Defending GPAC tourney champs placed sixth in GPAC preseason poll

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 14, 2020 in Men's Basketball

GPAC Preseason Poll

SEWARD, Neb. – On the heels of winning the 2020 GPAC tournament title, the Concordia University Men’s Basketball program has been picked sixth in the 2020-21 GPAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll, as announced on Wednesday (Oct. 14). The Bulldogs collected 57 points in the poll and appeared behind Morningside, Northwestern, Dordt, Jamestown and Dakota Wesleyan, in that order.

Seventh-year Head Coach Ben Limback’s program enjoyed a breakthrough this past winter when it went 24-10 overall and celebrated a GPAC tournament championship game victory at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D. Concordia then qualified for the national tournament for the first time since 2005. The Bulldogs concluded the 2019-20 regular season in a tie for fourth place in the GPAC standings. Their 24 wins represented a high water mark during Limback’s tenure and also the most for the program since 2005.

The departures of three starters (Chuol Biel, Tanner Shuck and Brevin Sloup) from last season may have prevented the Bulldogs from being ranked higher in the preseason. However, Concordia appears to be well-stocked in the backcourt with experienced performers returning in the form of Carter Kent, Sam Scarpelli and Justin Wiersema. They were key cogs in a perimeter offense that allowed Concordia to break a program record for made 3-point field goals in a single season.

NAIA basketball moves back to one division in 2020-21 after being separated into two divisions from the 1991-92 through 2019-20 seasons. In the 2020-21 NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 preseason poll put out on Wednesday, three GPAC teams received mention: Morningside (seventh), Northwestern (RV) and Dordt (RV).

The Bulldogs are slated to open up the new campaign at the Hastings College Classic the weekend of Oct. 30-31 with one game on both days. The first home appearance will come at the Cattle Classic (Nov. 6-7).