Iowa State freshman Casey Swiderski (photo courtesy of Mark Lundy; LutteLens.com)
Welcome, all to a special Saturday edition of the mailbag! Sometimes I get tied up during the week but it's fully wrestling season now and I don't want to disappoint anyone. No ducking here. We take every challenge. I know you're anxious so let's get right to it.
What freshman do you think finishes the highest on the NCAA podium this year? Mat Jerms Media
That's an extremely difficult question to answer. We talking true freshmen or freshmen of various shirt colors? For argument's sake, we will use freshmen who were in high school last year. As much as I like Jesse Mendez, he's at a top-heavy weight with a ton of solid veterans to battle it out with for those last four spots. Brian Soldano is a threat to go nuts on the backside and pin everyone on his way to a nice finish, but 184 might be more top-heavy and mixed with solid veterans than 133. Casey Swiderski is the guy we're going with here. Heck, he might even win the damn thing. That weight is bonkers.
In the Iowa vs Iowa State dual: Yonder vs Warner. They didn't challenge a potential takedown for Warner which would have been worth two points, but they challenged immediately after for a headgear pull that was only worth one point. A close match could have been the difference. Your thoughts? The Kid Smoke Drip Costanza
I didn't get a chance to really pay close attention to the Cy-Hawk since I was watching on my phone while watching four other duals at the Garden State Grapple with my colleagues Earl B. Smith and Austin Sommer. Luckily I'm well-versed in watching multiple events at once. I assume the headgear pull was a little more clear than the takedown, so it was the smarter play to grab a point there instead of the risk of losing the challenge and giving Bastida choice. And it was a pull so it worked out in that moment. But man, how good is Bastida? The guy has only been doing folk for a few years and he's a national title contender. Maybe the favorite to win it. And he has two more years left!
If you could take one wrestler to train to be a center back who would you pick? Imagine Lavion mays or some stingy old-school Iowa wrestler like Jay Borschel. Tough to score on, I bet. The Kid Smoke Drip Costanza
Apparently, the kid also smoke multiple questions in one mailbag. I'm for it. I was 85% you meant soccer with this question, so I consulted with my soccer/wrestling ace in the hole @OldestGreatest and this is what he had to say:
â€œFor center back, you're looking for someone tall, decent athleticism, tenacious, and hard to score on. Borschel and Mayes are really good shouts. I'll say Mike Evans.â€
Well, there you have it. Another Iowa guy. Along those same lines, I'll throw Evan Wick into the mix. He seems to check all those boxes.
Who wins the World Cup in wrestling and in soccer? Rhino
I may get canceled for saying this, but I really have no interest in either Cup. Now if you want to talk about the various cups in Mario kart then I have all day for that. Good luck to all the men and women competing in Coralville this weekend. At least I can watch at a decent hour for once.
My question to Willie last week was is ISU's lineup the most geographically diverse in D1 wrestling? Billie Sims
I mean, it kind of has to be, right? Find me another team with wrestlers from such exotic locations like Hawaii, Cuba, and West Des Moines, Iowa. Not to mention a guy born in Russia and another from right there in Ames. Coach Dresser does things a little differently over there and he leaves no stone unturned when searching for talent.
Let's talk about the Campbell/UVA dual, too. Some of those matches were fire. Billie Sims
Also missed this on account of being at the GSG. See, this is why I don't go to events. I miss all the other events on TV that are exciting and I'm not a â€œgo back and watch it later: guy. Judging by the results, UVA 157 pounder Denton Spencer gets the MVP for getting the pin that made the difference in the final score and gave the Hoos the victory. Shoutout to Fair Lawn native Dylan Cedeno, while we're talking Virginia. He's from the town next to me where we used to have our district tournament every year.
When is the Big Baller Brand/Rudis/Jags collab dropping? Why is the media discriminating against the CEO's rankings? CEO of Italians
Ha, Big Baller Brand. Is that even still a thing? Shockingly, Rudis has not reached out to discuss a clothing line or Jagger documentary. Apparently, they are not into making money. Are you in the Ranker's Guild? You don't qualify for awards if you're not a member of the guild. The dues are 15 bucks a month but you have to pay yearly anyway unless you sign up through a different guild and switch your preference after that.
Alright, I've taken up enough of your time. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Rutgers-Princeton on Sunday. The Battle of New Jersey. I hear George Washington might even cross the Delaware again to watch this one.