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Penn State v. Lehigh Recap

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Here are some of my thoughts on the dual just for the hell of it...

 

125: Suriano looked like a potential NCAA finalist today. I've been impressed with the young buck so far but this was his most impressive victory to date. His pace was solid and he had no problem on the mat with the former AA Cruz, which is quite the feat for a true freshman. Cruz looked like he was wrestling to try to win a 2-1 match in tiebreakers but Suriano obviously had other ideas. He seems like he never breaks positioning and he's just very technically sound. I still think Gilman is on his own level this year, but Penn State has got to be liking what they're seeing so far. He looks at or beyond where Nico was at this point in his true freshman season (I think Nico took 8 or 9 losses his freshman season). Granted, this weight is not as deep as it was then.

 

 

133: This one was pretty much total domination by Parker. I was surprised that he didn't pick up the pace and try to win by even more after he took Cortez down so easily.  He looked like he had a strength advantage and his finishes were crisp. Good win and credit to him for a quality victory but to my eye Cortez also didn't look quite himself. Not sure if he was just off, had a tough weight cut, was sick, etc. but he looked wobbly from the first whistle and just had no aggression whatsoever out there. I'm not sounding the alarm bells just yet for PSU at 133 but he'll definitely need to show some improvement or he could be in for a tough time in a Big Ten weight class that includes Tomasello, Clark (if healthy), Richards, Micic, McKee, and Dippery. His performance is certainly something to keep an eye on with regard to the team race.

 

 

141: Cruz did what Cruz does and made Gulibon pay for not finishing cleanly on him. Single legs against Randy Cruz are not the way to go. I'm not sure if that was ineffective game planning or just an execution issue but if Gulibon would have hit a double or moved his feet while finishing he would have won that match. I'm actually encouraged by his performance in this one because Cruz has looked very good so far this year. Gulibon still looked like a liability on bottom in this one as well but Cruz is notoriously difficult to escape from and he was his usual clingy self today. Most importantly, I'm thankful that Gulibon cut that atrocity of a mullet and is back to sporting a respectable haircut. In terms of NCAA outlook at this weight class, 141 is no cake walk and PSU will be lucky to see more than a 2-2 performance here IMO. Cruz looks like he's in position to finish 5-8.

 

 

149: Zain just wrecked a very tough Laike Gardner today. Gardner is no joke and has looked solid in the early season, but he just had no answer for Retherford. I'm very, very impressed that he got the pin in this one as I was expecting a major at best. I think Jordan, Sorenson, Mayes, and Collica are the only ones who even have a chance of keeping him from a wire to wire bonus win season.

 

 

157: Nolf obliterated an overmatched Kent Lane. I can't help but chuckle when he's up by 14 and doesn't want to "just" get the takedown but purposely avoids it to look for the fall from neutral. It's always a treat to watch him get after it and I feel bad for everyone else in college wrestling at 157 pounds. I was hoping to see Kutler here today to make this matchup more interesting so that was a bit disappointing. Hope he recovers from whatever was ailing him.

 

 

165: Pre-match, the coaches were considering scratching Joseph due to illness but they decided to let him wrestle ( I'm assuming it's because Minotti was inactive...does anyone have any info on his status by the way?). Keeping that in mind, he was solid but unspectacular in this bout against Longo. He controlled the action from neutral but definitely lacked some explosiveness out there and seemed to be wearing down in the third. His double was sweet but once or twice he got in deep and just didn't have the energy to drive all the way through. Since I haven't seen this from him before, I'm pretty convinced that it can be attributed to just being sick. I think he's looked strong so far this season and should find himself on the podium when it's all said and done. He probably can't beat the top tier guys yet, but he should score some points.

 

 

174: First of all, credit to an underrated Ryan Preisch on gutting out a tough win against probably the tallest 74 pounder in the country. Seriously, how tall is Rasheed? Rasheed looked good early in the first and had a quick takedown immediately followed by another one that was overturned by video review. The break in the action seemed to affect him and he looked lackluster from there on out. Despite not being particularly aggressive, Preisch was efficient and picked his spot to attack later in the match and was able to convert. I'd like to see Rasheed pursue a bit more aggressively when he's trailing and I'd like to see him with a reliable "go to" shot late in a match. Having said that, he didn't look bad but the window is once again open for Geno Morelli to possibly regain the spot at 74. This is another spot to watch for PSU with definite team race implications. Lots of time to determine a starter and whoever emerges has potential to sneak on the podium in a fairly thin weight class. Preisch should probably be ranked a bit higher as well.

 

 

184: The pin streak continues for Bo Nickal. I'm really starting to think that he and Gabe Dean are on a collision course this year as they are both laying waste to their competition thus far. Dean's level of competition has been superior so I'm very interested to see Bo against a ranked guy at this weight class in the coming weeks. I think we'll see less spectacular pins but a lot of controlled major decisions that are dominated from neutral. Can't wait to see him match up against Dudley, Brooks, and Jackson in conference action.

 

 

197: McCutcheon looked great in this match for a guy who is essentially still a bumped up 84 pounder that was never particularly big at 84. Haas isn't exactly top level competition for assessing Cutch's long term potential, but just seeing him score some bonus points by getting the major helped to lessen my fear that he would win every match 3-2. I think he looked a little bit bigger today too but maybe that's just me. The fact that his bread and butter from neutral is a low leg attack is a big advantage in being able to maintain some offense after bumping up a weight class. I think he would have a lot of trouble finishing on some of the bigger guys at this weight class if that were not the case. His mat wrestling has looked solid as well and he has not really shown the effects of being a smaller guy in potentially getting trapped underneath/unable to ride. I think a lot of the size problems will become more evident against top guys, especially because he isn't the tallest kid in the world. Still developing nicely though and making adjustments and if he continues to put on some size he should win some matches at NCAAs and have a chance to grab a low AA finish in a weight class that drops off dramatically after the top few.

 

 

285: This is the Nick Nevills every Penn State fan was hoping for when they signed the 3 headed monster of Nolf, Nickal, and Nevills. After a lackluster and brief appearance last year, Nevills has turned it on and looks to have made a full recovery. Vollaro is no joke and is one of the biggest heavies in the country. He's the kind of guy that I figured might give Nevills some trouble based solely on size but Nevills handled him in this one. He controlled the ties pretty well and I was super impressed by his ability to ride a larger wrestler like Vollaro. He's looked like a beast on top so far this year and as far as heavyweights are concerned he's been pretty fun to watch. I liked seeing his aggressiveness in the 3rd period when he cut Vollaro and tried to go for the major with 15 seconds left. He ultimately gave up the takedown before time expired but I'm sure Cael and company would take that mistake 10 times out of 10. His snatch single was a thing of beauty as well and is the kind of attack that obviously will be more effective against some of the giants the roam the heavyweight ranks. His size hasn't been an issue so far but I would like to see him with another 10-15 pounds of muscle on his frame so hopefully he keeps hitting the weight room hard throughout the season. So, I think he's looking more and more like a solid bet to finish top 8 after today's win and his victories over Dejournette and Butler. Wouldn't pick him against Snyder (duh), Walz, or Medberry but anyone else is fair game as far as I'm concerned. Penn State has to be excited about how he's looked early because he was kind of a wild card entering the season after his short and shaky stint at the end of last year. Vollaro is a solid heavy but he could really stand to attack a bit more. That's putting it as gently as I can.

 

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Good review.

 

Suriano is absolutely a finalist threat. Guys are going to start game planning for him now. He is tight and controlled so he won't be easy to plan for. Very impressed with him.

 

Cortez looked bad. This weight class is stacked. Cael I imagine is annoyed.

 

Gullibon could win a match or two, but this weight class is deep and somewhat evenly distributed. I just can't see him putting together enough wins to AA. Lots of quality here.

 

Zain honestly may bonus everyone this season. I'm most excited to see him against Micah. Sorensen could probably avoid the major if that is what he focuses on, but I'm sure he will try to win and Zain will take advantage.

 

Nolf I guess could be challenged by Smith maybe, if he is in top form? Still want to see Ian Miller against him.

 

Vincenzo was sick. Not taking anything from this match. His problem is the same as it has been all season. He is very good but he has a bunch of other really good guys at his weight. I don't think he gets pat IJo, iMar, Lewis or Massa. I think he fits into the 5-8 tier at best, but not all that confident in that pick. He might not AA but it isn't due to a slack of skill. Another unpredictable weight class.

 

Still think Rasheed could AA and his backup won't.

 

Bo is on point. Hard to tell how he will do because he hasn't wrestled a high level 184 yet. If Myles is any indication, Bo will be fine against most at the very least. Excited to see how he progresses.

 

Cutch could AA but I doubt it. He has the skill but a guy like VTs 197 is going to bully him I think.

 

Nevills is damn good. Super impressed. Not sure if he can get by the top few, but he is a threat 5-8 I think. Hopefully he stays healthy.

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Zain honestly may bonus everyone this season. I'm most excited to see him against Micah. Sorensen could probably avoid the major if that is what he focuses on, but I'm sure he will try to win and Zain will take advantage.

 

 

I don't think anyone can slow Zain down. Even if Micah can keep it close in neutral (which I don't see him doing), his mat game is suspect and he could easily give up a few sets of backs.  

Edited by steamboat_charlie

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I don't think anyone can slow Zain down. Even if Micah can keep it close in neutral (which I don't see him doing), his mat game is suspect and he could easily give up a few sets of backs.

You are probably right. Zain has just beaten basically every other contender so I want to see it.

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Good review.

 

Suriano is absolutely a finalist threat. Guys are going to start game planning for him now. He is tight and controlled so he won't be easy to plan for. Very impressed with him.

 

Cortez looked bad. This weight class is stacked. Cael I imagine is annoyed.

 

Gullibon could win a match or two, but this weight class is deep and somewhat evenly distributed. I just can't see him putting together enough wins to AA. Lots of quality here.

 

Zain honestly may bonus everyone this season. I'm most excited to see him against Micah. Sorensen could probably avoid the major if that is what he focuses on, but I'm sure he will try to win and Zain will take advantage.

 

Nolf I guess could be challenged by Smith maybe, if he is in top form? Still want to see Ian Miller against him.

 

Vincenzo was sick. Not taking anything from this match. His problem is the same as it has been all season. He is very good but he has a bunch of other really good guys at his weight. I don't think he gets pat IJo, iMar, Lewis or Massa. I think he fits into the 5-8 tier at best, but not all that confident in that pick. He might not AA but it isn't due to a slack of skill. Another unpredictable weight class.

 

Still think Rasheed could AA and his backup won't.

 

Bo is on point. Hard to tell how he will do because he hasn't wrestled a high level 184 yet. If Myles is any indication, Bo will be fine against most at the very least. Excited to see how he progresses.

 

Cutch could AA but I doubt it. He has the skill but a guy like VTs 197 is going to bully him I think.

 

Nevills is damn good. Super impressed. Not sure if he can get by the top few, but he is a threat 5-8 I think. Hopefully he stays healthy.

I think Rasheed will have a tough time making the podium.  174 is a pretty deep weight.  I also disagree on McCutcheon.  I think he has a shot at anyone not named Cox at this weight.  I think people are making to much of his size.  Remember Pfarr & Harner were both 12 to 15 ranked 184s prior to moving up to 197 last year and making AA.  I think Cutch has a good chance of getting into the top 5. Otherwise Housebuye's analysis is spot on.

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You are probably right. Zain has just beaten basically every other contender so I want to see it.

 

Gardner is probably the only guy I've seen escape as easily as he did from Zain.  The thing about Zain is he's so dominant in every position, he's very tough to beat.

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I'm as impressed by Micah Jordan as any fan of Ohio collegians but what the heck is he going to do against Zain?  Let's just say for the sake of argument that he goes out and gets the first TD on Zain....then what?  He's not going to ride him.  So they're back on their feet.  Zain takes him down and goes to work.  Maybe Micah can get out at some point (Micah's good on bottom when he gets going off the whistle but he tends to get ridden too long when he gives up a TD).  Micah may survive the matchup but I just don't see how he can compete with Retherford without a big improvement in his mat game.  

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I'm as impressed by Micah Jordan as any fan of Ohio collegians but what the heck is he going to do against Zain? Let's just say for the sake of argument that he goes out and gets the first TD on Zain....then what? He's not going to ride him. So they're back on their feet. Zain takes him down and goes to work. Maybe Micah can get out at some point (Micah's good on bottom when he gets going off the whistle but he tends to get ridden too long when he gives up a TD). Micah may survive the matchup but I just don't see how he can compete with Retherford without a big improvement in his mat game.

my guess on the plan for that match would be a takedown cut him and keep it going. Usually for the most part that's Micahs game plan anyway but against retheford that's obviously an extremely tall task of course being a Buckeye fan myself I hope that works out for him but we've also gotta be real about things

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The thing about Zain is he's so dominant in every position, he's very tough to beat.

 

Zain has moved into the realm where the only interesting conversation about him will now involve hypothetical matchups.  Like Zain vs. Metcalf.  Or Zain vs. Caldwell.  Or Zain vs. Pico if Pico could go back in time and choose college. 

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I'm as impressed by Micah Jordan as any fan of Ohio collegians but what the heck is he going to do against Zain? Let's just say for the sake of argument that he goes out and gets the first TD on Zain....then what? He's not going to ride him. So they're back on their feet. Zain takes him down and goes to work. Maybe Micah can get out at some point (Micah's good on bottom when he gets going off the whistle but he tends to get ridden too long when he gives up a TD). Micah may survive the matchup but I just don't see how he can compete with Retherford without a big improvement in his mat game.

I don't think Micah is going to beat Zain, but it is somewhat interesting, given how good Micah has looked and the fact that they haven't competed against each other yet.

 

Zain is a big favorite here. Hoping Micah can at least push him a little bit.

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