March 4, 2018

Tom Ryan Press Conference Transcript

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March 4, 2018

Opening statement…
What a great weekend. This is a special team that we knew what they were capable of, but knowing what a team is capable of and seeing it come together the way we did this weekend is pretty special, so really proud of the effort across the board, every weight class. It was a good championship. We’re looking forward to Cleveland in two weeks.

On what adjustments Kyle Snyder worked on for facing Adam Coon…
He presents a lot of problems, Coon. He’s enormous. He’s very fit. They have clearly done a great job preparing him for someone that’s got great leg attacks, so there were some adjustments Kyle made and tonight, one of those adjustments worked out.

Kyle is deliberate in his training and he assessed the last match, and you know, Kyle, for the most part, when we watch him on the world stage, he can bully about anybody in his weight class at 213, 211. A man that weighs 220 is going to get pushed around by Kyle, so when you have someone 285, it’s not easy to deal with when you wrestle technical but like a bully, so that was an immense amount of energy used to score points, that takedown, so congrats to Kyle.

On who surprised him this weekend…
Those semifinals were just incredible. Nate (Tomasello)’s match with (Spencer) Lee, and we have so much respect for Lee, I’ve watched him win world championships on the cadet and junior world level, watched him dominate in high school. We knew he was going to be a tough opponent, and for Nate to fend off that high crotch that was hit on him late, roll through with the last second, create a stalemate, then come back and hit that power high crotch to win it, that was special. You know, Nate’s been so close the last few years. This is a guy that literally, you know, two seconds away from going for his fourth national championship. So, when you live your life the way Nate does, you cheer for him. His performance in the semis was great.

Luke Pletcher, coming and scoring two takedowns late against (Mitch) McKee, who again, a world team member, a ton of success, not used to that happening to him. A tremendous effort there, and then getting the takedown in overtime.

Micah Jordan, you know, he’s down 1-0 against a heck of wrestler in (Michael) Kemerer, and to find a way, you know, when that many guys find a way, that late, things are going well for you. So, it was a great semifinal round for us. Those are probably some of the ones that stand out.

On what the team learned from winning the Big Ten title last year and coming second at NCAAs…
Last year, we felt we had to have a perfect tournament to win it. This team is better balanced. This team is better than last year’s team up and down the lineup. Last year we had to have a perfect weekend. There were five matches we had to win last year to win the Big Ten Championship, and we went five-for-five. That same things needed to happen at NCAAs and it didn’t. This weekend, we felt like we had a little more margin of error and the guys wrestled out of their mind. Again, this is a team stuck together, said they wanted to do something really special at the beginning of the year, and this weekend was special for us.

On learning the best way to train before NCAA Championships…
We’re always learning. We use a lot of data. We have a sports scientist that helps. We look at a lot of different things. We talk to guys individually. So the strategy for the team, there might be some variation in there from guy to guy, who needs what, who needs more of what, but they’ll definitely have two days. We’re going to go to Five Guys tonight. We’re going to have some burgers. We’ll give them two days off. They’ll have massages tomorrow, they’re already scheduled. We’ll get them feeling good before we turn it up again, but we will turn it up again.

On Kollin Moore bouncing back…
You know, he loves to wrestle. Obviously he had a couple really good weeks of practice. Kollin Moore has wrestled year-round for two years straight. I think that took a toll on him early on. He was beat up a little bit early in the season in our training, so he missed some really intense training, but we know that he’s a workhorse. Kollin Moore is a workhouse out there, and when you don’t have the volume of training behind someone who’s a workhorse late in matches, when you shoot 30, 40, 20 times, you start to feel it more than if you just got that cardio behind you, but he’s had some great practices in the last few weeks and he’s looking strong right now.