Michigan State Opens 2018 With Two B1G Road Duals
MSU faces No. 7 Iowa and No. 14 Minnesota this weekend.
Michigan State (4-2, 0-0 B1G) at No. 7 Iowa (7-0, 3-0 B1G)
|Date | Time||Friday, Jan. 5 | 8 p.m. ET|
|Location||Iowa City, Iowa | Carver-Hawkeye Arena|
|Tickets||$12 (adults)/$8 (youth 18 & under)/Free (youth 5 & under) | Iowa Ticket Information|
|Notes||Michigan State | Iowa|
|Statistics||Michigan State | Iowa|
|TV/Internet Coverage||Live streamed on BTN Plus on BTN2Go.com | FloWrestling|
|Social Media||@wrestlingmsu | Facebook | Instagram|
Michigan State (4-2, 0-0 B1G) vs. No. 14 Minnesota (5-3, 0-0 B1G)
|Date | Time||Sunday, Jan. 7 | 2 p.m. ET|
|Location||Minneapolis, Minn. | Maturi Pavilion|
|Tickets||$10 (adults)/$5 (youth/senior) | Minnesota Ticket Information|
|Notes||Michigan State | Minnesota|
|Statistics||Michigan State | Minnesota|
|TV/Internet Coverage||Live streamed on BTN Plus at BTN2Go.com|
|Social Media||@wrestlingmsu | Facebook | Instagram|
MICHIGAN STATE OPENS 2018 WITH TWO B1G ROAD DUALS
Michigan State wrestling begins the second half of the season and Big Ten Conference action with a pair of road contests against No. 7 Iowa on Friday, Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. ET in Iowa City, Iowa and No. 14 Minnesota on Sunday, Jan. 7 at 2 p.m. ET in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Both matches will be streamed live on BTN Plus (BTN2Go.com).
The upcoming duals mark the seventh and eighth of the season, all of which have been away from Jenison Field House. The matches will also be the fifth and sixth against nationally ranked opponents for the Spartans.
SPARTANS IN THE RANKINGS
• Senior Javier Gasca - 141 pounds
No. 15 by FloWrestling
No. 17 by Trackwrestling
No. 17 by The Open Mat
No. 18 by InterMat
No. 20 by Win Wrestling Magazine
NCAA QUALIFIER HUGHES OUT FOR 2018 SEASON
Nationally-ranked 174-pounder and NCAA Qualifier Drew Hughes will miss the remaining 2018 season due to injury and will receive a medical hardship. Hughes, a sophomore from Lowell, Indiana, placed second at the MSU Open and helped the Spartans to a dual win at Buffalo with a 4-3 decision over Ryan Kromer.
SUCCESS IN SOUTH BEACH
The last time out for Michigan State was at the first-ever South Beach Duals in Deerfield Beach, Florida, from Dec. 29-30. Competing in four duals over two days, the Spartans finished with a 3-1 record at the event, one of four teams to get to three wins out of the 12 participating Division I squads. The only school to go undefeated was No. 4 Missouri. MSU defeated SIU Edwardsville (31-8), Franklin & Marshall (25-12) and Binghamton (27-16) but fell in the last match to No. 24 North Carolina (30-6).
Through two days, the Spartans racked up four technical falls, three major decisions and a pin in bonus points. Freshman Rayvon Foley was 4-0 at 125 pounds to improve to 6-0 in duals and 18-3 overall. Redshirt freshmen Jwan Britton (149), Danny Kruse (184), Nick May (197) and Matt Lloyd (Hwt) all posted the first collegiate dual wins of their careers.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Since beginning the season with the Michigan State Open, the Spartans have traveled far and wide to take on some of the nation’s best competition. MSU has had five events as the road team or in unfamiliar territory: the Eastern Michigan Open, at Central Michigan, the Cliff Keen Invitational, at Buffalo and the South Beach Duals. Michigan State will finally return home to Jenison Field House on Sunday, Jan. 14 against No. 1 Penn State.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
Two of Michigan State’s six duals have been against nationally ranked squads, and the Spartans are slated to take on two more this weekend in 7th-ranked Iowa and 14th-ranked Minnesota. Ten of the 14 teams from the Big Ten Conference are currently ranked in the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, and eight of those ranked teams are on the Spartans’ slate after this weekend.
SCOUTING THE HAWKEYES
Coming in at No. 7 in the nation, the Iowa Hawkeyes are undefeated through seven duals this season. The Hawkeyes had five champions on the way to a team title at the 2017 Ken Kraft Midlands Championships on Saturday, Dec. 30. In its last dual, Iowa put up six bonus point wins to rout Maryland, 40-6 (12/10).
Michigan State is 15-38-2 in career meetings with Iowa. The last meeting between the Spartans and the Hawkeyes was last season on Jan. 8, 2017, ending with Iowa defeating Michigan State, 44-0 in East Lansing, Michigan.
No. 7 Iowa Projected Lineup (Year, Overall, Duals)
125: Spencer Lee (Fr., 6-1, 0-0)
133: Paul Glynn (So., 5-5, 0-2) -OR- Philip Laux (Sr., 9-3, 4-1)
141: Vince Turk (So., 6-4, 3-2) -OR- Carter Happel (R-Fr., 10-5, 1-1)
149: No. 2 Brandon Sorensen (Sr., 12-0, 7-0)
157: No. 2 Michael Kemerer (So., 13-0, 7-0)
165: No. 14 Alex Marinelli (Fr., 6-0, 2-0)
174: Joey Gunther (So., 10-2, 7-0)
184: Mitch Bowman (Jr., 8-3, 5-2)
197: No. 8 Cash Wilcke (So., 12-0, 7-0)
285: No. 6 Sam Stoll (Jr., 10-0, 6-0)
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN GOPHERS
Minnesota was last out at the South Beach Duals, finishing the two-day competition with a record of 2-2. Then ranked No. 8, the Gophers fell to No. 24 North Carolina, 25-16, and to No. 12 Cornell, 22-19. On the second day, Minnesota bounced back with wins against Columbia, 35-9, and Binghamton, 45-6.
Minnesota holds a 32-23-0 advantage in the series history, and the two teams met last season on Dec. 9, 2016 in East Lansing, Michigan. Ranked at No. 18, the Golden Gophers narrowly escaped an upset from the Spartans, 20-17. MSU took four bouts: redshirt freshman Logan Griffin at 125, redshirt junior Javier Gasca at 141, senior Nick Trimble at 149 and freshman Drew Hughes at 165.
No. 14 Minnesota Projected Lineup (Year, Overall, Duals)
125: No. 5 Ethan Lizak (Jr., 17-1, 8-0)
133: No. 8 Mitch McKee (So., 9-3, 5-3)
141: No. 10 Tommy Thorn (Jr., 13-6, 4-3)
149: Hunter Marko (R-Fr., 5-9, 2-4) -OR- Ben Brancale (So., 3-3, 0-0)
157: No. 13 Jake Short (Sr., 8-4, 5-3)
165: No. 9 Nick Wanzek (Sr., 15-2, 5-1)
174: Chris Pfarr (Sr., 10-5, 4-2)
184: Owen Webster (So., 7-3, 4-2) -OR- Dylan Anderson (R-Fr., 20-6, 0-0)
197: Bobby Steveson (So., 3-7, 3-5)
285: Rylee Streifel (So., 6-6, 3-5)
CHANDLER IN SECOND YEAR AS HEAD COACH
Michigan State head coach Roger Chandler is in his 21st season on the Spartan wrestling staff, but his second as head coach, taking over the reins of the MSU program from longtime head coach Tom Minkel, who directed the program since 1991, and retired following his 25th season at Michigan State in 2015-16.
In his first season as head coach, Chandler led the Spartans to a 10th-place finish at Big Ten Championships, the team’s best finish since 2012. MSU’s 38.5 points at the meet was their highest total since 2012, showing the signs of the program’s progress in Chandler’s first year acting as head coach. The Spartans also qualified three for NCAA Championships for the first time since 2013 in Chandler’s first year at the helm of the program.
SPARTAN ASSISTANT COACHES
• Former Spartan All-American Chris Williams is in the second year of his second stint on the MSU staff as an assistant coach. Williams had served as the head wrestling coach at Adrian College since November 2014, where he restarted the program and led the Bulldogs in their first season of competition in 31 years in 2015-16. He previously was an assistant coach at Michigan State, along with Chandler, for eight seasons (2005-13).
• Former Central Michigan All-American and U.S. Senior Nationals Champion Wynn Michalak enters his second season as Spartans’ assistant wrestling coach. One of the most successful wrestlers in Central Michigan history, Michalak was a four-time Mid-American Conference Champion (2005-08), three-time MAC Wrestler of the Year (2006-08), and a three-time NCAA All-American (2005, 2006, 2008), including a runner-up finish at 197 pounds in 2008. He won the 2015 U.S. Senior Nationals title at 97 kg/213 pounds on Dec. 19, 2015, in Las Vegas, and competed in the past two U.S. Olympic wrestling trials.
COACH CHANDLER ON THE COMPETITIVE BIG TEN SEASON
“This is why these guys came to Michigan State, to compete in the elite conference in the country. We’re starting out with two of the best teams in the conference in Iowa and Minnesota. It’s a great opportunity for these guys to go out and evaluate themselves against the best competition and compete against the best competition. The goal is always to go out there and compete to win and we expect that out of our guys.”
COACH CHANDLER ON PREPARING FOR IOWA AND MINNESOTA
“There are some scouting plans in place that we’ve been going over in practice, but at the same time, we’re going to focus more on our skills and the things that we’re good at instead of playing a defensive approach the whole time.”
COACH CHANDLER RECAPPING the LAST MATCHES BEFORE CONFERENCE DUALS
“I think more than anything it got these guys through Christmas. It allowed them to get some competition time before we got to the Big Ten season. The duals down there were great because our guys got to get back on the mat and evaluate themselves and work on the things they needed to work on.”
COACH CHANDLER ON BEING THE VISITING TEAM AT POWERHOUSE ARENAS
“I don’t think you can necessarily prepare in practice for the type of crowds or environments that these guys are going to get into, but I think it’s good future training for the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships, just to deal with adverse crowds and staying focused on what you’re trying to accomplish instead of getting caught up in the surrounding environment.”
COACH CHANDLER ON THE TEAM’S PROGRESS THROUGH ADVERSITY
“The biggest thing about this team is that I don’t know if we’ve put out the same lineup for any dual meet this year. These kids keep battling. It doesn’t matter if it’s a starter or if it’s a third or fourth string guy. They’re all going out there and competing and that’s what we want out of our guys. We want them to keep competing and get better every time they step on the mat.”
Following the matches against Iowa and Minnesota, Michigan State will host the first home dual of the season against No. 1 Penn State on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 1 p.m.