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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    Mason Parris 2022-23 Season Stats

    Mason Parris in the 2023 NCAA finals (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)

    After two of the Hodge trophy favorites failed to bring home national titles, Michigan heavyweight Mason Parris emerged as one of the key favorites for the annual award.

    While he got it done at the NCAA tournament to claim his first title, he was equally dominant throughout the season. The following looks at his statistical accomplishments that contributed greatly to his Hodge trophy resume.


    Takedown dominance was a big part of Parris’ approach during the season. He scored 101 takedowns, and he was only taken down five times. He averaged 1.79 match points per minute with 202 of his 322 points coming via takedowns (63%). Parris’ season high for takedowns came in his bout against Bryan Caves in Michigan’s dual against in-state rival Central Michigan. In the match, Parris was able to notch nine takedowns before ultimately winning the bout via a 20-7 major decision.

    Only four wrestlers were able to score takedowns against Parris. Konner Doucet (Oklahoma State), Taye Ghadiali (Campbell) and Trent Hillger (Wisconsin) each managed to score a single takedown before ultimately dropping the match. Iowa’s Tony Cassioppi actually picked up a pair of takedowns during his upset bid at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Parris ended up securing the 9-7 decision victory in that match and won a rematch at the NCAA tournament by a 16-1 technical fall in the second period.

    Riding Time

    One of the more noticeable improvements that Parris made over the course of his collegiate career was his riding ability. He appeared to be a natural in the neutral position from the jump, but he grew into a gritty top control wrestler, and that paid off during his senior season.
    Of Parris’ 33 matches on the season, only 19 went the full seven minutes. Of those 19 matches, Parris was able to secure the riding time in 16. The only three matches where he was not able to collect the riding time came against Penn State’s Greg Kerkvliet (twice) and Northwestern’s Lucas Davison. Interestingly enough, he faced off against both of those opponents at the NCAA tournament, and in both of those rematches, Parris locked in the riding time point.

    Near Fall

    Obviously, Parris was not just riding for the sake of being on top, he also was able to rack up near-fall points during the season. He scored 56 of his 322 points via turns (17%), but he might have actually left some points on the table. Of his 18 near falls scores during the season, eight did not reach the full four count, and he had to settle for only two points. If the referees had been a little bit quicker on the count, Parris could have been looking at 72 near-fall points in his 33 matches.

    Points Against

    During the season, Parris allowed his opponents to score 80 points against him at a 0.44 points per minute rate. However, the vast majority of the points allowed by Parris were escapes. Eliminating escapes, he allowed his opponents to score only 20 points in 33 matches.

    As previously stated, he allowed five takedowns during his final campaign. His opponents also managed to score a pair of reversals (one by Davison and another by Wyatt Hendrickson of Air Force), four penalty/stalling points and one two-point near fall.

    The near fall points also came against Hendrickson, who finished third at the NCAA tournament to become Air Force’s first All-American since 2003. The match happened at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Hendrickson started the third period on top and was able to collect the near-fall points. However, Parris then reversed the position and won a 12-5 decision.
    While Parris only allowing 20 non-escape points in a season is rather impressive, it also highlights just how dominant Gable Steveson was during his Hodge campaign last season. Excluding escapes, the former Minnesota wrestler allowed only three points during the 2021-2022 season. Interestingly enough, one of those points was scored by Parris due to an unnecessary roughness penalty.

    Point Differential vs. Other Hodge Candidates

    For the season, Parris averaged 1.79 points per minute and allowed his opponents only 0.44 points per minute. This leaves him with a +1.35 point differential. While this is a very impressive point differential for an entire season of college wrestling, it is not the highest of the Hodge finalists. In fact, it ranks fourth behind Northern Colorado’s Andrew Alirez (+1.41), Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis (+1.38) and Penn State’s Aaron Brooks (+1.38).

    Obviously, this is somewhat impacted by the number of matches that Parris won by fall. By finishing matches early, wrestlers do not give themselves time to score more points. Also, wrestlers who spend time working for the fall often do so in favor of running up the score.

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