Coaches: John Stutzman, Scott Owen
TWT's All-American Questions:
1) What was the biggest strength for your team at this year's NCAA wrestling tournament?
Matt Moley. All kidding aside, our athletes came to compete as hard as they could. Win, lose or draw we can count on our athletes to compete with intensity and the belief they can beat anyone in the country.
2) What was the biggest weakness/struggle your team had leading up to the tournament?
Ability to get off the bottom when it really matters. A huge separator at the Division I level is top/bottom wrestling. Being able to ride and escape when it matters. I?m not a fan of riding time but it is an important part of collegiate wrestling. You have to be able to escape when it matters and ride when it matters. There were a lot of 2-1 matches where riding time was the difference.
3) How will your performance at this year's National tournament effect your recruiting?
Our performance at NCAA?s will benefit us recruiting wise. Bloomsburg has had at least one All-American the past three seasons. That is the standard we as a team are demanding of our athletes and our recruits. Recruits want to go somewhere they can achieve their goals. It?s been shown it can happen at Bloomsburg.
4) At the D1 level, what do you think of the new qualifying system? Should it be adapted to all other levels?
There are benefits but I feel the cons outweigh the pros.
-The system for the most part selected the most qualified wrestlers to compete in the NCAA tourney. No system is perfect and I?m sure there were some individuals who should have been selected that weren?t. But rewarding athletes based on the current year stats seems to be a more rational way to select NCAA participants.
-The ACC had a great year. This system may attract wrestlers in the future to this conference.
-The new system has hampered smaller, less competitive conferences (I mean less competitive in comparison to the BIG 10/12). The PAC 10 and West Region were KILLED by this system. The goal the new system was set to achieve was to send the most able and qualified wrestlers to the NCAA tourney. This in theory is the most rational and fair way to go about things. But what is over looked is the fact that we are a dying sport. We need representation from ACROSS the country not just the Midwest with the BIG 10 and 12. This has to be a consideration when determining NCAA qualifiers. The question becomes at what point do we risk our sport further to ensure ?on-the-bubble? wrestlers make it to the NCAA tourney. If we weren?t wrestling, a sport that is slowly fading away, this system would be great. But the wrestling community does not have that luxury. We have to do all we can to promote the success of our sport. And that may mean at times that not all the most qualified wrestlers make the NCAA tourney. Your studs will always be there.
-Along that same line of thought, schools and conferences that begin sending fewer and fewer wrestlers/teams to the NCAA tourney will no doubt begin to lose confidence and faith amongst their college athletic departments and athletic directors. This gives them just another reason to either cut funding or cut the team all together. Some will argue, ?If you want to get more qualifiers, recruit harder. Recruit better. Coach better.? The misconception is that every team is given an equal chance to succeed. But probably less than half the teams we have right now are fully-funded. The expectation to compete with the big guns is almost impossible when provided half the staff, half the funding and half the facilities provided them. The Big 10 teams had better win. The Big 12 teams had better win. They are provided every opportunity. Give every team equal funding, equal staff, equal facilities then that argument would hold water. Until then, if we want to save wrestling, consideration needs to be given to the fact that not every team is given every opportunity to succeed.
-What the new system has done in effect is take away the emphasis placed on the Conference tournament. The conference tournament and NCAA tourney are what really matter when it comes down to it. You have to be able to peak at the end of the year as well as wrestle consistently throughout the season . Not just in January. Wrestlers now don?t have to show-up and PERFORM and compete when it really matters. A gold-standard wrestler can fall flat on his face in his conference and still make it the NCAA tourney. This is not a good precedent to set and allows too many chances for wrestlers who don?t show up and compete when it COUNTS.
5) If you could change one thing about the National tournament for your team, what would it be?
-No point in really pondering this too much. What?s done is done. We didn?t get the greatest draws at the tourney but that?s life. You have to be able to play the hand you?re dealt.
-We as a team need to be ready for the initial intensity of each match. Sometimes our guys wait too long to get started. When the whistle blows there?s no time to waste. We need to be ready to attack early.
6) How do you plan on improving your workouts, conditioning, and recruits to improve on your performance this season?
-Will probably spend more time individually next season. It is good to have a TEAM style but in the end every individual is different with different abilities, strengths and weaknesses.
-Recruiting good student-athletes. Wrestlers who keep good grades generally have focus in their life. They keep organized and have a direction they want to head. Having these attributes positively affects what they are able to do in practice and in competition. They are prepared and ready.
-Conditioning is usually not an issue. We train our team hard and expect 7 minutes of hard wrestling; win, lose or draw.
7) What did you feel you struggled with the most throughout the year? How will you fix it next season?
-Balancing between over training and under training. You always want your wrestlers to compete for 7 minutes as hard as they can. But you also have to know when to back off so they compete at their optimum.
-Dealing with the lack of depth in our room. Hard to get multiple looks from different wrestlers when depth is limited.
8) If you had to pick one defining moment for your team at the NCAA's, what would it be?
Matt Moley ? 2x All-American for Bloomsburg University. Has one year left.