Jan. 14, 2014
• Spotlight: Brian Murphy
Friday, Jan. 17 -- at No. 11 Illinois (Champaign, Ill.), 7 p.m. CST
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Sunday, Jan. 19 -- vs. No. 2 Minnesota (Cliff Keen Arena), 2 p.m.
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The No. 19-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (5-2, 1-0 Big Ten) will continue Big Ten competition next weekend with dual slates against No. 11 Illinois and No. 2 Minnesota. U-M will travel to Champaign, Ill., on Friday (Jan. 17) for a 7 p.m. CST match against the Fighting Illini (6-3, 0-2 Big Ten) at Huff Hall before returning home to face the Golden Gophers (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) on Sunday (Feb. 19) in a 2 p.m. contest at Cliff Keen Arena.
Michigan's Projected Lineup
||Hometown (High School)
||Parma, Mich. (Mason)
||Lowell, Mass. (Blair Academy)
||Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)
||Portage, Mich. (Central)
||Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)
||Carol Stream, Ill. (Glenbard North)
||Hesperia, Mich. (Hesperia)
||Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
||Gates Mills, Ohio (St. Edward HS)
||West Bloomfield, Mich. (West Bloomfield)
||Fowlerville, Mich. (Fowlerville)
The Wolverines have claimed seven individual wins in each of their last three dual meets. Michigan also owns at least one bonus win in every dual this season.
Freshman Adam Coon boasts a perfect 21-0 record and has surged to No. 2 in the national heavyweight rankings. His 21-0 record stands as the best start for a Wolverine true freshman in program history, topping Kellen Russell's 18-0 start in 2007-08. Coon is 7-0 against nationally ranked wrestlers this season, including a 5-0 mark against heavyweights currently ranked among the nation's top six.
Coon will likely face Minnesota's two-time defending NCAA champion Tony Nelson in Sunday's home dual. The pair occupies the top two heavyweight rankings in most national polls, with Coon listed No. 1 by InterMat and Amateur Wrestling News and Nelson listed No. 1 by WIN magazine and Flowrestling. It is the first 1-2 matchup featuring a Wolverine wrestler since No. 1 Kellen Russell defeated Cal Poly's No. 2 Boris Novachkov, 2-2 TB3, in the wrestlebacks of the 2011 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Coon also owns a perfect 7-0 dual record. Fellow freshman Brian Murphy is also undefeated in dual-meet competition with a 2-0 mark.
Five Wolverines earned their first Big Ten dual victory in U-M's conference opener against Purdue (Jan. 10): sophomore/freshman Conor Youtsey (125 pounds), freshman Brian Murphy (157), senior/junior Collin Zeerip (174), freshman Domenic Abounader (184) and freshman Adam Coon (Hwt).
Michigan placed a pair of 125-pound wrestlers at the Midlands Championships (Dec. 29-30) as fifth-year senior Sean Boyle claimed fifth place, and sophomore/freshman Conor Youtsey took eighth. Without an attached 165-pound representative, U-M scored both 125 pounders. Boyle, a two-time NCAA qualifier, also placed at three open tournament appearances this season.
Fifth-year senior Dan Yates earned a decision win against Purdue (Jan. 10) to up his career record to 105-41 and move to 29th among U-M's all-time career wins leaders, where he is tied with Anthony Biondo (2008-11).
Michigan has had six different wrestlers make their varsity debuts this season. All six -- freshmen Adam Coon, Brian Murphy and Domenic Abounader, sophomore/freshmen Conor Youtsey and Angelo Latora and junior/sophomore Ben Ralston -- all claimed their first varsity win in first-semester action.
U-M Individual Rankings
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Illinois -- The Fighting Illini enter the weekend with a 6-3 season record and are 0-2 in Big Ten competition after dropping an 18-16 decision to Ohio State in their latest outing last Sunday (Jan. 12). Illinois appeared at the Midlands Championship two weekends prior, taking fourth place behind five placewinners. The Illini are led by seven nationally ranked wrestlers, most notably No. 4 Jesse Delgado (125 pounds) and No. 4 Mario Gonzalez (197). Michigan owns a 41-25-1 advantage in the all-time series against Illinois but has lost the last two meetings, including a 31-9 defeat in the most-recent head-to-head in 2011-12.
Minnesota -- The Golden Gophers are 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in Big Ten competition, most recently knocking off Northwestern (26-12, Jan. 10) and Wisconsin (28-6, Jan. 12) last weekend. Eight Gopher wrestlers are ranked among the top 10 nationally at their respective weight, including No. 1 Scott Schiller (197 pounds), No. 2 Nick Dardanes (149) and No. 2 Tony Nelson (Hwt). Michigan narrowly leads the all-time series against Minnesota, 30-29-2, but has lost the last three meetings, including a 23-15 decision in the most-recent matchup in 2001-12.
LAST TIME OUT
The Wolverines opened their Big Ten dual season in dominant fashion, claiming seven individual matches en route to a 22-12 win over Purdue last Friday (Jan. 10). U-M won the first and final bouts and five straight in the middle, pulling away from the Boilermakers after the intermission break. [ Full Recap ]
Friday, Jan. 24 -- vs. Michigan State (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.