Just short of the top 8.
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Posted by VakAttack on 24 March 2016 - 06:02 AM
Just short of the top 8.
Posted by wfan24 on 09 October 2015 - 11:50 PM
I watched a long, 1 hour + long video from 2 weeks ago with some of Russia's world champs and medalists and coaches: Sadulaev, Gadisov, Sajidov and Gadhzimagomedov.
The interview is in Russian, but I translated much of it for the forum here and also summarized the interesting bits below. A lot of interesting nuggets on retirement, who wins between Sadulaev and Gadisov, etc. This is the original video link: https://www.youtube....h?v=heea3x3Huqo
Of course, its hard to capture the exact nuances sometimes exactly, but I think what I translated is pretty accurate. In general, these guys seems very modest and friendly and are really a great team.
Gadisov is quite articulate, he will definitely have a good career outside of wrestling.
Our first objective at the worlds was to get the Olympic spots, but of course we can't just aim for the olympic spots, we are the best wrestling school in the world, so our goal was to win as many gold medals as possible and to be no.1 in the team rankings. Could have been better of course, but we have stuff to work on now.
Our main objective in the republic of Dagestan is not just to push kids into wrestling, we are most happy if they train any sport that fits them. But yes, wrestling is a main sport in the republic of Dagestan. The training halls are full of kids.
The flight to the worlds was long, first 12 hours to LA, then 1.5 hours to Las Vegas. The long travel really tired out the athletes. But we prepared for that and knew about it. Americans love creating a show and they did a great job organizing and the venue was full. Everything was wonderful. There were many Russian fans too, Dagestani, etc. It was pleasant and helped our wrestlers. We felt the support of the fans.
Gadisov (answering why he lost in the final):
The fans I think helped Snyder, but they did not affect me. I haven't watched the match yet. I think perhaps the long flight and adaptation period affected me a bit, but these are all excuses. If I lost, I need to seek the reason inside me: I lost, so I made mistakes. I think tactically I was a little bit off, he is a young guy and was very excited, going forward, and I felt a bit tired, and made defensive mistakes. We will work on functional training, its good to see your mistakes and have a chance to fix them, so we will work hard so that such cases don't repeat again at the Olympics.
(they ask him: didn't you know about Snyder, he is a young popular wresler?)
Well, in my brackets, the main opponent was Gazumov, also an Ossetian wrestler whom I lost to at the European games. So, I was entirely preparing for him (Sajidov also intervenes, says the same thing), so when I beat him, I thought thats it, we are done. But after that I watched some of Snyder's matches (before the final), and I saw that the final will not be easy.
(they ask again: "So you did not know him before?")
No, he also lost at the Junior worlds (Snyder), so did not pay attention to him...lets say, he was more like a dark horse.
Trainers also are responsible, we prepared for the Azerbaijani, the Gerogian and the Ukranian, that was our main focus. Our side of the bracket was stronger, so from the weaker's side (Snyder), we expected the Iranian to go through, so Snyder was unexpected. We made tactical errors in the final.
Gadisov (after journalist says it was 5:5 and noone won):
Lets not seek excuses , we both wrestle under the same rules. We will keep working so the score is not 5:5, but 5:0, like our Sadulaev (they laugh), who with his wrestling, shows how to win. Many guys should take an example from him, so I want to congratulate him now !
Everyone thinks its easy from the outside, but they don't see how much I train. On the mat, its never easy. I don't aim to win with tech superiority. I just go out and wrestle and rely on God.
Gadisov (why did he beat Gazumov this time?)
well, again, it all depends on what tactics you chose, because the opponents are strong and prepare for you. So tactics are very important for the result. At the European games, I chose the wrong tactic, I attacked too much, and I allowed him leg attacks and lost 4:2. Here, I did more counter-attacking, so I prepared only for him, but again it was a tense match.
Gazumov is very strong, at 97kg, so when they meet, every second is crucial. Of course, by focusing on Gazumov, we should not forget the Georgian, also very strong, a European games finalist. So I would say, Gadisov left all his physical and mental energy against these 2, before the final.
sometimes its like that, you do what you can and still lose, fans are not happy, but it is God's will, so we need to accept it. We can just say thank God and work harder. So I want to tell the fans: thanks for the support, and follow God's will.
Sadulaev (about a match vs. Synder): yes, they offered me to wrestle Snyder, but there was no official offer. I told them if they want to make the show, I agree to it.
Olympic preparation is key, but yes, Americans like show, they even make it in the center of New York, its great, its pleasant, so if there is a free time in Olympic preparation, we can do the match with Snyder. We are always ready to wrestle, anyone, anywhere, they should know that (Americans). (Laughs).
Sajidov (on if there are keys to beating Burroughs):
Yes, there are always keys, especially with our coaches, we can find keys for anyone. As we already saw, Tsargush won once. In fact, Geduev's bracket was very difficult at the Worlds, so each match was hard, and Geduev cuts a lot of weight. I think if this match was in the finals, where Geduev had a couple of hours to rest (or earlier when he was fresher), it would be a different match. Its hard to say who would win. But generally, our wrestlers have the mastery, so we will prepare them to beat Burroughs or Snyder or whoever else is there, at the Olympics.
Gadisov (on retiring after 2016 if he wins Gold):
First, yes, after the 2016 Games, I think I will retire from wrestling. Because one has to wrestle when they want, when they are burning with desire, etc. But I feel for me, this is the last year, and next year, I will not have the fire in my eyes. And in this case, I will retire. Either you need to be no.1 and winning or just don't bother.
If you win the Olympic games, we will talk again about delaying retirement (laughs). Many said they will retire but don't. Main thing is to have health (its clear Sajidov is not pleased with the retirement talk).
Sadulaev (on going to 97kg): I am still growing, so I feel yes, I will go to 97kg.
We like strong internal competition in the weight class. If there was no Shamil or Ahmed, there would be no Sadulaev. It is needed and required for us, if we want to be no.1
So now I control their food intake (Sadulaev's and Kudiamagomedov) , so they stay at 86kg :).
Gadisov (on do how would they do at 97kg)
In 1 interview, Sadulaev said that I win most of the time against him, but this is the opposite, its hard to beat him. He is very strong physically and also a very modest person.
These 2 wrestle all the time, but we don't care for the score, many fans watch them wrestle and count the score in practice.
Tthis is sport, our matches are very tense, but in general, Sadulaev wins most of our matches, just to tell the fans (laughs).
Gadisov helps me all the time, supports me. They are helping me, Gadisov, and Sajidov. They are helping me with their experience. God's will, all will go well at the Olympics.
Sajidov (about Makhov's performance)
We decided to risk and go with 2 styles. He justified our trust. We know his character and his abilities. He had a bad draw at the Greco worlds. At the Greco tournament he weighed 124kg, but at the freestyle few days later, he only weighed 116kg, he lost a lot of weight, and this affected his result at the freestyle Worlds. But the main objective, getting the Olympic quota, was accomplished. We all saw he had no strength left after each match at the freestyle worlds. He would lay down and hardly be able to stand. The other wrestlers were all motivating him, etc. They almost had to lift him to his legs so he can make the walk. I even asked Mahov today, do you have a place in your body without an injury? He started counting: 4 surgeries on 1 knee, 2 on the other, both shoulders, elbows, etc...This guy guy has incredible spirit...he shows one can do anything.
Sajidov (about Mahov's MMA)
I was not a big fan, you need to chose 1 thing. But he managed to convince me and the other coaches about both styles. But the Olympic games are no place for such experiments. So he needs to chose one style. We want him to win a gold medal, freestyle or greco, we don't really care.
He deserves it...of course, we prefer he comes to freestyle (laughs).
Sajidov (on Greco vs. Freestyle for Mahov)
Before the Turk, Mahov had the hardest match, with the Iranian, very important match he had to win to get the Olympic spot.
Olympics are a totally different thing, so need prepare mentally. Turk may be champion now, congratulations to him, but Olympics is a different thing. Until they lift your hand, you have not won.
Sajidov (on Vlasov's national anthem mixup):
I don't know if there was a mistake, but Vlasov did great, congratulations to him. But due to the anthem mix up he actually got more time on the podium (laughs).
Sadulaev (on did you feel pressure by Americans, etc):
Nno, I did not feel such a thing (perhaps for Gadisov cause he wrestled an American). But with me, I did not wrestle an American in the final. I felt that the fans suppported me. I don't know what good I did for them, but they supported me.
Sadulaev (on youth):
I wish all kids/teenagers to not spend time doing bad things and to have a health way of life. And to most importantly, make their parents happy. To create goals and to try and reach them.
Youth should chose what they want to do. Some want to work in medicine, some sports, some science, etc. Some kids cannot be professional sportsman as they do not have the physical qualities. They should make their parent happy, should not make them ashamed. When the kids do bad things, this is the biggest shame for the parents in front of others. And the biggest joy is when the parents are happy, so I wish them to make the parents happy. This is the greatest
happiness, when they are happy for you and are proud of you, in whatever it is that you manage to succeed.
Posted by Abdullahgadzhi Khuzin on 09 May 2017 - 09:35 AM
Posted by headshuck on 23 March 2017 - 04:34 AM
I have decided to decommit from the Minnesota Gophers. I can't thank them enough for the opportunity to support them but I want to explore other options, which includes the Minnesota Gophers.
Posted by VakAttack on 27 January 2017 - 05:30 PM
He was. Team USA.
Posted by tekto on 20 August 2016 - 08:39 AM
Posted by GoNotQuietly on 11 April 2016 - 12:49 PM
There are about a billion threads/posts asking basically the same questions so let's clear a few things up. Alternatively, everything you want to know about the Olympic procedures is here: https://en.wikipedia...–_Qualification
Q: Can we send more than one wrestler at each weight?
A: No, each country can send only one representative to try to qualify their nation
Q: Can we send a different representative than the OTT Champion
A: No, USAW guidelines dictate that the OTT Champion will be the representative, barring injury
Q: If the OTT Champ is injured, and the alternative wrestler qualifies the weight, who goes?
A: The OTT Champ will be the Olympic representative unless they are unable to compete at the games due to injury
Q: When/Where are the qualifying tournaments?
A: 1st World Qualification Tournament is April 22-24 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
2nd World Qualification Tournament is May 6-8 in Istanbul Turkey
Q: Which Weights does the USA still have to qualify?
A: Men's Freestyle: 65kgs, 86kgs
Women's Freestyle: 48kgs, 53kgs, 58kgs, 69kgs
Men's Greco: 59kgs, 66kgs, 98kgs
Q: What do our wrestlers have to place in order to qualify the weight?
A: Men's Freestyle and Greco: Mongolia: Top 3 Istanbul: Top 2
Women's Freestyle: Mongolia: Top 2 Istanbul: Top 2
Q: Who will they have to wrestle at these tournaments?
A: Countries who have already qualified can NOT send a representative to these tournaments. The European regional tournament is this weekend, so we will know more after that, but you can see the list of current qualifiers here: https://en.wikipedia...reestyle_events
Q: Can we get all of these weights qualified?
A: It is going to be extremely tough with the reduction in weight classes squeezing the world's best into very limited spots, but our athletes are tough as nails and we put together a phenomenal team at the Trials this weekend. Best of luck, and safe travels Team USA!
Please post any other questions here, and someone much more knowledgeable than me will most likely answer them.
Posted by cornercoach on 19 March 2017 - 03:17 PM
Posted by VakAttack on 06 March 2017 - 07:28 AM
I can't imagine that even the Heil family is super fired up for a Dean Heil match.
Posted by VakAttack on 04 December 2016 - 02:18 PM
Had to turn it over to Las Vegas PD as evidence of a Battery. Will be available once they're done with the case.
Posted by Crotalus on 11 May 2016 - 10:48 PM
Posted by wrestlingnerd on 02 January 2016 - 07:18 PM
In no particular order, just thoughts from my stream of consciousness:
1. As a group, the PSU redshirts have improved the most.
While it's true that they were all very elite coming in, as a group, they have all leveled up, with Nickal and Nolf in particular making big leaps in development. Zain is also significantly improved, technically and physically, with a reworked top game that adds turns to his tough ride.
Nico is the only one who doesn't look improved to me. He is a little more selective with his shots this year, but I haven't seen that translate to much improvement overall.
2. I don't see the Cowboys winning it.
Even if they pull Jojo's redshirt, I didn't see enough guys who are high probability top 3-4 guys to win it all. Ringer is clearly a heavy favorite. Heil has been a nice surprise in terms of consistency, but he is just a point or two ahead of the other top contenders, so he has very little margin for error at a weight where half a dozen guys could all beat him. Crutchmer showed he could just as easily place 5th or 7th as he might end up in the finals. Klimara is solid but probably won't place high enough or score enough bonus. Marsden is sort of the heavyweight version of Klimara--similar situations. Brock is a true frosh and now an injured one. Collica has been a disappointment so far. The rest of the weights are gaping holes.
I'm sure we'll see a better effort from the Cowboys come March given how well Smith has peaked them in the past couple of years, but I don't think they have the horses.
3. I'm starting to appreciate Dean Heil as one of the smartest wrestlers.
141 is an absolute zoo, with a dozen guys who can knock each other off. Nevertheless, I've been impressed by how intelligently Heil wrestles the top guys. His ability to wrestle from all positions and his excellent scrambling allow him to pick his spots with anyone wherever he feels he has an edge. It's pretty impressive to watch. With McKenna, the better TD wrestler, Heil wrestled more conservatively from the feet to neutralize him and exploited his strength on the mat to win. Against Jack, he wrestled very differently, going blow for blow and escaping from bottom easily.
Heil is not the best at any single position but he is the most well-balanced guy at the weight, plus he can outscramble anyone. He might be the only guy at 141 who is a bad matchup for everyone else.
4. Cornell has been a bust so far, but Garrett and Dean as individuals are just phenomenal talents.
Realbuto lost three times. Not good. In his defense, he looks like he can beat anybody on a good day because he has retained his athleticism and "feel" up two weights, but he's now giving up like half a foot of reach almost every time he steps on the mat. I think he's too short for his funky and flowy style, which requires a lot of leverage to pull off well (e.g. see the Askrens). He could still surprise and have a great tourney, but 165 is probably his best weight.
Where is Palacio? There was talk of him coming back for the Scuffle at 157.
Is Grey ever going to heal, and if so, will it even matter? He has not improved in so long I forget what year he is. Does he have one more year after this? Little Koll went 2 and Q. Brutal.
Pickett looks worse at 165 than he did at 174. There's probably not enough points in moving him back up to 174 and dropping Realbuto to 165, but both of them look worse this year than last year, which is not a good sign. That said, it is still early.
Macri, whom many thought had a decent shot to AA after a solid greyshirt year, wrestled like crap and failed to place. I don't see him sniffing AA this year.
But the positives are very bright.
Garrett is wrestling like a man possessed. Scary quickness and explosion. He reminds me of a little Jordan Burroughs from the feet, with a similar style, especially the short offense to spin-behind or to high single. I'm pretty confident he's the 133 lb champ this year.
Dean is separating himself even more from the field, as evidenced by his dismantling of Brown. It wasn't utterly dominating in terms of points scored, but Dean had his way with Brown, moving him around with ease and safely and steadily accumulating points as Brown looked like he was breaking. If they wrestled for 10 hours, the score would be like 700-30 because the more they wrestle, the bigger the gap.
Dean reminds me a bit of Dieringer in that his success is based on rock solid fundamentals (i.e. moves that can be taught to anyone). Every HS coach should be showing tape of those guys to their teams. Very few people can do what guys like Garrett or Nickal do, although they're great fun to watch. Everyone can be taught the moves that make Dean and Ringer successful. Those two are perfect examples of what solid fundamentals and a commitment to conditioning the body can do for you.
5. I was wrong about Coleman Scott.
I thought there was no way he would be able to pull off coaching while cutting so much and prepping for another Olympic run.But UNC is clearly better. Maybe it's just one tournament, but I have not seen them look this good in over a decade, maybe two. FOUR of their guys lost only once in this very tough tournament: Henderson 149 (2nd), Ramos 174 (2nd), Ward 141 (3rd), and Staudenmayer 165 (3rd).
UNC was the biggest surprise as a team and whether Scott was responsible or not, he is now the head coach and must get the credit. Hat tip to him, and I take back what I said a few months ago about his inability to balance competition with coaching.
6. The Gulibon 141 experiment is officially busted. (But can he even beat Conaway to reclaim his 133 spot?)
7. How good is Joe Smith going to be next year?
His trajectory is pretty scary. He was losing to Larry Early (two or three times?) not that long ago. Months later he makes the finals of the CKLV and the Scuffle and wrestles the top 2 guys at the weight tough. Early, whom I was very interested in watching given the history with JoJo, went 1-2.
8. Logan Massa is also wrestling his ass off.
Which redshirt would go farther this year, JoJo or Logan? It's a good debate.
9. Generally, refs have proven to be too stupid to call the new stalling on the edge rule accurately.
I'm officially joining the bandwagon bedeviling refs for their ridiculous inconsistency. I'm not necessarily against the rule, just against the morons who consistently call the same exact situation three different ways (A ran out ... B pushed him out ... it was action, so no stalling). No offense if you're a ref, but just watch a few matches and tell me it's not a completely untenable situation. Just terrible.
10. Being able to go upper body gives you such an edge and is so underrated.
I think a big reason why some of the younger top-raked guys have so much confidence against top ranked AAs is their ability to go blow for blow from any position on the feet. Nickal and Nolf are the two most obvious examples of this from the Scuffle, but also guys like Kaid Brock who have a more limited arsenal from upper body still gain a significant edge from neutral.
Posted by AKHUNTER on 12 March 2015 - 08:03 AM
My bride and I are bringing my HS coach to Nationals this year... he is 87 and this will no doubt be his last chance for such a trip.
last year after getting home I called him and talked about the tourney. He told me to quit calling him telling him how much fun it was. I thought about it for a couple weeks then decided to call him and said...... hey coach why don't you come along next year, on me. It's going to be really enjoyable having him along. I owe him much.
Going to be rooting for VT
Posted by buckshot1969 on 28 April 2017 - 02:39 PM
I posted this in the College forum but I thought I'd share this here.
Flo has announced a major re-branding and has unveiled their new logo tonight:
Posted by buckshot1969 on 28 April 2017 - 02:36 PM
Flo's new logo:
Posted by NJWC on 06 March 2017 - 01:24 PM
Posted by T-nigs23 on 27 April 2016 - 11:24 AM
Posted by LoStNuMbEr on 22 February 2016 - 03:59 PM
This season NC State took down Iowa, Minnesota, AND Oklahoma state. Rewind the clock back to 2011 the year before Popilizo takes over. Penn state is starting its run, but prior to that Iowa Minnesota and Oklahoma State have combined for the previous TWENTY TWO national titles in a row. Other than Darrion Caldwell NC State has not had an AA since 1996. Four years later and NC State beats all 3 of those programs in one season and has four guys in the top 10. Utter Insanity.
Never in a million years would I have predicted this program to have so much success so fast. This has to be the quickest and most dramatic improvement of a non-traditional powerhouse program ever. When combined with what he did at binghamton I'm convinced Popalizio is a wizard
Posted by VakAttack on 25 January 2016 - 04:40 AM
Lets take some time to look at where everybody stands with regards to the team race. I've said all along Penn State was the clear favoirte going into this year and advocated early on for Iowa to redshirt Burak and have him for next year. That obviously didn't happen, so lets take a look at where we stand as of now.
Penn State: The Favorites
125 lbs.: Nico Megaludis. He looks like the same guy he's always been, which is very good, but I'm sure slightly disappointing for Penn State fans that he's never really found another gear. He's a top 4 guy who wrestles close matches against the other top guys and thus is open to being upset and possibly falling out of the top 4. By the eye test, I have Gilman and Tomasello as the best guys at this weight, with Mega slightly behind. I don't think anyone would be surprised if he beat either guy or wins the weight, but from where we stand right now, I have him taking third. I know Dance beat him, but I thought Nico mostly outwrestled him and would pick Nico in a rematch.
133 lbs: Jordan Conaway. A really cool overall story with him originally committing to a lower tier D1 school that dropped wrestling and making his way to Penn State. He was a lower end recruit, but has really developed into a quality wrestler, almost entirely based on grit and motor. He's kind of what people may stereotype as the "Iowa style" if you really think about it. He's a mid to low AA threat. I have him taking 6th.
141: Jimmy Gulibon. Yeesh. Tough season for the kid. Lots of talent, but hasn't really developed like his pedigree led many to hope. The weight jump seems to have hurt more then helped, although whether that's mental or physical is up for debate. I don't see him placing.
149: Zain "Rutherford" Retherford. Just the opposite of Gulibon. Has made a real leap, very aggressive and turning people on top. He's the rightful favorite at the weight, though I think people discounting Sorenson are doing so unfairly. Scoring margin against common opponents doesn't always tell the whole story. See: Borschel-Lewnes, Dake-Taylor. That said, I'm predicting a Zain title.
157: Jason Nolf. On the heels of his huge win over I-Mart, the hype has been justified. Very talented and creative, he kind of reminded me of Dake a little bit in that he refused to give up the TD even when it looked like I-Mart had him dead to rights. He's number 1 ranked right now, but as I indicated in the Nolf-I-Mart thread, there were some other occurrences not caused by Nolf that also affected that match. I'm saying Nolf takes second.
165: Shakur Rasheed. I'm going with him even though I know there is a triumvirate at the moment competing for the spot. The upside seems to great with him compared to the others. He's a real threat to pin early against most guys, but he's faded late in matches, including against Rodriguez, whom he almost pinned. He's a threat for the back end of the podium, but I think the grind of the tournament and making weight repeatedly gets to him and he finishes Round of 16.
174: Bo Nickal. Early in the season, I said that I thought as people started to figure out his unusual style and more tape existed, he would come back down to Earth. And, to a degree, he has, he's not really blowing the doors off people like it felt like he did to Epperly, including taking a loss to Nate Jackson of Indiana; however, even with "coming back down to Earth", he's still winning almsot every match, so.... Even in the Brunson match, I felt like Brunson was outwrestling Bo, and was in on a potentially winning takedown until Bo essentially said "Nope" and countered that suddenly having Brunson on his back. Brunson then seemingly was like "Sorry, dad" and gave up the fall. I think, withh all the evidence, I have Bo as a slight favorite,and I think he follows thru on that and takes first in a wide open weight.
184: Matt McCutcheon? It's hard to know what to say here until we know the severity of the injury. Cutch was having a good year, including a fantastic win over TJ Dudley. If he makes it back healthy, he's a mid-low AA threat. If not, no points for Penn State at this loaded weight.
197: Morgan McIntosh. Another guy who is great, like Nico, but who never really found that other gear. He's kind of been moving up the podium by attrition. He's clearly very good and deserving of the Top 3. He's had struggles against Hartmann and Cox, so he has a very reasonable shot to make the finals if he avoids one of them in the semifinals. I see him making the Finals, probably beating Burak in the semifinals, and losing to J'Den Cox.
HWT: Wes Phipps/Jan Johnson. Not much to say, neither guy has much to offer in terms of the team race.
So, I have Penn State with 6 All Americans with the lowest being 6th place, and two champions.
Iowa: The Challengers, Part 1
125 lbs. Thomas Gilman. To my eye, he has looked like he's found a new level from last year. So has NaTo, to be fair. I think both guys look great, and I'm going to allow my homer bias to let me pick Gilman to win the chip. 1st place.
133 lbs: Cory Clark. Unfortunately, he looks to have stayed the same place, maybe even a step back in neutral. He's wearing a pretty thick knee pad, so maybe the injury is more then we think. On top he's a monster. I think he beats Zane Richards or anyone else who isn't Nahshon or Brewer. 3rd place.
141 lbs: I'm guessing Brody Grothus, though Topher Carton is a possibility. Brody has more upside. There was a real leap between what Brody did at the open tournament he wrestled in and the match against Purdue where he beat and stifled a tough Sabatello. That said, I haven't seen anything that would indicate to me he's some surefire AA, and with the brand new weight cut (to this year) and returning from an injury...I can see him making the lower part of the podium, but I'm predicting Round of 12.
149 lbs: Brandon Sorenson. This kid is super impressive, and I think he has a real shot at a title, but there's a behemoth in his way. Sorenson is solid in all facets of wrestling, and his defense is second to none. I see him beating Lavion Mayes in the semifinals but losing to Rutherford. 2nd place.
157 lbs: Edwin Cooper. Coop has been a pleasant surprise given what we saw last year. He's a tough wrestler with some skill and athleticism. A Top 20-Top 15 guy. That's great for a dual, not so much for a tournament. I could see him winning a couple of matches, but Round of 16 is likely his ceiling.
165: Patrick Rhoads or Burke Paddock? Preseason, I was predicting Paddock would take the spot, bu the winds seem to be indicating it will be Rhoads. Neither guy is much of a threat to do anything, although Paddock does have some intriguing skills for the future. Maybe win a match, maybe 0-2 BBQ.
174 lbs: Alex Meyer. It's time to face facts at this point, Meyer isn't who Iowa fans hoped he would be coming into the season. Limited offensively and he's just not an upper echelon kind of guy. His ceiling seems to be about 5th or 6th to me. I predict he takes 8th, but obviously could easily see him off the podium.
184 lbs.: Sammy Brooks. Was lighting the world on fire early on, but has come back down to earth some. Good enough to beat anybody at the weight, including Dean, but also lose to a bunch of guys. That's the nature of the weight, 84 is loaded. I predict he takes 5th.
197 lbs.: Nathan Burak. Burak has been a really pleasant surprise this year. He was always good, but he has upped his game to my eye. More attacks, more points, and more fundamentally sound. I think he has a real chance to beat anybody and win this weight, although I would still have him as an underdog. McIntosh has had his number for awhile, though, and even if I think MM has stayed basically the same, that mental edge is sometimes very difficult to overcome. I think Burak takes 3rd or 4th. I'll say 3rd for here, but if it's Hartmann, that's been a tough match for him in the past.
HWT: Sam Stoll. Another pleasant surprise for Iowa fans, Stoll has been REALLY good out of the gate when many thought he would struggle. Early on I said I had him in about the same tier where Nick Nevills was ranked at the time (9th for Nevills) and Stoll has ended up in that area. Stoll seems to be constantly improving, too. The top of this weight is too good for Stoll to crack as a frosh, but I predict him taking 6th.
So I have Iowa with 7 AA's, but more lower tier AA's then Penn State has. One champ for Iowa, too.
Oklahoma State: The Challengers, Part 2
125 lbs.: Eddie "Pablo" Klimara. I know the nickname isn't really fair, but it always cracked me up. Klimara has shown himself to be really solid this year and is pretty firmly entrenched in the second tier of guys at this weight. Fundamentally sound, it seems like his major kryptonite is getting within a few feet of Thomas Gilman. I could see him placing as high as 4th, as I could see him upsetting Dance or Mega, but I think he takes 5th.
133 lbs.: Gary Wayne Harding. For a few weeks, it looked like the Kaid Brock bandwagon was going to be unstoppable. Then he got hurt and many thought it was going to be a "what might have been" situation at 133. However, NOW it might be a "what might be" situation as Harding has shown a new level upon his return. Beating a tough Synon (whom he has admittedly beat before) and taking Earl Hall to the brink (literally less then a second from RT to tie the match and head to OT) is an impressive return. That said, he did lose to Hall and it's a very loaded weight. I have a hard time seeing him make the podium, so I'll predict Round of 12.
141 lbs.: Dean Heil. The guy I touted as number 1 coming into the season (looking at you, Christian Pyles) has pretty firmly entrenched himself there. He doesn't really seem to LOOK impressive, just the end result seems to come out in his favor consistently Good to great in all positions, he's going to be tough for anybody to beat. That said, I think McKenna out of Standord, whom Heil admittedly beat, is on a steeper curve and his natural ability will carry him to a title over Dean. I predict Heil takes 2nd.
149 lbs.: Anthony Collica. The Alex Meyer of Oklahoma State, Collica has been a let down. Many thought that he was finally at his correct weight and may be a title contender coming into the season. Instead, he got handled by Sorenson early, and has taken some questionable losses since then. He's shown a bit better form in the last few matches, but essentially he's showing himself to be...exactly who he's been his whole career thusfar. Talented, but not quite top tier, and more of a Round of 12/low AA guy. I think he finally gets on the podium this year, but I think he's 7th.
157 lbs.: JoJo Smith. I know everybody calls him "Joe" now, but JoJo is more distinctive, and you don't get to choose your nickname, sorry. This goes for you, too, I-Mart. If you really think about it, JoJo is on a pretty incredible learning and improvement curve right now. I won't be totally shocked if he wins this weight by the end of the year. He got handled by I-Mart, but was the aggressor in a close match with Nolf, who just beat I-Mart pretty handily himself. I think he takes 4th, though, as I think he loses to either of those two guys in the semifinals and then gets taken unawares by the dynamic Ian Miller. Fourth place for JoJo..
165 lbs.: Alex "Ringer" Dieringer. Ring ding dong. Ring da ding da ding dong, keep da heads ringin. This dude is incredible. To be frank, I don't see anyone really challenging him. I know, I saw the Lewis match. Not worried in the slightest.
174 lbs.: Kyle Crutchmer. Dynamic offense, he has some questions on defense and in the gas tank department. Maybe a slight favorite for the weight coming in, he's fallen back a little bit. I think he's still near the top of the weight, but I think he takes 3rd.
184 lbs.: Nolan Boyd. He's started to come on a little bit, but I just don't think he's a reall AA threat. I see him in the Round of 16.
197 lbs.: Andrew Marsden. I honestly haven't seen much of him. I say he may win a match, but that's it, but I admit this is kind of uninformed.
HWT: Austin Marsden. Marsden is a big boy, but I see him near the top of the second tier (with Tanner Hall), and the top 4 are a little separated to me (Gwiz, Snyder, Walz and Coon). Hall has been a little up and down, so I think Marsden maxes out his second tier placement and takes 5th.
So i have Oklahoma State with 7 AAs and 1 champ. A lot of their AAs are mid level, though, so I think they have an uphill battle for the team title. I think they'll be battling it out with Iowa for 2nd.
Ohio State: The Darkhorses
125 lbs.: Nate Tomasello. He's looked really good, outside of about 20 seconds after Conor Youtsey chokeslammed him into the Spanish Announcer's Table where he seemed dazed. NaTo is short, but powerfully built, and his neutral game is on point. He's borderline impossible to ride. On top I haven't seen anything I would qualify as elite, but...if he takes you down and can't be ridden, he's going to win almost every match. I've already predicted Gilman winning, but I have NaTo 2nd.
133 lbs.: Johnny DiJulius. Alex Meyer's Spirit Animal. The perennially disappointing JDJ takes one last shot at his great white whale, the All American podium. Seemingly a top contender of a mid-AA, at least by ranking, for the last few years, his very limited game is somewhat reminiscent of Jake Patacsil in neutral. His limitations seem to come out every year in March. Frankly, if you get the first takedown on JDJ, the match is mostly over. He's got three moves in neutral: grabbing the wrist, a fireman's carry and grabbing the wrist REALLY hard. I see him falling short again. Sorry Ohio State fans.
141 lbs: Mickey Jordan. Absolutely massive at the weight. He's got a ton of skills, but he's also had some issues, including his loss against Matt Manley. Super talent who struggled a bit during his redshirt. I think he's going to do well, but I don't think he's a real title threat. I'm predicting Micah to take 5th in a very tough weight.
149 lbs.: Hunter Stieber. Ugh. God I hope he turns it all the way around. Out of all the guys competing at this weight, at his peak he has the most aesthetically pleasing style. He was great in all positions. He's aggressive and has great takedowns, and is just...fluid. Or he was. Now he has no arms. I'm sorry. I hope I'm wrong. But I just don't see it.
157 lbs.: Jake Ryan. He's been really solid for them all year. He's a top 15, top 20ish guy. Right now Flo has him 12th. I think that's fair. I don't see him taking a spot on the stand or the Round of 12. I have him Round of 16, but I could see him in the Round of 12 at the top of his ceiling this year.
165 lbs.: Bo Jordan. An amazing talent who just happens to be caught in a weight with maybe the best wrestler in all of college this season. He's great in all positions. I know he lost to his cousin last year, also a great talent. I think it's possible there may be a psychological issue in any rematch, but I think Bo's talent takes him over the top of Isaac in the semifinals into a Finals loss with the Ringer. 2nd place for BoJo.
174 lbs.: Myles Martin. I would not have pulled Martin's redshirt. I don't think their shot at the title is that strong, and he would be better off waiting a year. But we are where we are now. Martin is talented, but there are a lot of good wrestlers in a wide open weight. He could finish as high as 5th, IMO, but I think he misses the podium, losing in the Round of 12. I won't be shocked to see him on the podium.
184 lbs.: Kenny Courts. Coming off a big NCAA tournament, many people were hoping and believing that Martin had turned the corner and his talent was going to allow him to maintain a spot near the top of the rankings...it hasn't quite worked out that way. I have no idea if it's weight, injury or psychological, but he's all over the map. He's lost all of the matches against the highly ranked guys, including getting mollywopped by Willie Miklus by major and techfall within 8 days. The weight is crazy, and nobody expected Courts to do what he did last year, but I still think he's not going to make the podium. I just think his form is what it is right now, and it's not good. I say Round of 16.
197 lbs.: Mark Martin. Coming into the season, a lot of people were thinking maybe we'd see a Heflin-like season...again, not so much. Mark Martin continues to be Mark Martin, which is a solid wrestler who lacks dynamic scoring ability and tries to get by only on defense. I do not see him making the podium, nor even coming close. I think he may win a match or two, but that's it.
HWT: Kyle Snyder. The Kid. Man, I am against this move. He should be focusing on bringing a title back from Rio. But I don't make that call, Snyder and Tom Ryan made that call. I hope he gets it still. That leaves us with this. I don't think anybody is on his level technically, obviously, but the size disparity will be real and will have to be maintained, since he's wrestling at 211 Internationally, including a Yarygin, if I'm correct. I think he takes 4th. I have a hard time seeing him beating the massive Coon or Walz, or the big and also highly skilled Gwiz. I could be wrong, but with the added issue of keeping his weight down for International competitions, I think he's going to be giving up too much size to guys who are also highly skilled, though not as skilled as he is.
That leaves Ohio State with 5 AAs and no champs, but a couple of finalists. I could be wrong, obviously I was wrong about them last year, but I don't think they have the horses and that's why I would have left Martin and Snyder in their respective redshirts.
The Missouri Fightin' Tigers: The Upstart
I know they're not the highest ranked non-B1G team, but hey, it's my thread.
125 lbs.: Barlow McGhee. Rock solid and has really improved under Brian Smith. Nobody knew who this guy was two years ago and now he's top 10ish in the country. I think his style and strength lend itself to winning some funky backside matches, and I think he sneaks on the podium for a 7th place finish.
133 lbs.: Zach Synon. Another guy who's made a real leap. before this year his biggest accomplishment was beating a Nahshon Garrett who had been trying to make a brutal cut to 125 last season and missed weight. This year he's developed more consistency. I don't think he makes AA, but I think he's in the Round of 12.
141 lbs.: Matt Manley. Being very honest with you guys, didn't know anything about him coming into the season. He's won a lot this year though, including the big win over Mickey Jordan. That said, despite his ranking, I'm still skeptical, perhaps unfairly so. I think he sneaks an 8th place finish.
149 lbs.: Lavion Mayes. Many, myself included, questioned his ability to move up in weight, but he does not seem to have slowed down. Dynamite on his feet, he has weaknesses on the mat and is susceptible there. That makes Zain Rutherford B. Hayes a tough match up for him. His style will be an interesting match up with Brandon Sorenson. Sorenson is ubertough defensively, but Lavion is lightning on his reattacks. I'm picking Sorenson to beat him in the semis on the way to Mayes taking 3rd, but I won't be shocked if Lavion is in the Finals.
157 lbs.: Le'Roy Barnes. A blown up 141 who actually beat Manley, Barnes has made a name for himself by being insanely tough despite being small for the weight. He's not actually winning a lot of these matches, but I think he'll win a couple at NCAAs, but will not AA or make the Round of 12. Round of 16 probably is his ceiling, which is great for a 141lber. I'm going to officially predict 2-2, both wins on the backside.
165 lbs.: Daniel "Day" Lewis. HAs really announced himself to the world by riding the bejeezus out of the two best (IMO) 165s in the country. I have no idea why Dieringer wasn't called for stalling at least once more. That skill alone is enough to win a bunch of matches. Flo has him ranked 9th, but I think he may place considerably higher than that. I will predict he takes 5th.
174 lbs.: Blaise Butler. This wrestling nomad keeps on winning wherever he goes, with his latest win over a guy who has given him a lot of trouble in Kyle Crutchmer. Blaise is reallly good, although he can struggle on bottom. He's very skilled in neutral especially. I think he takes something like 6th place
184 lbs.: Willie Miklus. The Iowa native is maybe the most fun guy to watch on Mizzou and at 184, which is saying something in such a loaded weight. Tons of offense from Willie and always creating angles, I like him to do quite well. He's ranked 6th by Flo, but I predict he will take third, losing in the semifinals to Vic Avery, but beating Lehigh's Nate Brown in the consi finals.
197 lbs.: J'Den Cox. The man-child. He looks gigantic at this weight, and despite delivering a Tombstone piledriver on the exposed floor of Phil Wellington, he's lookd fantastic this year. I don't think anyone really has the sikill set to consistently win against him. I have him taking 1st place.
HWT: James Romero. This appears to be the guy. He's just not that good right now, although that's to be expected of a true freshman out of NEw MExico. He has shown flashes of raw athleticism that could develop into a good NCAA D1 level wrestler, but right now I don't see him qualifying.
Virginia Tech: The Mystery
I call them the mystery because they have a bunch of high end talent, but I'm not sure what to expect, especially with the mysterious disappearances of Bracetta and Epperly.
125 lbs.: Joey Dance. The last member of the top tier to get into the preview, Dance is a very interesting style. Very scrambly and tough on top, he seems to me, relative to the Gilman and Tomasello, more of a counterwrestler in neutral. Mega is kind of like that, too, when wrestling top guys. If Tomasello and Gilman keep their attacks clean, I think they're just a bit better than Dance. I know Dance beat Mega earlier this year, but IMO Mega was the better wrestler whereas Dance took advantage of the situation a little bit. I'm sure Va. Tech fans feel differently, but I have Dance taking 4th.
133 lbs.: Dennis Gustafson. I'm not sure what to make of Gustafson coming back. He's been a solid wrestler for his career in general, but I just don't think he's ann AA level, not this season. He has only two losses, but both are to the best guys he's faced. He'll potentially have another upper level test in DiCamillo in a few days, maybe that will change my opinion. I think he wins a match or two if he qualifies (not sure what the ACC qualifier situation is at 133), but that's it.
141 lbs.: Solomon Chishko. Really good, but young kid. He's getting better every time I watch him. His best win, a somewhat iffy upset of Jimmy Gulibon, is kind of tarnished now given Gulibon's struggles. He's a contender for the lower end of the podium, but I think with it being his first time at NCAAs he ends up in the Round of 12.
149 lbs.: Sal Mastriani. Oof. Not how most of us saw this going, but there just appears to be something wrong with im. Whatever it is, I don't see him qualifying.
157 lbs.: Nic Brascetta. One half of the "mystery" I referenced earlier, I've heard rumors about him not wanting to wrestle anymore, but it's all very vague. Talent wise, he's very good. I'm going to look at this in a positive light and think he comes back fine and invested, and I have him taking 6th. The top of this weight is beyond him, IMO, but he's a solid mid AA.
165 lbs.: Dave McFadden. Supertalented true freshman, he's had the kind of experience you would expect from a supertalented true freshman at one of the mid to upper weights. He's had some highs and some lows. He has a really bright future, but I think he's going to fall short in year one of the podium. I have him losing in the Round of 16, although Round of 12 is also a distinct possibility.
174 lbs.: Zach Epperly. The other half of the mystery, where has he gone? There are rumors with little substantive weight about him, also, not wanting to wrestle, but I'm again going to be positive here and do this based on ability. Before the season he was probably who I would have picked to win the title. I think he comes back strong and ends up 2nd to Nickal.
184 lbs.: Zack Zavatsky. I've been very impressed with him this year, but he's also in a loaded weight. It's hard to predict who will end up on the podium here and who will come up short, there's so much talent. I think ZZ Top ends up sliding into the very last spot on the podium with an 8th place finish.
197 lbs.: Jared Haught. I haven't watched him a whole lot this year, my only real memory of watching him was again McIntosh in the dual. I remember thinking he was huge. That said, I don't think he's there from a skills perspective. I predict he wins one match, but that's it.
HWT: Ty Walz. One of the "top tier" at the weight. Walz has looked good all year, most notably in his whooping of Adam Coon. What may hurt Walz is he's probably going to lose to Gwiz at conferences, and Coon may stay undefeated (he will in my predictions) going into the NCAAs. The All Star isn't factored into seeds. That may push Walz into the 4 seed and a semi with Gwiz. I have that happening and Walz beating Snyder in the consolation semifinals, although I think he may very well be the second best guy at the weight.
So I have 5 AAs for Virginia Tech and no champs, but a few guys being really close.
Posted by scribe on 24 January 2016 - 07:30 AM