Wrestling set for pair of conference duals in California
The Arizona State University wrestling team will be back on the road this weekend as it continue its Pac-12 conference schedule with duals against Cal Poly on Saturday, Jan. 27, in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and CSU Bakersfield on Sunday, Jan. 29, in Bakersfield, Calif. The Sun Devils enter the weekend having dropped seven straight and will be looking to get back on track to improve upon their 5-9 record (1-1 Pac-12). The Cal Poly dual is set to get underway at 7 p.m. PT while the dual against Bakersfield will get underway at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
• ASU remains unranked on the season
• Levi Cooper leads the team with 20 victories on the season and just four dual losses
• Nathan Hoffer is the first member of the team to reach double digit is dual wins, earnng his 10th against Oklahoma State
• Levi Cooper upset the top-ranked returning NCAA Champion in Zach Rey of Lehigh at the Northeast Duals
• Head Coach Shawn Charles is in his third season as head coach
• Redshirt freshman Shane McGough has logged nine of his 14 victories this year with bonus points (6 falls, 3 majors)
• Arizona State is a combined 18-63-1 against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma
• The Sun Devils return one All-American this season in heavyweight Levi Cooper
• Cooper (HWT) is the only Sun Devil ranked by all of the major ranking services
• Sixteen Sun Devils have experienced their first collegiate action this season, representing the mass majority of competitors thus far
IN THE RANKINGS - TEAM
The Sun Devils entered the season unranked for the first time since the 2008-09 season. This comes despite finishing sixth at the NCAA Championships last year, though the loss of national champions Anthony Robles and Bubba Jenkins and the very young team the Sun Devils will be fielding are likely to blame for their omittance. The team did not receive any votes in the most recent NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
Seven opponents on ASU’s 2011-12 schedule can be found within the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll that was released earlier this week, with the Sun Devils losing all seven. The team fell to #1 Oklahoma State and #10 Okalhoma last weekend and lost to #14 Lehigh, #19 Binghamtom, #7 Nebraska and #17 Oregon State and #25 Old Dominion earlier this season, though they did beat Penn who, while unranked now, was #20 at the time.
IN THE RANKINGS - INDIVIDUAL
Returning All-American Levi Cooper is the only Sun Devil consistently ranked by all of the major ranking services, and did himself a huge favor in upsetting former No. 1 Zach Rey at the Northeast Duals. The victory rocketed Cooper from the mid-teens in most rankings to the top-10 across the board, peaking at No. 4 by The Open Mat. Cooper dropped both duals this past weekend, though one was to No. 3 Alan Gelogaev of Oklahoma State, but he still sits at #9 in the Amateur Wrestling News rankings.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION: Cal Poly
The Mustangs will enter the weekend with a 4-5 overall record and are 2-2 in Pac-12 competition. It will be senior night at Mott Gym for Cal Poly and they will see one of their greats take part in his last competition in Mott Gym in Boris Novachkov, a two-time All-American and two-time Pac-12 champion at 141 pounds. Novachkov is ranked second in all major rankings systems entering the weekend. It will also be the last dual for third-ranked Ryan DesRoches at 174 pounds, who enters the weekend with a 21-1 record. ASU is 31-11-0 in the all-time series between the two programs but has dropped the past two duals between the two.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION: CSU Bakersfield
The Roadrunners are 2-5 entering the weekend and 0-4 in Pac-12 competition. ASU holds the series edge of CSU Bakersfield by a 21-10-1 margin, through the Roadrunners have won three of the past four duals. Bakersfield has no student-athletes ranked in the top-20 in this week’s Amateur Wrestling News rankings.
A LOOK BACK: Oklahoma State/Oklahoma
It was a tough weekend for the Sun Devils as they dropped a pair of duals to top-ranked Oklahoma (L, 33-6) and #11 Oklahoma (L, 33-7) last weekend. The Sun Devils were overwhelmed by the depth of the two powerhouse, which featured a combined 17 wrestlers ranked in the top-20 in the nation compared to just one for the Sun Devils. Kevin Radford was the standout of the weekend as the only Sun Devil to sweep his two duals, including an upset of #20 Erich Schmidtke of Oklahoma to improve to 13-10 on the season.