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Mizzou: Rest of Season Prognosis and Analysis

This 5300+ word analysis is for diehard Mizzou Tigerstyle Wrestling fans only. This covers key victories/losses, likely MAC, NCAA Qualification/Seeding analysis. You have to read this!

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February 1, 2019

As January comes to a close now seems like a good time to look at the season Missouri has had, as well as big potential matches that will affect seeding for the Tigers at MAC’s and at the national tournament.

Here I will go over key wins and losses, as well as upcoming match-ups and what these data points mean for Missouri heading into the closing stretch of the season.

Many wrestlers have more wins than I will have listed on their season tallies, but NCAA seeding only takes D1 bouts into account, so that is all I am focusing upon here.

All rankings utilized here will be from the first iteration of the Coaches Poll rankings, or from the MAC rankings provided by Flowrestling.

125

#21 Dack Punke (8-5)

Key Wins:

#18 Devin Schroder, Purdue (9-5)
#29 Jacob Schwarm, UNI (6-3)

Key Losses:
#5 Jack Mueller, UVA (Fall)
#11 Vitali Arajua, Cornell (4-2 SV1)
#20 Shakur Laney, Ohio (3-1 SV1)
#22 Drew Hildebrandt, CMU (4-2 SV1)

Ranked MAC Wrestlers: Likely Bids (4)
#16 Michael McGee, ODU
#20 Shakur Laney, Ohio
#21 Dack Punke, MIZZ
#22 Drew Hildebrandt, CMU
#32 Kyle Akins, UB

Upcoming bouts/ Potential upcoming bouts thoughts:
#10 Ryan Milhoff/ Brandon Courtney, ASU
#4 Nick Piccininni, OKST
#25 Alec Mackall, IAST

CONF
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#16 Michael McGee, ODU
#20 Shakur Laney, Ohio (0-1)
#22 Drew Hildebrandt, CMU (0-1)
#32 Kyle Akins, UB
Thoughts: Punke has a potential meatgrinder ahead of him. Milhoff is a past AA and Courtney is no slouch. Piccininni is likely a bridge too far at this juncture as well. He is slick on his feet and extremely tough from the top position. The match with Mackall is an interesting one as both he and Punke are gritty guys who scramble well and are tough to score on. That bout could be a big one for really cementing an at large bid for NCAA’s if he were to fall short at MAC’s. I project for Punke to lose to both Milhoff and Piccininni and to get a big win over Mackall.
Likely MAC/ NCAA Qualification/Seeding:
Laney has one win over McGee this season, but has matches with McGee, Hildebrandt and Akins left. McGee has wins over Akins and Hildebrandt already and has a big match looming with Laney on February 8th. Hildebrandt has Laney and Akins remaining on his slate. I look at conference seeding ending up something resembling this. Laney/ McGee are likely your top two seeds. I think Hildebrandt will defeat Akins and get the 3 and that Punke and Akins depending on results will be your four and five seeds and will meet in the first round of the MAC tournament. I like Punke to defeat Akins and earn a match with either Laney or McGee. He is right there with either guy, but I am predicting a loss and coming back and beating either Hildbrandt or Akins for third and clinching an automatic bid for the NCAA tournament.
The national tournament will seed all 33 competitors this season and if my prediction comes to pass Punke will likely be seeded somewhere between 18- 25. Punke likely needs the win over Mackall to secure himself from plummeting to the bottom of the top 30 here heading into MAC’s. With a limited season Punke needs to net some solid wins (Mackall, Akins, Hildebrandt, Laney, McGee) heading down the stretch. Punke would have a shot at an At- Large bid if he fails to qualify, but he would need most of the top guys to take care of business and hope for no injury defaults by top ranked wrestlers. I am 80% confident Punke will be an NCAA qualifier this season.

133

#10 John Erneste (13-3)

Key Wins:
#11 Montorie Bridges, WYO (10-4)
#13 Charles Tucker, CU (4-2)
#15 Korbin Myers, VT (6-2)
#17 Noah Gonser, CAM (Fall)
#23 Sean Nickel, CSUB (Fall)
#26 Louie Hayes, UVA (9-0)

Key Losses:
#6 Nick Suriano, RU (3-2)
#9 Ethan Lizak, MINN (7-3)
#20 Brandon Paetzell, LEH (5-2)

Ranked MAC Wrestlers: Likely Bids (2 or 3)
#10 John Erneste, MIZZ
#25 Mario Guillen, OHIO
#28 Derek Spann, UB

Upcoming bouts/ Potential upcoming bouts thoughts:
#24 Josiah Kline, ASU
#3 Daton Fix, OKST
#7 Austin Gomez, IAST
CONF
#25 Mario Guillen, OHIO
#28 Derek Spann, UB

Thoughts: Erneste has a couple big opportunities to bank some big wins for nationals seeding purposes. Erneste will be a solid favorite over Kline and also will be a favorite over Guillen and Spann come conference tournament time. I believe he wins those potential matches. The bout with Fix will be huge both in the frame of the dual and for seeding purposes. Erneste is long and tough on top. Stylistically he is an interesting match for Fix, both because Fix struggles with great top wrestlers and because he is the rare wrestler that can match Fix’s strength at this weight. I think Fix will get the win, but it is not a foregone conclusion. I like the match-up with Gomez even more, as his aggressive style plays into Erneste’s great counter game and I think Erneste will give Gomez fits on the mat. I am taking Erneste over Gomez for a big win.
Likely MAC/ NCAA Qualification/Seeding:
Erneste is likely to be seeded first in the MAC, but it likely does not matter where he is seeded as he is a solid favorite over the field. Guillen and Spann are tough and they will meet one another on February 17th to likely decide the two seed. If Erneste wins the MAC and beats Gomez as I am predicting his seed for NCAA’s will likely shoot up a bit and be around 7-10. If Erneste can defeat both Fix and Gomez and run the table he is likely seeded somewhere between 4-8. If Erneste drops the match with Gomez he is more likely to be seeded somewhere between 9-15. This weight is extremely open after #1 Stevan Micic, Michigan, so anything apart from an 8/9 seed is fairly desirable here. I would like to see Erneste go out as an All-American as he has been so close the past couple seasons.

141

#3 Jaydin Eierman (17-3)

Key Wins:
#4 Michael Carr, ILL (12-10)
#4 Michael Carr, ILL (5-2)
#5 Kanen Storr, MICH (3-2)
#13 Sa’Derrian Perry, ODU (Fall)
#22 Mitch Moore, VT (9-2)
#25 Nate Limmex, PUR (Fall)

Key Losses:
#1 Yianni Diakomihalis, CU (3-1)
#2 Joey McKenna, TOSU (6-2)
#6 Josh Alber, UNI (4-3)

Ranked MAC Wrestlers: Likely Bids (4)
#3 Jaydin Eierman, MIZZ
#11 Bryan Lantry, UB
#13 Sa’Derrian Perry, ODU
#23 Cam Kelly, OHIO

Upcoming bouts/ Potential upcoming bouts thoughts:
Cory Crooks, ASU (10-15)
#12 Kaid Brock, OKST
#15 Ian Parker, IAST
CONF
#11 Bryan Lantry, UB
#13 Sa’Derrian Perry, ODU (1-0)
#23 Cam Kelly, OHIO

Thoughts: Eierman has two big regular season bouts left. If he wins both of them and goes on to win the MAC he is likely to be the third seed at the national tournament. I believe that Eierman will eviscerate Crooks and beat both Brock and Parker fairly soundly. Eierman’s mat wrestling is an issue for Brock.

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