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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN WRESTLING MEDIA CONFERENCE


February 18, 2014


Barry Davis


THE MODERATOR:テつ The 15th ranked wrestling team wraps up the regular season this weekend, taking on a pair of top ten foes.テつ Badgers host No. 9 Nebraska on Friday at 7:00 p.m. at the UW Fieldhouse, then wrestle against No.3 Iowa on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at the Fieldhouse.
With a pair of victories, UW would clinch a share of the Big Ten regular season title.
Head Coach Barry Davis is here.テつ We'll have opening comments and then take questions.
COACH DAVIS:テつ It's been a nice two‑week break from competition, let our guys work on a lot of technical skills.テつ It's a big weekend coming up for us.テつ I'm excited about that.テつ Obviously, after this weekend, we've got to get ready for the Big Tens and NCAAs.
It's an exciting time for Wisconsin wrestling right now.テつ The young kids are doing a good job.テつ We've just got to put it all together here in these two weekends, this weekend coming up as well as the NCAAs, and stay strong as the season goes along.

Q.テつ Can you talk about the senior class and what they mean to this program.
COACH DAVIS:テつ You've got to start with Tyler Graff.テつ He's had a chance to be a four‑time All‑American.テつ I think we've only had a few other guys that have done that here at Wisconsin.テつ He's shown great leadership.
Scott Liegel, his brother Seth is a freshman this year, actually went out for football when first came here.テつ He's finished last three years on the mat.テつ Done a great job for us.テつ As well as Jackson Hein, former USA qualifier.
So we've got three good guys here to help lead this team in the room, out of the room.テつ They've actually been great leaders for the team, for the young guys as well too.テつ That's the biggest thing.

Q.テつ 12‑4 in dual meets, 5‑1 in the Big Ten.テつ Did you see this coming?
COACH DAVIS:テつ Somewhat, yeah, depending how the young kids responded.テつ Guys like Ryan Taylor, redshirt freshman, No.9 in the country.テつ Isaac Jordan, redshirt freshman, No.6 in the country.テつ Along with Jesse Thielke from Germantown.
The young kids have done a good job so far, really stepped up.テつ I know we had a chance to do that, but the young guys responded very well.テつ The seniors have done a good job leading these guys at the same time.
We had a couple of close opportunities, and maybe you want to see a few more duals, but right now it's going real well for us.

Q.テつ I don't know if any weekend can get more difficult than this one, Nebraska, Iowa.テつ I guess you could throw in Minnesota.
COACH DAVIS:テつ Yeah, it's a good weekend.テつ I think we beat a couple of teams in the top ten this year so far.テつ We've had a great year so far.テつ But as far as dual meet‑wise, as far as national‑wise, Isaac Jordan, who's a redshirt freshman, sixth in the country, is a number one and three ranked guy.テつ You look at Ryan Taylor.テつ He's number ten and number three.
So there's some great matchups this weekend for our team as far as dual meet‑wise.テつ It's going to be very difficult.テつ I think the young guys are up for it.テつ We'll see what happens.テつ It will be a good experience for them.
I think a two‑week training break has been good for us to work on skill work with these young kids, get our timing down, positions down, watching a lot of tape, watching‑‑ the coaches watch more tape for Rylan Lubeck.
This is what Big Ten all about here.テつ This will help us down the road for the Big Ten and the NCAAs as well.

Q.テつ Talking to some of the young guys yesterday, they've got National Championship on the brain in terms of the next few years.テつ How do you manage expectations like that with the young guys?
COACH DAVIS:テつ Again, they've proven that as freshmen.テつ That's a great freshman class.テつ Two of those guys are ranked top ten in the country.テつ Had a great recruiting class last year.テつ But you have to understand, though, this is college as life goes into it.テつ You have to take it year by year.
Let's get through these dual meets first and see the season in March, and then we regroup and go from there.
I think these young guys are inspired by that.テつ We've got a great group of guys, young guys, on our team, and we have guys that can do that.テつ Again, time will tell.
Let's get through the season here, we'll [indiscernible] in March, and then we'll regroup for the following year.

Q.テつ Coach, just talk a little bit about the Big Ten Championships.テつ They're upcoming here at the Kohl Center.テつ What does this do for the University of Wisconsin to host an event like that?
COACH DAVIS:テつ First of all, we wanted the Big Ten Championships here.テつ It's going to be great for the young kids to be at home, their own atmosphere that way, I think it will be great for the state as well too.
Any time you get in your home here, it's an advantage for these young kids to do that.テつ I think they feel more comfortable being in Madison.テつ I think that's a plus.
I think it will be good for our fans and good recruiting overall in the state.
But Big Ten is going to be a mini‑NCAA Tournament.テつ (Indiscernible) a couple of them, a heavyweight, you've got them in one through six, all Big Ten guys (indiscernible) No. 9 in the country.テつ At 157, I think you have five guys in the top 10.テつ 125, I think you have four guys in the top 10.
So it will be great competition.テつ I think, if people can make it to NCAAs, they should make it to the Big Tens.テつ It's going to be like a mini NCAA tournament.
So guys healthy and move forward.テつ Put us in the best position to be great heading into the NCAAs and go from there.

Q.テつ You mentioned the rankings with individuals quite a bit.テつ Is it motivation at all when you see third ranked Iowa is coming in?テつ Eighth or ninth ranked Nebraska is coming in?テつ Does that add any additional fuel from a team perspective?
COACH DAVIS:テつ You know, team‑wise, you want to do well, no doubt about it.テつ As a coach, you got to make sure you prepare everybody individually.テつ The better job they do, the better the team does overall.
So you're looking at matchups.テつ You're looking at skills.テつ So like we would watch tape right now, and a lot of guys watch tape to see what this guy does technical‑wise.テつ What we had to do is how can we attack their flaws?テつ How can we use our offense to attack them?
There's no doubt about it, when you have a couple of top ten teams coming in, et cetera, that's where we want to be.テつ We're 15th now.テつ Looking to move up.テつ Going to be a great opportunity for us.
Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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