Cardinal Men's Basketball Picked Seventh in GLIAC North; Webb First Team All-GLIAC

Cardinal Men's Basketball Picked Seventh in GLIAC North; Webb First Team All-GLIAC

By Sandy Gholston, Special Writer for the GLIAC

2012-13 GLIAC Men's Basketball Season Preview

BAY CITY, Mich. – Teams should not expect any easy nights in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) men's basketball competition this season – in the North or South divisions.

Findlay and Hillsdale have battled for South Division supremacy in recent years and appear destined to battle it out again for the top spot. In the North Division, the race should be competitive with the addition of Wayne State to the trio of Ferris State, Michigan Tech, and Northwood that tied for the Division title last season.

The GLIAC features no shortage of top individual talent returning, including Ali Haidar of Michigan Technological University, the 2011-12 GLIAC Player of the Year. Haidar was named to D-II Bulletin's Preseason Super 16 Team. Kenny Brown, a senior guard from Ferris; Evan Yates, a senior forward from Ashland; Derek Billing, a junior guard from Lake Superior State; Joe Graessle, a junior from Tiffin; Cameron Joyce, a junior from Northwood; Greg Kahlig, a junior from Findlay; Ronnie Steward, a junior from Ashland; Daniel Sutherlin, a senior from Ferris; and Chris Webb (Saginaw, Mich. / Arthur Hill HS), a senior from Saginaw Valley State University, are among the talented returning players who earned All-GLIAC honors last season.

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Saginaw Valley State University

Overview: It's a new year and a fresh look on the bench for the Saginaw Valley men's basketball program under first-year head coach Randy Baruth. Baruth's coaching staff welcomes back SVSU players who gained experience in leading the Cardinals last season. Among the returning leaders for Saginaw Valley are 2011-12 All-GLIAC Second Team senior guard Chris Webb, senior guard Michael Fugate, senior guard Brett Beland and junior forward Jay Thames. Webb was the team's leading scorer last season as he averaged 14.2 points. Fugate averaged 8.1 points and connected on 42.1 percent of his shots from outside of the 3-point arc. Beland averaged 7.9 points last season while Thames averaged 3.5 points and 4.4 rebounds.

Coaching: Randy Baruth is entering his first year as the head men's basketball coach at Saginaw Valley State University.

Noteworthy: Baruth spent the last season at the University of Utah as the Director of Player Development under head coach, and former NBA player and coach, Larry Krystkowiak. Before his stint with the Utes, he was the Director of Basketball Operations at Colorado State University under then head coach Tim Miles. Baruth is very familiar with NCAA Division II basketball, spending 7 years as an assistant at Northern State University and North Dakota State University.

2011-12 Record: 10-16 overall, 6-13 GLIAC

SVSU senior guard Chris Webb has been named to the Preseason All-GLIAC North First Team after leading the team in scoring last season as he averaged 14.2 per game. Webb fired 81 percent from the line, 43 percent from the field and is just 46 points away from eclipsing the 1,000-point mark in his career at Saginaw Valley.

2012 GLIAC Men's Basketball
North Division Poll
Rank Team Votes 11-12  
1 Mich. Tech (8) 157 16-12
2 Wayne St. (9)
155 18-9
3 Ferris St. (4)
141 16-11  
4 Northwood (2)
5 GVSU 111 14-13  
6 LSSU 68
7 SVSU 50
8 Northern Mich.
36 9-17