The Cobber men’s basketball team won their first game of the 2022 calendar year as they cruised past St. Olaf, scoring a season-high 83 points in an 83-66 win.
Leading the offensive charge for the Cobbers was Dylan Inniger. He scored a first-year student school record of 30 points and is the first Cobber to score 30 since the 2016-17 season. He shot 10 of 15, including 5 of 7 from beyond the arc.
“I just felt like everything was clicking. I was getting to the rim and my shots were falling,” said Inniger about his offensive explosion. “My teammates had a lot of trust in me and got me the ball, and I was able to knock them down.”
It is not every day that someone breaks a school record, so it was a special moment for the first-year Cobber. “I was shocked by the record, I didn’t know they kept that stat but I am honored to hold it,” said Inniger. “Hopefully one of my teammates can top it.”
Inniger kept the hot hand going into the team’s next contest against St. Scholastica, as he was second in scoring for the Cobbs as he poured in 17. Leading the team to back-to-back conference wins paved the way to Inniger being named MIAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week; he is the first Concordia first-year student to receive that honor and the first Cobber to take home the award since February of 2016.
“(Being) the MIAC Player of the Week was a great feeling and an honor, and I received many congratulations which I am very thankful for. I would like to thank my coaches and teammates for believing in me and putting me in the best position possible for me to succeed,” said Inniger. “We’re building something special here for seasons to come, and we appreciate the continuous support.”
“Nobody ever really expects a player to blow up like he did, which was really fun to watch. But there is no question about Dylan’s work ethic,” said head coach Tyler Bormann. “To be completely honest, he has probably improved more on the defensive end since he has got here, which is then now allowing him to play more. You’ve got to be a two player to be on the floor, and him learning what we do defensively was a steep learning curve, but he has really improved.”
Coach Bormann mentioned even in recruitment, they knew what Inniger could bring to the floor on the offensive side of the ball, and that is starting to show.
“I think the game is really starting to slow down for him, which I think is huge. He starts to find his shots that are there, and he was getting really good looks from his teammates. We know he’s going to keep working to get better every day.”
Bormann pointed to how his team plays selflessly and how Inniger was able to get so many good looks. “We really stress playing together offensively and playing with pace and space. Playing unselfishly and finding the open man, and Dylan was getting open. He cashes in, and once he hits a couple shots his confidence goes up and the rim looks a little bigger.”
Bormann explained how the team’s culture is changing for the better, and how that helped Inniger have his breakout game.
“Our guys don’t care who gets a bucket or a board or a stop, that’s a stop and a bucket for our team. Our guys just want to win and we’re starting to get to that point where we expect to win every night, and that is a big step for our program,” said Bormann. “I like the fact we’re a bunch of guys who want to get better every day.”
The squad will face Carleton (11-3) on Sunday, January 23 at home.