Post Match Quotes: NWCA Finals

Feb. 19, 2012


OSU coach John Smith
Opening statement
“I think going into the match and knowing the team I was going to put out on the mat, we couldn't lose some of those matches that we knew were going to be real tight. The bottom line is in dual meets when you have someone injured, you know that you have got to have upsets. You have to pull them off. We didn't quite get it done. I give credit to Minnesota because they did enough to win on our turf.”

On Illinois
“In that first match with Illinois, it looked like we were trying to find every way to lose that match. It was good to see a couple good kids dig it out at 97 and heavyweight. We needed both matches to win, and we've been in a lot of them. I'm not too disappointed. I know that we need to come together a little bit more as a team. I don't think our goals should change. I think we need to find guys that can pick up where Z left off. We need somebody filling that hole. That's what chemistry will do for a team. I'm going to dig my heels in and ask for a little bit more from the guys. Let's not let this year just slip with our team goals.”

On Parks' match
“If I could have scripted it better, I don't think I could have. He was down 5-0. We talk about being 5-0. You can come back. You can come from behind. He dug in and never hit the panic button. He executed when opportunities were there. He still scrambled and lost some shots. There were some serious scrambles and close calls. It didn't faze him too much. He kept his head in there, and it was a great win. It was one of the best matches I've seen this weekend.”

On Chris Perry
“I would like to see Chris put a little more wear and tear on his opponents if he's going to ride them for two minutes. I think he's still figuring out things right now. He's still not quite where I want him. He slips back into his habits from the last couple of years. It's a journey, and he's getting closer. He needs to be more focused on his takedowns. He can score points.”



On Oliver
“Jordan's a competitor. He's looking to score when people are on his legs. He's looking to score when he's down. He's looking to score when he's on top. He's competing the whole time. The more he does it, the closer he gets to where he wants to be.”

OSU 133-pounder Jordan Oliver
On his day
“There were two guys that I got to compete against here in Stillwater at the National Duals that I was looking forward to and getting excited about. I still have a lot to work on. Things I wasn't too pleased with is finishing strong through the third periods. In that second match, I kind of let the tempo get down. There's still things I need to work on to get better. March is a ways away. With a major decision, there's still room for improvement. There's tech falls and falls. There's finishing a third period strong besides having a good first and second period. It's something I need to work on, and I can get better.”

Minnesota Coach J Robinson
On keeping the intensity for two matches
“I think what we talked a lot about was just being ready there mentally, because there's very few times in your life you get a chance like this, and that's basically what I told the team is that, 'There's very few times in your life you're going to get a chance to be national champions, and the beauty of it is, it's all in your hands. So what you do in these next two matches define a lot, and the beauty of it, if you win, you get to keep it for the rest of your life. You just take it in stages.' Obviously, getting ready for Iowa, any time we wrestle Iowa, it's a battle. The way that Tom (Brands) and Terry (Brands) and all those guys coach, it's intense. It's an intense battle, but you focus on that no different than you're at the national tournament. You focus on that first round, then you focus on that second round. A lot of the things coaches say, they're true and they hold true every year, year in and year out. They never change. That's what we did. We came here to just focus on what we needed to do and just try to stay in that moment and it worked out pretty well.”

On beating Iowa and Oklahoma State after losing to them previously
“I think we started out the year, what we wanted to do is we wanted to find out where we were and what we had to do, and that was the whole object. We had wrestled No. 4 Cornell and then we wrestled Penn State and then we wrestled Oklahoma State. We looked at our schedule, I think at one time, by the time we got done, we would have wrestled, including us, eight of the top 10 guys. We wanted to see where we were and what we needed to do. This is one of the deals where it worked out the way it's supposed to work out. We're not there yet, and this is just kind of one step in where we want to be.”

On being the best dual meet team
“Here again, you have to be honest, in dual meets, yes. And that's the whole idea of this. That's the thing that people forget is that the difference in the Final Four in basketball or the Super Bowl, there's no more dual meets after this. So the best dual meet team in the nation right now is us. Not necessarily the best individual team. That will be decided at a later date, but that's the beauty of it. In high school, they have a dual meet champion and they have an individual. You have two towns celebrating championships, so what do you do? You have twice as many people excited about wrestling. That's the object. The difference, and I told our team today, today was a team effort. There's 10 guys. There's 10 guys that came here and won. You go to the national tournament, you only might qualify seven, so there's seven guys. Is that your team? No it's not your team, it's seven individuals. And I don't mean that bad, I'm just saying the beauty of this is there's a finality to it. The dual meet season is over. Now we go to the next thing.”

Illinois Coach Jim Heffernan
On the first match with Oklahoma State
“I think going in, we looked at 141, 157 and 197 as the matches we had to win to win the dual meet. We kind of gave away a little bit at 141 with about 34, 35 seconds left. We got taken down. We lost in overtime at 197, so that really changed the outcome. I think it was a pretty emotionally charged match, and I'm not so sure we didn't leave most of it in that dual meet, judging by the way we competed in the last match.”

On the format of the National Duals
“I do like the format. I think if there's more duals like Minnesota and Oklahoma State, Illinois and Oklahoma State and Illinois and Cornell last week, my feeling is this thing could really take off. To me that was really exciting. I think it was great for the fans and I like the idea of having a dual meet championship.”

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