Mens Basketball is Prime for Another MIAC Playoff Appearance
Devin Schelske, sports editor
Last season snapped the Auggies six season long win streak for making it to the MIAC playoffs (not including the 2020-21 shortened season). The team finished with an unusual 8-17 record and finished in tenth out of 12 teams in the MIAC. This season, the Auggies have started with a neutral 1-1 record on the season. Their victory came in their first game of the season at home against North Central University which ended 85-79. The University of Minnesota Morris handled the Auggies in Morris, Minnesota in a game that ended 64-86.
Head Coach Aaron Griess is now on season 19 leading the Auggies. Griess currently sits at 256 career wins as Head Coach of the team, the second most wins ever by any men’s basketball head coach in school history (trailing Ernie Anderson, 266). In his time at Augsburg, he has led his teams to 11 MIAC playoff appearances, two MIAC playoff runner-ups and one MIAC playoff championship. Coach Griess also earned a MIAC Coach of the Year award for the 2009-10 season.
A player to watch this season is junior guard Will Blascziek. Last year, Blascziek led the team in points scored per game with 12. He currently leads the team through their two games in minutes played with 63 and points scored with 30. Blascziek is also tenth in the MIAC in scoring and tied for ninth in average points per game with 15. In his three year career at Augsburg, he has recorded eight blocks, 36 steals, 37 assists, 103 rebounds and scored 368 points. A newcomer to watch is first year guard Trent Gomez. Gomez is making an immediate impact despite this being his first season with the program. He is second on the team in scoring with 25 points and first in steals with 10. His 10 steals are also the most in the MIAC at this point in the season. Gomez was a highly talented recruit as he averaged 24.4 points per game for Two Harbors High School. He left his name in the record books at Two Harbors as he broke the all-time school scoring record with over 2,200 points. Another newcomer to watch is senior forward Austin Jentzen, a transfer from St. Cloud State University. Last year, he recorded three blocks, five steals, 34 rebounds and recorded 28 points in 15 games with the Huskies. Standing at six feet eight inches, Jentzen is the tallest player on the Auggies’ roster. His large stature helps him to be the team leader in rebounds with 14. Jentzen is also third on the team in scoring with 17 points.
Auggie fans can go see the mens team play their second home game against conference opponent Bethel University on Nov. 21 in Si Melby Hall. Bethel has started the season with a 0-1 record and has lost six out of the last 10 matchups with Augsburg, so Auggie fans can be hopeful for a win!