Concordia's Jordan Bolger headlines 2015-16 MIAC Men's Basketball Awards

Concordia's Jordan Bolger headlines 2015-16 MIAC Men's Basketball Awards

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) enjoyed another outstanding men's basketball season in 2015-16, with countless unforgettable games and big shots. Tuesday, the conference honored the season's top performers with the announcement of the 2015-16 MIAC Men's Basketball Awards.

Concordia forward Jordan Bolger (Apple Valley, Minn. / Eastview) headlined the awards announcement, as the senior star was named the Joe Hutton Player-of-the-Year. Carleton forward Tianen Chen (Germantown Hills, Ill. / Metamora Township) was named the MIAC's top sub as the junior was voted Sixth Man-of-the-Year, and St. Thomas Head Coach John Tauer was recognized by his peers as the conference's Coach-of-the-Year for the second season in a row.

In addition to the top individual honors, the MIAC also announced its All-Conference Team, All-Defensive Team, All-Freshman Team and All-Conference Honorable Mention selections Tuesday. The conference also announced the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team.

Bolger's brilliant season was a fitting end to a tremendous career, as the MIAC Player-of-the-Year also became the only 2015-16 senior to earn a third-straight All-Conference honor. The Cobber forward led the MIAC in scoring both in overall (18.8 points per game) and conference (19.3 ppg) games. He scored in double figures in all 20 MIAC games and had all of his eight double-doubles in conference play.

In league play, Bolger's 386 points and 36.5 minutes per game also led the league, while he ranked second in rebounds (8.9 per game) and sixth in field goal percentage (.580) and free throws made (74). Overall, Bolger ranked second in the MIAC in minutes (36.5 per game) and field goals made (173), third in rebounding (8.5 per game) and sixth in field goal percentage (.571) and free throws made (95).

Bolger led Concordia to a 16-10 overall record and a 13-7 MIAC mark, which was good for a third-place tie and a spot in the MIAC Playoffs. He was also named to the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team for his positive sportsmanship on and off the court.

Carleton super-sub Chen was honored as the MIAC's Sixth Man-of-the-Year and was also an All-MIAC Honorable Mention pick. He came off the bench to rank sixth in the MIAC in scoring in both overall (15.5) and conference (15.8) games. His 24.5 points per 40 minutes average in conference play ranked first in the MIAC, and he ranked second in free throws (116 overall, 89 MIAC). His 51 offensive rebounds ranked sixth in the MIAC overall, as he averaged 4.7 rebounds per game. Chen led the Knights to a 13-12 record, including 10-10 in conference play, and a tie for sixth place.

Tauer received his second-straight Coach-of-the-Year award and third in his five-year tenture after guiding the Tommies to their 11th-straight MIAC regular-season championship. UST completed a 23-2 regular season, including an 18-2 MIAC record, and is currently ranked No. 8 in the nation. The team also reached the MIAC Playoff championship game and receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, where it will host a four-team regional Friday and Saturday to start the "Big Dance."

This season, Tauer coached four players to All-MIAC honors, and one to All-Defensive Team recognition. Tauer's team led the MIAC in scoring defense (64.2) and ranked second in scoring offense (76.6) and its 9.1 turnovers and 3.7 blocked shots per game and defensive field goal percentage (.433) also led the league. The Tommies were second in the MIAC in field goal (.500) and three-point (.352) percentage.

In addition to his Player-of-the-Year award, Bolger also headlined the All-Conference Team, which includes the MIAC's top 15 players, for the third-straight season. St. Olaf's Ben Figini, Saint John's Mitchell Kuck and Alex Schmitt, St. Thomas' Taylor Montero and Ryan Saarela and Bethel's Bridgeport Tusler each received their second-straight All-MIAC selection.

The All-Conference team consisted of 10 seniors, two juniors and three sophomores. The conference-champion Tommies led the way with four selections, while St. Olaf, Saint John's, Concordia and Bethel had two apiece. Augsburg, Carleton and Gustavus each had one player recognized. The MIAC also recognized a five-player All-Defensive Team, which was led by repeat selections Saarela and St. Olaf's Riley Aeikens. A five-player All-Freshman Team was also recognized, as were All-Conference Honorable Mention selections. 

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC also announced the 10th annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for men's basketball. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.

2015-16 MIAC Men's Basketball Awards

Joe Hutton Player-of-the-Year - Jordan Bolger, Concordia (Sr., Forward, Apple Valley, Minn. / Eastview)
Sixth Man-of-the-Year - Tianen Chen, Carleton (Jr., Forward, Germantown Hills, Ill. / Metamora Township)
Coach-of-the-Year - John Tauer, St. Thomas (Fifth season)

2015-16 MIAC Men's Basketball All-Conference Team

Name Team Year    Position Hometown/High School
Riley Aeikens St. Olaf Sr. Guard Maynard Minn. / MACCRAY
Jordan Bolger Concordia  Sr.  Forward     Apple Valley, Minn. / Eastview 
Gary Cooper Gustavus Sr.  Wing Detroit, Mich. / Denby 
Ben Figini St. Olaf Sr.         Forward       Chisago City, Minn. / Chisago Lakes 
Tom Fraase Concordia Sr. Guard Bismarck, N.D. / Century
Kevin Grow Carleton So. Forward Circle Pines, Minn. / Centennial
Trevor Hall Bethel Jr.  Guard  Blaine, Minn. / Spring Lake Park 
Mitchell Kuck Saint John's       Sr.  Wing  Lino Lakes, Minn. / Centennial 
Taylor Montero St. Thomas Sr.  Wing Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Cretin-Derham Hall  
Collin Olmscheid           Augsburg So. Forward Buffalo, Minn.
Ryan Saarela St. Thomas Sr.  Forward  Lakeville, Minn. / North 
Alex Schmitt Saint John's Sr.  Guard  Waconia, Minn. 
Grant Shaeffer St. Thomas Jr. Guard Eden Prairie, Minn.
Cortez Tillman St. Thomas Sr. Guard St. Paul, Minn. / Cretin-Derham Hall
Bridgeport Tusler Bethel So.  Guard  Maple Grove, Minn. / Osseo 

2015-16 MIAC Men's Basketball All-Defensive Team

Name Team Year    Position Hometown/High School
Riley Aeikens         St. Olaf Sr.          Guard Maynard, Minn. / MACCRAY
Kevin Grow Carleton So. Forward       Circle Pines, Minn. / Centennial
Trevor Hall Bethel Jr.  Guard  Blaine, Minn. / Spring Lake Park 
Joe Risinger Saint John's       Sr.  Wing  Shorewood, Minn. / Minnetonka       
Ryan Saarela St. Thomas    Sr.   Forward    Lakeville, Minn. / North 

2015-16 MIAC Men's Basketball All-Freshman Team

Name Team Year    Position Hometown/High School
Wyatt Ferm Macalester  Fr.  Forward Farmington, Minn.    
Michael Gutierrez        Macalester Fr.  Guard Stillwater, Minn. / St. Croix Prep Academy     
Connor Knutson Hamline Fr.  Guard/Forward      Forest Lake, Minn.  
Derek Magnuson    Bethel Fr.  Forward St. Paul, Minn. / Roseville
David Stokman Saint John's        Fr.  Guard Maple Lake, Minn.

2015-16 MIAC Men's Basketball All-Conference Honorable Mention

Name Team Year    Position Hometown/High School
Tianen Chen Carleton Jr.  Forward  Germantown Hills, Ill. / Metamora Township      
Wylie Ferron Saint Mary's Jr.            Forward       Waconia, Minn. 
Kareem Ismail Macalester Jr.  Center  Pasadena, Calif. / Flintridge Prep 
Chris Narum Gustavus Sr.  Guard  Eagan, Minn. / Eastview 
Justin Pahl St. Olaf Sr.  Guard  Woodbury, Minn. / East Ridge 
Brett Rasmussen Augsburg Jr.  Forward  Lakeville, Minn. / North 
Joe Risinger Saint John's       Sr. Wing Shorewood, Minn. / Minnetonka 
Zach Smith Hamline So.  Guard  Burnsville, Minn. 
Quashingm Smith-Pugh        Saint Mary's Jr.  Guard  St. Paul, Minn. / Johnson 
Will Swiggum Saint Mary's Sr.  Forward  St. Charles, Minn. 
Brycen Wojta Bethel Jr.  Guard  Maple Grove, Minn. 
Brody Ziegler Gustavus Sr.  Post Mankato, Minn. / East 

2015-16 Men's Basketball All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team

Augsburg - Steele Krause (Sr., Parker, Colo. / Legend)
Bethel - Kyle von Schmidt-Pauli (Sr., Oakdale, Minn. / Tartan)
Carleton - John Eckert (Sr., North Judson, Ind.)
Concordia - Jordan Bolger (Sr., Apple Valley, Minn. / Eastview)
Gustavus - Brian Jacobs (Sr., Lake Crystal, Minn. / LCWM)
Hamline - Nick Powell (So., Harmony, Minn. / Filmore Central)
Macalester - Kyle Bernhard (Sr., Sleepy Hollow, Ill. / Dundee-Crown)
Saint John's - Mitch Wollin (Sr., Litchfield, Minn.)
Saint Mary's - Mark Schumacher (Sr., Perham, Minn.)
St. Olaf - Caleb Lunning (Sr., Zimmerman, Minn.)
St. Thomas - Will Dunn (Jr., Edina, Minn. / Benilde-St. Margaret's)

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