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March 16, 2012

Kellen Russell


THE MODERATOR:  We have Kellen Russell.  Questions, please.

Q.  When you gave that first takedown, was there a, Here we go again?  Remind you of Vegas at all?
KELLEN RUSSELL:  No.  I was just upset with myself because I knew I had to push my shots and I wasn't doing it.  Probably good it happened at first there, kind of got me rolling for the rest of the match.

Q.  Once you got yourself the next takedown, it looked like you had additional confidence which led to more points later on.  Was that key for you to get right back immediately?
KELLEN RUSSELL:  Yeah, definitely.  Get my escape right away, force a takedown second was good.
I knew I was going to have to get to his legs.  I knew I had to score a takedown to win.  Once I got to his legs, I was pretty confident, even though I know he's pretty good at rolling around.  Felt good.

Q.  I was talking to someone who watched you all season, said they thought you were wrestling as well as you ever have in your career.  Would you agree with that?
KELLEN RUSSELL:  Yeah, I mean, I think starting from Big Ten finals to now, it's been the best matches I've wrestled in a long time.  Just because I'm being more offensive, I'm opening up a little more, taking shots.  It's leading me to score more points.
So I think overall, I score more points, you know, wrestling better.  I'm still not giving up a lot of points.

Q.  Did experience simply win that match, that you're a senior, he's a freshman?
KELLEN RUSSELL:  You know, he's tough.  Experience definitely helps.  It's huge, as I've said before, that my fourth time being here, it's way different than the first time being here.
Whether that had anything to do with it or not, I'm not really sure.  Always a plus to have on your side.

Q.  You won NCAA titles, winning close matches.  Why the different strategy if it worked for you the first year and now you're coming in here?
KELLEN RUSSELL:  It's kind of one of those things that you live right on the edge.  When you win by a point, you never know what's going to happen.  I learn that in Vegas when I wrestled Stieber last time.  I was probably looking to go into overtime, but ended up losing by a point.
After that I decided it's time to change my mindset, go out there, score my points, attack more.  My senior year, it's more fun to win those matches by a couple points than just one point in overtime.

Q.  Your opponent will be Montell Marion from Iowa.  Thoughts?
KELLEN RUSSELL:  I had a pretty big game plan.  I'm sure he'll come back with something different.  Just need to keep my attacks going and it should be an exciting match.

Q.  Against a kid like that, since your strategy worked before, do you try something new or pretty much what worked before, do it again?
KELLEN RUSSELL:  You know, a little bit of both.  Pretty much all I want to do is be more offensive whether it's attacking at single or high crotch.  The main plan is to stay offensive.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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