Concordia Cardinals 2010 NCAA Mens Basketball Preview

By Joel Welser


Concordia Cardinals

Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference


2009-10: 12-19, 5-9

2009-10 postseason: none

Coach: Ben Limback


Key Losses: F Craig Archer, G Kyle Barlow


Concordia of the aptly named Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference of the NAIA has seen its highs and lows lately. Coach Ben Limback has brought the program back to prominence for the first time in about 25 years and is now in his eighth season at the helm of the Cardinals. After some successful campaigns, Concordia was expected to finish near the bottom of the conference pecking order in 2009-2010, but finished fifth in the eight team conference. Heading into the 2010-2011 season there is optimism after the Cardinals finished last year winning five of their last ten contests.


Key Newcomers:

D.J. Cody is the experienced newcomer of the bunch after redshirting last year. The 6-8, 195 pound forward will also give the Cardinals some more much needed size in the paint. He still needs to gain some strength before he becomes a major force on the glass, but Cody should be in the mix for playing time off of the bench. Incoming freshmen John Schaeffer and Aaron Olsen are both versatile players who will be asked to provide a lot of the depth on the wings. Andrew Patrick may be the most important newcomer since he will almost certainly have to step into the backup point guard spot from day one, however fellow freshman John Schaeffer will battle for that job as well.



Despite the absence of Kyle Barlow, Concordia has a couple of experienced shooters in Austin Cook and Chad McMullen. While Barlow’s defense will be missed, Cook and McMullen are better shooters and all-around scorers. Cook, a 6-3 junior, mostly came in off the bench during the 2009-2010 campaign, but he still averaged 5.9 points per game and knocked down 38.3 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. As an upperclassman, Cook needs to diversify his game and start attacking the basket if he wants to keep a starting job and be more than just a shooter off of the bench…albeit a very effective and efficient shooter off of the bench. McMullen is a multi-faceted scorer who can attack the basket and shoot the long ball. Those two need to be hitting their shots if the Cardinals hope to pull off any upsets; most notably their five mile trek down the road to Crisler Arena.



Rocko Holmes is undersized for a power forward at the Division I level, but in the NAIA he can make up for his 6-5 height with his strength and hustle. Holmes will use his 275 pound frame to play much taller than he really is and create space for the rest of the team in the paint. However, Holmes does more than just create opportunities for his teammates, he scores a lot himself. He ranked second on the team with 10.1 points per game and added a team high 6.5 rebounds per contest. Jeremy Simmons has the size and the shot blocking ability to make the frontcourt more than capable of holding their own on both ends of the floor. Simmons is not as effective of a scorer as Holmes, but he is a fine rebounder and defender. Ryan Walton and Nathan Hand are coming off freshmen campaigns in which their playing time was limited, but both should be ready to play more minutes at the three and four spots this year. Senior Brad Evans will be competing for playing time with those emerging youngsters.


Who to Watch:

Marius Williams is the man who makes this team go. The 5-11 point guard averaged 17.0 points per game and is a danger to score from anywhere on the floor. When the game is on the line, there is no doubt who will have the ball in their hands. Holmes connected on 34.8 percent of his attempts from long range, but is equally dangerous using his speed to attack the basket and finish on his own or find one of his teammates. It may be tough for Williams to put up better numbers than he did last year, but he is the senior leader of this team and they will go as far as he can take them.


Final Projection:

What Williams and the rest of the Cardinals need to do is keep the ball under control. All three probable starting guards had a negative assist-to-turnover ratio and most of the rest of the backcourt will be freshmen. Williams has to keep this team under control and hang onto the ball or Concordia will not take the next step and move into the top half of the conference standings.


Projected Post-season Tournament: none


Projected Starting Five:

Marius Williams, Senior, Guard, 17.0 ppg

Chad McMullen, Junior, Guard, 6.5 ppg

Austin Cook, Junior, Guard, 5.9 ppg

Rocko Holmes, Junior, Forward, 10.1 ppg

Jeremy Simmons, Junior, Forward, 5.3 ppg