BIG RAPIDS – Mason Pline has shown what he can do in two seasons with Ferris State’s men’s basketball team and is anxious to show what he can display in his junior campaign.
Pline will be among the players returning who provided an extensive amount of court time last year for the defending GLIAC champions.
He appeared in all 33 Ferris games last season averaging 16.6 minutes, 8.2 points and 4.7 rebounds a game.
“I thought Mason had a real good sophomore year,” Bulldog head coach Andy Bronkema said. “He stepped up big at the beginning of the season when Logan (Ryan) was ineligible and Jaylin (McFadden) got hurt. He really had some huge games. It was his role to mesh a little bit in the second part of the season. It wasn’t really what he did. It’s how the team developed.
“I thought he had a great year and we’re looking forward to him having even a better year. As a coach, I’m trying to figure out exactly how to use him because his best talents don’t fit what the eye sees. He’s a big, athletically strong individual.”
Pline appeared in 30 games as a freshman in 2018-19 and played nearly 13 minutes a contest averaging more than five points and three boards a game. He helped the team to the GLIAC Tournament and a fifth-straight 20-plus win season.
Prior to coming to Ferris, Pline totaled 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists inside for Fowler High School where he was an All-State recipient, all-area choice and all-conference pick.
“We saw Mason at team camp,” Bronkema said. “I remember my assistant coach at the time calling me from Big Rapids High School, saying we have this guy from Fowler who is dunking on everybody. I came on over and I was impressed with how fluid he was.
“So we started the recruiting process then and stuck with him. We were the first team, to offer, but they had to explore Division I possibilities. It comes full circle. His recruitment was no different.”
He helped his squad to a 18-7 overall mark as a junior while winning both district and regional crowns and was ranked 21st in the state by Prep Hoops and in the top 40 overall as one of the Michigan’s top 12 power forwards by Inside Prep Sports.
“Some of his talents are a little bit more shooting a three and more finesse,” Bronkema said. “I’m trying to be the best coach I can with him. He’s very hard on himself and he just needs to stay encouraged. He acts like he’s a senior and he’s only a sophomore. Expectations need to be high but you have to be realistic too.
“If you track his progress with his freshman year, he played as a true freshman. Not a lot of guys do. There’s his sophomore year and if it keeps trending the way it is, he’s going to be one of those guys who is a 1,000-point scorer and very decorated and in the record books when he graduates from here. He’s on pace for a great career.”
Bronkema mentioned with the COVID virus there have been no summer camps and no spring and summer recruiting.
“We didn’t see very many kids,” Bronkema said. “We weren’t able to utilize summer camps the way we’re used to.”
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