Iowa State and Northern Iowa

roccowboy

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Dec 18, 2011
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I'll throw Harley some support.

15 years without a title is a long drought. Harley has high expectations for Cowboy Wrestling. Maybe if more people had similar expectations, then the administration wouldn't have ignored the program for so long - basically what Holder said himself.

I thought we were flat as a team this weekend. Not the end of the world. I will say besides Wittlake, Sheets also jumped levels last year IMO. We need more guys to do the same.

About Wittlake, Harley was spot on. He struggled meeting (high) expectations his first year and a half. Then it started clicking for him. I posted an article on that very topic. Wittlake said it himself. John also said it on his radio show.

About Daton, his defense has improved considerably since his freshman year - Zo said that in an interview recently. The big question with Daton is -- does he have the offense to takedown world caliber opponents. He'll need that to win World/Olympic medals. Anyone notice he hit a high c in the ranking match? Can he do that against elite guys? Anxious to see.


I am not convinced that fans being upset, disappointed, or setting high expectations will get administration attention unless you are someone like Boone who can put their money behind the complaints to make the program better.
 
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vhsalum

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Nov 14, 2002
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That's fair. I agree, one flat weekend means nothing.

But things are also a matter of expectations. We didn't get the talent we needed the past 10+ years because of things like the RTC and a new facility. That's been discussed on here plenty. But maybe if fans demanded more from the administration (& coaching staff) it might have jump started things? Iowa's latest resurgence is because their fans basically got fed up and they started a fundraising campaign. Holder said our wrestling program has been successful in spite of the administration.

Also agree that Ferrari, Plott and the rest of the 2020-22 classes look excellent. So things are looking much better lately.

Daton is another expectations thing. We know just how good
he is - he made the Senior World team as a freshman. But to win World/Olympic medals, I just think he needs more offensive attacks. IMO he's trying to rely on counters, much like J'den Cox. Very interested to see what he's developed over the last year.

Man. you guys are brutal. LOL. One thing to keep in mind. John had the guys wrestle a dual, get on a bus, drive 1.5 hour away and wrestle again. I'm pretty sure they had to weigh in again as well. There's a reason so many of your guys fight after graduating. John makes his guys so tough.

At the same time, these are all pretty fair comments/opinions. John creates the best pure wrestlers in NCAAs and its not even close. Everyone develops and your guys are all good in all 3 positions.

3 things that need/ed to be fixed.

1. Recruiting. That's been fixed. You guys some stud classes and your state keeps producing high end talent.

2. Cutting. If john could let go of this even just a little bit, you guys are going to see a huge difference in bonus point matches. It seems like this particular class are all in pretty good spots.

3. Peaking. And this is one thing I'm not sure anyone will ever convince John of. He goes so hard leading up to big12s and NCAAs and everyone can see it in the performance. Combine some really hard weight cutting and you get what John has had - underperformances at NCAAs. It'd also probably be nice if their weren't wrestleoffs the week before big12s and guys NOT have to focus on keeping their spots.

I do think OSU is next in line. I have you guys winning at least 2 titles in the next 5 years. And yes, anything less should be viewed as a failure.

Harley, go back and watch Fix's "run" - he was largely winning with a slide by/inside trip/impeccable defense and and could turn anyone. Many people wondered how that would translate, as he just didn't score by getting to legs very often. It bit him in the first final X series with Gilman, and bit him at Worlds. He's definitely in the right room to get better and scoring leg attacks, so any progress he makes will be because he's putting forth the effort in matches.

Iowa is the heavy favorite for the next 2 years. after that? You're recruiting classes are better than Iowa's by a mile, and ahead of PSU by a decent margin.
 

ISUChip

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Man. you guys are brutal. LOL. One thing to keep in mind. John had the guys wrestle a dual, get on a bus, drive 1.5 hour away and wrestle again. I'm pretty sure they had to weigh in again as well.

One weigh-in for the day.

Both teams weighed in at noon, because both started competition at 1:00 (OSU vs UNI, ISU vs Iowa Central).
 

osu2082

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Worrying about a road dual at this stage of the season is just for message board back and forth. I haven’t seen anything this year that gives me any concern to what ceiling our guys do or don’t have especially the young guys who have been really good.

Now if we want to step back and take a larger program view and discuss some potential issues that have hampered us and that will need to be corrected to lift the trophy again then some of what Harley has pointed out has merit.

We need to do a better job of developing guys and turning our elite recruits into multiple time NC contenders. An RTC is invisibly night help in that and something we will have to work without for this next run.
 

Wrassler17

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I am not convinced that fans being upset, disappointed, or setting his expectations will get administration attention unless you are someone like Boone who can put their money behind the complaints to make the program better.

You might be right. My understanding with Iowa is that the fans started raising $ for their RTC to compete with PSU. Then the coaches started pumping it (Brands doing promos). The push for a new facility then started up. We don't have those kind of numbers, so maybe it wouldn't matter anyway.
 

west2east

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Mar 3, 2013
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Team has looked ok nothing great but solid.My opinion is come Ncaa they seem to underperform and I think it's that they tend to cut more weight then most and the long season wears on them.So this year will be a case study on that since this year has limited weigh ins.I expect you guys to have a Ncaa above expectations this year.Like VHS said above it's Iowa the next 2 years then it's you guys and Penn st for 2023
 
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Wrassler17

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Team has looked ok nothing great but solid.My opinion is come Ncaa they seem to underperform and I think it's that they tend to cut more weight then most and the long season wears on them.So this year will be a case study on that since this year has limited weigh ins.I expect you guys to have a Ncaa above expectations this year.Like VHS said above it's Iowa the next 2 years then it's you guys and Penn st for 2023

I really don't get the weight cut thing. I've heard multiple people say it (or joke about it), including Askren and the Flo guys. And if coaches are saying it, then it's just negative recruiting.

No one jokes about Brady Berge going 149 (couldn't even weigh in for day 2 of Big10s) and Shakur Rasheed going 165 as a freshman (could barely stand up in the 3rd period). Or Kaleb Young going from 79 kg to 157 (and fading badly last year). The Ohio St insider has posted that they cut too much. I could cite numerous examples of multiple guys from other schools as well.

Maybe that was the case with OSU years ago, but not lately. John allowed JO to go from 133 to 149 and dominate. Dean Heil was signed as a 133, but struggled (lost both ranking matches @ 133). John let him go 141 and he won 2 titles. Schafer, White & Harris were all bulk jobs. In fact, over the last 5 years or so, I can only think of one guy who had a really tough cut and it appeared to affect his performance - Marsteller. But he chose to try for 157 rather than sit a year until Alex graduated. Plus Marsteller had off the mat issues that didn't help his conditioning.

Look at some of the transfers too. Tristan Moran went 149/157 for us and then 141 for Wiscy. Ryan Bless went 165 for us and then 149 for VTech. Keegan Moore went 184 for us, but then made 174 trying to crack UNI's lineup.
 

ionel

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Team has looked ok nothing great but solid.My opinion is come Ncaa they seem to underperform and I think it's that they tend to cut more weight then most and the long season wears on them.So this year will be a case study on that since this year has limited weigh ins.I expect you guys to have a Ncaa above expectations this year.Like VHS said above it's Iowa the next 2 years then it's you guys and Penn st for 2023
IMO there should be two realistic main goals for the team this year:
1) place as a team at NCAA
2) get 4 new first time individual AAs
you don't get to a team national championship in a couple years without taking the first step

1) This is a team with 9 very strong weights, you don't need all 10 for a team place and achievable with something like 2 guys making finals and 4 other AAs or 4 guys top 4 and 2 others.
Guys that can make the finals: Fix, Lewallen and Wittlake, but they have to wrestle better than current. NCAA is going to be a bit of a crap shoot this year, who is healthy, who is tournament ready, who got unlucky and caught with protocol directly before. At Wittlake's weight Griffith has only wrestled one match up at 174 and Marinelli is currently out but expected back. All 3 of these are realistic but Lewallen has to peak at tournament time wrestling at or above where he was when ranked #1 last year. Fix obviously has to get on the mat and be sharp. We have the talent for 3 or 4 other AAs.

2) Guys eligible/likely for this second goal: Mastro/Witcraft, Sheets, Wittlake, Plot/Montalvo, Ferrari
The most likely are Wittlake and Ferrari. Sheets has some pretty tough guys ahead of him, its probably all about wrestling at end of last year form with the knee brace. I'd say Plot/Montalvo next most likely and with the two of them its a style thing, which style is more likely to survive the various types wrested in the tournament, I'd lean toward Montalvo right now but we will know more the 14th. Masto has made great improvement but I personally don't see him yet at the level to get past two guys he might face who will beat him from the top position. It'd be nice if we had more info on Witcraft against starting 125lb, will get a bit of info on the 14th but not sure will be enough to predict against top 10 guys.

Again imo no reason to talk or speculate about a team championship in the future if we can't this year with this team achieve 1 and 2 above.
 
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Wrassler17

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IMO there should be two realistic main goals for the team this year:
1) place as a team at NCAA
2) get 4 new first time individual AAs
you don't get to a team national championship in a couple years without taking the first step

1) This is a team with 9 very strong weights, you don't need all 10 for a team place and achievable with something like 2 guys making finals and 4 other AAs or 4 guys top 4 and 2 others.
Guys that can make the finals: Fix, Lewallen and Wittlake, but they have to wrestle better than current. NCAA is going to be a bit of a crap shoot this year, who is healthy, who is tournament ready, who got unlucky and caught with protocol directly before. At Wittlake's weight Griffith has only wrestled one match up at 174 and Marinelli is currently out but expected back. All 3 of these are realistic but Lewallen has to peak at tournament time wrestling at or above where he was when ranked #1 last year. Fix obviously has to get on the mat and be sharp. We have the talent for 3 or 4 other AAs.

2) Guys eligible/likely for this second goal: Mastro/Witcraft, Sheets, Wittlake, Plot/Montalvo, Ferrari
The most likely are Wittlake and Ferrari. Sheets has some pretty tough guys ahead of him, its probably all about wrestling at end of last year form with the knee brace. I'd say Plot/Montalvo next most likely and with the two of them its a style thing, which style is more likely to survive the various types wrested in the tournament, I'd lean toward Montalvo right now but we will know more the 14th. Masto has made great improvement but I personally don't see him yet at the level to get past two guys he might face who will beat him from the top position. It'd be nice if we had more info on Witcraft against starting 125lb, will get a bit of info on the 14th but not sure will be enough to predict against top 10 guys.

Again imo no reason to talk or speculate about a team championship in the future if we can't this year with this team achieve 1 and 2 above.

I would add Ferrari to the list of potential champs. He's inexperienced, but incredibly talented. Plus he is supremely confident. Like Daton, he walks into the arena like he owns the joint. I'm hoping that attitude rubs off on some other guys.
 
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ionel

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I would add Ferrari to the list of potential champs. He's inexperienced, but incredibly talented. Plus he is supremely confident. Like Daton, he walks into the arena like he owns the joint. I'm hoping that attitude rubs off on some other guys.
He is part of my 4 that could place top 4 and sure he could but he is not yet tournament tested in college or yet faced a top 10, two bad style guys for him could keep him out, thus why didnt include. Its also being suggested that Amine may go 197, so again we really don't have any info to suggest he is at that level, but if so makes both 1 & 2 more achievable.
 

Wrassler17

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He is part of my 4 that could place top 4 and sure he could but he is not yet tournament tested in college or yet faced a top 10, two bad style guys for him could keep him out, thus why didnt include. Its also being suggested that Amine may go 197, so again we really don't have any info to suggest he is at that level, but if so makes both 1 & 2 more achievable.

I agree, that's more of a prediction than a ranking on my part.

One other point, there's been some posts on here and the Ohio St board (for the lurkers) about our performance history at Nationals. I try to avoid excuses in wrestling, if you take the mat you either win or lose. But realistically, some guys are banged up at the end. I know Gfeller, Collica, Schafer & Jacobe Smith all got hurt very late after having great regular seasons. Maybe some others too. That's part of the sport that fans don't see.
 
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west2east

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I really don't get the weight cut thing. I've heard multiple people say it (or joke about it), including Askren and the Flo guys. And if coaches are saying it, then it's just negative recruiting.

No one jokes about Brady Berge going 149 (couldn't even weigh in for day 2 of Big10s) and Shakur Rasheed going 165 as a freshman (could barely stand up in the 3rd period). Or Kaleb Young going from 79 kg to 157 (and fading badly last year). The Ohio St insider has posted that they cut too much. I could cite numerous examples of multiple guys from other schools as well.

Maybe that was the case with OSU years ago, but not lately. John allowed JO to go from 133 to 149 and dominate. Dean Heil was signed as a 133, but struggled (lost both ranking matches @ 133). John let him go 141 and he won 2 titles. Schafer, White & Harris were all bulk jobs. In fact, over the last 5 years or so, I can only think of one guy who had a really tough cut and it appeared to affect his performance - Marsteller. But he chose to try for 157 rather than sit a year until Alex graduated. Plus Marsteller had off the mat issues that didn't help his conditioning.

Look at some of the transfers too. Tristan Moran went 149/157 for us and then 141 for Wiscy. Ryan Bless went 165 for us and then 149 for VTech. Keegan Moore went 184 for us, but then made 174 trying to crack UNI's lineup.
With this current team I don't see anyone cutting hard.And it may be that some guys just get to out of shape in the off season which makes it look like the cut is to much.Like Joe used to
 

Air_Thurman

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Can someone smarter than me explain why AJ is getting grief over his match against Iowa State? He is now in a spat with Ben Askren over it. I admit it looks awkward on video but for the life of me I don't understand why people think AJ was purposely going after the kid's junk.
 
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west2east

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Can someone smarter than me explain why AJ is getting grief over his match against Iowa State? He is now in a spat with Ben Askren over it. I admit it looks awkward on video but for the life of me I don't understand why people think AJ was purposely going after the kid's junk.
Agree totally dumb he was blocking inside the thigh in a over under happens all the time.We just don't stop to show the ref like foreigners do.Reminded me of watching a international tournament
 

Air_Thurman

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Agree totally dumb he was blocking inside the thigh in a over under happens all the time.We just don't stop to show the ref like foreigners do.Reminded me of watching a international tournament

I hate to be "that guy" who thinks people are against us but Ben has made FRL basically unlistenable if your an OSU fan.
 

OSUMatFan

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I remember when he was a graduate assistant Coleman Scott senior year and McCormick stalled through his Big 12 quarter final match and defeated Scott. Askren was running around Gallagher taunting the crowd. I think he suffers from penis envy.
 

osu2082

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Can someone smarter than me explain why AJ is getting grief over his match against Iowa State? He is now in a spat with Ben Askren over it. I admit it looks awkward on video but for the life of me I don't understand why people think AJ was purposely going after the kid's junk.

Totally agree and listen it’s also wrestling.... Some of the best most respected guys were savage. Brutal cross facing, try to rip your arm off, oil checking savages haha!

AJ didn’t try to grab the guys junk to get an advantage. Come on guys. I get it, he is cocky and will be “that” guy but he didn’t grab the dudes junk to squeeze it or something.
 
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tom_v31

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Jan 24, 2020
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Man. you guys are brutal. LOL. One thing to keep in mind. John had the guys wrestle a dual, get on a bus, drive 1.5 hour away and wrestle again. I'm pretty sure they had to weigh in again as well. There's a reason so many of your guys fight after graduating. John makes his guys so tough.

At the same time, these are all pretty fair comments/opinions. John creates the best pure wrestlers in NCAAs and its not even close. Everyone develops and your guys are all good in all 3 positions.

3 things that need/ed to be fixed.

1. Recruiting. That's been fixed. You guys some stud classes and your state keeps producing high end talent.

2. Cutting. If john could let go of this even just a little bit, you guys are going to see a huge difference in bonus point matches. It seems like this particular class are all in pretty good spots.

3. Peaking. And this is one thing I'm not sure anyone will ever convince John of. He goes so hard leading up to big12s and NCAAs and everyone can see it in the performance. Combine some really hard weight cutting and you get what John has had - underperformances at NCAAs. It'd also probably be nice if their weren't wrestleoffs the week before big12s and guys NOT have to focus on keeping their spots.

I do think OSU is next in line. I have you guys winning at least 2 titles in the next 5 years. And yes, anything less should be viewed as a failure.

Harley, go back and watch Fix's "run" - he was largely winning with a slide by/inside trip/impeccable defense and and could turn anyone. Many people wondered how that would translate, as he just didn't score by getting to legs very often. It bit him in the first final X series with Gilman, and bit him at Worlds. He's definitely in the right room to get better and scoring leg attacks, so any progress he makes will be because he's putting forth the effort in matches.

Iowa is the heavy favorite for the next 2 years. after that? You're recruiting classes are better than Iowa's by a mile, and ahead of PSU by a decent margin.
Nice comments. You make some very good points
 

tom_v31

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You might be right. My understanding with Iowa is that the fans started raising $ for their RTC to compete with PSU. Then the coaches started pumping it (Brands doing promos). The push for a new facility then started up. We don't have those kind of numbers, so maybe it wouldn't matter anyway.
Good point with the fans raising the money. It’s hard for the fans to get behind a RTC if they feel the staff isn’t behind it
 
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PoOsKuE

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Totally agree and listen it’s also wrestling.... Some of the best most respected guys were savage. Brutal cross facing, try to rip your arm off, oil checking savages haha!

AJ didn’t try to grab the guys junk to get an advantage. Come on guys. I get it, he is cocky and will be “that” guy but he didn’t grab the dudes junk to squeeze it or something.
When you use a thigh pry to defend an underhook odds are good you'll get a little cocky.
 

OSUMatFan

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Thanks for the technical description of what occurred and the consequences. I appreciate the wrestling expertise on this site.
 

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