Previewing the 24th annual men's Cattle Classic

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 27, 2023 in Men's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – The 24th annual Cattle Classic is set to tip off next Friday (Nov. 3) afternoon inside Friedrich Arena. The basketball classic features a total of four men’s games and four women’s games over the course of the two-day extravaganza. The event, co-sponsored by Concordia and Cattle Bank & Trust, raises money and food for the Blue Valley Community Action's Food Pantry. Pac N Save of Seward will match all canned food donations.

Fans are encouraged to bring canned goods in exchange for admission. Ten canned items will get an adult a weekend pass. Complete admission information for the Cattle Classic can be found HERE. Tickets will not be sold online for this particular event.

Live webcasts: Concordia Sports Network | Live stats: PrestoStats


Friday, Nov. 3

  • Women: Marian University (Ind.) vs. Dakota State University (S.D.), 1 p.m.
  • Men: Hastings College vs. William Penn University (Iowa), 3 p.m.
  • Women: Concordia vs. Sterling College (Kan.), 6 p.m.
  • Men: Concordia vs. Mayville State University (N.D.), 8 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 4

  • Women: Dakota State University (S.D.) vs. Sterling College (Kan.), 10 a.m.
  • Men: Hastings College vs. Mayville State University (N.D.), 12 p.m.
  • Women: Concordia vs. Marian University (Ind.), 2 p.m.
  • Men: Concordia vs. William Penn University (Iowa), 4 p.m.

The Men’s Field

Concordia University Bulldogs
Head Coach:
Ben Limback, 11th season
2022-23 Record: 18-13 (NAIA National Qualifier)
Conference: Great Plains Athletic Conference
Location: Seward, Nebraska
Top Player: A First Team All-GPAC honoree in 2022-23, fourth-year Bulldog Noah Schutte could challenge for GPAC Player of the Year accolades this season. Schutte has totaled 1,157 points and 458 rebounds over three seasons. He averaged 20.1 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 54.4 percent from the floor in 2022-23.
Overview: The backcourt will be relying on some youth, but the frontcourt is anchored with two bona fide stars in Schutte and Tristan Smith (missed half of last season due to injury). Those two Bulldogs will be a handful for all opponents. Concordia landed at No. 5 in the GPAC preseason poll but missed out on receiving votes nationally. The backcourt features the likes of sharpshooting Brad Bennett and point guard Jaxon Weyand. A host of freshmen could also see time for a program that has come to expect to play at the national tournament. The team’s season preview can be found HERE.

Hastings College Broncos
Head Coach:
Todd Raridon, 2nd season
2022-23 Record: 15-14
Conference: Great Plains Athletic Conference
Location: Hastings, Nebraska
Top Player: Omaha native Reggie Thomas provided an immediate lift for Hastings as the Broncos more than doubled their win total from 2021-22 to 2022-23. Thomas was named the GPAC Freshman of the Year last season. Thomas averaged 19.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game in his first collegiate campaign.
Overview: A veteran head coach who previously led the programs at Nebraska Wesleyan and North Central College, Todd Raridon brought immediate respectability back to Hastings, which had endured a 7-23 record in 2021-22. The Broncos came in at No. 9 in the 2023-24 GPAC preseason coaches’ poll. Raridon is attempting to energize a program that last appeared at the national tournament in 2010. Grady Corrigan (11.2 ppg) will team up with Thomas on a strong backcourt. Hastings went 2-0 at last season’s Cattle Classic while blowing out both Ottawa (Kan.) and Tabor (Kan.).

RV Mayville State University Comets
Head Coach:
Brandon McGruder, 2nd season
2022-23 Record: 25-6 (NAIA National Qualifier)
Conference: North Star Athletic Association
Location: Mayville, N.D.
Top Player: NAIA Third Team All-American Thomas Gieske is back for a fifth year after leading the Comets to the 2023 national tournament. The 6-foot-3 native of Sartell, Minn., averaged 16.3 points and 7.3 rebounds and shot 61.2 percent from the floor last season.
Overview: Brandon McGruder stepped in last season as the interim head coach before having the interim tag removed. McGruder helped Mayville State break through with a 26-10 mark and the program’s first national tournament berth since 2020 (the Comets reached the national stage three straight years from 2018 through 2020). Mayville State has been picked by league coaches to win the seven-team North Star Athletic Association. Gieske and company received votes in the NAIA coaches’ poll. The up-tempo Comets led the NAIA in scoring last season with an average of 92.8 points per game.

No. 19 William Penn University Statesmen
Head Coach:
John Henry, 23rd season
2022-23 Record: 30-4 (NAIA National Round of 16)
Conference: Heart of America Athletic Conference
Location: Oskaloosa, Iowa
Top Player: This could end up being one of the program’s many newcomers. The leading returning scorer is 6-foot-5 senior guard CJ Washington, who averaged 5.8 points per game last season.
Overview: William Penn has captured four straight HAAC regular season and four straight HAAC tournament championships and has been a consistent winner under Head Coach John Henry (509-217 career record). The team’s top six scorers from last season have all departed, meaning the 2023-24 squad will be built around a number of transfers. The program will have to replace NAIA Second Team All-American Malik Edwards, who transferred to NCAA Division I Niagara University. A regular on the national stage, the Statesmen have qualified for the national tournament in each of the past eight years and in 11 of the past 12. William Penn ranked third nationally last season in scoring average at 89.6 points per game, behind only Mayville State (92.8) and Dordt (89.8).