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goheels1812

North Carolina: The Coleman Scott Effect

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I saw a thread analyzing NC state and as a longtime UNC fan, I would love to analyze their roster this year as well. First of all, huge kudos to Coleman Scott for the staff he's assembled and the job he's doing with the program. I remember a time when I would be hopeful for half of the UNC lineup to even qualify for the NCAA tournament and for just one weight class to be an AA. In Coleman's 4th season the team has continued to close the gap with top tier ACC programs every year. I don't think UNC is ready to beat NC State or Virginia Tech yet, but I am expecting a competitive dual with both. Pittsburgh is another team I'm expecting a competitive dual with, although I think UNC should be able to edge them out. Here's my roster breakdown for this year. 

125: Joe Heilmann (true freshman) 5-5. 125 has been a tough weight for UNC recently. Last year there were a couple duals UNC forfeited at 125. Enter Joe Heilmann (younger brother of Troy who placed 4th at 149 last year). Joe is a blue chip recruit that's a hard worker. He gets lots of praise as being one of the hardest workers in the practice room on the Coleman Scott podcast. On the mat I've been impressed with him this year. His two notable losses were 3-0 to Milhoff of ASU and 4-1 to Mattin of Michigan. He seems to be little small compared to other 125s but that may be a good thing to be a long term solution at 125. I like how the future looks for Joe and think by his JR/SR year he could be in contention to AA, assuming he can stay at 125. NCAA prediction: I think he gets an at large bid, but his ceiling is 1 win. More likely than not he will get a bid, but finish 0-2. It will be great experience for him though. 

133: James Szymanski (redshirt senior) 2-8. This is by and far away UNC's weakest weight. All due respect to Szymanski, but he just can't compete at the division 1 level at this weight. He will not qualify for the NCAA tournament. However, UNC has Gary Wayne Harding waiting in the wings. He has wrestled a couple unattached tournaments, but I'm not sure why he hasn't wrestled for the team yet. I'm wondering if it has to do with the transfer or something along those lines. If UNC can get him in the lineup with enough matches I think he will qualify for the NCAA tournament. I haven't seen him enough this year to predict his result. I do think the future of 133 is in great hands with Zach Sherman redshirting this year. He showed a lot of potential as a true freshman in the lineup last year. Next year this weight should be much better. NCAA prediction: no qualification. 

141: AC Headlee (redshirt junior) 9-4. AC is one of those guys I watch and think he's this close to figuring it all out. He only lost to Yianni by 1 last year and lost to McKenna by 3 this year at CKLV. Headlee also beat Limmux of Purdue at CKLV before falling to a red hot Kanen Storr. He knocked off Chad Red in UNC's last dual. Watching him he seems to be just as gifted as everyone he takes the mat with. Little mental errors seem to be his biggest downfall right now. NCAA prediction: I think Headlee makes it to the R12 this year and then loses there. I like his chances to figure out how to win big matches as a senior and become an AA. 

149: Austin O'Conner (redshirt freshman) 15-2. O'Conner was probably the most excited I have ever been for a UNC wrestling recruit and he has he lived up to the billing. His two losses this year were to Jordan of OSU and Finesilver of Duke. He's already avenged the loss to Finesilver at CKLV, where he placed 3rd. Against Jordan there was obviously a little gap in strength and pace. I think O'Conner is a good enough wrestler to wrestle a closer match if they meet again. The sky is the limit for this guy and I'm excited to see how he performs at the NCAA tournament. Another key for O'Conner is that he's just a winner. He constantly finds ways to win big matches. NCAA prediction: this is tough for me to predict because 149 is so wide open. I feel confident he will AA. There are only 4 guys I think can beat O'Conner right now; Oliver, Ashnault, Kolodzik, and Jordan. Based on styles I think O'Conner could give Oliver and Kolodzik tougher matches than he could give Ashnault or Jordan. Ill play it safe with my prediction and go with 5th (although him placing higher wouldn't surprise me).

157: Josh McClure (redshirt sophomore) 9-4. I'm going to go ahead and slate McClure here even though he hasn't wrestled a match at 157 yet. He has been a pleasant surprise this year. He gave up a lot of strength at 165, but he's a scrapper with great technique. Unfortunately for McClure I think this may be his only year as a starter. The future of 157 should be Mason Phillips who is redshirting this year. NCAA prediction: McClure gets a bid to the NCAA tournament where his ceiling is 2-2. I think it's more likely he loses in the first round and wins one match in wrestlebacks before falling out of the tournament. 

165: Kennedy Monday (redshirt sophomore) 10-5. Monday wrestled his first dual against Isaiah White at 165. Monday got a pretty quick takedown in the 1st on a guy that is very tough to take down, but then he gave up a takedown in the last 10 seconds to lose. However, he looked great at the weight. He seemed to have so much more energy throughout the match than he ever did at 157. I love the style he wrestles with as well. He's long and deceptively strong. One thing he's going to have to figure out (hopefully sooner than later) is how to finish matches he's winning. He has two losses this year, to Berger and White, where he gave up a last second takedown to lose. This was a problem for him last year as well. NCAA prediction: This is a tough one to predict because Monday is a straight up bracket landmine (just ask Joey Lavallee). I'm looking for Monday to go on a tear now that he's not cutting so much weight. I'm going to predict Monday breaks through this year to become an AA and finishes 7th. 

 

174: Devin Kane (redshirt sophomore) 9-4. Kane has been another pleasant surprise in the lineup this year. He is as strong as an ox and just looks the part of a 174. His downfall right now is everything right now is just trying to out muscle his opponents. He's not the greatest technical wrestler and that's something that's going to have to vastly improve for him to ever make strides to the next level. Since the Devin Winston decommitment, this is Kane's weight for the foreseeable future. NCAA prediction: I think Kane qualifies and goes 2-2 this year at the NCAA tournament after his 4-2 CKLV performance. 

184: Chip Ness (redshirt senior) 8-4. Ness has had a few stumbles to start the season after finishing last year as an AA with a 7th place finish at the NCAA tournament. I'm not concerned at all about his slow start because he started last year the same way. He is a guy that peaks in March. He did get back on track with a big win against Venz last weekend. Ness wrestles with a very unique style. He often gives up the first takedown and then goes to work on bottom. He is also a leech on top and a very funky wrestler. Outside of 4-5 guys, he can ride anyone in the country for an entire period. NCAA prediction: Ness peaks by March and finishes as an AA in 6th place this year. He will have had a heck of a career if he becomes a two time AA. 

197: Chasen Blair (redshirt freshman) 5-5. To be frank Blair is starting here because UNC is redshirting another great recruit, Brandon Whitman. Blair is a 184 pounder and is extremely undersized at 197. But the guy has so much heart and gives it everything he has every match. He's very flexible and a great technician. I'm excited to see him at his natural weight next year when Ness graduates. Whitman will be a stud for 4 years at 197 and I expect him to contend to be an AA as a redshirt freshman. NCAA prediction: Blair is unable to qualify. 

Heavyweight: Cory Daniel (redshirt senior) 10-4. Daniel, much like Ness, has continued to improve every season. He's just a solid wrestler. Above average on feet, can escape on bottom, can ride decently on top. He's lost a couple tough matches so far this year, but he's not a guy I'm overly concerned with taking a few losses in November/December. I expect him to peak around February . He has 2 potential rematches with Thomas of Pitt before the NCAA tournament and I think those will be huge for him. NCAA prediction: Daniel qualifies and has a great tournament before falling in the R12. He's a guy I would love to see AA as a senior, but I just don't think it will happen unfortunately. 

Summary: UNC is getting better every year under Coleman Scott. They have a great shot to have 3 AA's this year which would be the most UNC has had in a long time. There's a lot of growing excitement around the program and recruiting has been great. This year is great, but next year will get even better as I expect a lineup that can compete in all 10 weightclasses as Sherman will be added at 133, Phillips at 157, and Whitman at 197. 

Edited by goheels1812

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Awesome review of UNC’s program. I watched Sherman wrestle Gustoffson last year at the Hokie Open as a true freshman. It was easy to see he had the skills, drive and confidence as a rookie to battle D1 veterans. He’s gonna be a good one next year after he shirts. 

 

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Nice summary.  Melendez has also had solid start to his redshirt year.  I'd expect 2 out of those 3 (Melendez, Whitman, Phillips) to be immediate contributors.  

Troubling thing is how light their class of 2019 is, only guy of note being Tagg--although he's a great recruit.  Class of 2020 will be crucial to continue UNC's upward trajectory. 

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42 minutes ago, steamboat_charlie v2 said:

Nice summary.  Melendez has also had solid start to his redshirt year.  I'd expect 2 out of those 3 (Melendez, Whitman, Phillips) to be immediate contributors.  

Troubling thing is how light their class of 2019 is, only guy of note being Tagg--although he's a great recruit.  Class of 2020 will be crucial to continue UNC's upward trajectory. 

The Devin Winston decommitment really hurt the 2019 class. As you said hopefully the 2020 class can pick up some slack. One thing I will say though is that Coleman has shown a knack for turning blue chip guys into solid wrestlers (like Joe Heilmann). Joey Wards younger brother Jordan may turn out to be a good one as well. So far with what I have seen from Coleman I trust him to keep the ship headed in the right direction. 

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36 minutes ago, Gantry said:

Great rundown, thanks for that.  They just gave Scott a contract extension:

 

http://intermatwrestle.com/articles/20982

 

 

Good for Coleman!  although, playing devils advocate here, 150k base per year for three years seems good, but compared to the other 9 non-revenue sports head coaches contracts (who all received 5 year agreements paying at least 160k, 170k, 180k, 190k, and 200k in successive years) it seems like a serious slap in the face. 

Edited by gromit
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1 minute ago, gromit said:

Good for Coleman!  although, playing devils advocate here, 150k base per year for three years seems good, but compared to the other 9 non-revenue sports head coaches contracts (who all received 5 year agreement paying 160k, 170k, 180k, 190k, and 200k in successive years) it seems like a serious slap in the face. 

I noticed that as well but the one thing I will point out is most all of those coaches have been at UNC for a very very long time, while Coleman is in his 4th year as a head coach. I’m wondering if that’s why Coleman only signed through 2021 and they all signed 5 year deals through 2023. Hopefully by 2021 UNC will get his pay on same level as other non revenue sports. 

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so i'm a pitt fan so here is how i'd break down the unc pitt dual

 

i see UNC being clear favorites at 141, 149, 165

i see pitt being clear favorites at 133, 157

 

pitt slight favorites at 184, 197, 285

 

unc slight favorite at 174

 

and a push at 125

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7 hours ago, Creek chub said:

Awesome review of UNC’s program. I watched Sherman wrestle Gustoffson last year at the Hokie Open as a true freshman. It was easy to see he had the skills, drive and confidence as a rookie to battle D1 veterans. He’s gonna be a good one next year after he shirts. 

 

We aren't allowed to root for Zach Sherman. So says @LemonPie

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2 hours ago, goheels1812 said:

I noticed that as well but the one thing I will point out is most all of those coaches have been at UNC for a very very long time, while Coleman is in his 4th year as a head coach. I’m wondering if that’s why Coleman only signed through 2021 and they all signed 5 year deals through 2023. Hopefully by 2021 UNC will get his pay on same level as other non revenue sports. 

Shorter term contract for Coleman is a good idea if he is confident in results. So far he is proving to have made a difference. 

He will have a ton of leverage if UNC finishes 19/20 and 20/21 top 10. They know that if they lose him they will lose their momentum. This only matters if they care about wrestling, but it appears that they do.

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2 hours ago, pretjah said:

so i'm a pitt fan so here is how i'd break down the unc pitt dual

 

i see UNC being clear favorites at 141, 149, 165

i see pitt being clear favorites at 133, 157

 

pitt slight favorites at 184, 197, 285

 

unc slight favorite at 174

 

and a push at 125

I think you’re accurate in this analysis. I’d probably argue 184 is more of a push. Ness is a savvy senior that peaked during ACC matches last year. He will look much different come January. To me the dual comes down to a couple things: bonus points and if Daniels can avenge his loss to Thomas at heavyweight. I’m hoping by the time ACC matches come around Joe Heilmann will be up to the challenge of winning a few matches for the Heels at 125. Phillippi (sorry if misspelled) is an absolute stud and I see you guys getting a full 6 points there (5 if Szymanski can avoid being pinned) so that will be difficult to overcome. If the Heels have Harding in the lineup and he can hold Phillippi to a decision or even a major that’s another boost for UNC. I’m excited for the dual though. Congrats on the growth of your program and the emergence you guys have had this year. It’s an exciting time for ACC wrestling. 

Edited by goheels1812

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17 minutes ago, Housebuye said:

Shorter term contract for Coleman is a good idea if he is confident in results. So far he is proving to have made a difference. 

He will have a ton of leverage if UNC finishes 19/20 and 20/21 top 10. They know that if they lose him they will lose their momentum. This only matters if they care about wrestling, but it appears that they do.

I won’t lie there’s always going to be a tiny bit of worry in the back of my mind about Coleman leaving. UNC has an interesting history with the wrestling program to say the least. During the CD Mock era there was a point when Bubba Cunningham (AD) was thinking about pulling UNC wrestling from the ACC due to Title IX rules. 

I honestly can’t say how committed to wrestling the UNC administration is. For them it’s probably just a program that’s there. I do hope I’m wrong about that though. I’m more just enjoying the moment watching what Coleman is doing with the program. As far as I’m concerned that guy can lead Tar Heel wrestling as long as he wants to. 

Edited by goheels1812

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10 hours ago, goheels1812 said:

I won’t lie there’s always going to be a tiny bit of worry in the back of my mind about Coleman leaving. UNC has an interesting history with the wrestling program to say the least. During the CD Mock era there was a point when Bubba Cunningham (AD) was thinking about pulling UNC wrestling from the ACC due to Title IX rules. 

I honestly can’t say how committed to wrestling the UNC administration is. For them it’s probably just a program that’s there. I do hope I’m wrong about that though. I’m more just enjoying the moment watching what Coleman is doing with the program. As far as I’m concerned that guy can lead Tar Heel wrestling as long as he wants to. 

Not going to lie, part of me does wonder what happens in an alternate timeline where CD Mock isn't fired for having a blog poor performance. That said, Coleman Scott has done an excellent job at the helm.

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7 hours ago, SetonHallPirate said:

Not going to lie, part of me does wonder what happens in an alternate timeline where CD Mock isn't fired for having a blog poor performance. That said, Coleman Scott has done an excellent job at the helm.

This gave me a chuckle. Thanks for that haha. But my guess is UNC is still hoping to qualify 5 guys a year and recruits like O’Conner are killing it elsewhere. I think the fastest impact Coleman had was with Troy Heilmann. No offense to Heilmann, but under Mock he didn’t look like a collegiate level wrestler. A couple years with Coleman later and Heilmann places 4th his senior year. The quick turnaround has been amazing to say the least. 

I was involved in the middle/high school wrestling scene around the Chapel Hill area for a while in the CD Mock days and one of the coaches with some connections up north told me guys up there referred to UNC as a program where “careers go to end”. 

Edited by goheels1812

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1 hour ago, goheels1812 said:

This gave me a chuckle. Thanks for that haha. But my guess is UNC is still hoping to qualify 5 guys a year and recruits like O’Conner are killing it elsewhere. I think the fastest impact Coleman had was with Troy Heilmann. No offense to Heilmann, but under Mock he didn’t look like a collegiate level wrestler. A couple years with Coleman later and Heilmann places 4th his senior year. The quick turnaround has been amazing to say the least. 

I was involved in the middle/high school wrestling scene around the Chapel Hill area for a while in the CD Mock days and one of the coaches with some connections up north told me guys up there referred to UNC as a program where “careers go to end”. 

Not sure O'Connor doesn't end up in Chapel Hill in that alternate universe. The one thing about CD Mock was he could recruit well. He certainly wasn't great at retaining or developing talent, however...I'll give you that.

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2 hours ago, goheels1812 said:

This gave me a chuckle. Thanks for that haha. But my guess is UNC is still hoping to qualify 5 guys a year and recruits like O’Conner are killing it elsewhere. I think the fastest impact Coleman had was with Troy Heilmann. No offense to Heilmann, but under Mock he didn’t look like a collegiate level wrestler. A couple years with Coleman later and Heilmann places 4th his senior year. The quick turnaround has been amazing to say the least. 

I was involved in the middle/high school wrestling scene around the Chapel Hill area for a while in the CD Mock days and one of the coaches with some connections up north told me guys up there referred to UNC as a program where “careers go to end”. 

Here in PA, we used to say the ACC is where good PA wrestlers go to die.

Big fan watching it turn around and I hope all ACC programs improve, next should be Virginia.

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