Versatile Olmscheid pushes Augsburg forward

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Collin Olmscheid thought about following in his brother's footsteps, but elected to play at Augsburg instead of Concordia-Moorhead.
Photo by Ryan Coleman,

By Nathan Ford

Collin Olmscheid has scored with post moves and jumpers. He’s scored with three-pointers and putbacks. Dunks and free throws.

The Augsburg College senior has scored 1,659 points and counting in his Augsburg College career, in about every way imaginable.

“I’ve seen a couple different (defensive) strategies,” Olmscheid said. “I don’t really get the opportunity to just go one-on-one in the post too often anymore.”

That hasn’t been much of a problem for the 6-foot-8 forward. Olmscheid is averaging 18.9 points per game this winter. He’s hitting 40.7 percent of his 3-point attempts (24 of 59). He leads all MIAC players with a 90.5 free-throw percentage and made 31 free throws in a row before finally missing one last night against Gustavus Adolphus. He finished 6-for-7 in the game.

The guy can flat-out shoot.

It was a touch first developed on the family driveway in Buffalo, Minn., with his brothers, Darrin and Jordan, seven and five years older than him, respectively. Size was not a strength for Collin in those games.

“We roughed him up a little bit,” Darrin said, “but we always made fun of him because he’d stick around that 3-point line and just shoot from there. I guess that’s how he developed that skill that he has now.”

Much to the chagrin of other MIAC fans, who only have a few more weeks of Olmscheid-induced torture to endure.

From 2007-11, Darrin Olmscheid racked up 1,163 points at Concordia-Moorhead, which ranks fifth all-time in the program.

There was a four-year reprieve. Then Collin showed up and started filling it up.

“He’s a little more refined,” Darrin said. “He has a little more pure talent.

“I can’t believe I’m telling you this. He just has a way of hitting a lot of shots. When he’s open, it’s more guaranteed.”

Darrin moved to the Twin Cities area after a few years teaching in Moorhead. Jordan graduated from St. Cloud State and lives in the area. They, along with parents Dave and Sue – who played at Gustavus Adolphus – haven’t missed many of Collin’s games over the last four years.

Darrin even tagged along on Collin’s visit to his alma mater during the recruiting process.

“Coach (Rich) Glas gave him the whole spiel on Cobberville and I think I did my best to try to be objective,” Darrin said. “I just asked him what he felt at the end of the day. It was a pretty quick ‘no’ from him. He seems to be more of the city-slicker type so he wanted to be in the Minneapolis area.”

That was music to Augsburg Coach Aaron Griess’ ears.

“We recruited (Darrin), too, and obviously didn’t get him,” Griess said. “That was certainly something that we thought about and something that we discussed with (Collin) and his family right away at the beginning of the recruiting process. Collin and his mom made it pretty clear early that he enjoyed the city and wanted to go to a school in or very near a city.”

Collin felt Augsburg was the right fit, and he wanted to contribute right away. He averaged 12.3 points off the bench his freshman year, then moved into the starting lineup the next season and has been Augsburg’s leading scorer ever since.

“That offseason, I was ready to come in sophomore year, fully expecting to be a starter, for sure, and make a much bigger impact,” Olmscheid said. “It just kind of turned into a confidence thing throughout sophomore year where I realized I definitely have the ability to make that big of an impact and earn a starting spot. It just kind of took off from there.”

Olmscheid was first-team all-MIAC each of the last two seasons. He surpassed his older brother’s career scoring output during his junior season.

We’ll allow Darrin to interject for a moment: “I gotta critique him somewhere.

“I’ll be honest, I thought he was a little soft in high school and I wished he would be a little more aggressive and of course I still feel that way. That’s just kind of how I played. I got an advantage on the other players by out-hustling and out-toughing them and trying to be smarter. I gotta say, the last couple years he’s been throwing his weight around a little bit. He’s started to understand the game and how he can use his body to position himself better on offense on defense.”

Griess knew Olmscheid had the potential for a standout career.

“Sometimes what you think is going to happen and what you think the prospect is capable of, sometimes that doesn’t equate when they get into college,” Griess said. “But with Collin, he was able to make that transition pretty smoothly …”

He’s continued to meet that potential on the court, even while starting a business.

Collin and his brothers were looking to make extra money in the summer – Darrin and Jordan being teachers and Collin a student. The idea: a window-washing business.

O’Bros Windows & Home Services has turned into a full-time job for Jordan, and Collin expects to use his Marketing major after graduation to continue expanding the business.

“It ended up turning out a lot better than I think any of us expected,” Collin said. “It’s been really fun to work with my two older brothers. It’s been definitely a surprise to see how well it took off.”

Before he turns his full attention to O’Bros, Collin has some unfinished business on the court – his teams are 0-2 in the MIAC tournament in his Augsburg career.

His ultimate goal is to help his team make a postseason run, and this year’s squad appears best poised to make something happen. The Auggies (14-5, 9-5) are in a dogfight for MIAC tournament positioning, with teams 2 through 7 (six teams make the tournament) only two games apart.

It’s made for some high-intensity atmospheres around the league this year. Augsburg can’t get caught looking ahead to St. Thomas (Feb. 7) and St. John’s (Feb. 10) with road games at eighth-place Hamline on Wednesday and ninth-place Concordia on Saturday ahead.

“Going into every game, we’ve been told every game is a playoff game right now,” Olmscheid said. “You just have to bring the ultimate energy and intensity. Each game is a playoff atmosphere, every single night out. Makes it more fun, though, and it brings out the competitive side in everybody.”

Darrin won’t be able to make it to Collin’s final Augsburg-Concordia game Saturday, but it’s possible his outfit of choice will still be donned as he checks in online.

“He’ll wear an Augsburg zip-up sweatshirt and right underneath, he’ll have a Concordia T-shirt on,” Collin said. “He tries to be a good sport about it.”

“Augsburg is on the outside,” Darrin said. “But I still gotta keep Concordia close to me.”

Outside or in close, Collin doesn’t have a preference. He can get buckets anywhere.

Nathan Ford

Nathan Ford is the digital sports editor at The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He graduated from Wartburg College in 2015, where he covered Wartburg and Iowa Conference athletics in print and broadcast for four years. He began contributing to in 2013.