So the Mizzou Wrestling Squad will have something of an Open-House on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. righ in the middle of Tailgating Central (Hearnes Center). Interesting start time to say the least....however, if you are so inclined (or sober), it may be worth a few minutes to escape the late day sun to check out what should be an exciting, but young team. Here is a preview of some of the action this weekend.
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The team has been broken up into 10 pools of four by weight class (with one pool of three at 184 lbs.) While I do not know how far this action will go in dictating the starter at each class, the AD did release the groups and there are some interesting stories unfolding.
Once upon a different blog, I wrote a Review/Preview of the team and for the most part, I think that will still hold true. However, there may be some interesting stories brewing. First, in looking at Pool E, we see that Josh Wagner and Ashtin Primus are in the same group at 149. If you have ever seen Primus, you knew he was a BIG 141 pounder, and this move is only surprising to me because I did not think to expect it. What this has done is created an experience log-jam at 149, but a void at 141. Marcus Hoehn does have some experience there, and Max Shanamon is one of the touted crop of freshmen coming in, but it will be interesting to see it all unfold.
Browsing through the rest of the classes, I think you have the most open group at the top at 125. John Olanowski was last year's spot holder, but he should expect to be pushed HEAVILY by Tony Pescaglia (a RS Frosh) and Troy Dolan (a TRUE Frosh). I do not really know what Coach Smith's stance on true frosh wrestling is, so Dolan may not play a huge part here, but I believe Pescaglia certainly will.
At 133, McCormick comes into the year probably top 5 in every single poll, and is already #2 in one of them. He will not be pushed....but it will be important to start developing the replacement for the senior.
We have already talked a bit about 141, but there will be TWO pools (eight wrestlers) competing, so that should be very interesting. At 149...well...I would expect the senior (Wagner) to retain the spot over the soph (Primus).
Mike Chandler will remain at 157, and Nick Marable makes the move to 165, answering a bit of the uncertainty I had last year about which one would go where.
At 174, Joey Garrity was the name I pegged last March as the heir apparent to Ben Askren's spot. He will have a LOT of competition, as this is another two-pool group. At 184, Raymond Jordan should not be challenged by either two people (they will go round robin). I do not see a pool at 197, which is intriguing to me. Lastly, 275 will pit NCAA-qualifier Mark Ellis against #1 HWY recruit Dom Bradley from KC. Again, in my first preview I was wanting Bradley to take the spot, but that comes with no knowledge of how Coach Smith redshirts people.
At any rate, I will try to wrap up the action in my Musings on Monday, but just something to keep an eye out for this weekend if you are perusing the Hearnes Center before the game.