Illinois Matmen Forums Illinois Matmen Forums

Go Back   Illinois Matmen Forums > Statewide > College

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-23-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
Olympian
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,781
The Planet's Greatest ILLINI BTT Preview



If you listen carefully to the background music of your life, you can hear the call of duty. The call is going out to all ILLINI wrestlers preparing for the Big Ten Tournament. NCAA allocations are on the line. Honor is to be won or lost. Glory will go to the Bold. It is time, my friends, to answer the call of duty.

But before we get to the actual BTT Preview, I feel it is my duty to bring to the board’s attention a great problem. This is something that we as ILLINI fans must come to terms with immediately, and then deal with it. Has anybody noticed Mike Poeta’s orange patent leather shoes? Why do those shoes not have a Facebook page and Twitter account? I’m trying not to be angry here, but sweet annoying donkey from Shrek who was Eddie Murphy people, what are you doing all day?

WHAT: The Big Ten Tournament
WHEN: March 9-10
WHERE: Minneapolis, Minnesota
WHY: Duty is Calling
TV: TBA

125. Travis Piotrowski

Pio is a veteran of the Big Ten Tournament now. He has been known to win the upset against former All-Americans. Pio has a 16-8 overall record, and he earned that the hard way, coming in at #6 in the RPI. Last year, the ILLINI was 2-2 in the Big Dance and 3-2 in the BTT. His loses at Big Ten’s were to Nick Suriano and, somehow, Elijah Oliver, who he has regularly beaten. Pio lost to Zeke Moisey at NCAAs last year but won the rematch this season.

He has a 6-3 Big Ten dual record to bring to the seeding discussions. He has faced all of the top wrestlers, although his win against Minnesota came via forfeit. His best wins this year were in conference against Moisey and Michigan’s Drew Mattin (x2). Pio is 2-3 against Big Ten opposition in open tournaments. Piotrowski uses his length to his advantage, as well as a stockpile of throws/mixers.


Top Contenders

Sebastian Rivera, Northwestern, 20-1 overall; 8-1 in Big Ten duals, with the loss to #1 Stevan Micic up a weight at 133 pounds. His best overall accomplishment this year was to win Midlands with a 7-3 defeat of Spencer Lee. He also has a 6-4 SV win over Oregon State’s Ronnie Bresser (15-1 record).

Last year, Rivera finished with a 5-3 record at the Big Dance. He was 4-2 at the BTT with losses to Spencer Lee and Ethan Lizak.

Spencer Lee, Iowa, 16-1 overall; 7-0 in Big Ten duals. The loss was to Rivera at the Midlands. Significantly, he was held out of the Northwestern dual. The Hawkeye is currently on a string of five pinfalls and a major decision. Could the Big Ten coaches reward him with an overall #1 seed because of his perfect dual record? His national championship? I think it’s possible.

RayVon Foley, Michigan State, 27-2 overall; 8-1 in Big Ten duals. His lone Big Ten dual loss was to Sebastian Riviera. He did not skip out on any duals, but the schedule-maker did ensure that he wouldn’t face Spencer Lee or Sean Russell. Foley’s other loss was to Oklahoma State’s Nick Picininni. Last season, Foley was 3-2 at the Big Ten championships, but two of those wins were over Elijah Oliver, while the other was against Drew Mattin by one point. At the Big Dance, he was two and barbecue.

Sean Russell, Minnesota, 22-3 overall, with two forfeits; 6-1 in Big Ten duals, with the loss coming to Spencer Lee. Russell was out for the ILLINI dual. He was an All-American two years ago, but last year finished 2-2 at the Big Dance, with a tough bracket that included close losses to Luke Welch and Nick Piccinjnni. He was a conference champion in the EWL last year for Edinboro.

The Next Level

Drew Mattin, Michigan, 15-5 overall; 6-1 in Big Ten duals. His dual loss in conference was to Travis Piotrowski. Mattin has been consistently ranked below Piotrowski, and Pio holds a 3-1 record against the Wolverine, although the matches have been close. The highest-ranked wrestler he’s seen in a Big Ten dual this year was the ILLINI, and he lost. He did beat Ohio State’s Malik Heinselman during that dual. He also beat Zeke Moisey in Vegas.

Zeke Moisey, Nebraska, 11-8 overall; 5-4 in Big Ten duals. As a former NCAA finalist, you have to consider the fact that Moisey could become dangerous in March. Last year, Moisey was 4-3 at the NCAA championships, which included a win—later revenged—over Travis Piotrowski. He finished second to Nick Piccininni in the Big Twelve championships for his former school, West Virginia.

Devin Schroder, Purdue, 17-8 overall; 5-1 in Big Ten duals. The Boilermaker led a charmed life this year in the Big Ten. The best wrestler he faced was Sean Russell, and Russell beat him 9-0. The next best wrestler he faced in a conference dual was Michigan’s Austin Assad. Then, he had Maryland, Penn State, Indiana and a box of chocolates for the schedule-maker. He even wrestled Perez Perez in the Iowa dual. Pio and Moisey beat him at the Cliff Keen tournament in Las Vegas.

The Others

Malik Heinselman from Ohio State is 19-6 overall and has a 3-3 record in Big Ten duals. Because he has skills, and he could be dangerous if you draw him first thing after a weigh-in (which won’t faze him one bit), he sits atop the “Others” category. His best win on the year is probably over Minnesota redshirt Patrick McKee, who has a 10-4 record. Malik missed out on Piotrowski, as he went to wrestle in the Edinboro Open, winning it over a bunch of scrubs.

Elijah Oliver from Indiana is 18-15 overall and sports a 1-4 conference record. His teammate, Liam Cronin, has a better record (17-12) and is ranked in the top thirty of the RPI, but I suspect the Hoosiers will go with the senior for the BTT. Oliver has qualified for the NCAAs all three years and has a 2-6 record there. You can’t blame him for last year, though, as his two losses were to Spencer Lee and Ronnie Bresser. (Ouch!).

Brandon Cray of Maryland is 6-12 on the year overall, with a 1-6 mark in conference duals. This was one of the first Big Ten scalps collected by Justin Cardani at the Midlands. Cray did beat a highly-thought-of wrestler from Old Dominion there. Devin Schnupp of Penn State is 6-14 on the year, which is a huge improvement over his 1-14 record last year. He’s 1-8 in Big Ten duals, with his only win coming against Indiana backup Liam Cronin.

Look for Devin Schnupp to “star” in a Call of Duty poster in the next couple of days.

Ethan Rotondo of Wisconsin wasn’t supposed to wrestle this year, but the Badger’s Connor Brown has been missing from the lineup. The latter may have earned a seed in the BTT, but Rotondo will be fed to the sharks. He is 5-6 on the year and 0-3 in Big Ten duals. Shane Metzler of Rutgers is 6-14 on the year and 1-7 in conference duals. That one win was over Purdue’s backup.

These are the Big Ten wrestlers who were listed in the first official Coaches’ Ranking:

1. Sebastian Rivera
2. Spencer Lee
6. Sean Russell
7. RayVon Foley
12. Travis Piotrowski
13. Drew Mattin
14. Zeke Moisey
17. Devin Schroder
30. Malik Heinselman


Big Ten wrestlers in the first RPI rankings included:

1. Sebastian Rivera
4. RayVon Foley
5. Drew Mattin
6. Travis Piotrowski
8. Sean Russell
9. Malik Heinselman
13. Zeke Moisey
17. Devin Schroder
30. Liam Cronin

The Big Ten could get as many as nine qualification slots, so I will attempt to seed out to fourteen. Last year, Elijah Oliver had to win one match to get into the NCAA tournament, and he did. Here are my seed predictions:

1. Sebastian Rivera (Head-to-head win this season)
2. Spencer Lee
3. RayVon Foley
4. Sean Russell
5. Travis Piotrowski (Pio has slightly worse dual schedule but head-to-head over Mattin)
6. Drew Mattin
7. Zeke Moisey
8. Devin Schroder
9. Malik Heinselman
10. Elijah Oliver
11. Brandon Cray
12. Ethan Rotondo (He’s a better wrestler than the bottom two)
13. Devin Schnupp
14. Shane Metzler

Here's how this weight finished at last year's Big Ten Tournament:


Travis Piotrowski will have a first-round match against either Elijah Oliver or Malik Heinselman. In either case, he will have to be ready to go right off the bat and have his weight under control. A second-round match could be against Foley or Russell. Pio is in the Big Dance regardless, but it would be nice to bring some conference hardware along with him. A better seed at NCAAs would be helpful as well. The best first-round match at the Big Ten Tournament looks like it could be Zeke Moisey and Devin Schroder. I believe there will be a minimum of four All-Americans from the Big Ten, with as many as six possible. I don't know how you keep Picininni and Bresser of the stand, barring injury.

To be continued …
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-23-2019
jay31 jay31 is offline
Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Champaign, IL
Posts: 275
Wow and we have nine more of these to look forward to? Hope you can beat last year’s total of 21,966 page views. Go Chief!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-24-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
Olympian
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,781
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay31 View Post
Wow and we have nine more of these to look forward to? Hope you can beat last year’s total of 21,966 page views. Go Chief!
Thanks, jay31! These are fun to do, and it makes the Big Ten tournament even more exciting for me. Also, with so many teams in the conference and no true round-robin format for conference duals, we don't get to see some of these teams and individuals.

I should have 133 done later this morning.

On another note, I wanted to add that I also think that Virginia's Jack Mueller is a sure-fire AA at 125. Perhaps the Big Ten can only hope to get five All-Americans at that weight (tops)? Piotrowski always seems to have one upset up his sleeve for every big-time tournament. Cheers!

GO ILLINI!!!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-24-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
Olympian
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,781

133. Dylan Duncan

Word is that Duncan fought through injuries last year as he compiled an 18-9 campaign. This year, he’s had to miss matches because of injuries and currently stands at 10-9. Can he duplicate his run at the Big Ten Tournament from a year ago when he went from a seventh seed to third place? He'll have a couple of weeks to heal up, and that could be bad news for the rest of bracket.

Duncan finished with a 3-5 mark in Big Ten duals. The ILLINI is still looking for that hallmark win this season—something to match his back-to-back wins over Minnesota’s Mitch McKee and Nebraska’s Jason Renteria. It is likely that he’ll have to start out with one of the highlight matches of the first round.



Top Contenders

Stevan Micic, from Michigan, has a 13-0 overall record. That means you won’t see him in the RPI until he wrestles a few more matches. He’s 8-0 in Big Ten duals, and, except for Suriano, Dylan Duncan gave him one of his best matches in conference. Micic won the 133 pound weight class at last year’s Big Ten championships, bonusing his way through the bracket until his 7-4 victory over Luke Pletcher in the championship. He also won a lot of matches in the Big Dance, finishing runner-up and making headlines with his kimura defense of Austin DeSanto (after beating him 13-1). Can anybody keep it close with this guy? Well, Nick Suriano lost 2-3 recently, so there’s that.

Nick Suriano, of Rutgers, has an 18-3 overall record. He is 7-2 in conference dual action. His dual losses were to Micic and DeSanto. Both were close, but they still go in the “L” column. As an NCAA finalist, he deserves special attention in this bracket. However, his final was at 125, and he lost 1-5 to Spencer Lee. His other loss this season was by one point to Daton Fix of Oklahoma State. A couple of additional concerns for Suriano: (1) He has medical forfeited out of his last two Big Ten tournaments, and (2) He has the weight of Rutgers on him, as that school is still looking for its first national champion.

Austin DeSanto, of Iowa, has a 16-1 overall record; 7-0 in Big Ten duals. He sat out the ILLINI dual allegedly because of disciplinary reasons. He hasn’t faced Micic this year, but gave up the major in last year’s NCAA tournament. He has beaten Suriano in a dual this season. His kryptonite appears to be Jack Mueller of Virginia (0-3) and propriety.

After a DeSanto match, who else here has a Bloodsport flashback, seeing in your head ruthless Kumite defending champion Chong Li disrespecting his opponents and the sport itself with gruesome antics? Will there be a Frank Dux, trained by the Tanaka clan, to beat him? What about Frank Dux’s girlfriend, who was pretty in a 1970s kind of way? And then there was that big mongo guy who was also in Revenge of the Nerds, so you start thinking about that movie and you can’t remember his name and have to google it. Curse you, DeSanto!

Luke Pletcher, of Ohio State, is 19-3 on the year; 7-2 in conference duals. Stevan Micic has seemed to separate himself from Pletcher, beating him by major this year and 8-4 in last year’s NCAA tournament. The Buckeye’s losses in conference this year are to Micic and Roman Bravo-Young. Dylan Duncan gave him a great match in Champaign, but it is hard to hit a high crotch or high single leg on a guy who is so stumpy, there is no high to be found. Pletcher was a Big Ten finalist and All-American last year.

Ethan Lizak, from Minnesota, is 22-4 overall; 7-1 in Big Ten duals. His conference dual loss was to DeSanto. He also lost to Pletcher at Cliff Keen. His other two losses are to Daton Fix and Mickey Phillippi of Pittsburgh. Even though he may be fourth- or fifth-best in conference, I think he’s almost a sure-fire All-American. He’s the Lizard or Backpack Lizak for goodness sake! In two years at the Big Dance, he owns a 10-3 record. When he’s on and uninjured, Dylan Duncan can be at this level. There, I said it. Wanna fight about it?

The Next Level

Roman Bravo-Young, of Penn State, is 16-2 overall; 4-1 in Big Ten duals. RBY was highly-touted coming in, and his most recent match was a win over Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher, but I had to put him at the top of the “Next Level” because (a) He’s a freshman, and (b) He’s had an injury this year. The fact that he’s a freshman is witnessed by his second-to-last match, which he lost by a 7-3 count to Purdue’s Ben Thornton. His other loss on the year was by fall to Austin Gomez. That’s what you get sometimes with freshmen.

Ben Thornton, from Purdue, has a 17-7 overall mark; 4-5 in Big Ten duals. The wily veteran of four campaigns has faced every stud 133-pounder in the Big Ten this year (losses to Micic, Pletcher, Lizak, DeSanto and Suriano). He does have a win over RBY, but he hasn’t faced Dylan Duncan. Interestingly, two years ago, Thornton lost a tight one to Travis Piotrowski in the Big Ten championships at 125. The Boiler qualified for the NCAAs last year where he went 1-3, beating a good wrestler and losing to two very good ones.

Anthony Tutolo, from Michigan State, is only 14-12 on the year overall and has a 3-4 in conference duals, but he squeaked onto the “Next Level” podium because he’s a two-time national qualifier for Kent State, and he wrestles hard. None of the Top Contenders want to wrestle him right off the bat because, although they will beat him, it will take a lot of effort. More so than the next group of guys.

The Others

Indiana will have a decision to make—unless there’s been an injury. Garrett Pepple seems to have been wrestling for the Hoosiers forever and has an overall record of 12-10 this season, while sporting a 2-4 ledger in duals. He is skilled enough to make the top guys sweat a little, and he’s beaten MSU’s Tutolo. However, he lost to his teammate Paul Konrath, a transfer in from Wisconsin, at the Cleveland State Open. Konrath descended from 141 to wrestle at this weight, and has a more appealing 17-10 overall record, but he’s got a 1-3 record in B1G duals. Neither of these guys would be an easy out, but they would be an out.

Jens Lantz, from Wisconsin, sports a 10-13 overall record; 3-6 in conference duals. Like Thornton, Tutolo and Pepple, he’s another veteran who will be a hard out, but an out. He’s never qualified for the Big Dance, and this will be his last chance. Northwestern’s Colin Valdiviez is 12-13 on the year with a 2-6 mark in conference duals. He probably should’ve done better than that, as he qualified for the Big Dance last year and won two matches. This is a brutal weight, and he might be suffering from injuries.

Nebraska’s Jevon Parrish was recently unleashed from his redshirt to cause destruction across the conference. That destruction has taken the shape of a 2-7 overall record and a 1-5 mark in conference duals. Who did he beat? You guessed it: Orion Anderson of Maryland, who has a 4-17 true freshman record on the year and an 0-9 mark in Big Ten duals. He has one win in his last twelve matches. He has met Stevan Micic once before (fall, 1:36), and will have an opportunity to become reacquainted soon.

These are the Big Ten wrestlers who were listed in the first official Coaches’ Ranking:

1. Stevan Micic
3. Austin DeSanto
5. Nick Suriano
6. Luke Pletcher
8. Ethan Lizak
10. Roman Bravo-Young
20. Ben Thornton
21. Dylan Duncan
32. Garrett Pepple


Big Ten wrestlers in the first RPI include:
3. Luke Pletcher
7. Roman Bravo-Young
8. Ethan Lizak
9. Ben Thornton
12. Nick Suriano
18. Dylan Duncan
21. Anthony Tutolo
24. Garrett Pepple
30. Colin Valdiviez

I would seed the wrestlers like this:

1. Stevan Micic
2. Austin DeSanto
3. Nick Suriano
4. Luke Pletcher
5. Ethan Lizak
6. Roman Bravo-Young
7. Dylan Duncan (3rd last year, a better wrestler but worse record than Thornton)
8. Ben Thornton
9. Anthony Tutolo
10. Garrett Pepple/Paul Konrath
11. Colin Valdiviez
12. Jens Lantz
13. Jevon Parrish
14. Orion Anderson

Here is how the BTT played out last year at 133:


At this weight, the Big Ten is especially strong and deep. The tenth seed won two matches at the Big Dance last year! Of course, it is a deep weight across the country, even with the injury to defending champion Seth Gross. I think the conference gets a national champion and a total of at least five All-Americans with the possibility for up to seven. Dylan Duncan has a couple of weeks to shake off the injuries—if that is possible—and return to the form that earned him a third-place finish at last year’s BTT. I felt that Duncan was under-seeded at last year’s conference championship at #7. He proved the ILLINI faithful right, finishing with the bronze medal. This year, he deserves that #7 seed because of injuries, and, hopefully, he can fight through them.

Whether the #7 or #8 seed, Duncan likely sees Thornton in the first round. They haven't met, and it should be one of the best early morning matches of the BTT.

GO ILLINI!!!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-24-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
Olympian
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,781
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-25-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
Olympian
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,781

141. Michael Carr

Mike Carr is 11-2 on the season with both losses to Jaydin Eierman out of conference. He is 7-0 in Big Ten duals. Here’s my case for a number one seed, which is important, as a number one seed would likely have Nate Limmex in the quarterfinals versus a number two seed, who would likely face returning All-American Chad Red or Max Murin. Also, the number two seed will have to face the number three in the semifinals.

Although injured early in the season, Carr came back early to beat the #6, #8, #9, #15 and #24 wrestlers in the latest Coaches’ Ranking. He had to do that to remain unbeaten in conference. Nobody else is unbeaten in conference. The defending Big Ten champion has a loss, and he’s coming off a loss out of conference (albeit to the number one ranked wrestler), and Nick Lee also has a loss in conference, and that is to the number-nine-ranked Tristan Moran (who Carr beat).

Carr did get sick and couldn’t wrestle against Northwestern and Penn State during the last dual weekend of the season, but that wasn’t a “duck,” as he could have beaten the Wildcat at 80% and then skipped out on Nick Lee. Moreover, the ILLINI faced all challengers while coming back from injury. Beating McKee, Storr, Murin, Red and Moran week after week seemed like a slow-motion NCAA tournament. And he won it! He deserves the top seed.




Top Contenders

Nick Lee, from Penn State, is 23-1 on the year; 8-1 in conference duals. He has a win over Joey McKenna, but he also lost to Tristan Moran of Wisconsin. I think it is important to note, as I’ve noted before, that McKenna was obviously coming back too soon from injury for the Lee match. He dominated during the first two periods, but that left him with zero gas in the third.

He is a returning All-American, but at last year’s BTT, he lost to Mike Carr by the convincing score of 6-10. The distinction between first, second and third seed at this weight is crucial, as All-American Chad Red will almost certainly be a quarterfinal opponent for one of those top seeds. The relevance of this is evidenced by actual match scores: Lee beat Red by a 5-4 score. Carr beat Red by the score of 4-3. McKenna beat him 7-4. Those are matches that will take a lot out of a wrestler.

Joey McKenna, of the Buckeye clan, would be at the top of this list if not for injury. He is 16-2 overall; 6-1 in conference duals. The problem for him is that his record is 2-2 since coming back from his injury. Of course, those losses were to Nick Lee and Yianni Diakomihalis (hereinafter “Yianni Consonants”). Before the injury, he teched Michigan’s Kanen Storr and beat Wisconsin’s Tristan Moran by major. He beat Jaydin Eierman (hereinafter “Jay Vowels”) earlier in the season.

He will get consideration from the Big Ten coaches because he’s wrestled all the top guys at this weight, he had an unfortunate injury, he didn’t try to duck anybody, he’s a multi-All American, and he was last year’s Big Ten champ. I still think he gets a third seed because of the head-to-head with Lee.

Tristan Moran, of Wisconsin, has a 20-6 overall record and a 6-1 mark in conference duals. He lost to Mike Carr but beat Nick Lee. He didn’t face Kanen Storr, Chad Red (who was out for the dual) or Joey McKenna. He also had what I would call a “lucky fall” at 7:00 of his dual match with Mitch McKee. He was losing at the time, but McKee made a little mistake. The Oklahoma State transfer is dangerous and should get a good seed. Early in the season, Moran lost by major to Joey McKenna. If you play it safe with him, you have a good chance of winning. During the year, he’s lost to the wrestlestat.com rated #26, #17, #30 and #34 wrestlers.

Mitch McKee, from Minnesota, has an overall 16-3 record; 7-2 in conference. He has dual wins over Chad Red, Max Murin and Nate Limmex. His dual losses were to Mike Carr and the unfortunate last-second pinfall by Tristan Moran. He qualified for the NCAAs the last two years at 133, going 3-2 both times. He must absolutely hate the ILLINI. In 2017, Zane Richards knocked him out of the NCAA tournament. In 2018, Dylan Duncan beat him. In 2019, it was Michael Carr with the win.

Kanen Storr, of Michigan, has a sparkling 20-4 overall record, but he’s had a little tougher time in conference. His dual mark is 6-3, but all three of those losses have been to Carr, Lee and Good McKenna. Over his three-years wrestling in college, the Wolverine has had some big-time wins over guys like Luke Pletcher, Chad Red (x2), Josh Alber, Jared Prince, Mason Smith and Colton McCrystal, so he can be dangerous.

Chad Red, from Nebraska, has an overall record of 16-10, and he’s got a dual record of 4-4 in conference. Even with that disappointing regular season ledger, I’m keeping him in the mix of “Top Contenders” because he was able to put it all together in last year’s NCAA tournament to earn All-American honors even though his record upon entering the Big Dance wasn’t too much better at 21-9. Plus, he has a style that is frustrating, and he gives even the heaviest hitters some problems.

The Next Level

Max Murin, of Iowa, has an overall record of 12-6; 4-3 in Big Ten duals. His best dual win was against #56 Nate Limmex of Purdue. His worst dual loss was to Indiana’s Kyle Luigs by pinfall. If that wasn’t enough to ruin his confidence, Tom Brands (seen pictured above in his Iowa National Guard uniform) has been switching out Vince Turk with him. Turk is 14-4 on the season; 1-1 in dual action. Turk beat the Wisconsin backup and lost 1-4 to Chad Red. These guys are getting beaten up by each other in the room, and getting beaten down by “fans” on the internet. Turk was an NCAA qualifier last year, where he won three and lost two (Bryce Meredith and Chad Red).

Nate Limmex, a Boilermaker, has an overall record of 16-12; 3-6 in conference action. He finished last year at 26-16 with a win in the NCAA tournament. He also lost to Vince Turk there. In this year’s dual, he lost to Max Murin. He’s a wily veteran in his fourth year of collegiate wrestling for Purdue, starting for them the last two. Like Chad Red and whomever Iowa puts on the mat, he will be a tough quarterfinal opponent for anybody.

The Others

Peter Lipari, of Rutgers, has a 10-10 record, but he’s gone 4-5 in conference duals with a win over Nate Limmex. This is third year for the Scarlet Knights, but he spent his first two in open tournaments. He also has a head-to-head win over Kyle Luigs of Indiana. His claim to fame is that he lost to both Jered Cortez (by tech) and wrestling coach Steve Mytych his freshman year at the Wilkes Open. Kyle Luigs, wrestling for Indiana, has a 14-14 overall record, but is 2-5 in duals. One of those dual losses was wrestling up at 149 against Micah Jordan, so you can’t blame him for that. He did get the sweet pinfall on Max Murin. He also spent the first half of the season at 133.

Austin Eicher, from Michigan State, is the proud owner of a 14-11 record; 1-6 in Big Ten duals. He’s another wily veteran who transferred in from Northern Illinois University. He’s been to two NCAA championships, going 0-2 for NIU and 1-2 for MSU. He’s a goer and a veteran, and he can be dangerous. A couple years ago, he was a MAC champion for the Huskies.

Alex McKenna, of the clan Wildcat, has an overall 9-10 mark; 2-6 in conference matches, but those two wins were over backups. McKenna is a redshirt junior who has been to two previous Big Ten tournaments, winning a total of one match. That’s why you might see Yahya Thomas, the Northwestern redshirt freshman with the 12-9 record. He’s 0-4 in duals, but that was up at 149. He wrestled at 141 most of the season.

Lowly Maryland also has one of two guys who might show up to fruitlessly roll around their backs in Minneapolis. Michael Doetsch is 9-9 on the season with a conference dual win against Austin Eicher and three losses. Danny Bertoni is 0-5 in conference duals but can proudly point to a 15-13 overall record. To be fair, Bertoni had to wrestle all the tough guys on the schedule (except Eicher). He also lost to ILLINI alum Ryan Prater at Midlands.

These are the Big Ten wrestlers who were listed in the first official Coaches’ Ranking:

2. Nick Lee
3. Joey McKenna
5. Michael Carr
6. Kanen Storr
8. Mitch McKee
9. Tristan Moran
15. Max Murin
24. Chad Red
26. Nate Limmex

The Big Ten wrestlers in the 141 pound RPI include (Mike Carr might be number one here, but he needs a few more matches):

2. Kanen Storr
3. Nick Lee
9. Tristan Moran
13. Chad Red
16. Nate Limmex
17. Pete Lipari

Here’s how the Big Ten tournament played out last year:


The B1G is absolutely brutal at this weight class. I can see as many as six All-Americans here. To get more than that, somebody is going to have to beat either Yianni Consonants or Jay Vowels in the Round of Twelve. That could happen with the tough characters in this conference. Even if Tristan Moran gets upset at the Big Dance, which is liable to happen, you have Chad Red as backup to garner that sixth spot.

The key point to all of this though, and the lesson that you should take away, is that Michael Carr finished undefeated in Big Ten duals. No conference wrestler has beaten him this year. You can’t give the top seed to McKenna (of the clan Buckeye) because he lost to Nick Lee, and he’s been injured most recently. You can’t give the number one seed to Lee because he has a loss on his record, and that loss was to Tristan Moran, a guy who Carr beat.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-25-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
Olympian
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,781

149. Christian Kanzler

Eric Barone’s move to 157 left a spot open for an enterprising someone. What the ILLINI found was Junior College runner-up and ILLINOIS native Christian Kanzler. With Kanzler in the lineup, the ILLINI will be taking nine ILLINOIS schoolboys to the Big Ten championships. It is true that Christian had a rocky start in the lineup—perhaps it’s because he was listed at 141 on the roster to start the season? At any rate, he’s grown into the weight and seems to have a relentless desire to learn and get better.

Without him, the ILLINI may have lost the Michigan State dual.

And while he won’t be a threat to beat Micah Jordan at the conference championships, he will be a threat to take Jordan down in the third period. That’s what he did during the Ohio State dual, something you rarely see. That shows guts. He has listened to the Call of Duty. You kinda realized that with his chippy disqualification against Mizzou’s Grant Leeth in his first varsity match. Kanzler is 4-12 on the season; 2-6 in conference duals.



Top Contenders

Anthony Ashnault, from Rutgers, has a 23-0 overall record; 9-0 in conference duals. Although we have multiple wrestlers with undefeated conference dual records, it is an easy choice for top seed here. Ashnault beat Micah Jordan by a 14-10 score at Cliff Keen. His closest match all year was a sudden victory win over Lugo from Iowa during that dual. Although he’s wrestled Princeton’s erstwhile second-ranked Kolodzik (major decision) and Micah Jordan (four-point win), as well as Duke’s 26-3 Mitch Finesilver (major decision), his next closest match was an 8-7 win over Fernie Silva from Indiana. What Ashnault will be fighting will be the weight of Rutgers’ wrestling, as that school and the state of New Jersey pin their hopes on him. He will share that burden with Suriano, but unlike Suriano, Ashnault will also carry the weight of the favorite. This actually shouldn’t be too hard for him as he’ll be 37-years old in May.

Micah Jordan, of Ohio State, has an overall record of 22-1; 9-0 in conference duals. The blemish on his record is the loss to Ashnault in Vegas. Moreover, Jordan has not been quite as dominant against top-tier opposition as his rival from Rutgers. For example, he beat AA threat Justin Oliver by one point in a dual with NC State. Oliver is a great wrestler, but not the top competition at this weight.

Patricio Lugo, from Iowa, has a 15-6 overall mark; 7-1 in Big Ten duals. His loss in conference was to Ashnault by a 1-3 score in sudden victory. He did not face Micah Jordan. Lugo took a redshirt last year. He qualified for NCAAs in the two prior seasons with a combined record of 3-4. Lugo had a rough start to the season, going 1-3, but has since managed to beat the people he should beat. His losses on the year are to Kolodzik (x2), Ashnault, Ohio State redshirt Sammy Sasso, and two of the surprising miscues early in the season.

Thomas Thorn, of Minnesota, is 15-8 on the year; 6-3 in conference. There is a good Thorn and a bad Thorn. For example, good Thorn beat Nebraska’s Jordan Shearer early in the year. Most recently, bad Thorn lost a major decision to the same wrestler. His other two conference losses are to Lugo and Ashnault. Bad Thorn was two and barbecue at last year’s Big Dance. Good Thorn was an All-American the year before that (including a pin of Joey McKenna in overtime). The last two years, bad Thorn lost three times in the Big Ten championships. His alter ego won four in 2016. Which one will show up in 2019? [

The Next Level

Brady Berge, from State Penn, is 16-2 overall; 4-1 in Big Ten action. The best wrestler he has faced in conference is Wisconsin’s Cole Martin, and Martin beat him. His best win on the year was over Jarret Degen (23-5) of Iowa State. His next best win may have been against his teammate, Jordan Verkleeren (15-6), at the beginning of the season. Verkleeren has subbed in for Berge, and he could get the call for postseason. He’s 15-6 overall, 3-2 in conference with a close loss to Micah Jordan, and a less close loss to Malik Amine of Michigan.

Malik Amine, from Michigan, is 10-6 on the year overall; 4-3 in dual action in the Big Ten. Amine is a redshirt senior who earned a spot in the Big Dance last year despite going 1-3 in his conference tournament. He finished 1-2 at the NCAAs.

Alfred Bannister, of Maryland, is 14-7 on the year, while going 4-4 in conference. He’s a redshirt senior and this will be his third season as a Terp starter. He used to be a bonus machine, with nearly a third of his matches last year earning his team extra points. But he’s not doing that so much this year. Bannister’s qualified for the NCAA championships the last two years, combining for a 3-4 record there. Along with heavyweight Hemida, this is who Maryland cheers for in March.

Cole Martin, of Wisconsin, is 16-9 on the season; 4-5 in conference. His best win on the year, by far, was over Brady Berge. He has been an NCAA qualifier the two previous years, but he’s finished a combined 0-4 at the Big Dance.

The Others

Shayne Oster, from Northwestern, Northeast Evanston’s Big Ten team®, 10-10 overall, 2-4 in conference action. Christian Kanzler beat him in the dual, but Oster beat him earlier in the year. This is why Kanzler has moved from 200-something in the wrestlestat.com rankings to #66.

Fernando “Fernie” Silva, of Indiana, is 4-6 overall; 2-4 in conference duals. You might remember that he was recently newsworthy for giving Anthony Ashnault a one-point match in that dual. He has also beaten Alfred Bannister, which is another noteworthy achievement. He transferred in this year from DII Notre Dame College, where he finished third in that championship. He’s originally from Rockton, ILLINOIS, and went to Hononegah, where he was a two-time IHSA finalist and one-time champ.

Jordan Shearer, from Nebraska, is 9-8 overall; 2-6 in Big Ten action. This is his fourth year with the Cornhuskers, but only his first season as a starter. He owns a win over Christian Kanzler, but this is the next guy that Kanzler needs to beat.

Jaden Enriquez, of Michigan State, is 15-18 overall; 2-6 in conference action, including a loss to Christian Kanzler. His most notable win on the year was 3-2 over #37 Michael Sprague of American. His next best win was over #62 Yahya Thomas of Northwestern. Parker Filius, a Boilermaker, is a desperate 9-18 on the year and on a thirteen-match losing streak. He will lengthen that streak to fourteen when he meets Ashnault in the first round of the BTT.

The First Coaches' Rankings are out, and this is what the old dogs say:

1. Anthony Ashnault
3. Micah Jordan
11. Brady Berge
12. Cole Martin
16. Pat Lugo
21. Thomas Thorn
23. Alfred Bannister
25. Malik Amine
30. Shayne Oster

Wow. The coaches over-hype Berge, Martin and Oster, in my opinion, but at least they recognize Alfred Bannister's talent. The RPI has this to say about 149 in the Big Ten:

2. Micah Jordan
5. Anthony Ashnault
9. Pat Lugo
19. Cole Martin
24. Shayne Oster
26. Tommy Thorn

Kanzler could see Lugo, Thorn or Berge in the first round. After that, he will likely have to win at least two, maybe three, matches to steal an allocation spot, as the Big Ten will probably only get six spots. The conference is top heavy with two heavyweights in Ashnault and Jordan. The other guys are beatable on a bad day, especially if it is bad Thorn. There is one wrestler in this bracket who is improving by leaps and bounds every day, and that wrestler is an ILLINI.

This is how 149 played out at the Big Ten Tournament last year:


Last edited by ChiefIllini1; 02-27-2019 at 01:00 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-27-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
Olympian
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,781


157. Eric Barone

Sometimes I’m like my Grandpa, who used to tell the same stories over and over, mixed in with bad jokes. Damn, I miss him! Anyway, kids, gather around and let me tell you the story of Eric Barone, a kid from Crystal Lake, Illinois, who became a State Champion and then an ILLINI. He qualified for NCAAs two years ago, but then fell on hard times last season.

He fought back!

Moving up a weight to 157 pounds, he has become a Top Ten wrestler and somebody you don’t want to miss when he hits the mat. Has he learned lessons from the wily legend IMAR? I think so. I see a lot of IMAR there. He’s learned some of the Poeta beautiful game as well. His overall record is 16-11, but I still think he has what it takes to be an All-American this year. In his last ten matches, Barone has faced the following wrestlers ranked by wrestlestat.com: #1, #2, #2, #4, #6, #7, #8 and #12. He has beaten the #7 and #8 guy this year. His 3-6 dual record is based on one of the hardest schedules possible.




Top Contenders

Jason Nolf, from Penn State, is now the wrestler on any team I hate the most because he ****** around with Barone’s knee. What he did was as vulgar and unnecessary and evil as a rich man stealing from a charity. His overall record is 23-0; 9-0 in duals.

Tyler Berger, the Nebraska Cornhusker, has a 22-2 overall record; 8-1 in Big Ten duals, including a head-to-head win over Northwestern’s Ryan Deakin. That win should earn him the second seed. Berger is a two-time All-American in his fifth year wrestling for the Cornhuskers. He only had to wrestle IMAR twice and never gave up bonus points.

Ryan Deakin, of Northwestern, is 24-2 overall, 7-2 in conference duals. His conference losses were to Nolf and Nebraska’s Tyler Berger. Deakin was an NCAA qualifier last year, but had a big problem with the seeding committee, as he only got to wrestle three matches. He won a match, but then lost back-to-back to Iowa’s Brandon Sorenson and Jason Tsirtsis.

Alec Pantaleo, a Michigander, is 14-6 overall and 6-2 in Big Ten action. His losses are to Deakin and Nolf, both by decision. The match with Deakin was a one-pointer. The rumor is that Pantaleo was out for a time this season because of a debilitating disease, causing him to lose weight. He actually wrestled seven matches in the middle of the season at 149. It also could have been his desire for a national championship. Sucking that much weight, however, caused him to go 4-3, with losses to Max Thomsen of Northern Iowa and redshirts Sammy Sasso and Jacori Teemer.

The Others

Ke-Shawn Hayes, a Buckeye, is 18-7 overall; 4-4 in conference duals. The losses that Hayes has suffered in conference duals is to all four of the Top Contenders, Pantaleo, Deakin, Berger and Nolf. This might be the perfect dividing line. Eric Barone lost to Hayes in conference, but the ILLINI beat him at Cliff Keen. Last year, the Buckeye beat Barone by major decision, then went on to the NCAA tournament, where he was 2-2 (with a horrible draw Sorenson and Heilmann). He’s a redshirt junior.

Kaleb Young, a Hawkeye, is 16-3 on the year, and he has a sparkling 5-2 record in Big Ten duals. Hayes gets the bump over Young because of who both faced. The coaches could certainly seed the 5-2 guy over the 4-4 fellow. Hayes saw all the Top Contenders and lost to them and nobody else; Young saw one of the Top Contenders, lost to him, and lost to Barone. (He did see Ryan Deakin at Midlands and lost that match). This is his third year at Iowa, and it will be his first time in the Big Dance.

Steve Bleise, a Gopher, is 15-4 on the season, with a conference dual mark of 6-3. He also has a better conference mark than Hayes, but he also didn’t face all of the Top Contenders. His losses were to Berger, Deakin and Young. Let me ask you this: If he wrestled them, would Bleise lose to Pantaleo and Nolf? I think so. Plus, he didn’t beat Kaleb Young, although that was a matter of a few ergs. This is the Gopher’s redshirt senior year. Bleise has been a National Qualifier three times, reaching the round of twelve once. He reached that round of twelve as a NIU Huskie.

Jake Danishek, a Hoosier, is 17-11 overall and 5-3 in conference. Danishek is a very good wrestler, no doubt, but the two best wrestlers he has faced in conference were Ke-Shawn Hayes and Steve Bleise, and he lost to both. He also lost to Rutger’s John Van Brill. Danishek (which would be, like, the perfect TV detective name) is a fifth-year wrestler and four-year starter for Indiana. He qualified for Nationals two years ago and lost both matches.

The Others

John Van Brill, a Scarlet Knight, is 17-11; 4-5 in conference duals. He’s a fifth-year senior, two-time national qualifier, with a Round of Twelve appearance last year. The conference is so tough at 157, Van Brill is in “The Others” section of the Preview. It took Arizona State’s Josh Shields sudden victory to knock Van Brill out of the Big Dance last year.

On another note, I may owe Van Brill an apology. I accused him on Twitter of spelling his name wrong, as it has what appears to be a tussenvoegsel in it. In most usages of “Van,” it is only capitalized if it starts a sentence, such as “Van Brill will lose to Barone.” But if a Christian name precedes the last name, then the “v” in “van” should not be capitalized. For example, “Eric Barone will beat John van Brill.” (I think it looks cooler that way as well.) Still attempting to prove Van Brill wrong in how he spells his own name, I looked up the ancestry of that particular surname. It is English, not Dutch. My apologies to you, John Van Brill! You may be right.

Griffin Parriott, a Boilermaker, is 13-9 overall; 2-6 in conference. Parriott is another excellent example of how bloody tough this weight is in the B1G. He goes to Cliff Keen and loses only one match to Ryan Deakin, while beating Tyler Berger, #24 Hunter Ladnier of Harvard and #26 Taleb Rahmani from Pitt. Then, he gets trash-pounded in the Big Ten. This is his third year in the Boiler lineup, and he has yet to qualify for the NCAAs. He, along with Kyle Langenderfer, should have received wildcards last year.

EDITORIAL

Quote:
We are going to break in here with an editorial from our Board of Editors. You know what cranks our gears? we believe that there is an over-inflation of the value of East coast wrestlers. This will end up hurting wrestlers in the Big Ten who might otherwise deserve a bid (or earn an allocation) to the Big Dance.

How to solve this problem? Each year, the Top Ten teams in the B1G draw straws. The five teams that draw the shortest straws must wrestle in two of the following: The East Stroudsburg Open, the Bearcat Open, the Keystone Classic or the Mat Town Open. Why should mediocre wrestlers from mediocre schools on the East coast get to fatten up their records on less-than-mediocre competition? I know this means having to stay in cramped, stinky hotels; it means having to listen to all the lies about “New York-style pizza,” and you also have to see every jabroni pointing to himself and saying, “You talkin’ to me?” But think of the ripple effect on RPIs. Let’s do this!
Jake Tucker, a Spartan (Mt. Carmel high school) has a nice 21-13 record overall, but he’s 2-7 in B1G duals. At least he’s doing his part to stop East Coast Wrestler Inflation (“ECWI”), having gone 4-2 in the Navy Classic, beating the #41 and #55 wrestlers there. He’s a real good wrestler who could win some D1 conference tournaments, but in this conference he’s near the bottom of “The Others.” Wrestling in his third season—his second as a starter—Tucker will be looking to qualify for the Big Dance for the first time.

Garrett Model, a Badger, sports a 9-11 record overall; 1-3 in conference duals. He is filling in for injured Zander Wick, but he looks like a young Barone to me. Give him a couple of years, and he will be somebody. Right now he’s just a kid with a great motor. Ryan Diehl, a two-time NCAA qualifier from Maryland, is at the bottom of the “The Others” list. He has apparently been injured or very ill twice this season. He didn’t wrestle his first match until the Midlands, then he injury defaulted out of there and wasn’t seen until February. All in all, he is 5-5 overall; 0-4 in Big Ten dual action. His two NCAA qualifications were at 141. Last year he put PSU’s Nick Lee on his back and pinned him. Maryland can’t really put him down at 149 because Alfred Bannister’s there, and he’s earned that spot. There’s no way he can descend to 141 in time….

Here are the Coaches’ rankings for 157 pounds as they implicate B1G wrestlers:

1. Jason Nolf
2. Tyler Berger
3. Ryan Deakin
5. Alec Pantaleo
6. Kaleb Young
7. Ke-Shawn Hayes
9. Steve Bleise
10. Eric Barone
12. Griffin Parriott
15. John Van Brill
21. Jake Danishek

The first RPI provides as follows:

1. Ryan Deakin
2. Jason Nolf
3. Tyler Berger
4. Steve Bleise
5. Kaleb Young
6. Ke-Shawn Hayes
12. Griffin Parriott
17. Eric Barone
21. John Van Brill
32. Jake Tucker
33. Jake Danishek

The Big Ten is going to get eleven (11) allocation slots at this weight. Really? That's crazy! The conference dominates the Coaches’ rankings and the RPI. After seeding the first four, this becomes an unbelievable seeding nightmare for the coaches. For example, you have Young beating Bleise beating Barone beating Young.

It looks like Barone will have a Round-of-Twelve type match to start off his tournament, getting either Hayes, Young, Bleise or Danishek. The seven versus eight seed at this weight should be the best match in the first round. Barone could be in that match. If you find yourself on the backside, there are eleven wrestlers in the bracket in the Coaches’ rankings. The other three guys are good and dangerous wrestlers. Here’s how last year’s 157 bracket finished:

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-27-2019
jay31 jay31 is offline
Varsity
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Champaign, IL
Posts: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefIllini1 View Post




The Others

John Van Brill, a Scarlet Knight, is 17-11; 4-5 in conference duals. He’s a fifth-year senior, two-time national qualifier, with a Round of Twelve appearance last year. The conference is so tough at 157, Van Brill is in “The Others” section of the Preview. It took Arizona State’s Josh Shields sudden victory to knock Van Brill out of the Big Dance last year.

On another note, I may owe Van Brill an apology. I accused him on Twitter of spelling his name wrong, as it has what appears to be a tussenvoegsel in it. In most usages of “Van,” it is only capitalized if it starts a sentence, such as “Van Brill will lose to Barone.” But if a Christian name precedes the last name, then the “v” in “van” should not be capitalized. For example, “Eric Barone will beat John van Brill.” (I think it looks cooler that way as well.) Still attempting to prove Van Brill wrong in how he spells his own name, I looked up the ancestry of that particular surname. It is English, not Dutch. My apologies to you, John Van Brill! You may be right.

[
Shocking turn of events on the van front.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-27-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
Olympian
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,781
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay31 View Post
Shocking turn of events on the van front.
This is an ongoing investigation. I can only say right now that John Van Brill (if that is his real name) is a person of interest and not a subject of the investigation. We will keep the public up to date with future news conferences.

Cheers and …


GO ILLINI!!!
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.