SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Augustana Men’s basketball team is off to a 12-2 start and a big reason why is the big man in the middle, senior forward Tyler Riemersma.

Using a blend of length and fundamentals, Augustana senior Tyler Riemersma has quietly become a linchpin down low in the paint.

“He’ll play an entire game and then I get the stat sheet and go ‘holy crud’ that kid had 21 and 16 and I had no idea! He fills up a stat sheet yet you don’t know it during a game,” Augustana head coach Tom Billeter said of Riemersma.

The 6’8 Bloomington, Minnesota native’s career first began at the Naval Academy before deciding to transfer after his freshman season. That summer his former AAU teammate, Augustana senior point guard Jameson Bryan, gave the big man a call.

“He reached out and was like ‘hey come check us out’ and I was like alright. So, I think I called the coaches first honestly, I don’t even know if they wanted me at the beginning,” Riemersma said with a laugh.

“We just didn’t have a scholarship at the time but he was too good not to have an interest in him and then one thing led to another and we ended up having a player due to injury be done and that created a scholarship and the rest is history,” Billeter said.

Since coming to Augustana, Riemersma has turned into a walking double-double, tallying 29 over the past three and a half seasons.

“He’s going to make those hooks with his left and right hand. He’s going to be able to rebound almost everything and put it back up, he always keeps that ball alive and he’s just super, super smart. I don’t know who to compare him to, but he’s probably the smartest player I’ve ever played with on defense and on offense,” Augustana senior forward Adam Dykman said of his teammate.

Already with a Degree in data science, Riemersma chose to return to school to earn a masters in Sports Administration and Leadership and also.. to complete a mission.

“He came back at his age, both him and Adam, but they came back at their ages because they felt like they hadn’t quite done what they came here to do and that’s to get back to that NCAA tournament,” Billeter said. “For as hard as he practices everyday, as hard as both of those guys prepared themselves this off season and for where they are at their ages, that’s what I’m most impressed with and grateful to both of them for their determination and desire to be back in order for us to get back to that NCAA tournament.”

With a 20 point performance this past weekend, Riemersma became the 35th player in Augustana history to score a 1,000 points.