2022-23 GPAC Men’s Basketball All-Conference Teams
First Team: Noah Schutte
Second Team: Gage Smith
Honorable Mention: Brad Bennett; Tristan Smith
SEWARD, Neb. – A group of four Bulldogs from the Concordia University Men’s Basketball program garnered 2022-23 all-conference distinction, as announced by the GPAC on Wednesday (March 1). Leading the way, Noah Schutte was voted to the league’s first team while Gage Smith landed on the second team. Meanwhile, honorable mention accolades went to Brad Bennett and Tristan Smith. Head Coach Ben Limback’s squad stands at 18-12 while awaiting a potential national tournament at-large bid.
Schutte was an easy choice for the first team. The Laurel, Neb., native has raised his game again in 2022-23. He’s averaging 20.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game after an impressive flurry in the regular season finale and in two GPAC postseason contests. Schutte produced career highs of 38 points, 18 rebounds and nine 3-point field goals (school record) in the GPAC quarterfinal win at Northwestern. Among GPAC players this season, Schutte ranks fourth in scoring average (20.0), fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (.452), eighth in rebounding (7.0), ninth in free throw percentage (.794) and 10th in field goal percentage (.540). In his career as a Bulldog, Schutte has totaled 1,134 points and 450 rebounds in 82 games. Last season, Schutte was named Honorable Mention All-GPAC and then garnered NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship All-Tournament selection.
Back for a fifth year inside the program in 2022-23, Gage Smith has earned all-conference honors for the third-straight season. The Elizabeth, Colo., native was named to the second team in 2020-21 and to the first team in 2021-22. While starting 29 games this season, Smith is averaging 13.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. He’s shooting 47.7 percent from the field, 29.7 percent from 3-point range and 71.9 percent from the foul line. On the program’s all-time lists, Smith ranks second in rebounds (891), 12th in assists (276) and 15th in scoring (1,348). He’s played in 133 career games as a Bulldog.
Bennett moved into an increased role as a sophomore, playing in 29 games while making 18 starts. Bennett has averaged 10.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. The Elkhorn, Neb., native is shooting 46.8 percent from the floor, 40.4 percent from beyond the arc and 72.1 percent from the foul line. Bennett poured in a career high 25 points in the win at Waldorf University (Iowa).
Tristan Smith’s inclusion as an honorable mention choice is a testament to his growth prior to the injury he suffered just before New Year’s. Tristan started the first 15 games of the season and averaged 14.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 70.8 percent from the foul line. The Elizabeth, Colo., native recorded a career high 23 points in the season opening win over Tabor College (Kan.).
Concordia will learn of its national tournament fate on Thursday. The NAIA men’s basketball selection show is scheduled to air at 7 p.m. CT via the organization's YouTube channel.