View Full Version : Illinois starters next year???
02-17-2006, 10:21 PM
Help me out...what is the outlook on the Illinois line-up...the loss of five starters is difficult to rebound from? This is my guess...
125 Flores Jr.
133 Gomez So.
141 Pero Sr.
149 Tirapelle So.
157 Poeta So.
165 Reynolds Sr.
174 Guida Fr.
197 Bond Fr.
HWT Wise So.
Is this ballpark? Does Reynolds go back down to 165? --that seems to be one of many question marks to me. Does Dergo start as a true Freshman? I'm guessing that Flores will move to 125 and Poeta to 157. What about Pat Brownson, Guida and Bond? And where does Sean Reynolds fit in to the picture?
And waht happens the folowing year? This is my early guess...and it is a weak gues...it's just the only way I can get all the wrestlers with the most "potential" in the line-up...
125 Flores Sr.
133 Kennedy R-Fr.
141 Gomez Jr.
149 Tirapelle Jr.
157 Reynolds R-Fr. or So.
165 Poeta Jr.
174 Guida So.
184 Dergo R-Fr. or So.
197 Bond Fr.
HWT Wise So.
but any of the following seems possible...
125 Kennedy/Flores/Gomez R-Fr./Sr./Jr.
133 Flores/Kennedy/Gomez Sr./R-Fr./Jr.
141 Gomez/Flores/Tirapelle/Reynolds Jr./Sr./Jr./R-Fr.
149 Tirapelle/Reynolds Jr./R-Fr.
157 Reynolds/Poeta/Tirapelle R-Fr./Jr./Jr.
165 Poeta/Reynolds Jr./R-Fr.
174 Guida/Dergo So./R-Fr. or So.
184 Dergo/Brownson/Guida R-Fr. or So/Sr./So.
197 Bond So.
HWT Wise Jr.
Kennedy certainly has a shot to crack the line-up but is behind two other H.S. All-Americans. Are there any other possible big-time recruits in the 165-174 areas we have been targetting?
I'm sure the coaching staff has a plan...I am unsure of everyone's weight potential. The roster will be loaded with talent and potential, though. I would assume that the big question marks will be, how will the lower weight classes end up? Bond and Wise seem to be pretty close to locks to be in the line-up at the two lowest weight classes.
Help me out - I know this is a long time away, but am kind of intrigued by the posibilities. I'd be interested to figure out how everyone thinks things might play out.
02-18-2006, 02:02 PM
Carthage-- as you'll see, in response to your post I posted the following on BigEleven.net, but thought I would repost here-- maybe we can continue some good Illini-centric discussion:
Your musings on the starting line-up for the Illini is close to what I would guess. Below, along with returning starters, I've included the record (from this www.bigeleven.net (http://www.bigeleven.net)) for some potential starters. My guess for the starting line-up is in Bold. Below that are some comments.
125 Gabe Flores JR
Gabe is doing well at 133 this year, but by returning to a more natural weight for him he will probably be a top-10 wrestler to begin the season.
133 Joe Gomez SO 3-4
133 Dan Manzella SR 2-5
133 Ryan Klinger JR 2-4
None of these 133 pounders have proven yet to be competitive at the Div I level. Maybe one of them will step up. I doubt new recruit Kennedy will compete. Most redshirt freshmen have enough problems; true freshmen mostly get mauled by Div I (especially Big Ten) opponents.
141 Cassio Pero SR
It will be interesting to see if Cassio can step it up in the next month and remind everyone that he was an AA last year. I'm also sure the coaches will work with him so that he'll "come out of the shoot" better next year.
149 Troy Tirapelle SO
He has shown flashes of very good wrestling at times. Ordinarily he would be able to qualify for the NCAAs, but with 8 other high quality opponents in the Big Ten this season, it will be VERY tough for Troy to qualify. He'll need one, or possibly two upsets to place (good chance a wild card will go to #8 at 149). In any regard, building on what went well this year, look for Troy to be approx top 15 or higher next year as he learns to meld his talent, strength, aggressive, and to improve his leg defense. Troy is an exciting wrestler and I hope he does well.
157 Mike Poeta SO
My guess is that Mike will compete at 157 for at least one year and will be in the hunt for NCAA finalist. The problem with that team-wise, is that if Mike stayed at 165 then Coach Johnson has a number of potential 157 pounders, whereas there really isn't a promising 165 pound candidate (assuming that Don Reynolds doesn't drop back down). But after a year of "taking one for the team" by competing up a weight, I would guess that Mike will wrestle at 157 next year.
165 Roger Smith-Bergstrund SO 2-2
At Midlands, Don's father told me that Don feels a bit undersized at 174-- so who knows, he may end up going down a weight. From what I've seen, Don has looked much more comfortable at 174 than he did at 165 last year (of course, that could be a year of seasoning). Don certainly has the frame to bulk-up and grow into 174.
I know nothing about Roger S-B, except that Adam Tirapelle posted that he is a possible starter at this weight for next year (AT #1 has much better connections than I do with the team).
How tall is Sean Reynolds? Maybe he'll grow into this weight???
174 Don Reynolds SR (will he seek a medical redshirt year?)
Don has a decent shot at AA this season, so if he finishes strong this year (Round of 12 or higher), I would say he would be a strong AA candidate for next year (5 of top 12 wrestlers at 174 are seniors, and I bet Herbert moves up to 184).
I seriously doubt that Dergo will start for Illinois next year. As I mentioned above, true freshmen usually get mauled in Div I competition, especially in the Big Ten. The only true freshmen to start for Illinois in recent memory was Tyrone Byrd-- and that was a case where there was no real starter to replace NCAA finalist Pat Quirk.
174/184 Matt Winterhalter SR 6-4
184 Nick Guida RS-FR 13-4
184 Pat Brownson JR 7-4
184 Matt Harding SR 0-2
Pat Brownson has been an understudy to Brian Glynn and Pete Friedl the last few years. When he's had opportunities to wrestle real competition at Opens he has not excelled. So it is difficult to say if he would be competitive with Div I competition next year. Nick Guida has had a good redshirt freshman season. So I don't know who will start-- I'm just guessing Nick.
197 Patrick Bond RS-FR 6-3
197 Lou Puracchio SO 1-8
Bond has done reasonably well this season. As a starter next year he'll no doubt take his lumps. It will be interesting to see how he fares as the year progresses.
285 John Wise SO 13-6
285 Ben Zulauf SO 8-4
John Wise has done reasonably well this season. When I watched him at Midlands he hit me as having a large upside (big & fast). Hopefully, he'll get a lot of situational practice in over the next year. Does he have any decent practice partners? Do the Illini need to bring in a heavyweight coach to work out with Wise on a daily basis? Just musing out loud here...
In any event, next year looks like a rebuilding year for the Illini.
02-19-2006, 12:10 AM
I wouldn't be suprised to see Kennedy and Dergo maybe start a match mid-season depending on the dual. Kennedy and Dergo have combined losses of like 6 or something through out 4 years of wrestling in Illinois which is pretty good. It will be a big step up in the D.1 Big ten but these guys will work hard.
02-19-2006, 10:48 AM
High c.. thanks for your comments and enthusiasm.
I wouldn't be suprised to see Kennedy and Dergo maybe start a match mid-season depending on the dual.
It turns out that if you put your toe in the water it is the same as jumping in. If these guys (or any true freshmen) wrestle in a single dual that has the effect of "blowing" their redshirt season-- that is, it is the same as losing a year of college eligibility. The vast majority of freshmen are not ready to compete at the Div I level and a redshirt year allows them to get accustomed to college life, work out with the team, and compete unattached against college guys.
Kennedy and Dergo have combined losses of like 6 or something through out 4 years of wrestling in Illinois which is pretty good. It is a lot better than "pretty good"-- it is spectacular. But, in Div I EVERY match is basically a state semi-final or final match. I know it is normal to watch great high school wrestlers and think that they would be ready to jump in and tangle with the college guys. I believe that Cal Ferry was a three time state champ, and he struggled to be a .500 wrestler at Div I and lost his starting role as a sophomore. Michael Martin was a 4x state champ from Virginia and to many looked like a "for-sure" multiple-time AA and college national champ. He too struggled (before suffering a serious knee injury his sophomore year). There are many more examples. It is sobering to keep in mind that each year in the U.S. there are approximately 1400 state champs in high school (and approx 900 starting jobs in college-- which means that several hundred of these guys do not have winning records). Tough competition.
It will be a big step up in the D.1 Big ten but these guys will work hard. Keep in mind that essentially EVERY guy in Div I is working VERY hard. So hard work does not imply success (bummer:( ). [Odd thing here is that hard work academically has a much greater potential of implying success.. if we could just convince more undergrads of that.]
With that said, I hope that Dergo and Kennedy are hugely successful at Illinois. But I would be very surprised to see either one of them start as a true freshmen.
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