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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/16/2014 in all areas

  1. 43 points

    The Littlest Hawkeye

    Personal announcement, a future world champion for the USA and Hawkeye Wrestling Club was born yesterday. My daughter is going to end Japanese stranglehold on women's wrestling. Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
  2. 22 points

    FS Credentials at Worlds-All Weights

    57KG - 38 Entries. 7 World/Olympic Medalists. 2 World/Olympic Champs Andreev (BLR) - World Bronze 14 Atli (TUR) - World Bronze 18 Atrinacharchi (IRI) - Asian Champ 19 Amiraslanov (AZE) - Junior Champ 15, Euro Games Champ 19 Erdenebat (MGL) - World Bronze 17 Fix (USA) - Junior Champ 17 Harutunyan (ARM) - 2 x Junior Bronze 17 and 18…Euro Champ 19 Micic (SRB) - Jr. Bronze 15, Euro Games Silver 19, Euro Bronze 18 Sanayev (KAZ) - World Silver 18 Takahashi (JPN) - World Champ 17, World Bronze 18 Uguev (RUS) - World Champ 18 Yatsenko (UKR) - World Bronze 17 61KG - 26 Entries. 4 World/Olympic Medalists. 1 World/Olympic Champ Bonne (CUB) - World Champ 18, World Bronze 17, World Bronze 14 Ehsanpoor (IRI) - Asian Champ 19 - 5th in worlds 17 Graff (USA) - Pan Am Champ 17 Gvarzatilov (AZE) - World Bronze 16 - Junior Champ 13 Idrisov (RUS) - U23 Champ 18 Lomtadze (GEO) - World Silver 16 Tumenbileg (MGL) - World Bronze 18 Topal (TUR) - Euro Bronze 18 and 19 Yamaguchi (JPN) - Junior Champ 19 65KG - 46 Entries. 7 World/Olympic Medalists. 3 World/Olympic champs Aliev (AZE) - World Champ 17, 15, 14, Olympic Bronze 16 Guidea (ROU) - Euro Bronze 16; 18 Khinchegashvili (GEO) - Olympic Silver 12, Gold 16, World Silver 14, Champ 15, Bronze 17 Kilicsallayan (TUR) - Euro Silver 19; Bronze 18, University Champ 14, Junior Champ 13 Muszukajev (HUN) - Junior Silver, Russian Runner Up in 2018 Niyazbekov (KAZ) - World Bronze - 2011 Otoguro (JPN) - World Champ 18 Punia, Bajrang (IND) - World Silver 18 Rashidov (RUS) - World Silver 17, 18 Retherford (USA) - Cadet Champ 12 Skryabin (BLR) - University Bronze 14, Russian Nationals Bronze 16 Tevanyan (ARM) - U23 Euro Champ 2019, Jr Bronze 18 Valdes Tobier (CUB) - World Bronze 17, 18 70KG - 30 Entries. 7 World/Olympic Medalists. 1 World/Olympic Champ Baev (RUS) - Jr Champ 17, U23 Silver 18 Batirov (BRN) - World Silver 18…HE’S 34! Junior Silver 03, Euro Silver 04; 09, Dogdurbek Uulu (KGZ) - World Bronze 16 Emamichoughuei (IRI) - U23 Bronze 17, Jr World Bronze 17 Gadzhiev (POL) - World Silver 17 Ganzorig (MGL) - World Bronze 13, 14 Green (USA) - World Bronze 15, Silver 17 Iakobishvili (GEO) - World Bronze 18, World Champ 17 Karpach (BLR) - Euro Bronze 18 Navruzov (UZB) - World Silver 15, Olympic Bronze 16, Radulov (UKR) - University Silver 12, University Bronze 13, Euro Bronze 16 Sava (MDA) - University Silver 16, University Bronze 14 74KG - 41 Entries. 10 World/Olympic Medalists. 4 World/Olympic Champs Abdurakhmanov (UZB) - World Bronze 14, 18 Afzali Paemami (IRI) - University Champ 12, 16 Bekzhanov (KAZ) - World Silver 16 Kaisanov (KAZ) - Asian Champ 19 Sakaev (KAZ) - University Bronze 16 Burroughs (USA) - World Champ 11, 13, 15, 17, Olympic Champ 12, World Bronze 14, 18 Chamizo (ITA) - World Bronze 10, World Champ 15, 17, Olympic Bronze 16 Demirtas (TUR) - Olympic Bronze 16, World Bronze 17, Gadzhiev (AZE) - Junior Champ 18, Junior Bronze 19, Sr. Euro Games Bronze 19 Garzon Caballero (CUB) - He’s 35! Junior world Champ IN 2003 (Andy Simmons was in this bracket)!!! World Bronze 05 (Chris Bono took 22), World Bronze 06 (Bill Zadick won!), World Silver 07 (Doug Schwab took 5th here), World Bronze 10 Gomez (PUR) - World Silver 11, Kentchadze (GEO) - World Silver 18, Khadjiev (FRA) - Euro Silver 17, 18, Junior Champ 14 Nurikau (BLR) - World 5th - 14, 15, 17 Sidakov (RUS) - World Champ 18 Kumar (IND) - He’s 36! Olympic Silver 12, Olympic Bronze 08, World Champ 10 Vasilioglu (ROU) - University Silver 18 79KG - 24 Entries. 4 World/Olympic Medalists. 1 World/Olympic Champ Dake (USA) - World Champ 18 Gaidarov (BLR) - HE’S 39! World Silver 03, Olympic Silver 08 Hasanov (AZE) - World Bronze 11, Silver 18, Olympic Bronze 16 Kurbanov (UZB) - World Bronze 13 Nabiev (RUS) - Junior Champ 15, U23 Silver 18 Nazhmudinov (ROU) - U23 Bronze 18 Salkazanov (SVK) - U23 Champ 18 Teymouri (IRI) - Asian Champ 19 86KG - 46 Entries. 9 World/Olympic Medalists. 1 World/Olympic Champ Aminashvili (GEO) - World Bronze 15 Dauletbekov (KAZ) - U23 Silver 17 Davlumbaev (KAZ) - U23 Bronze 16 Downey (USA) - Junior World Silver 12 Dudarov (GER) - Junior World Silver 12 Erdin (TUR) - World Silver 18 Espinal Fajardo (PUR) - Olympic Silver 12 Friev Naskideava (ESP) - World Bronze 18 Gostiev (AZE) - Euro Silver 16, 17, 18 Ianulov (MDA) - University Champ 10, University Bronze 13 Makoev (SVK) - World Silver 17 Naifonov (RUS) - Junior World Champ 17, U23 Silver 18, Euro Champ 18 Orazgylyov (TKM) - U23 Silver 18 Punia (IND) - Junior Champ 19, Junior silver 18 Shabanov (BLR) - World Bronze 13, 14, 17, 18 Takatani (JPN) - World Silver 2014 Torreblanca (CUB) - Pan Am Champ 19, 17, 15 Vereb (HUN) - World Bronze 13 Yazdani Charati (IRI) - World Champ 17, Olympic Champ 16, World Bronze 18, World Silver 15 92KG - 20 Entries. 3 World/Olympic Medalists. 1 World/Olympic Champ Cox (USA) - World Champ 18, World Bronze 17, Olympic Bronze 16 Karimimachiani (IRI) - World Bronze 15, 18 Mtsituri (GEO) - U23 Bronze 17, Euro Silver 19 Rubaev (MDA) - Junior Silver 2011 Toth (HUN) - University World Silver 18 Yankouski (BLR) - World Silver 18 Zhabrailov (RUS) - Russian Nationals Champ 19, Bronze 18 Zubairov (AZE) - U23 Champ 18 97KG - 28 Entries. 7 World/Olympic Medalists. 3 World/Olympic Champs Andriitsev (UKR) - Olympic Silver 2012, World Bronze 14 Hushtyn (BLR) - Euro Silver 17,18,19 Ibragimov (UZB) - Olympic Bronze 16 Odikadze (GEO) - World Bronze 18 Sadulaev (RUS) - World Champ 14, 15, 18, World Silver 17, Olympic Champ 16 Saritov (ROU) - World Bronze 11, Olympic Bronze 16 Shabanibengar (IRI) - U23 Bronze 18 Sharifov (AZE) - World Champ 11, Olympic Champ 12, World Bronze 09, Olympic Bronze 16 Snyder (USA) - World Champ, 15, 17, Olympic Champ 16, World Silver 18 Thiele (GER) - Junior Silver 16 125KG - 31 Entries. 6 World/Olympic Medalists. 2 World/Olympic Champs Akguel - (TUR) - World Champ 14, 15, World Silver 17 World Bronze 13, Olympic Champ 16 Berianidze (ARM) - World Bronze 10, 17 Deng (CHN) - World Silver 18 Gwiazdowski (USA) - World Bronze 17, 18 Khotsianivski (UKR) - University Silver 13, University Bronze 12 Khugaev (RUS) - Russian Champ 19 Ligeti (HUN) - University Bronze 10 Magomedov (AZE) - World Silver 15, World Bronze 11 Mohebbi (IRI) - Asian Champ 19 Petriashvili (GEO) - World Champ 17, 18, World Bronze 14, 15, Olympic Bronze 16 Rakhimov (UZB) - Junior Bronze 18 Romanov (MDA) - University Bronze 16
  3. 21 points

    Dream On

    The smell of the wrestling mat, you all know it. That familiar combination of Polyethylene foam, disinfectant, human sweat. Laced with the smell of athletic tape and the aroma of popcorn. I'm about to step onto the mat against a salty opponent, but I'm not nervous at all, I'm calm/at peace...he's really good, but I'm better. I feel loose, bouncing lightly on the balls of my feet, doing the wrestler's version of the Twist dance. The crowd is making noise and birds are chirping, but then, that doesn't make sense, birds in the gymnasium? I hear a dog bark once, and the gym scene narrows and fades into a fog. I am slowly waking from a dream, still feeling good, ready to wrestle...my brain is rebooting from dream to reality with the speed of a Commodore 64...first I realize I'm not in the gym, but laying in bed, but that's ok because I can still get up and wrestle. But then my mind tells me it's not 1983, not even '93 when I was 36 and could still roll around... years click forward, through the 90's, 2000's, 2010's, like frames of film, until I reach the humble realization that it is 2020 and I'm 62 years old, not bouncing on deck at a wrestling meet. A notion sparks, that I could get back in shape! I've still got eligibility! Until my Commodore pulls up inventory: a knee that hurts every day, a busted shoulder, a wrist that hardly bends and broken, arthritic fingers, AND 25 pounds of emergency rations in a roll of fat around my belly. The spark is snuffed out. The sad fact settles in, that I'll never, ever, compete again. I've had vivid wrestling dreams where a guy shoots in and I'm countering so fast that my reaction beats the thought to my brain. I can do moves I've never done, like Vincenzo or Chandler, stuff I was never any good at. But then I wake up, spend a full minute working the pins and needles out of my left arm and limp to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. I rub my eyes, but can't clear the glaucoma. Sometimes they are anxiety dreams, where they call my name to the mat and I can't find my head gear, or my shoes anywhere. In those dreams I never get to step onto the mat. But after all my wrestling dreams I am left with one comforting thought; because of wrestling, I'm tough and resilient....and pretty sure I could still pin WillieBoy.
  4. 20 points

    The all about me thread

    Last night my girl, who I’ve lived with for about two years, threw a party for my 45th bday. When it game time to open presents....boy did I put a good one on everyone there. Opening what was supposed to be a gift from my oldest daughter, I instead pulled out the diamond, shocked the hell out of everybody, and got down on my knee. I called this the all about my post, but it’s really all about her. I am super excited that she will soon be my wife. Merry Christmas to everyone! We have some squabbles around here but that’s what family does. Wish you all the happiest of holidays. Mine has already been beyond blessed.
  5. 20 points

    34 yo wrestler at ASU

    Pretty good story. Crazy that he is almost as old as Mark Hall.
  6. 19 points

    Impressive Iowa

    Nice try. Lets look at the evidence. Your user name is "1032004". What letter does 1 COINCIDENTALLY resemble? A capital I. 0 is obviously similar to O. So we're at IO. What is a 3 but a sideways W? IOW. Finally, 2004. The UN designated the year 2004 as the "International Year of Rice." What State produces the most rice in the US? That's right, Arkansas. What is the first letter in Arkansas? Right again, it's A. Nice try, Coach Brands.
  7. 19 points

    Willie at Flo

    thanks for the mostly kind words guys. (also thanks for following some of my work over the years). i'll give an explanation sometime in the next couple days. still love the guys at flo and appreciate all the invaluable opportunities they've given me over the years. but also looking forward to doing my own thing and the excitement and challenges that come with it.
  8. 18 points

    David Carr Twitter

    Pretty Cool
  9. 18 points

    Giving PDIII props

    Man, Downey beats a 4x AA and a past NCAA Champion and now people are trying to downplay Martin's career so they can't give Downey credit. What is wrong with you people?
  10. 17 points

    Just when I thought I was out....

    After three years of reffing and, (up until about 10–12 days ago), 100% confident my coaching days were days of the past.....not so much. Perfect situation has arose at a school well established in Athletics and plenty of resources, but never had wrestling. Starting one next year, they came calling....by the time we got done with talks it’s a scenario I can’t pass up. Super excited, but I can’t tell anyone yet, so you guys get to be my social media for the weekend. This is the third program in the area I live that I’ve started from scratch. I’m fired up for this one. ‘pray’ for me. Cheers!
  11. 17 points
    Iowa turned a guy, who was only a state runner up his senior year, into a 2 time ncaa champion, with 2 more years to go. How can you even compare the two.
  12. 16 points
    uncle bernard

    2022 Finals Detroit

    This just in: people who don't live in cities have no idea what cities are actually like.
  13. 16 points
    When Echemendia was 15, he allegedly defeated Thomas Gilman. By my calculation, Gilman was 12 at the time.
  14. 16 points

    No fans at NCAAs

    Every one is going to be mad about this after the fallout of coronavirus isn't too horrible, yet it will be likely that its not horrible because the country did things like this.
  15. 16 points
    Seriously though, if you think I'm going to partake before an NCAA session you are sorely mistaken. I won't sacrifice even a millisecond of the reaction time it takes for me to stand up out of my chair, point with my fist in the air, and yell "WHAT'S HE DOIN' REF?" "HE'S BACKIN' UP" "MAKE HIM WRESTLE!" The wrestlers have a job to do, and so do I.
  16. 15 points

    College wrestlers getting married

    Team Bar Lizards here
  17. 15 points

    Lee Kemp

    I just finished watching "Wrestled Away, the Lee Kemp Story" on Amazon Prime. If you grew up during that time, I think you will enjoy it. I know I did. I've met Mr Kemp once shortly after he came from behind at the buzzer to defeat my team mate Paul Martin in Stillwater. It was the disco era so a few guys from the team took a couple of the badgers down to the local place to dance, after the dual. I'm sure he wouldn't remember me, but I was one of the guys that pointed him toward the dance floor. I finished the video believing what I had thought since my first time I saw him live and shook his hand and met him. He is truly the kind of man that I believe we should all aspire to be. The class and dignity he exhibits in this movie is subtle, but it sure didn't go past me. I wrestled in his bracket at the 76 Olympic Trials in Cleveland. I was not even close to a factor, but a guy named Joe Wells pummeled me to within an inch of my life and Joe was 4th at the weight, behind Dziedzic, Schalles and Kemp. Lee and Jimmy Jackson were the two college champs from that year who finished in the top 4. Kudos to you Mr Lee Kemp. I've been around a lot of great wrestlers, and they are often, but not always great men too. You sir are the Gold Standard as far as I'm concerned. Lee if you read this I was the guy in Cleveland yelling "don't grab Schalles leg!" If you were there, you would understand. :--)
  18. 15 points

    No fans at NCAAs

    How will the refs know when to call stalling on Iowa’s opponents?
  19. 15 points

    Jason Tsirtsis

    Hell yeah! If he can rub off on those middleweights, there could be some serious 1-1 double overtime battles in their future. Huge get for Indiana
  20. 14 points
    Amine has dual citizenship in US and San Marino. Only difference is that over there, he goes by Kilometers Amine.
  21. 14 points

    Really bad press for NCWA

    And this is the problem we have right now in America, a bunch of bozos think they know better than scientists and epidemiologists that have spent their entire life studying viruses.
  22. 14 points

    My wish for each wrestling country

    I know none of these will happen in the near future, but here is one thing I wish each wrestling country would do differently. Russia - Get hard vigilant against juicing, and get rid of it once and for all. Russian wrestlers are already very good, no need for juicing USA - Get rid of folkstyle wrestling at the college and high school levels (at least college levels) , and replace it with Freestyle wrestling. I guarantee US would do much better in world championships and olympics Iran - Stop the stupid policy of avoiding athletes from Israel. Go back to the days before the revolution where Iranian wrestlers pinned Israeli wrestlers left and and right Countries that suck in wrestling (e.g. Bahrain) . Instead of paying good wrestlers from other countries to change their citizenship to yours and wrestler for you, do what India did, invest in some good foreign coaches, and turn your program around.
  23. 14 points

    Suriano’s Dad

    On behalf of the southerners here ....why can't she be BOTH?
  24. 13 points
    Absolute beast of an athlete. Gentlemen and ambassador. We’re lucky to have him. This guy needs his own thread. How long till we see another like him? *note* It was 23 years between him and John Smith.
  25. 13 points

    Junior Workds

    2/3 Mizzou wrestlers in the finals. Imagine if they were athletic?????
  26. 13 points

    Connor's Dad

    Rusty was a longtime contributor to my network and this is heart-breaking. Parents like him make fans out of a lot of people - his support of his son and the path to college made me want to follow Connor and his career. This is never easy, but this one is a gut punch.
  27. 13 points

    Separated at birth?

    Kaleb Young looks a bit like a chocolatier we all know...
  28. 13 points
    I previously posted about the website I created, FreestyleWrestling.org. This contains all of the matches I've compiled for the top 20 Men's Freestyle guys in the world at each Olympic weight since 2018. So, there are roughly 8-10 thousand match results. Goal is to add non-Olympic weights by next Spring. I have updated the site and added the results for the 2019 US Men's and Women's National teams since 2018. Felt like you all would be interested in that and could use it as a resource for the upcoming Olympic Trials and beyond. Because there are so many results, I've noticed a few errors here and there. I'm doing my best to clean them up. If you do use the site and find an error, let me know by sending an me an email at JonathanJKozak@Gmail.com.
  29. 13 points

    Purdue Suspends 13

    Too many boilermakers at this party?
  30. 13 points

    My Son

    So I know this isn’t wresting related but, hopefully, my boys will want to at least try out wrestling in a few years. My oldest, just turned 3 two weeks ago and My wife and I would never force them into anything, so I guess we will see. Today, at daycare, they started “fitness time”. I was sent this pic shortly after, and thought I’d share as I almost pissed myself seeing it. When I picked him up, as usual, he told me about his day... Him: “I cried today Daddy” Me: “why’s that bub?” Him: “Daddy...jumping jacks make me sad....” Me: “same buddy, same....”
  31. 13 points
    ******Breaking News******* New variation of gut wrench discovered off of the coast of Italy!
  32. 13 points
    I do not know what he does full time, but I’m told on weekends he tends to bring his hips to the party.
  33. 13 points
    steamboat_charlie v2

    No fans at NCAAs

    Largest NCAA tournament venue ever... lowest attendance ever. Can't wait to hear Terry berating officials, echoing across a silent, empty football stadium.
  34. 13 points
    Ed Ruth pouring one out
  35. 13 points
  36. 13 points
    Choosing to post this year, due to venue, and the impact of said venue. This past weekend, I was able to experience (for me), what I would call an "experience of a lifetime". Let me qualify and explain: I wrestled folk, free, and a tiny bit of greco in "my day" I was self-admittedly, a mediocre wrestler at best. Although I had utmost aspirations, they were met with adversity after adversity, challenge after challenge. At no time did my love the sport wane, but, my ability to compete did. Given the above, my 8 year-old son has decided, on his own, to give wrestling a try. We live in CO, and had the opportunity over the weekend to receive a tour of the Olympic Training Center. Now, most tours, you get a chance to walk into buildings/areas, snap some pics (with no flash of course), and create some memories. However, my son's coach was cleared to take us ALL on the mats at the OTC. While there, he provided about 20-25 minutes of instruction to the kiddos that were there, and also involved the parents. So... what was my experience of a lifetime? My son and I were able to receive instruction from a VERY highly regarded coach, while ON the mats where our Olympic Stars train, while "drilling" and bonding with my son. As a mediocre wrestler, the notion of ever stepping into the room, let alone on the mat, and with my son, will be an experience that I will NEVER forget.
  37. 13 points

    Cox in 86 Kg?

    جی دن کاکس، حریف آمریکایی علیرضا کریمی اخیرا گفته برای حضور در المپیک تصمیم به تغییر وزن دارد و می‌خواهد از ۹۲ به ۸۶ کیلوگرم وزن شما بیاید و در این صروت قطعا رقابت سنگینتر خواهد شد؟ یزدانی: بله، من هم شنیده‌ام؛ کاکس شخصیت بسیار خوبی دارد و با یکدیگر دوست هستیم و هر وقت در مسابقات یکدیگر را می‌بینیم احترام زیادی می‌گذاریم. جند بار هم به من گفته که می‌خواهد برای المپیک تغییر وزن دهد که من با خنده پاسخش را داده‌ام. برای من فرقی نمی‌کند با چه حریفی کشتی بگیرم، اگر نماینده ایران در المپیک باشم تمام تلاشم را برای موفقیت و اهتزاز پرچم کشورم و شادی دل مردم ایران انجام می‌دهم. به عنوان یک سرباز وظیفه من جنگیدن در میدان مبارزه است. Transtaion Yazdani: Yes, I have heard that too. Cox has very good character and we are friends. We show respect to each other every time that we see each other in tournaments. He has told me a few times that he wants to change weight for the Olympics, and I respond with a laugh. For me it does not matter who my opponent is. If I am Iran's representative in the Olympics, I will do my best for success and raising the flag of my country, and to bring joy to people of Iran. As a competitor, it is my duty t fight in the field
  38. 13 points

    Been a long time coming

    This has been coming for some time but since I’ve been around for a long time I thought I drop one last line. I have no connection to wrestling anymore beyond this message board and what my DVR records. I have not been to an event at any level in 3 years and quite honestly don’t see anything changing soon. Last year #1 and #2 were wrestling within an hour of me and I never even considered going. Other than a limp which is progressively getting worse, boxes of old medals and trophies I no longer look at, and a lot of memories good and bad there is nothing for me. My life has changed too much and while wrestling was a huge part of my life (40+ years) it’s the past, not the future. I guess for almost all of us this time comes. I have other priorities and new goals. To those of you I’ve loved and hated for the past 15 years, I wish you all well.
  39. 13 points
  40. 12 points
    Here we go again with the "waste of talent" and "what he wants to do with his life is judged based solely on what I want him to do with his life" Yeesh...
  41. 12 points
    The biggest difference is working with sildanefil is really hard.
  42. 12 points

    Best Colleges for each weight.

    Since the weight changes, most titles by weight (1999-2019, 2021) 125: Iowa (5) 133: Oklahoma State (5) 141: Ohio State, Oklahoma (4) 149: Penn State (4) 157: Penn State (3) 165: Penn Sate, Oklahoma State (4) 174: Penn State (5) 184: Penn State (6) 197: Oklahoma State, Iowa State (4) 285: Minnesota (6) Most placewinners by weight (1999-2021) 125: Iowa, Minnesota (15) 133: Iowa (16) 141: Oklahoma (14) 149: Iowa (14) 157: Iowa (13) 165: Oklahoma State (13) 174: Penn State (13) 184: Cornell (14) 197: Minnesota (13) 285: Minnesota (17)
  43. 12 points

    Lack of nicknames

    Gable Steveson already has the name "Gable Steveson", so that doesn't work for Spencer...
  44. 12 points

    Tom Brands tests positive

    Ryan doesn't do vaccinations. OSU is immune. All prayed away.
  45. 12 points
    drag it


    Wanted to give some separate-thread props to these two guys. That was fabulous. The first half of the dual had a close score but no competitive matches and with the injury at 133 everything seemed a little off (watching by TV anyway). Then the top marquee match of the top dual of the year if not years leads off the second half and the 2x nat'l champ and the guy who was undefeated against him put on a show. Great ties all match, particularly multiple extended stretches with the best double unders guy and the best double overs guy getting their holds in and ending up in a titanic throw that went the other way from prior matches. Marinelli battling back and hitting his own throw which with more time in the period might have made it a nail biter to the end. Blood all over both wrestlers faces for half the match. Boom! Great stuff.
  46. 12 points

    Iowa Fashion

    It’s just an extension of the underwear rotation, i.e. front day 1, back day 2, inside out front day 3, inside out back day 4, then hamper thing.
  47. 12 points
    There was always a pretty solid chance of this happening considering his triple re-commit de-commit. Clearly Snyder was a big factor in him choosing Ohio State to begin with. Chase Singletary walking to class this afternoon:
  48. 12 points

    Fighting Illini 2020 Preview

    125- Travis Piotrowski- Sr. Breakdown: Three-time NCAA qualifier Travis Piotrowski returns for his final run. Piotrowski is seasoned veteran performer. He boasts an impressive 60-win career with 5 career NCAA wins and enough quality wins to climb as high as the mid-teens in the rankings. Despite all of this success, however, Piotrowski has up to now come up just a little short against the nation’s elite. He appears to be one of those higher-floor but somewhat lower-ceiling guys who make the really nice building blocks of a program, but who seldom end up with much individual glory. Piotrowski is exciting to watch. He gets to legs often and will go for broke when opponents hang around upstairs. He uses his length well and can scramble well making attacks difficult to finish. He is plenty proficient on the floor and is a game competitor who wrestles hard bell-to-bell. The only thing Piotrowski really lacks appears to be the elite athleticism to go with the very best of the best. I would love to see Piotrowski make a late-career jump and get on the podium, but another solid season, a 4th trip to NCAAs, and a round of 16 finish appears to be a more likely landing spot for this solid veteran warrior. Best Wins: Sean Fausz, Drew Mattin, Conor Youtsey, Zeke Moisey, Jay Schwarm, Brandon Paetzell Worst Losses: Almost all of Piotrowski’s losses have been to highly ranked opponents. Worst loss of last year was probably losing at NCAAs to Jay Schwarm after beating him 5-1 during the regular season. Most Anticipated Match-Ups: It feels like after 3 season, we know where Piotrowski falls. He will likely lose to Lee, Rivera, and Foley. He will likely beat Cray, Mattin, Schroder, and Teske. Leaving the match-ups with the blue-chip newcomers like Eric Barnett, Pat McKee, and Alex Thomsen as the potentially most intriguing. Waiting in the Wings for Illinois: Top ranked prep 120 pounder Lucas Byrd chose Champaign after decommitting to Maryland. Byrd will redshirt. The Illini also have a good one in Justin Cardani. Cardani had an excellent redshirt and flashed real starter potential by beating guys like Colin Valdiviez, Brandon Cray, Cevion Severado, Elijah Oliver, and Brandon Courtney, just to name a few. 133- ?? Breakdown: I feel like this shouldn’t happen at a major program in a power wrestling conference, especially in a state with premier prep talent, but this will likely be the fifth straight season in which the Illini will need to patch a hole in their lineup with a try hard guy who was never really intended to be an everyday starter. They do have a few 133 options in the building. As discussed above, they have three quality 125ers in Piotrowski, Justin Cardani, and Lucas Byrd. Any one of these three could bump up to 133 and be respectable, but Piotrowski is a senior who has competed his entire career at 125, Cardani is small enough that he competed at 113 pounds as a HS Senior, and Lucas Byrd is projected to redshirt. That leaves true freshman and Fargo AA Domenic Zaccone, but he is also likely to redshirt. In the absence of any of these four guys, the Illini are likely to turn to a walk-on type like Josh Contreras. Contreras stepped in for a few duals last season and took one for the team. This type of tough duty is difficult enough to watch in small doses. Watching it for an entire Big 10 season is downright painful. At least DeSanto and Gross aren’t on the dual meet schedule. Waiting in the Wings for Illinois: Previously mentioned Lucas Byrd and Justin Cardani will likely spread out and nicely solidify 125-133 for Illinois in the coming years. Domenic Zaccone and Fargo champ commit Fabian Lopez should project to be nice 133 assets as well. 141- Dylan Duncan- Jr Breakdown: Dylan Duncan’s second varsity season started with understandably high expectations. He came to college with rare prep pedigree, once winning a Fargo bracket ahead of both Yianni D. and Vito Arujau. Duncan followed up his stellar prep career with a truly impressive rookie season which culminated in a third-place finish at Big 10s and a strong NCAA performance. Heading into his Sophomore season, all things appeared on-track for greatness. And then Duncan’s Sophomore season happened. Duncan simply wasn’t particularly good last year. He failed to notch a true quality win the entire season and hit a career low when he was DQ’d on stall calls against DeSanto at Midlands. Duncan faded even further by the end of the season. He was clearly running on fumes when he just squeaked into the NCAA field and turned in an 0-2 result, losing badly to Devin Turner to mercifully put the season to bed. It was a remarkably disappointing season for a guy who had done nothing but impress to this point. So, what happened? A precipitous drop in performance AND a very noticeable late season fade is usually evidence of an overzealous weight-cut. With the 2020 Illinois roster now listing Duncan as a 141 pounder, it appears that Duncan and the Illini brass have arrived at the same conclusion. A season now spent training and improving instead of weight cutting will almost assuredly revitalize the now veteran junior. Still the likes of Nick Lee, Chad Red, Max Murin, Tristan Moran, Joey Silva, and Mitch McKee will present plenty of landmines in what appears to be one of the deepest weight classes in the Big 10. I, for one, expect an optimized Duncan to acclimate himself quite well to these new surroundings. If he can pull-off a few wins against this aforementioned group, a career back on track and an NCAA seed isn’t out of the question. Best Wins: Mitch McKee, Jason Renteria, John Erneste, Corey Keener Worst Losses: Jens Lantz, Devan Turner Most Anticipated Match-Up: If they go 141, possible match-ups with Wolverine star freshman Joey Silva or IHSA star Yahya Thomas would be fun. I would also love to see a DeSanto rematch up at 141 with Duncan’s gas tank full. Waiting in the Wings for Illinois: The Illini have a verbal commit from prep stars Danny Pucino and Luke Odom. They also have talented youngster and Fargo Greco finalist We Rachal in the room. 149- Mikey Carr- Jr. Breakdown: Mikey Carr is currently my favorite Illini wrestler. He has many of wrestling’s greatest ingredients; high character, toughness, and tremendous will. Carr has racked up an impressive hit list including the likes of Nick Lee, Chad Red, Tommy Thorn, Kanen Storr, Max Murin, Tristan Moran, and Mitch McKee all in what amounts to a about a season and a half on the mats. Carr inflicts the bulk of his damage in neutral with volume leg attacks and relentless pace, essentially wearing opponents down until they can simply no longer hold off the assault. It’s really a very Hawkeye-like approach. This high-effort style makes Carr an Illini favorite, but it also comes at a cost. It demands a tremendous workload and it tends to take a physical toll over the course of a long grueling season. Furthermore, executing a game plan predicated on pace and pressure generally requires that all cylinders are firing to be effective. Even a 10% drop in volume and pace can significantly impact results. Unfortunately for Carr, a plague of injuries and missed time has really made it difficult for him to be firing on all cylinders at crunch time. As a result, too few of Carr’s signature wins have come in March. This has left some to question just how high Carr’s true ceiling may be. This is fair at first glance, but with a little closer inspection, it’s not hard to see that Carr has the ability, character, and will to beat the nation’s best on any given day despite two disappointing NCAA tournaments. My hope is that a bigger stronger body and ample nutrition might be a reasonable remedy to Carr’s March struggles. I like how he projects at 149 and expect to see a stronger version of Carr left standing at the finish line this time around. Here’s hoping the questions end this coming March when Mikey Carr hits the 149 podium. Best Wins: Nick Lee, Tommy Thorn, Chad Red, Max Murin, Kanen Storr, Mitch McKee, Tristan Moran Worst Losses: No “bad” losses. Career NCAA losses to Max Murin, Matt Findlay, and Sa’Derian Perry are all matches that I thought Carr would win. Most Anticipated Match-Ups: A glut of talented youngsters awaits at 149. Matches with Jared Verkleeren, Sammy Sasso, Brayton Lee, and Yahya Thomas will certainly be among the most anticipated. Waiting in the Wings for Illinois: Either of Danny Pucino or Luke Odom could grow into this weight. Illinois also has Demarius Smith in the room. He could develop into a legit contributor. 157 Eric Barone- Sr. Breakdown: Barone had a really, really nice bounce back Junior season. Few outside of Champaign may have noticed, but Barone quietly knocked off heavy hitters Mike D’Angelo, Griffin Parriott, Jarrett Jacques, Ke-Shawn Hayes, and Kaleb Young last season. He went on to win 2 matches at NCAA before ultimately bowing out in double overtime to Minnesota’s Steve Bleise. This was a pretty impressive turn-around season from a guy who had flashed, but never finished with a winning record in his first two varsity seasons. Barone has a unique style and it seems to give even some of the toughest opponents absolute fits. Barone has a somewhat limited arsenal of traditional leg attacks, but he is remarkably stingy on defense. He is a physical hand fighter who slows down opponents with control ties, he’s hippy when guys get past the hands, and then he frustrates opponents with rare flexibility when guys get to his knees and ankles. Picture Nico Megaludis with an opponent in on his leg but in the full splits keeping the other leg away to fend off the score. Barone is also difficult to ride, allowing him to get his escape and to generally avoid riding time. This combination keeps him in a lot of matches. Now as a seasoned and confident veteran, Barone’s got the metal to secure the late takedown or to win the key scramble to pull out the victory. I’m not sure, given his offensive limitations, that Barone can string enough tight wins together to make his way to the NCAA podium, but I am certain that Barone will be one of those dangerous NCAA draws that no one will be too happy to see in their path come March. Best Wins: Kaleb Young, Ke-Shawn Hayes, Jarrett Jacques, Mike D’Angelo, Griffin Parriott, Josh Maruca, Logan Parks, BC LaPrade Worst Losses: Ten of Barone’s losses were to guys named Nolf, Berger, Deakin, Panteleo, and Ke-Shawn Hayes. Barone really had no bad losses. Most Anticipated Match-Ups: IHSA match-ups with Jacob Tucker, Shayne Oster, Will Lewan, and Kendall Coleman would be entertaining. Match-ups with Young, Hayes, Berge, and Deakin will likely define his ceiling. Waiting in the Wings at Illinois: Johnny Mologousis is a capable back-up with early career wins over Missouri and OKSt starters Jarrett Jacques and Wyatt Sheets. The Illini also have a verbal from exciting LaSalle HS star E’lan Heard. Joey Gunther’s little brother Michael will also join the Illini next year. 165- Danny Braunagel- Fr. Breakdown: I’m making the assumption that senior Joey Gunther will be returning to 174 to allow hard-nosed freshman Danny Braunagel to break into the Illini line-up. Braunagel is a good one. He arrived in Champaign with 2 state titles and a Fargo stop sign. He’s done nothing but impress since his arrival, most recently shining at the US Open by knocking off Peyton Mocco, Julian Ramirez, and Travis Wittlake on his way to the junior division finals. Braunagel’s approach and style remind me of a larger version of former Illini star Zane Richards. Braunagel is bulldog tough bringing high intensity, pace, and frequent attacks to every fight. Like Richards before him, he’s also a seasoned freestyle and Greco practitioner making him comfortable in ties, accomplished in the hand-fight, and good at taking territory. Finally, and perhaps most reminiscent of Richards, Braunagel has a championship mindset, which is to say, he’s singularly focused on becoming a champion and willing to commit to the requisite lifestyle to get that done. Braunagel may have some ground to cover with regards to folkstyle top wrestling, but he has all the ingredients to find a reasonable level of immediate success. More importantly, he seems to have the drive to ultimately contend for Big 10 titles and national medals. Best Wins: Braunagel had limited exposure to top line opponents as a redshirt. Probably Nate Higgins and Brady Jennings. Worst Losses: Jake Allar Most Anticipated Match-Ups: I can’t wait to see Braunagel scrap with the 165 pound titans in the conference like Vincenzo, Marinelli, Wick, and Isaiah White. He will have a difficult time breaking into that group, but the next tier down appears to be very much in reach making matchups with guys like Drew Hughes, Jake Allar, Kaleb Romero, and Tyler Morland pretty important. Waiting in the Wings: Super exciting missouri prep star DJ Shannon is enrolled at Illinois. He will likely shirt this season while Gunther finishes up. Then either he or Braunagel will bulk their way up to 174. 174- Joey Gunther- Sr. Breakdown: Joey Gunther returns for a final run and as previously mentioned I suspect it will be at 174. Gunther has already logged 113 collegiate matches, winning 74. He has qualified for the big dance three times and has four NCAA tournament victories to his credit. He is the definition of a grizzled veteran. Gunther is savvy and tough. He hand-fights really well and is difficult to get out of position, allowing him to hang around with just about anybody. Gunther does lack some of the elite athleticism and explosiveness of his Big 10 rivals. Every single point Gunther scores requires a lot of hard work and that gets to be a tough way to make a living come March. Regardless of the effort required, Gunther is almost sure to grind through another 18-20 win season of hard work and want-to and qualify for his fourth NCAAs. He may even approach 100 career wins before all is said and done. Given some of his offensive limitations, making a deep run in March may indeed be difficult to forecast. Despite this, and despite some recent Kyle Bratke shade, tons of respect for a guy who has battled every inch of the way and done a lot of winning. Best Wins: Branson Ashworth, Devin Skatzka, Dylan Lydy, Connor Flynn, Nick Wanzek, Drew Hughes, Luke Zilverberg Worst Losses: Gunther seemed to fade a little bit late last year and took a few upset losses. Losses to Carson Brolsma and Tyler Morland come to mind. Most Anticipated Match-Ups: The Big 10 tier just below Mark Hall and Michael Kemerer boasts names like Devin Skatzka, Mikey Labriola, Dylan Lydy, and Joe Grello. These will be huge bouts for Gunther if he is to set up himself up for a final March run. Waiting in the Wings for Illinois: DJ Shannon or Danny Braunagel will likely bulk their way up to 174 for next season. Illinois also has a third Lasalle HS star in Trey Sizemore in the room. 184- Zach Braunagel- Fr. Breakdown: Much like his brother, Zach Braunagel arrived in Champaign with impressive credentials. He also brought two state titles and a Fargo stop sign with him to Champaign. Much like his brother, Zach also got on campus and immediately went to work with single-minded focus and rare intensity. The work appears to be paying dividends. Braunagel had a very impressive summer making the finals of the US Open in junior freestyle, winning the US Open in junior Greco, winning the Pan-Am Championships in junior freestyle, and competing at the World Championships in junior Greco. Zach Braunagel hand fights hard, as one might expect from a Greco world team member, but he also pops off his share of folk/free leg attacks. His intensity and pace are problematic for opponents and again his approach and will-to-win are exemplary. Braunagel’s Greco and freestyle are likely currently a bit ahead of his folkstyle. Some time to transition to division-one folkstyle wrestling is to be expected, but this transition tends to be less pronounced at these upper weights where guys hand fight in neutral and are rarely dynamic on the floor. Expect Braunagel to compete well right out of the gate. He may take a few early losses, but he will be a very tough out by March. Exciting things are ahead for this kid. Best Wins: Braunagel had limited exposure to top line opponents as a redshirt. Probably division II runner-up Nick Foster. Worst Losses: Jacob Covaciu, Danny Bush Most Anticipated Match-Ups: 184 will once again be loaded in the Big 10. Shakur Rasheed, Taylor Venz, and Cash Wilke are the headliners, but the second tier is deep and talented with Cameron Caffrey, Jelani Embree, Max Lyon, Johnny Sebastian, Jack Jessen, Owen Webster, and Gavin Hoffman all capable of being top 20 guys. The Illini have Caffrey, Embree, Jessen, Hoffman, and Lyon on the dual schedule. These will be critical bouts for Braunagel. Waiting in the Wings for Illinois: 184 is pretty thin behind Braunagel. This will be a recruiting focus for Illinois is the coming years. Trey Sizemore could ultimately grow into this weight and be a more than capable option here. 197- Matt Wroblewski- So. Breakdown: The Illini will have a new face at 197 as Matt Wroblewski steps into the fray following four consecutive seasons of Andre Lee. Wroblewski brings a completely different look to the weight for the Illini. He’s a bit unconventional and a little funky, which is fun at a weight that tends to feature a lot of head snaps and blast double legs. Wroblewski’s done a fair amount of training and wrestling in Poland and brings something of a European style to the mat. That is to say, he’s a little more Yianni than Zain. He’s not going to bludgeon opponents with super-physical hand fighting and push people around the mat, but he will wrestle intelligently and creatively to generate angles and offense. He won’t stuff shots and look to go-behind, but he will slip the corner and look to lock through the crotch or hook the near leg. He’s dangerous in scrambles, equally dangerous on top, and can score in a variety of different ways. All that being said, the Big 10 talent at this weight is pretty ridiculous with Kollin Moore, Kyle Conel, Jacob Warner, Lucas Davison, Eric Schultz, Christian Brunner, Hunter Ritter, Jackson Striggow, and Mason Reinhardt. Expect a fun ride with Wroblewski creating some surprisingly competitive matches against some of the nation’s elite. In the end, navigating this super talented field may be a bit much to ask, but the future certainly looks bright for this youngster. Here’s hoping there’s enough wins on the schedule to sneak into the NCAA field and gain some valuable big-dance experience. Best Wins: Marty Mueller, Kevin Snyder, and Brad Wilton Worst Losses: No bad ones. DII All-American Ryan Vasbinder and probably teammate Andre Lee were his worst. Most Anticipated Match-Ups: The IHSA match-ups in the conference will be fun as Christian Brunner, Jacob Warner, Eric Schultz, and Wroblewski are all former IHSA champions. Waiting in the Wings for Illinois: IHSA State Champion Ramin Abraham is an interesting long-term prospect coming off the soccer field to win state at 197 pounds. He’s got athletic upside and is just scratching the surface of his wrestling potential. Heavyweight- Brian Burns- Jr. Breakdown: Heavyweight in the Big 10 is pretty ridiculous. With names like Cassar, Steveson, Cassioppi, Hillger, Parris, and Kerkvliet, you’ve got to be a pretty serious talent just to remain among the living. Fortunately, the Illini appear to have just such a talent in Luke Luffman. Luffman doubled at Fargo last year and ended his prep career as a 6-time Fargo finalist and a 3-time champ. He has excellent hands and feet for a heavyweight and uses both really well to create great angles and crisp attacks. Luffman should solidify heavyweight in Champaign for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately for Illini fans, that foreseable future will probably start after a redshirt season. If Luffman does indeed redshirt, it would leave Brian Burns as the guy most likely to get that call at 285 for the 2020 Illini season. Burns is a bulked up 197 pounder who bumped up to heavy late last year and represented himself reasonably well. He’s a tough kid who will go hard. He’s got good mobility and leg attacks for a heavy. With an entire off-season to get bigger and adapt to heavyweight, Burns could be surprisingly game and hang around with most run-of-the-mill heavies. Unfortunately, very few of these run-of-the-mill heavies reside in the Big 10. Best Wins: Blake Wolters, Jack Heyob Worst Losses: His worst heavyweight loss was probably ASU’s Brady Gilliland-Daniel Most Anticipated Match-Ups: Purdue, Indiana, Maryland, and Northwestern may represent the only opportunities to pull out a conference win. Fortunately for Burns, all four are on the schedule. Waiting in the Wings: 3-time Fargo Champ Luke Luffman Team Breakdown: Despite the optics of a down performance on the mats in 2019, I would argue that the Illini brass have managed to improve the overall health and outlook of the program substantially by making strides in three critical areas. First, the Orange and Blue clearly made in-state recruiting a priority and it seems to be paying off. They replaced Mark Perry with Mike Poeta, an IHSA and Illini legend with strong ties to the Illinois club and HS scene, and the in-state recruiting has improved significantly with Cardani, Zaccone, Lopez, Pucino, Odom, Rachal, Braunagel, Braunagel, and Luffman each being national level kids who chose to stay home and wrestle for the Illini. Second, the Illini have managed to maintain a modest national reach and when they’ve reached out of state it’s been for elite talent like Mikey Carr, Lucas Byrd, DJ Shannon, Trey Sizemore, and E’lan Heard. #1 ranked Lucas Byrd choosing Champaign over Happy Valley is notable. Third, the Illini have made a deeper commitment to developing the Illinois Regional Training Center by bringing in Bryan Medlin. Bryan Medlin was the driving force behind Illinois’s unparalleled junior-level greco dynasty. He’s passionate, knowledgeable, and very well respected. The impact of Medlin’s arrival has been profound. The IRTC sent Ellis Coleman, Max Nowry, and Zach Braunagel to the World Championships this year alone. The IRTC saw I-Mar reach Final-X and both Zane Richards and Travis Rice finish 3rd at the US Open. Danny and Zach Brunagel both reached the US Open Junior finals and both won gold at the Pan-Am Championships. Nick Dardanes moved from Iowa City to Champaign to train at the IRTC. Between the influx of homegrown talent, elite out of state talent, and senior level Olympic hopefuls, there are suddenly a large volume of really tough guys walking around the streets of Champaign, Illinois. That is great news for the program. Much of the more elite talent is young, so it may take another season or two to completely translate in the standings. This season’s lineup may still have a few frustrating holes while Illini fans patiently wait for guys like Lucas Byrd and Luke Luffman. Still, the rising tide of talent in the room should elevate all Illini ships, and that includes this season’s squad. The schedule is certainly Big-10 tough, but also considerably more manageable than last season’s meat grinder. Add it all up and the Illini should have a nice bounce back year with plenty of dual success, several individuals with a chance to make some noise at NCAAs, and a nice crop of talent waiting in the wings.
  49. 12 points
    We aren't talking about Valencia because TBar/BTFB/Cinnabon don't hate ASU as much as they hate Iowa.
  50. 12 points

    Bobby Knight

    Just watched the 30 For 30 - "The last Days of Knight". It's amazing how much physical abuse and bullying he got away with at Indiana (and Texas Tech) without anyone standing up to him. It led me to Knight's wikipedia page to read through a list of all his incidents dating back to the 70s and came across this: "1960 Olympic gold medalist Douglas Blubaugh was head wrestling coach at IU from 1973 to 1984. Early in his tenure while he jogged in the practice facility during basketball practice, Knight yelled at him to leave, using more than one expletive. Blubaugh pinned Knight to a wall, and told him never to repeat his performance. He never did." I thought this crowd might appreciate this.
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