Week-End Salvo -Special Early East Coast Edition

Talk about the champions, or the Top 25 nationally-ranked team!
Oracle
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Week-End Salvo -Special Early East Coast Edition

Post by Oracle » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:27 pm

With less than 80 D1 programs, there is plenty of talent to stock rosters across the country....maybe not every roster, but probably 50. That's 500 front-line starters out of the entire nation.

So why is it so hard to consistently crack the top 10 at the NCAA tournament? One might think "hey, every once in a while, we should win" -- kind of like the World Series or the Super Bowl. But that's not really happening and never has happened. Why?

Other so-called minor sports like men's ice hockey and men's lacrosse have shown a propensity to share power beyond the 4-5 teams we see year-in and year-out in wrestling. Right now, Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State are consistently top 5-ish. Missouri, Cornell, Minnesota, Nebraska and Michigan roughly fill out the top 10. Teams like NC State, VA Tech, Lehigh, Iowa State, Arizona State are roughly the next 5. Why can't one of these teams 'spike' up once and a while and challenge for the team title? One might think the law of averages would say it's possible. Every one of these 15 teams has infra-structure in place. So why?

If it was real estate it would be referred to as 'location - location - location. In college wrestling it's recruiting - recruiting - recruiting.

Decision points that factor into making a decision for a high school senior:
1- Financial package -- no one will ever convince me this is not the most important factor
2- Who's already there at your preferred weight and what year are they in?
3- The over-all quality of the room around your preferred weight
4- How the coaching staff comes across -- is their chemistry?
5- Proximity to home

Decision points for coaches:
1- Can the recruit gain admission?
2- What level of financial aid can be offered?
3- Is the family level-headed?
4- Is the recruit someone who will dominate physically?
5- Is the recruit sold-out on wrestling?

Coaches have to know at this stage of the game that physical strength and conditioning win national titles. Very, very rarely does anyone win who is sub-par in horsepower. Not these days. Coaches need to recruit kids who are good in all 3 positions but being physical can't be taught. That's a weight room commitment.

Specifically for Lehigh: Coach Santoro has done a magnificent job putting out a physical team in recent years. It ook a while, but his philosophy of 'attack style' is now flourishing. No longer are Lehigh wrestlers standing with their butts near the OOB line. That happened because the LU team is way more physical. I'm not sure if academics at Lehigh is any more of a deterrent than many other schools when discussing to weight cutting. I do know *all* the top teams have guys at weights that appear as an optical illusion. Zahid Valencia at 174 is a good example. Bo Jordan at 174 is another.

That should be enough for you guys to chew on. Have a great week end! BTW, I had to withdraw from the Greater South Burlington Super-Senior Open due to a broken left thumb. Maybe next year.


mookie
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Re: Week-End Salvo -Special Early East Coast Edition

Post by mookie » Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:20 pm

Not quite sure though why Lehigh can't land a whale? A Spencer Lee or Jason Nolf caliber. What's the missing ingredient?
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Re: Week-End Salvo -Special Early East Coast Edition

Post by TMH » Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:25 pm

The fact that we are right there with a # of the bluest of blue chips like Nolf is encouraging but frankly the lure of a possible National Championship is not enough today. They aspire to be 4 timers and eventually it comes down to what school can give them the best chance.

Ironically Alabama is to Penn State in football what Penn State is to Lehigh in wrestling.

At least that's my opinion :-)
whiz wit
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Re: Week-End Salvo -Special Early East Coast Edition

Post by whiz wit » Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:36 pm

Lehigh doesn't consistently produce top kids. I would think that the very blue chippers who aren't so hot on academics would want to go to the schools that do. And as to those for whom the nature of the diploma is important, Cornell and now Princeton have the advantage. The middle is no man's land.
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Re: Week-End Salvo -Special Early East Coast Edition

Post by jdalu75 » Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:44 pm

I've been told that 30 years ago we NEVER lost a recruit we really wanted to the Ivy League. It happens all the time now. And I think there's a star system involving head coaches. For 20 years ABC reminded viewers every time they aired the NCAA tournament that Dan Gable walked on water; think that may have helped influence a few Iowa recruits? Now Cael is the New Gable. Wrestlers of the future will be named Cael Gable Smith or Gable Cael Jones.

The era of "balance" that we like to remember was in the time between Gable and Cael. Coincidence?
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Re: Week-End Salvo -Special Early East Coast Edition

Post by OldMan » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:11 pm

I would add Athletic facilities, academic support & housing options to the list of very important factors when making decisions. Lehigh has a beautiful campus but 18-22 yr old men don’t find that as important as their parents.
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Re: Week-End Salvo -Special Early East Coast Edition

Post by Oracle » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:42 am

OldMan wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:11 pm
I would add Athletic facilities, academic support & housing options to the list of very important factors when making decisions. Lehigh has a beautiful campus but 18-22 yr old men don’t find that as important as their parents.
>>>> Plus the decision is made by 16-18 year old high school students.
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Re: Week-End Salvo -Special Early East Coast Edition

Post by Sheepdog » Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:48 pm

We have not landed one stud recruit yet from the rising seniors while our EIWA competition is loading up. We have plenty of scholarships. Hope there is a stud or two left by the time we get our act together.
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Re: Week-End Salvo -Special Early East Coast Edition

Post by drd5748 » Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:33 pm

Luckily, our coaches are not as tired and downbeat about the topic as our fans.

Back when the Ivies didn't give a rat's ass (1965-1985 or thereabouts), we ruled the private school market, so much so that we didn't even need to give grants. For a surprising chunk of that time, the Big 10 wasn't yet King Shit like they are now -- and now have 14 members, not 10. Did we not used to have PSU in our conference to raise the bar?

Then there's the new Power 5 move to offer $6,000 or more -- per year -- in cash stipends above FULL rides, to make college easier there. It's absolutely incredible how we continue to land Top 10 classes. Offering a half ride costs a family 2x as much as it costs at most state schools. But feel free to ask uninformed questions about why we don't do better. Sorry that was a bit snippy but I grow weary of the whining
D3 for LU
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Re: Week-End Salvo -Special Early East Coast Edition

Post by D3 for LU » Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:19 pm

...but we like a little cheese w/ our whine. :P
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