Bardsley named GPAC Basketball Player of the Year

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SIOUX CITY, IowaNebraska Wesleyan University had three players recognized by the Great Plains Athletic Conference on Wednesday (Mar. 2) when the 2015-16 Men’s Basketball All-GPAC teams were announced. Senior guard Trey Bardsley led the NWU All-GPAC selections by earning First-Team All-GPAC recognition and was selected as the 2015-16 GPAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. Senior forward Travis Giesselmann was named Second-Team All-GPAC with senior Keithan Karn earning All-GPAC honorable mention.

Trey Bardsley becomes the first Nebraska Wesleyan basketball player to earn GPAC Player-of-the-Year recognition and he is a repeat First-Team All-GPAC selection. This marks the first time since Seth Harms in 2001 and 2002 that a NWU player was 1st-Team All-Conference in back-to-back seasons. This is the third straight season the Prairie Wolves have had a First-Team All-GPAC selection.

Bardsley (Beatrice, Neb.) left no doubt that he was the conference player of the year with his performance in the GPAC Tournament. He led the GPAC and was second in NAIA II in scoring at 28.8 points a game, scoring a NWU single season record 835 points. Bardsley was the nation’s leader in 3-point shooting with a school record 138 made 3-pointers. The senior guard led the conference in steals averaging 1.97 per game and was fifth in assists at 4.2 per contest.

Bardsley scored over 30 points in 14 of the 29 games played this season, including a career-high 55 points in the GPAC Tournament semifinals. In the three GPAC Tournament games, Bardsley poured in 135 points (45 ppg) and hit 21 3-pointers. His 11 made 3-pointers in the semifinal game also set the school record.

This is the third straight year that Bardsley has earned All-Conference, being named 1st-Team the past two seasons and 2nd-Team as a sophomore. Last season he was NAIA II honorable mention All-America. He holds the NWU career record with 313 made 3-pointers and ranks 3rd on the career scoring list at 1,878 points.

Giesselmann (Elkhorn, Neb.) was 2nd-Team All-GPAC for the second straight season. Giesselmann also had a fantastic senior campaign, putting up the 8th best single season scoring year in NWU history with 605 points. He ranks in the top five of the GPAC in the four major statistical categories. He is third in scoring (20.9 ppg), second in rebounding (8.9 rpg), fourth in assists (4.7 apg) and fifth in steals (1.7 spg). His 135 assists this year rank 6th on the NWU single season list. Giesselmann also went over 1,000 career points earlier this year. He earned GPAC and NAIA II Player of the Week honors in January.

Karn (Elkhorn, Neb.) earned honorable mention All-GPAC for his first All-Conference selection. The fourth leading scorer for the Prairie Wolves, Karn averaged 10.9 points per game and was third on the team with 60 made 3-pointers. He ranked 9th in the GPAC in 3-pointers made per game. In his two seasons with the Prairie Wolves, Karn knocked down 112 career 3-pointers.

Nic Nelson of Briar Cliff was the GPAC Coach-of-the-Year, Bryan Forbes of BCU is the Defensive Player of the Year and Erich Erdman was Freshman of the Year. The All-GPAC basketball teams and honors were selected by the league’s 11 head coaches.

Nebraska Wesleyan has a 22-7 overall record as they had their nine-game winning streak snapped with a loss to 4th-ranked Briar Cliff in the GPAC Tournament Championship game on March 1. The Prairie Wolves earned an automatic berth to the NAIA II National Tournament that will be held March 9-15 in Point Lookout, Mo.