COLUMBIA — In a 91-26 win, it is hard to find too many problems.
The one problem Columbia College men's basketball newcomer Jordan Dressler noticed in the team's first game Wednesday happens to be a good one.
“Sometimes we don’t have enough chairs on the bench for everyone to sit on,” Dressler, a sophomore, said.
This lack of space on the bench is a sign that this year's team has depth, and the Cougars showed off that asset Wednesday, playing 15 players at least 4 minutes in a 91-26 victory against Concordia Seminary College.
“I hope the depth is huge for us,” coach Bob Bruchard said. “We have a lot of players with high skill, and we want to use all of them. We are going to ask the team to buy into that philosophy.”
With 11 new players added to the roster, the Cougars are looking to improve on their 13-19 record from a year ago and get back to the NAIA Tournament, a tournament they made 10 of 11 years before last season.
The team seems to be catching Bruchard's vision, understanding that many players have to be available to play meaningful minutes.
“The starters come in and wear on them and then the second string comes in and they are just as good as the starters,” Dressler said.
Thirteen minutes into the game, the Cougars led 34-2. That lead reached 50-6 at halftime.
Since the got game out of hand quickly, it could have been tough for the players to stay focused, but Columbia College maintained its intensity the whole game, using the lack of pressure to focus on little things like closing out on rebounds, trusting each other, being efficient and avoiding turnovers.
“Our main focus was to play aggressive for all 40 minutes,” Darnell Moore said. “In practice we go for two and a half hours, so keeping it intense for 40 minutes should be nothing.”
The Cougars will return to the court Tuesday when they travel to Batesville, Ark., to take on Lyon College. The game starts a four-game road trip for the Cougars before they return home Nov. 23 to face Missouri Valley University.