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Most likely to defend their title:

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Looking at the defending champs, list the most to leasty likely to defend.

 

1.)Retherford-He was so incredibly dominant and I don't see anyone new moving to the weight class with major accolades.  Tsirtsis is probably the only X-factor.  Can he get his mind right, get healthy and extremely motivated to reclaim the throne?  Still, very unlikely.

 

2.)Snyder-With Gwiz graduating, I just don't see a Heavyweight with the stamina necessary to weather the storm that Snyder brings on his feet.  Finding a way to ride him with 265lbs+ for a period is probably the only way one of these guys could wear him down to pull off the upset.

 

3.)Dean-  Hard to believe a 2x defending Champ is 3rd on a list, but he has had a blip each season and 184 still returns a ton of experienced firepower.

 

4.)Cox-197 thins out enough that he could actually be argued for a higher slot.  Still, the guys above him are so proven, I am not sure who I would drop down.

 

5.)Heil-He isn't the most dominant on the scoreboard, but he picks his attacks so well and so rarely puts himself in bad positions.  He also doesn't have that dynamic guy in his weight that would be hard for him to beat multiple times in a season.

 

6.)Martinez-Having Nolf at his weight, makes possibly the best lb for lb folkstyle wrestler #6 on this list.  A 2X Champ at 66-1 being 6th out of 7.  A true testament to how good Nolf is.

 

7.)Martin-He had a phenomenal run for a True Freshman.  Still, he has returning AA's in Nickal, Epperly, Jackson, Weatherspoon and Meyer along with Realbuto, Brunson and Crutchmer/Rogers.  One great tournament just isn't enough data to put him ahead of all the experienced wrestlers listed above.

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Re:  Snyder.  Adam Coon gave him a good match at Big Tens.  Given his size advantage, it's possible he could make some adjustments and become a real challenge for Snyder.  

Agreed.  I just don't think he can match Snyder's stamina in neutral.  He needs to find a way to use his weight advantage and keep him on the mat for an extended period of time.  Wearing him out that way could be the offset to the neutral wrestling that could give him a chance.  Still, I would probably consider that a 1 in 10 proposition, which is the reason I have him behind Retherford.  I don't think there is a guy that has a 1 in 10 chance against him, no matter how they adjust.

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I'm completely biased but I'd put J'den tied for 1st with Retherford. While I think Snyder will repeat, there is a feasible way Coon or possibly another heavy could figure out a way. A long shot, but I could see it happening. Right now, with McIntosh gone, I don't see anyone left at 197 that can compete with J'den. And Dean has a tough weight class and as mentioned, a blip every year. Honestly, I think all four will repeat, though.

Edited by Crotalus

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I think the way Martinez wrestled this year makes Nolf look a lot better than he actually is. Martinez didn't look great this year imo. To my eye, he looked worse, which is surprising since the improvement made between freshman and sophomore year is usually the biggest. I think Martinez would have a more difficult time beating a 157 lb version of Dean Heil, who is better than Nolf imo.

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Everyone's logic suggests HWY's such as Coon etc are/will be the only wrestlers adjusting, and arguably one of the best wrestlers in the world won't be doing the same?

 

For those who watched the Coon/Snyder match... It wasn't close. Snyder was in on Coon's leg at will. I put my $ on Snyder adjusting his angles, leverage, and pace to wrestle a more informed, intelligent match now with his experience wrestling a talent like Coon more so Coon making adjustments and keeping Snyder from getting to his legs.

 

The bad news for heavies next season is Snyder will be the one adjusting now knowing what he needs to do and what he's up against, not so much the opposite relative to any pertinent improvement or result effectiveness.

 

Just my opinion of course.

 

On a completely different subject... Anyone else pumped to see what happens at the upcoming World Trials? How awesome would it be if both Gwiz and Snyder ended up being World Team members/teammates. Wonder if Snyder gets s rematch with Kyven Gadson at some point, or even J'Den Cox, both who are also registered at 97kg. Tervel Diagnov is gonna be a tall order for Gwiz this early in his freestyle career, but stranger things have happened. I just don't see anyone beating Snyder two times in a row.

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I don't think the Coon/Snyder match was close, and I wouldn't bet on Coon next year. But I think there is a better chance that Coon realizes Snyder is not going to trade underhooks with him and he should protect his ankles than Pfarr will have a beating J'den. But again, I'm biased.

 

I'm kind of glad to hear J'den is at 97 and would love to see him get a shot at Snyder.

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Everyone's logic suggests HWY's such as Coon etc are/will be the only wrestlers adjusting, and arguably one of the best wrestlers in the world won't be doing the same?

 

For those who watched the Coon/Snyder match... It wasn't close. Snyder was in on Coon's leg at will. I put my $ on Snyder adjusting his angles, leverage, and pace to wrestle a more informed, intelligent match now with his experience wrestling a talent like Coon more so Coon making adjustments and keeping Snyder from getting to his legs.

 

The bad news for heavies next season is Snyder will be the one adjusting now knowing what he needs to do and what he's up against, not so much the opposite relative to any pertinent improvement or result effectiveness.

 

Just my opinion of course.

 

On a completely different subject... Anyone else pumped to see what happens at the upcoming World Trials? How awesome would it be if both Gwiz and Snyder ended up being World Team members/teammates. Wonder if Snyder gets s rematch with Kyven Gadson at some point, or even J'Den Cox, both who are also registered at 97kg. Tervel Diagnov is gonna be a tall order for Gwiz this early in his freestyle career, but stranger things have happened. I just don't see anyone beating Snyder two times in a row.

Agreed, if anyone does it, they'll win the first, drop the second, and win the third.   

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On a completely different subject... Anyone else pumped to see what happens at the upcoming World Trials? How awesome would it be if both Gwiz and Snyder ended up being World Team members/teammates. Wonder if Snyder gets s rematch with Kyven Gadson at some point, or even J'Den Cox, both who are also registered at 97kg. 

 

 
Are you sure J'den is going 97?  USA Wrestling released their Olympic team trials rankings yesterday and they had him at 86, and in their podcast on Wednesday has said he was going 86kg.
 
It's also very doubtful that Snyder would see Gadson again.  Gadson would have to win the tournament portion to advance to the best of 3 championship series where Snyder would already be waiting.  Don't see that happening.
Edited by KCMO2

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Agree with Cox as #1, even over Snyder because of international commitments. Snyder is riding high but may well find out he needs to commit all his efforts to Freestyle if Varner beats him at the trials.

I think Snyder would benefit by training with John Smith for awhile. No one had setups like John Smith.

Edited by WillieBoy

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Looking at the defending champs, list the most to leasty likely to defend.

 

1.)Retherford-He was so incredibly dominant and I don't see anyone new moving to the weight class with major accolades.  Tsirtsis is probably the only X-factor.  Can he get his mind right, get healthy and extremely motivated to reclaim the throne?  Still, very unlikely.

 

2.)Snyder-With Gwiz graduating, I just don't see a Heavyweight with the stamina necessary to weather the storm that Snyder brings on his feet.  Finding a way to ride him with 265lbs+ for a period is probably the only way one of these guys could wear him down to pull off the upset.

 

3.)Dean-  Hard to believe a 2x defending Champ is 3rd on a list, but he has had a blip each season and 184 still returns a ton of experienced firepower.

 

4.)Cox-197 thins out enough that he could actually be argued for a higher slot.  Still, the guys above him are so proven, I am not sure who I would drop down.

 

5.)Heil-He isn't the most dominant on the scoreboard, but he picks his attacks so well and so rarely puts himself in bad positions.  He also doesn't have that dynamic guy in his weight that would be hard for him to beat multiple times in a season.

 

6.)Martinez-Having Nolf at his weight, makes possibly the best lb for lb folkstyle wrestler #6 on this list.  A 2X Champ at 66-1 being 6th out of 7.  A true testament to how good Nolf is.

 

7.)Martin-He had a phenomenal run for a True Freshman.  Still, he has returning AA's in Nickal, Epperly, Jackson, Weatherspoon and Meyer along with Realbuto, Brunson and Crutchmer/Rogers.  One great tournament just isn't enough data to put him ahead of all the experienced wrestlers listed above.

It's funny that if you ask your question in reverse, "who is most likely not to repeat" then your list would read #1 Martin, #2 Martinez, etc. It's just so hard to accept that Martinez is the second most likely not to repeat. But that's logic for you!

 

I can't argue with much of your list. I think that Retherford faced no real challenge. The only fly in the ointment would be if Pico got back in the game (joke!) or if somehow (I don't see it) Retherford had to move up to 157 in which case I don't know. If you include the possibility that Snyder won't continue with folkstyle, that changes things. I think Dean's blips each year are irrelevant mid-season snafus. Cox's main competition and only really close match was MM and he's graduating. Some questions on my mind for next year that could change things up:

 

1. Could Dean move up to 197?

 

2. Is it possible that Joey McKenna could move up to 149? If so, can he take out Retherford? 

 

3. Are there any redshirt freshman coming up who could stir the pot?

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I don't think the Coon/Snyder match was close, and I wouldn't bet on Coon next year. But I think there is a better chance that Coon realizes Snyder is not going to trade underhooks with him and he should protect his ankles than Pfarr will have a beating J'den. But again, I'm biased.

 

I'm kind of glad to hear J'den is at 97 and would love to see him get a shot at Snyder.

If he "protects his ankles" by lowering his gravity, Kyle will snap him to the mat. Hard. Like he did to Gwiz in the third period and to the Russian in the word finals. He sets up that low attack by snapping.  In other words, you can't, just " defend you ankles"  If you watch Kyle is working guys at all levels, not just the low level singe.  That is what makes him so hard to defend for a whole match.  I actually see Kyle getting better at his set-ups and his level changing.  That will make him even better than he is now. 

 

Not that you are wrong btw.  JUst in watching Kyle, I don't think there is any one strategy that can be considered a formula for beating him.  Perhaps stay on the mat and out of neutral?  

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Agree with Cox as #1, even over Snyder because of international commitments. Snyder is riding high but may well find out he needs to commit all his efforts to Freestyle if Varner beats him at the trials.

All of Kyle's efforts are in Freestyle now.  He didn't even wrestle top in college. Just kicked them out to work on his feet more. Instead of sitting on a lead, he kept working his shots.  

 More importantly, Kyle went to almost all of the freestyle tourneys this year. He went to as many as Burroughs, I believe.  There really isn't anymore he can focus on Freestyle than he already is.  I think even in practice, he has Tervel and is working freestyle technique.  I'd say the chance he doesn't wrestle college is about 10%, at most.  The only thing in my mind that would stop him from competing in college is if he wins gold, and isn't able to set aside the money per NCAA rules.  

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Fish: I agree. It was brilliant. Snyder needed to do exactly one thing in Folkstyle: not get ridden. And he did that even vs giants like Coon and Gwiz. Now, here's what's interesting about that. If that's all there is to it, then how hard would it be for Sadulaev or Gatsalov and so on to come and win NCAAs? 

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I am going to go against the grain here and day that IMar is a likely candidate. In those last two matches with Nolf he controlled the tempo and outside of a few excellent shots (overly excellent) by Nolf he was never in the slightest amount of danger. I think he has Nolf figured out. On top of that I really don't see that frame of Nolf's remaining at 157. All that said, I think IMar has a high likelihood to defend. I fully understand this is massively debatable but just from what we saw the guy really was in good control the past two matches. 

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I am going to go against the grain here and day that IMar is a likely candidate. In those last two matches with Nolf he controlled the tempo and outside of a few excellent shots (overly excellent) by Nolf he was never in the slightest amount of danger. I think he has Nolf figured out. On top of that I really don't see that frame of Nolf's remaining at 157. All that said, I think IMar has a high likelihood to defend. I fully understand this is massively debatable but just from what we saw the guy really was in good control the past two matches. 

 

It is "debatable", but if Imar is to get a third, it will most likely be at 165, not 157.  I can't see him being able to hold 157 another year.

 

I was there at B1G's and the pull was difficult for him.

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Fish: I agree. It was brilliant. Snyder needed to do exactly one thing in Folkstyle: not get ridden. And he did that even vs giants like Coon and Gwiz. Now, here's what's interesting about that. If that's all there is to it, then how hard would it be for Sadulaev or Gatsalov and so on to come and win NCAAs? 

 

 

Are you kidding?   Those guys show up at a D1 college and sign up for wrestling, they're slaughtering the field.   

 

Even if they get ridden an entire period, it's still take down , release, rinse repeat, all the way to majors and techs.    The world class take downs those guys ave, do not exist in the NCAA, with the occasional exception (Burroughs, Snyder).   

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I think Snyder is the best of the group and is mostly to repeat if he wrestles next year. I doubt Retherford loses but I don't think he is at the level Snyder is, and you never know who may emerge to challenge him. Look at how Nolf came in to challenge Martinez... Everyone at this time last year would've thought there is no way Martinez is losing to a freshmen. Snyder at heavyweight is a different story imo. You don't see guys at that weight that can move like he does. I just can't see coon or anyone else in the ncaa beating Snyder. I think the only reason he may not repeat is if he wins Olympic gold and decides not to go back to folkstyle.

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I'm in that crazy conspiracy group that believes Imar was keeping his weight down in the beginning of the season so he could make 65 at the trials. I seen him in person last season and this season and he did look slightly smaller to me this year.

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I'm in that crazy conspiracy group that believes Imar was keeping his weight down in the beginning of the season so he could make 65 at the trials. I seen him in person last season and this season and he did look slightly smaller to me this year.

 

Where did you see him, at the urinal?  

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Humble opinion here, nothing more... 

 

The MOST likely to repeat is Snyder, simply because of his level of dominance this past NCAA's, his World Championship pedigree, and the facts that:

A.) No one is coming off redshirt that "may" take it from him

B.) No one in the current stable of HWT's can touch him.  Coon and Walz keep it close, but to think that Snyder is "done" maturing and developing would be a very silly and ignorant statement.  Just imagine if he learned a "little" top game over the next 6-9 months?

C.) There are no foreseeable movements from 197lbs up to HWT that would indicate a challenge.  IF Cox decided to throw his hat in the ring at HWT, then I'd suggest there would be a significant challenger on the horizon.  

D.) There are no incoming "true" freshman (like Snyder, MyMar, Cox) that could theoretically make it to the finals at NCAA's

 

The 2nd most likely is Zain, HOWEVER, he DOES have many of the above factors to contend with:

A.) Lots of redshirting talent in the 141-157 space that could move between weights - (negative for Zain)

B.) No one in the current 149lb class can touch him - (positive for Zain)

C.) Who knows what kind of movement we'll see between 141, 149, and 157 - (negative for Zain)

D.) There is a higher likelihood of an incoming "super frosh" that could make some noise come NCAA's - (negative for Zain).  Note:  Don't ask me who, cause I just don't know... but the probabilities are much higher at those weight classes of a super-frosh (see Tsirtsis, Schlatter, Zain himself, Dake, etc. etc. etc.)

 

So, if the above criteria is used, Snyder is the MOST likely to repeat, in my humblest of humble opinions.

 

EDIT:  So... I'm not saying that Zain isn't SUPER likely to repeat, it's just that it's not 99.9% like Snyder.  Maybe more like 99.2%.  :-)

Edited by treep2000

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