Nov. 20, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Hawkeyes won 25-of-30 matches with nine falls and 19 bonus point victories last weekend in dual victories over Cumberland, No. 17 Virginia and Tennessee-Chattanooga, but University of Iowa head wrestling coach Tom Brands wants his team to widen the gap.
“We know we have to solidify our lineup and work to widen the gap,” Brands said Tuesday while meeting the local media. “We have to be ready. I don’t know if we were ready for that Virginia dual. They came out and were fighting hard. I don’t know if we were ready to retaliate and meet that.”
The Hawkeyes won 7-of-10 bouts against the Cavaliers, but the final score was closer than the 26-12 Iowa victory.
“We could have won 10, we could have won nine, we could have won eight, we could have won seven… heck we could have won five,” said Brands. “That’s what the range was and you’ve got to eliminate that. (You have to) win 10 matches in a defining way, then you have a good direction.”
Brands knows the firepower practicing around the room in the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex each day, but the key will be finding out which pieces fit where.
“Don’t go out there and act like these guys are going to be nice to you and that it is going to be easy and you can blow their house down. It’s not about huffing and puffing, it’s about putting the screws to them and doing the things our guys can do.”
UI head coach Tom Brands
“We have a lot of firepower that has to be realized at 10 weight classes, and we have more than one guy at a number of those weight classes,” he said. “We have to decide what we do with the redshirt situation at 197 and when you look at our lineup at 149… I believe in all those guys.”
Redshirt freshman Brody Grothus went 1-1 in a pair of matches in Tennessee — he scored a first period fall against Steven Sandefur of Cumberland before dropping a 9-5 decision against Virginia’s 10th-ranked Derek Valenti. Last year’s starter — Michael Kelly — placed fourth at the Lindenwood Invitational.
“We have to find out who our best guy is,” said Brands. “Brody looked good, but I don’t know how you look good in a loss, but we’re not going to hit the panic button there.”
Brands says he wants his team to come out with more of a sense of urgency and be up to the challenge of competition.
“I don’t know if it matters what time of year it is, if you’re a fighter, you like a fight,” said Brands. “If you’re an American you like a fight. If you’re an Iowa Hawkeye you know you’re going to get a fight.
“Let’s use our imagination a little better and get ready. Don’t go out there and act like these guys are going to be nice to you and that it is going to be easy and you can blow their house down. It’s not about huffing and puffing, it’s about putting the screws to them and doing the things our guys can do.”
Brands likes the addition of Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten Conference.
“Both schools add to the Big Ten in wrestling,” he said. “It is good for the Big Ten expansion-wise and it’s good for their programs. The coaches — Scott Goodale (Rutgers) and Kerry McCoy (Maryland) — are successful wrestling people and are pretty smart. They were on our radar before, but certainly (will be) in a couple of years.”
The Hawkeyes return to action Saturday, hosting SIU Edwardsville, Cornell College and Iowa Central Community College in the Iowa City Duals. The duals begin at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. (CT).