B1G News Conference Transcript

March 6, 2015

Friday at the Big Ten Championships media-icon-photogallery.gif | 2015 B1G Championship Brackets Get Acrobat Reader


COLUMBUS, Ohio — University of Iowa head coach Tom Brands addressed the media Friday with Minnesota head coach J Robinson and Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan prior to the Big Ten Wrestling Championships.

Opening Statements
Tom Brands
“Well we’ve got our guys back there getting ready to go and we’re excited. There’s not a lot to be said and it’s the time of year where you get ready to go and it’s about ten individual weight classes that will determine a team champion. I always say it, and that won’t change, we like our team. We love our team.”

J Robinson
“Well we’ve got our guys back there getting ready to go and we’re excited. There’s not a lot to be said and it’s the time of year where you get ready to go and it’s about ten individual weight classes that will determine a team champion. I always say it, and that won’t change, we like our team. We love our team.”

“I think from a team standpoint we’re pretty excited about being here. I think actually the nation, as far as wrestling, is very excited about the team race that’s going to unfold here in the next few days. There are two or three teams that all have a chance to win and it’s going to depend upon a lot of things that will happen over the course of the next two days. Our team, I think, is ready, they’re focused, they know what they have to do, and we need to control the things we can control and we’ve got to be up and excited to wrestle in this tournament. As both these guys to my right and left know, it’s a very hard tournament to wrestle in and you’ve got to be ready and you have to be ready every round. I think tomorrow is going to be great from the competitor’s stand point and I think it’s going to be even better from a spectator standpoint.”

Tom Ryan
“We’re excited to host, the last time this event was in Columbus was 2004. We’ve had some great crowds (this season), when Minnesota came in we had almost 6,000, when Iowa came in we had just over 7,000, with Penn State just over 7,000 fans so this has been a year with a great home schedule and a lot of enthusiasm in the state and we know we’ve sold a lot of tickets to this thing. We’re excited about the team race as well, we had a great dual with Iowa and a great dual with Minnesota and I don’t know how anyone who loves the sport of wrestling couldn’t be excited about this event. We’re fortunate that we have a student-athlete in Logan Stieber that’s going for four, what a blessing that is to be. I don’t know how many four-timers there have been in the Big Ten, I’m sure it’s less than two handfuls and I don’t know how many of those were fortunate enough to wrestle their fourth in their home building so it’s a great opportunity for Logan. We’re looking forward to getting this thing underway.”

Did anything change from the seeding meeting?
Tom Brands
“I think the way that it’s laid out is good and there might have been some minor disagreements that were either changed or tried to change, but the way they’re laid out now is the way we go with and as a competitor, as a coach, going forward in a competition that’s what you go with.”

Big Ten Wrestling Championships Brooks
“Well we’ve got our guys back there getting ready to go and we’re excited. There’s not a lot to be said and it’s the time of year where you get ready to go and it’s about ten individual weight classes that will determine a team champion. I always say it, and that won’t change, we like our team. We love our team.”
Tom Brands
UI head wrestling coach

J Robinson
“I think one of the things that the spectators don’t know about is that about ten years ago we would go in and have a seeding meeting, that’s the advantage of being old, you’ve seen a lot of stuff. We used to go in and spend about three hours and we never seeded anything before we came here. There were a lot of arguments and everyone battled it out, but now we do this pre-seeding that allows us to let the seeds go out early so people can look at it, so fans can talk about it, they can get excited about who’s going to wrestle who and what the team race is going to be. All those things have been super positive so when we go into the seeding meeting now, it’s like Tom said, there’s a few little things, but the majority of stuff doesn’t really change and it makes it a very easy process in that we know pretty much where we’re going to be coming into the tournament and what we have to do, but it helps the fans and it helps everyone else. By doing this pre-seeding it’s been a really good thing for the way that we run our tournament pre and during it actually.”

What it’s going to take to win the team race
Tom Brands
“Consistency and being able to get on a roll and stay on a roll. You can control wins and losses very easily by the way you compete and even though head to head matches on paper look tough, the things that as an individual you go into a competition like this, it’s time to persevere. Not just persevere one time and then go back for a week and prepare and persevere again, that was all lead up. Now we’re where you’ve got to put a string of matches together. Consistency is big.”

J Robinson
“The big thing about this tournament is that this tournament isn’t any different from any other tournament that you’ve gone into, even as a little kid. It’s like Ton says, it’s about consistency, it’s about winning the close matches, it’s about controlling the things that you can control and that’s when you step on the mat. It’s how you wrestle, how aggressive, how you dominate, all those things add up and in a way you have to be a little bit selfish when you go to a tournament like this because you have to take care of yourself and in taking care of yourself you’re helping your team. It’s really no different, the same thing is going to happen in two weeks at the National tournament and we’re going to tell our guys the same thing and it’s like when we went down to Iowa and Tom talked to the paper, it’s taking it one match at a time. It’s the same thing here, it’s what do you have to do, how many times have you won four matches in a row? Win four matches in a row and you win the Big Ten. Win the Big Ten and you can’t do much more to help you’re team so it’s no different when we’re going to go to St. Louis. You have to be able to do the same thing, it’s like life, it’s doing the same thing over very well when you know what’s expected of you and that’s the key.”

Tom Ryan
“In my twenty years coaching I have never quite had a season where a team learned as much about every point mattering as this team. This team has been in some situations where you look back at a dual or tournament and there were a number of opportunities where you have a seven point win, and the eight point win gives you the bonus point. So every point is going to matter, it’s going to be a great team race, and I think the hungry, obviously we want our team to be very hungry right now. I can’t imagine not being a competitor who just cannot wait to step out on the mat, those are the guys who ultimately win the close matches. So hunger and, of course, as humans self-doubt can creep into our thoughts and it’s the student-athletes, the guy who just does not allow that stuff in their mind at this point, usually they’re the ones that lean in and match after match they string wins together. So I know these two have their teams ready, I know Tom as a competitor, I got to wrestle with him and wrestled a bunch of guys that J coached, so I know that they’ll be ready and it’s going to be one heck of an event tomorrow.”

Coach Ryan, do you have an added momentum being at home?
Tom Ryan
“I think momentum is a real thing, there’s a law of momentum so there’s no question that it’s there, it’s a real thing. When you have a team member that you care about and he’s someone that works incredibly hard and you watch him do that every day, when he gets his hand raised you get a lift from that just like the crowd gets a lift from that. Should he lose, you can be brought down by that and I think the controlling of emotions is critical so it’s a factor, momentum will be a factor. I hope that being at home should help us, we’re centrally located kind of, so I would imagine that, you know Iowa’s got a great fan base, J’s built an amazing fan base at Minnesota, Penn State’s got a strong fan base. I haven’t seen the breakdown of tickets, but there’s going to be a healthy amount of fans from all of the schools I believe. But there’s no question that at home, if I was a student-athlete and I was asked where I would want to compete, it would be my home venue.”

125 — (1) Thomas Gilman (24-3) vs. Mitch Rogaliner (Michigan State) Sophomore (15-11)
133 — (5) Cory Clark (22-4) vs. (12) Geoffrey Alexander (Maryland) Senior (13-8)
141 — (6) Josh Dziewa (24-6) vs. (11) Javier Gasca III (Michigan State) Sophomore (13-5)
149 — (1) Brandon Sorensen (31-3) vs. Jake Short (Minnesota) Freshman (14-9)
157 — (7) Michael Kelly (20-8) vs. (10) Lou Mascola (Maryland) Senior (15-11)
165 — (7) Nick Moore (20-7) vs. (10) Pat Robinson (Purdue) Senior (12-14)
174 — (3) Mike Evans (24-1) receives a bye
184 — (1) Sammy Brooks (23-4) receives a bye
197 — (4) Nathan Burak (17-3) vs. (13) Rob Fitzgerald (Maryland) Senior (10-14)
285 — (4) Bobby Telford (24-2) vs. (13) Garret Goldman (Indiana) Junior (10-12)

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