursday, Feb. 27.
Ferris finished the regular season with an overall record of 27-5 and claimed the No. 1 seed in the GLIAC tournament. The No. 1 seed comes with an added benefit, as the Bulldogs will host their quarterfinal game against Northern Michigan.
Head Coach Andy Bronkema said that the team feels good but that there is still a lot of basketball to be played. Any team can win the GLIAC tournament with a mess of talented teams in the mix.
“Each team has a powerful element. Tech’s most power element is equal to Grand Valley’s which is equal to Wayne State, who isn’t going to make the tournament. We just have good teams,” Bronkema said. “Whoever we get matched up with we are going to prepare for them. The only time we look ahead is just to look and say, ‘hey we want to win the GLIAC tournament, we want to win the regional, the nationals.’ We want to win.”
If they can dispatch Northern Michigan, Ferris will play the winner of Northwood and Davenport Tuesday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. on the Bulldog’s home floor. After these two games the bulldogs can run into either the No. 2 seed in Grand Valley or No. 3 seed Michigan Tech.
Senior center Cole Walker said the team will need to eliminate mental errors and stay sharp while keeping the opposition’s shooting percentage low.
“I don’t see any rough patches or anything. I think we will be able to take whatever comes our way and we will just prepare for it and be good to go,” Walker said. “I would like to see us take down GV because they get some hype that we don’t really get. Then, the team has been talking, and we would like to play Bellarmine and take them down because regional rankings love them, and we’d like to show them wrong.”
Junior wing Michael Peterson said that any team in the GLIAC will be tough as every team is going to be ready to go. Peterson said that to him Grand Valley is the toughest matchup based on record, while Michigan Tech has an edge talent wise.
“It starts with the GLIAC because we think if we win the GLIAC tournament we would have a good chance to host the region. That’s our top goal right now and we have to win the tournament for that to happen,” Peterson said. “Once you get to the tournament anything can happen. Anybody can beat anybody, so we have as good as a chance as anybody to win the whole thing. We are just trying to finish strong with the regular season and go into the tournament confident.”
Getting back to the national championship is Walker’s goal as his career highlight came when the Bulldogs won it all in the 2017-2018 season. Senior Greg Williams, senior D’angelo Hughes, junior Jaylin McFadden and Peterson were also a part of the team that won the school’s first national title.
It took 90 years to reach the first national championship and it could be 90 more or never again, but it’s a one-gameat-a-time mentality, Bronkema said.