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He is such an innovative wrestler, i thought he would adapt brilliantly to freestyle, but I think the increased level of freedom from a scoring perspective wasn't enough to compensate for how solid senior level guys are. 
I was big on this when he came out. I thought he didn't have solid enough basic takedowns. The funk and rolling across his back and all that is brilliant to watch in folk, and he's somewhat proven me...."less right" in freestyle. But like you said when it comes to those guys around the top it's kind of a glaring issue that he doesnt have any reliable "go-to" attacks, and he has trouble creating those awkward positions he's so good in off of their offense.

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33 minutes ago, spladle08 said:
1 hour ago, hammerlockthree said:
He is such an innovative wrestler, i thought he would adapt brilliantly to freestyle, but I think the increased level of freedom from a scoring perspective wasn't enough to compensate for how solid senior level guys are. 

I was big on this when he came out. I thought he didn't have solid enough basic takedowns. The funk and rolling across his back and all that is brilliant to watch in folk, and he's somewhat proven me...."less right" in freestyle. But like you said when it comes to those guys around the top it's kind of a glaring issue that he doesnt have any reliable "go-to" attacks, and he has trouble creating those awkward positions he's so good in off of their offense.

The subject of basic shots is interesting. He has a great lefty knee pull/ankle pick, which was all we saw at the trials, the same misdirection double taylor got yaz with, and in college he used to hit the low double that is retherford's only shot, but I havent seen it lately...I don't know whether to say if his problem is "go-to" attacks,  diversity of attacks or just not inflicting enough damage in his hand fight.... its probably  mixture.

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The subject of basic shots is interesting. He has a great lefty knee pull/ankle pick, which was all we saw at the trials, the same misdirection double taylor got yaz with, and in college he used to hit the low double that is retherford's only shot, but I havent seen it lately...I don't know whether to say if his problem is "go-to" attacks,  diversity of attacks or just not inflicting enough damage in his hand fight.... its probably  mixture.


Good analysis.

Note* Taylor not having reliable takedowns is something I preach all the time, so when he hit that double I was genuinely blown away. I figured he'd dive in and we'd be in a: down to the wire funky position, can he score, situation.

As far as Retherfords shot I can't remember that being in Nolfs offense but I need to re-watch some senior year Nolf I think.

I personally think he just doesn't have anything he can finish clean and against JB re-attacks are so terrifying anyone would be a little gun shy (guessing that was what we saw against Starocci given how much they practice together and being disappointed in CS style during the NCAA season but Carter just went out and shot his shots with seemingly little concern for what Nolf had to offer and Nolf didn't seem to really commit to anything) against Dake, well the last time they wrestled it just looked like he didn't belong on the mat .
Ok so I just typed in Nolf Freestyle on YouTube and thought "I'll watch the first match that pops up against a decent opponent". And it was IMAR and it kind of confirmed my thoughts. Reminded me of what Jden Cox said in his interview this weekend, something like "I wasn't believing in my offense, I'd shoot a shot and then it was like OMG it actually worked, I didn't expect it to work"
Against lower tiered guys he throws the sink at them but in these upper level matches he just is too scared of getting scored on and then he gets scored on and can't catch up.



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Nolf just needs to compete more at the senior level and he’s definitely a 74 kg guy imo. Guys at this level just hold position better and aren’t as likely to wilt under his intensity.  He’s not far off. Hoping he sticks with it through 2024 at least. 

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1 minute ago, AnklePicker said:

Nolf just needs to compete more at the senior level and he’s definitely a 74 kg guy imo. Guys at this level just hold position better and aren’t as likely to wilt under his intensity.  He’s not far off. Hoping he sticks with it through 2024 at least. 

Does Nolf really need more Physics lessons from Douglas through 2024 though?

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I think part of it is he is so good we never considered that strength might be part of the reason. He was a huge 157 lber his last two years. I thought he'd go 165 after his freshman year. We now know he was cutting a lot for the sake of the team at PSU because he stopped growing around sophomore year and he immediately went 74 kg after college. We've only seen him against guys of his size or a little bigger (79 kg), and he doesn't have a strength advantage anymore. When he ran into Imart in college, even at 157, he was less effective. Imart is very strong.

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19 minutes ago, wrestlingnerd said:

I think part of it is he is so good we never considered that strength might be part of the reason. He was a huge 157 lber his last two years. I thought he'd go 165 after his freshman year. We now know he was cutting a lot for the sake of the team at PSU because he stopped growing around sophomore year and he immediately went 74 kg after college. We've only seen him against guys of his size or a little bigger (79 kg), and he doesn't have a strength advantage anymore. When he ran into Imart in college, even at 157, he was less effective. Imart is very strong.

Strength is definitely part of it, his style was never that of a bully, like Imart, but thats probably another problem, maybe his style isn't fermenting as he moves up in weight. 

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he hits retherfords shot in this match...i think this match is his magnum opus despite getting ridden
That was slick, and confident.
And I fully agree strength is part of "not being able to throw the kitchen sink" as often, but man he really seems scared of pulling the trigger against those top guys.

Just feels like he doesn't trust himself, I'm really convincing myself that it's a lack of elite, simple, offense.

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I gave up on the idea that you have to look strong to be so after seeing Gene Mills crush people a long time ago. Ben Askren, Nick Simmons, Spencer Lee his freshman year, Bo Nickal, etc. Plenty of precedent for guys not looking as strong as they were in a wrestling match. I’m talking functional strength, not weight room prowess. 

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I gave up on the idea that you have to look strong to be so after seeing Gene Mills crush people a long time ago. Ben Askren, Nick Simmons, Spencer Lee his freshman year, Bo Nickal, etc. Plenty of precedent for guys not looking as strong as they were in a wrestling match. I’m talking functional strength, not weight room prowess. 

Bo Nickal looked significantly bigger at 189/86kg at OTTs than he EVER did at 197lbs, and he beat the tar out of everyone at 197.


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4 minutes ago, NJDan said:

Don't you guys think that Nolf looked small at 79 (and would be small at 74, too)? He doesn't look strong either, tho he never LOOKS strong and looks can be deceiving.

I don't think Nolf looked small, only because the people he wrestled against were also coming up in weight. That being said, hard to judge him in a match with Starocci, who just a few months ago was wrestling against the likes of Nickel and Myles Martin at 86kg. On the last day of a tournament with no weigh in looming, he was probably outweighed by 20-25lbs by Starocci who's strong for 86 kg. That's a tough ask for anyone. 

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I don't think Nolf looked small, only because the people he wrestled against were also coming up in weight. That being said, hard to judge him in a match with Starocci, who just a few months ago was wrestling against the likes of Nickel and Myles Martin at 86kg. On the last day of a tournament with no weigh in looming, he was probably outweighed by 20-25lbs by Starocci who's strong for 86 kg. That's a tough ask for anyone. 

Carter wrestles 174/79kg in college. I doubt there’s 20-25lbs difference between a guy who wrestles at 74kg normally and another who goes at 79.


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1 minute ago, Le duke said:


Carter wrestles 174/79kg in college. I doubt there’s 20-25lbs difference between a guy who wrestles at 74kg normally and another who goes at 79.


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But Nolf was 157 in college.

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1 minute ago, Le duke said:


Carter wrestles 174/79kg in college. I doubt there’s 20-25lbs difference between a guy who wrestles at 74kg normally and another who goes at 79.


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or you could just watch the match and see for yourself . . .

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15 minutes ago, wrestlingnerd said:

Hidlay is also an extremely strong guy at 157 that Nolf had trouble with (relatively). To me, we’ve seen the freestyle version of Nolf before at 157 against Imart and Hidlay. 

Nolf just teched Hidlay 10-0 last weekend. Again strength is certainly an issue but i think there is an issue of style mixed in that I don't quite understand.

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or you could just watch the match and see for yourself . . .

I’ve watched it multiple times.

If you think Carter somehow bulked up to a true 86kg size (~205) for trials, a couple weeks after wrestling at 174lbs, I have some bridges for sale I’d like to tell you about.

Carter was significantly smaller than Nickal in their match.


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3 minutes ago, Le duke said:


I’ve watched it multiple times.

If you think Carter somehow bulked up to a true 86kg size (~205) for trials, a couple weeks after wrestling at 174lbs, I have some bridges for sale I’d like to tell you about.

Carter was significantly smaller than Nickal in their match.


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Thank you for proving my point.

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