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January 5, 2015

Barry Davis

COACH DAVIS:テつ We had about a 10‑day break here since the Midlands tournament.テつ Gives our guys, especially our younger guys, got a lot of skill work, get things back on track again.
Talked a lot first half of the season, how that went, getting guys ready to go for the second half of the season.

Q.テつ How would you characterize your season to date?
COACH DAVIS:テつ Started out a little bumpy at first.テつ We had some guys cutting down, a 25 pounder, 41 pounder all cut down on weight here.テつ We moved all three guys up a weight class.テつ I think we're better established there now.テつ They're wrestling better, they feel better.テつ Overall we had five guys move up and one guy move down.
The five guys that moved up are doing really well.テつ So I think we're in a good spot right now.テつ We beat Nebraska earlier in the year at Nebraska, No.8 in the country.テつ I think we wrestled really well at the Midlands.テつ We had five guys place, a couple guys out.テつ But overall we are doing well.テつ I think the young guys are coming along really well for us, but there are still things to work on.

Q.テつ Connor Medbery, tell us about his year.
COACH DAVIS:テつ He's doing really well.テつ Last couple years, he's a round from placing, top 12.テつ I think last year hurt really bad, didn't get a chance to place.テつ But got beat out by the kid from Northwestern, which we'll see this weekend at Northwestern.テつ Some good changes as far as skill‑wise.テつ I think he's a little bit bigger, stronger overall.
But I think him and Isaac Jordan are doing the best two jobs this year overall.テつ I think he's made some great changes.テつ Had a chance to spend some time with some high‑level guys at the world Olympic level, which has paid off as well for him.

Q.テつ Coming off two big conference wins, how do you think the team is stacking up in a conference where 10 of the teams are ranked in the top 25?
COACH DAVIS:テつ I think right now we're doing well.テつ I think we answered the call against Nebraska there at their place.テつ Obviously they were favored in six matches.テつ We were in four.テつ Reversed that one there.
I think this weekend's going to be a big thing for us, especially against Northwestern.テつ We have our three best guys against their three best guys.テつ I think Isaac Jordan I think right now is third in the country.テつ Their guy is sixth.テつ At 97, a guy who was 10th in the country, I think McCall is like 12 now, and Medbery, number two or I think number four.
It's going to be important for us to do it overall.テつ We need other guys to step up for us.テつ But those three matches are going to be a key for us there.
If we can get through Northwestern, I think we can make a deep run overall, it may be a chance to win the Big Ten league championship.

Q.テつ How much stock do you put in those rankings?テつ You quote them a lot.テつ Are they accurate, in your mind?
COACH DAVIS:テつ Some of them are, some are them are not.テつ Depends.テつ The thing you try to do is this.テつ I tell our guys, you're trying to put yourself in a position in March, in the Big Ten and the NCAA, because obviously the higher you're reacted, say Isaac Jordan, say he goes into the NCAA tournament seeded third or second, makes it to the quarterfinal round, he's the seventh seed overall.テつ It's going to make his job easier through the tournament, into the quarterfinals and semifinals, et cetera.
So we try to stress to our guys, the better off you can do now, the higher ranked you can get, it's going to help you at the NCAA tournament.テつ Make your job easier the first couple rounds, get yourself into the tournament, that's better for us overall.
So is it important?テつ One way yes, one way no.テつ Because you get there, you still got to the wrestle the match.テつ So no matter what you're ranked.テつ But if you make your job easier, in the long run it's better overall for us as a team, if that makes sense to you.

Q.テつ You had Thielke and Jordan sit out at Midlands.テつ Will they be ready to go this weekend?
COACH DAVIS:テつ Yeah.テつ Got back from Christmas.テつ Had a couple tweaks there.テつ Wrestled those guys there, especially Isaac Jordan, a lot of ranked guys in his weight class.
Bumps and bruises.テつ I think it's better for us to hold those guys back to make sure they're better for the second half of the season.テつ I think they'll both be back for this Friday and Sunday both.

Q.テつ When Jesse came here, lots of talk about what his future held for him.テつ What has been the impediment to this point?テつ Why have we not seen the dominance, the big type of numbers, the career that a lot of people perhaps thought he would have up until this point?
COACH DAVIS:テつ Well last year wasn't a bad year.テつ He was up a weight class last year.テつ He was at 33 last year.テつ He had a chance to go to the NCAAs.テつ We thought he was in, taking seventh as a wild card.テつ Didn't work out.
But it's a big difference, a big transition from Greco to folkstyle.テつ I mean, obviously your Greco, you can only attack above the waist, different scoring, different strategy, et cetera.テつ Where college you're more on the mat a lot more.テつ You can use more strategy in collegiate style than you can basically in Greco‑Roman wrestling.
He's made some great changes.テつ I think he's made some strides this year.テつ He's not quite there yet.テつ Some of the things we've done this summer, this fall, leading up to the second half of the season, I think he should be on track.
Wasn't quite as big as he should have been last year.テつ Made some changes in the weight room right now.テつ I think he's probably a 41 pounder now where he needs to be, and hopefully that will pay off when we need to see the change we need to see in Jesse Thielke.

Q.テつ How do you think Ryan Taylor has adjusted since shifting weight classes?
COACH DAVIS:テつ I think really well.テつ I think he was really a big 25 pounder overall.テつ I think with him being up, he's much stronger, obviously more happy in practice than he was making 25.テつ He did a good job of controlling his weight.テつ He's a big 33 pounder.テつ I think it's better for him overall mentally as well as physically.

Q.テつ Iowa, Minnesota, Penn State, all unbeaten in Big Ten.テつ You don't wrestle them this year.テつ Why is that?
COACH DAVIS:テつ That's just the schedule.

Q.テつ Would you like to wrestle them?
COACH DAVIS:テつ Oh, yeah, always would.テつ Again, it's good to see those guys during the season before you get to the conference championship, as we see with Iowa in the Midlands, during the matchup with them there.テつ That's basically the way the schedule turned out.テつ That's the way it is.
We've been (indiscernible) Minnesota and Iowa before that, Penn State, yes, because you want to get those matches early to get guys on tape, get a feel for certain situations, and work on it from there.
It happens this year we don't wrestle those guys.テつ Trust me, we'll see them in the Big Tens, the NCAAs, we'll see them enough.
Thank you.

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