Previewing the 63rd annual Concordia Invitational Tournament

Previewing the 63rd annual Concordia Invitational Tournament

SEWARD, Neb. – The 63rd annual Concordia Invitational Tournament commences on Friday in Mequon, Wis., where four Concordia Universities will gather for the two-day event. Both Bulldog teams will be in action on Friday and Saturday as they look to add to their all-time leading CIT title totals.

For further information on ticket prices, alumni gatherings and webcasts, etc., click HERE. Additional details are available via host Concordia-Wisconsin’s official 2014 CIT page: http://cuwfalcons.com/cit.

What the Bulldogs are saying about CIT

● Drew Olson, Bulldog head women’s basketball coach:
“CIT is an awesome event. The atmosphere is unmatched. Fans travel for miles to be there and the bands from all four schools are there. It’s just what college athletics should be all the time. There is just this automatic healthy rivalry when you bring these Concordia schools together. Every year it is a fantastic tournament that the teams will always remember.”

● Ben Limback, Bulldog head men’s basketball coach:
“I think what makes CIT so special is that all four Concordias share the same faith in Jesus Christ and the weekend is a great demonstration of passion, intensity and God-given talents. For those that have been there multiple years, it’s also a great way to re-unite with fellow ‘Concordians.’”

● Adam Vogt, senior:
“As a freshman I never really understood what the hype about CIT was all about. Now as a senior, the best atmospheres that I have played in front of have all been during CIT. My favorite memory would have to be winning CIT my sophomore year in Chicago and playing in front of a packed Walz Arena last year as a junior.”

● Bailey Morris, junior:
“I think one thing that makes it unique is that it's not at the same place every year. It's always in a different gym and with different fans, but with the same crazy atmosphere! I think the fact that everyone goes crazy and travels so far for such a small tournament shows just how much CIT means to not only the basketball teams, but also the schools and communities. My favorite CIT memory would probably be from last year. Even though we lost the championship game, it was so awesome to see how everyone packed the Walz. That's an image that I'll never forget.”

Schedule
Friday, Jan. 24
1 p.m. – (Women) Concordia-Chicago (0-15) vs. Concordia-Ann Arbor (8-11)
3 p.m. – (Men) Concordia-Nebraska (5-14) vs. Concordia-Ann Arbor (8-11)
6 p.m. – (Women) Concordia-Nebraska (16-4) vs. Concordia-Wisconsin (15-1)
8 p.m. – (Men) Concordia-Wisconsin (8-8) vs. Concordia-Chicago (5-11)
Saturday, Jan. 25
12 p.m. – Women’s consolation
2 p.m. – Men’s consolation
5 p.m. – Women’s championship
7 p.m. – Men’s championship

Bulldogs dominate CIT

The Bulldog basketball teams have been dominant in the history of the Concordia Invitational Tournament. The Bulldog men are the all-time tournament leaders with 24 titles, while the women lead the way with 23. Since 1983, the Bulldog men have won 22 of 30 CITs. The women have been similarly impressive with 22 of the 27 CIT titles since 1987.

Both Bulldog head basketball coaches have extensive CIT experience. Drew Olson has won four CIT titles in his first seven seasons as head women’s basketball coach. As a Bulldog player from 2000-03, Olson helped then head coach Grant Schmidt’s teams to three CIT championships.

Ben Limback also possesses experience in the event as both player and coach. A former nine-year head men’s basketball coach at Concordia-Ann Arbor, Limback guided the Cardinals to CIT titles in 2006 and 2007 – the only two in the school’s history. In addition, Limback won three CIT titles in his four years as a Bulldog player from 1995-99.

Among current Bulldog men’s players, senior Adam Vogt, junior Joel Haywood and sophomore Robby Thomas are the only ones who have played in past CITs. Vogt and Haywood were both part of the 2012 title when teammate Beau Smith earned MVP honors.

As for the women, nine current players have played in CITs. Both seniors Kristen Conahan and Lori Laboda were members of the school’s past two CIT championship teams (2010, 2012). The senior class sports a CIT record of 6-2.

Scouting the 2014 field

MEN

Concordia University Ann Arbor
Head Coach: Ricky Yahn (1st year)
Record: 8-11
Conference: Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (NAIA Division II)
All-Time CIT Titles: 2 (most recent: 2007)
Scoring Offense: 71.5 ppg (99th in NAIA Division II)
Scoring Defense: 74.8 ppg (58th in NAIA Division II)
Scoring Leader: John Schaeffer – 15.1 ppg
Rebound Leader: Joe Remstad – 5.9 rpg
Assists Leader: Makenzi Kurvits-Statum – 2.26 apg
Overview: The Cardinals entered the week with an eighth-place standing in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. They underwent transition in the offseason with their third head coach in as many seasons as Ricky Yahn has taken over. Led by senior guard John Schaeffer, the Cardinals own a quality win over conference foe Northwestern Ohio (Jan. 7), a team that is receiving votes in the national poll. 

Concordia University Chicago
Head Coach: Tyler Jones (6th year)
Record: 5-11
Conference: Northern Athletics Conference (NCAA Division III)
All-Time CIT Titles: 14 (most recent: 2011)
Scoring Offense: 74.3 ppg (187th in NCAA Division III)
Scoring Defense: 78.1 ppg (309th in NCAA Division III)
Scoring Leader: Mike Walmer – 15.5 ppg
Rebound Leader: Marcus Elston – 11.3 rpg
Assists Leader: Brandon Stinson – 3.56 apg
Overview: The Cougars have improved this season with the arrival of freshman Mike Walmer, the team’s leading scorer. With a 5-11 record, they have already topped their season win total from a year ago when they went 4-21. The Cougars sit at the bottom of the Northern Athletics Conference with a league record of 2-10 following four-straight losses. Head coach Tyler Jones’ squad holds a 98-93 overtime win over Concordia-Wisconsin.

Concordia University Nebraska
Head Coach: Ben Limback (1st year)
Record: 5-14
Conference: Great Plains Athletic Conference (NAIA Division II)
All-Time CIT Titles: 24 (most recent: 2012)
Scoring Offense: 70.7 ppg (104th in NAIA Division II)
Scoring Defense: 80.9 ppg (103rd in NAIA Division II)
Scoring Leader: Adam Vogt – 15.6 ppg
Rebound Leader: Robby Thomas – 7.4 rpg
Assists Leader: Robby Thomas – 2.11 apg
Overview: The young Bulldogs are led by senior Adam Vogt, who put up a career high 34 points on Jan. 18. Vogt and fellow guard Joel Haywood are the only two holdovers from the program’s 2012 CIT title in Chicago. Under first-year head coach Ben Limback, former head coach at CU-Ann Arbor, the Bulldogs are still searching for consistency on both ends of the floor.

Concordia University Wisconsin
Head Coach: Shawn Cassidy (7th year)
Record: 8-8
Conference: Northern Athletics Conference (NCAA Division III)
All-Time CIT Titles: 3 (most recent: 2013)
Scoring Offense: 82.2 ppg (48th in NCAA Division III)
Scoring Defense: 83.9 ppg (384th in NCAA Division III)
Scoring Leader: Keith Kahlfeldt – 17.6 ppg
Rebound Leader: Brett Boettcher – 6.7 rpg
Assists Leader: Eric Kittel – 3.7 apg
Overview: The Falcons are the only men’s team in the CIT field with a .500 or better record entering the week. Head coach Shawn Cassidy’s squad is right in the middle of the Northern Athletics Conference with a 6-6 league mark. The defending CIT champions have a high scoring offense but also a defense that has struggled, allowing opponents to shoot 50.7 percent from the field on the season.

WOMEN

Concordia University Ann Arbor
Head Coach: Thad Sankey (1st year)
Record: 8-11
Conference: Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (NAIA Division II)
All-Time CIT Titles: 2 (most recent: 2013)
Scoring Offense: 69.6 ppg (63rd in NAIA Division II)
Scoring Defense: 69.8 ppg (71st in NAIA Division II)
Scoring Leader: Brooke Adams – 25.5 ppg
Rebound Leader: Becca Sabol – 9.8 rpg
Assists Leader: Kara Carlson – 3.17 apg
Overview: Thad Sankey, a Concordia-Nebraska grad who served as a graduate assistant on head coach Drew Olson’s staff last season, took over the Cardinal program this season. Sankey relieves heavily upon senior forward Brooke Adams, who ranks second in NAIA Division II in scoring. Adams, who broke her own school single-game scoring record with 45 points in a win last week, leads a team that rests in eighth place in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.

Concordia University Chicago
Head Coach: Joshua Steffen (5th year)
Record: 0-15
Conference: Northern Athletics Conference (NCAA Division III)
All-Time CIT Titles: 4 (most recent: 1986)
Scoring Offense: 55.5 ppg (371st in NCAA Division III)
Scoring Defense: 73.0 ppg (373rd in NCAA Division III)
Scoring Leader: Jessica Genke – 19.3 ppg
Rebound Leader: Jessica Genke – 8.4 rpg
Assists Leader: Morgan Jahnke – 2.73 apg
Overview: The Cougars are still searching for their first victory of the 2013-14 season. The absence of leading scorer Jessica Genke over the past few weeks has not helped. The Cougars have been close on several occasions as five of their losses have come by four points or less, including a 69-66 defeat versus Concordia-Wisconsin in their season opener.

Concordia University Nebraska
Head Coach: Drew Olson (8th year)
Record: 16-4
Conference: Great Plains Athletic Conference (NAIA Division II)
All-Time CIT Titles: 23 (most recent: 2012)
Scoring Offense: 85.4 ppg (7th in NAIA Division II)
Scoring Defense: 74.2 ppg (104th in NAIA Division II)
Scoring Leader: Bailey Morris – 16.7 ppg
Rebound Leader: Jericca Pearson – 6.6 rpg
Assists Leader: Bailey Morris – 4.05 apg
Overview: The Bulldogs go for CIT title No. 24 this weekend after having lost in the championship game last season. Led by guard Bailey Morris, Drew Olson’s squad has won eight of its last nine GPAC games and is ranked No. 8 in NAIA Division II. The battle-tested group will have played five teams ranked among the nation’s top 10 when play begins from Mequon on Friday. The Bulldogs are the highest scoring team in the CIT field.

Concordia University Wisconsin
Head Coach: Stacey Brunner-Jones (10th year)
Record: 15-1
Conference: Northern Athletics Conference (NCAA Division III)
All-Time CIT Titles: 3 (most recent: 2007)
Scoring Offense: 71.9 ppg (83rd in NCAA Division III)
Scoring Defense: 56.9 ppg (66th in NCAA Division III
Scoring Leader: Katie Luethe – 14.8 ppg
Rebound Leader: Katie Luethe – 7.3 rpg
Assists Leader: Anna Butler – 3.4 apg
Overview: Tenth-year head coach Stacey Brunner-Jones (176-86, .672) has the Falcons off to a sterling 15-1 start. The Falcons have been a consistent winner under Brunner-Jones, having captured five Northern Athletics Conference titles over the past seven seasons. Katie Luethe is the biggest star for a balanced team that succeeds at both ends of the floor. The Falcons possess a pair of wins over fellow CIT competitor Concordia-Chicago.

22 January 2014

63rd annual CIT - Jan. 24-25, 2014
R. John Buuck Field House - Mequon, WI

Sophomore Micah Kohlwey

Freshman Becky Mueller

Not making a road trip? Join the watch party!

At game time, come support our Bulldogs at The Dog House Grill (lower level of Janzow Campus Center) as they participate in CIT in Wisconsin.