“Do you have a real deep understanding of the philosophy and then can you put it into play? And to your point, our guys are putting it into play.”
Our #1 Hawks are knee deep into their second week atop the national rankings and are looking to keep the momentum going in the right direction as they head to Jawdyn Gymnasium in the beautiful utopia we call New Jersey, to take on the No. 11 ranked Princeton Tigers on Dec. 8 at 1PM CT.
We’re 2-0 all time against them, with a 36-7 win in 2001 and a 31-10 domination last year in Iowa City.
For the most part, Tom Brands has his guys rocking and rolling through three duals and wants to keep the pace high and intense going into Sunday’s contest as well. We’ve knocked off two top ten teams in two consecutive weeks (Iowa State and Wisconsin) and we’re aiming to make sure Princeton knows their place as well in the grand scheme of things. So far the Hawks have won 90% of our total team matches (27-3) and very well could have a similar winning percentage against Princeton.
Similar to the Hawks, the Tigers haven’t had a lot of mat exposure to start this season. Comparably, there are several teams out there that have wrestled upwards of six times already, but a few of their guys are already rounding into form and peaking early.
Outside of the Princeton Open back in early November, they knocked off Lehigh 18-14 on Dec. 3, and most recently lost a tight dual to #10 Okie State, 18-15, on Dec. 6.
They don’t have the strongest of dual teams, but what they lack in depth they make up for with a handful of elite wrestlers that are more than capable of finishing high on the podium come March.
They have four guys appearing in the top twenty with three of them in the top ten. Leading the way is #2 Patrick Brucki (197lbs) and #5 Patrick Glory (125lbs).
Glory thoroughly dominated #4 Nick Piccinnini (OKST), 9-4 in their latest scrap and similarly, Brucki beat up on #6 Dakota Geer (OKST), 12-6 to help keep things close in the overall team score. Both Glory and Brucki are returning All-Americans, placing 6th and 4th last year respectively.
Their two other ranked guys are: #11 Mike D’Angelo (149lbs) and #9 Quincy Monday (157lbs), but are former national qualifiers.
The Hawks are coming off an impressive performance, throttling Wisconsin, 32-3. We took nine of ten matches, but none were bigger than Austin DeSanto’s dismantling of former #1 Seth Gross, 6-2. Obviously, with a major upset comes a higher ranking and DeSanto simply can’t climb any higher because he is now the new #1 ranked 133lber in the land. For DeSanto’s victorious adventure he was named Big Ten Wrestle of the Week.
Alex Marinelli is also coming off a big time win after defeating his arch nemesis, Evan Wick, for the fourth consecutive time. I’d love to see their energy and determination extend into this dual as well. They are heavily favored of course, but sometimes coming off career defining wins, a lack of focus can be an issue.
Per the probable lineups, it appears that Spencer Lee will not be going this weekend, which isn’t much of a surprise. He has some big freestyle events coming up soon and is more than likely prepping for those to kick off his run to the Olympic Team Trials in April. If this holds true, Aaron Cashman will make his varsity debut and square-off with Patrick Glory. This is a big time opportunity for Cashman and one he’s been eagerly awaiting for quite some time.
Last week, Max Murin made his return and looked pretty solid. I fully expect him to go again this week as he tries to wrestle himself back into shape and keep a firm grip on his starting job.
Overall, The Hawks are favored in eight of the ten matches and should run away with this dual, but if we drop a couple of our toss up matches, things could get interesting in a hurry. DeSanto, Marinelli, Kemerer and Cassioppi all need to get bonus points to keep our distance and curb the Tigers any idea of hanging close.
Even with Lee out and Cashman in, Wrestlestat predicts us winning 31-6.
125: Aaron Cashman (3-0) vs #5 Patrick Glory (6-0). As mentioned, Glory is coming off arguably the biggest win of his career, which means he’s going to come into this firing on all cylinders and ready to go. Cashman needs to match his energy. This will be a tough task for the young Hawkeye, but he could surprise is all. However, if the victory is out of reach, it’s a necessity he keeps this to a decision. It could be the first time all year the Hawks don’t start the dual off with bonus points.
149: #3 Pat Lugo (3-0) vs #11 Mike D’Angelo (5-1). Lugo has been wrestling well to start the season, but it’s time for him to kick it up a notch and bonus point a ranked opponent. The Hawks need the team points and Lugo needs the offensive boost. A win here could be a big morale booster and catapult Lugo to the next level.
157: #4 Kaleb Young vs #9 Quincy Monday. Kaleb Young still hasn’t looked up to speed following his loss to #3 David Carr (ISU) a couple weeks back. Even though he dropped Garrett Model, 12-6 last weekend, he lacked the offensively explosion we have all come to expect from him.
Quincy Monday is a very solid wrestler and more than capable of pulling off an upset. KY needs to be ready to go and come out attacking early and often. If he can find a couple of takedowns in the first period it could set the pace for a potential bonus point win and get KY back on track.
197: #4 Jacob Warner vs #2 Patrick Brucki. Brucki is a returning AA and a serious finalist contender at 197. He’s coming off an impressive win over Dakota Geer and is looking for back-to-back victories over two top five opponents all in the span of two days. If Warner wants to deny Brucki this accomplishment, then he’s going to have to do something he hasn’t done this year and that’s defeating a ranked guy himself.
Warner is more than capable of doing this, but he has to wrestle better than he has been. Brucki is the real deal and if we all want to buy into Warner being a legit finalist threat himself, then it starts right here and right now. It’s go time and he needs to preform like it.
125: #1 Spencer Lee // Aaron Cashman vs #5 Patrick Glory
133 #1 Austin DeSanto vs Ty Agaisse // Sean Pierson
141 #8 Max Murin // Carter Happel vs Pat D’arcy/Marshall Keller
149 #3 Pat Lugo vs #11 Mike D’angelo
157 #4 Kaleb Young vs #9 Quincy Monday
165 #2 Alex Marinelli vs Dale Tiongson// Grant Cuomo
174 #3 Michael Kemerer vs Kevin Parker
184 #6 Nelson Brands // Cash Wilcke vs Travis Stefanik
197 #4 Jacob Warner vs #2 Pat Brucki
285 #2 Tony Cassioppi vs Aiden Conner
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