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Oklahoma State Wrestling

Oklahoma State Only Home Matches Left and John Smith Said That is What's Needed

February 9, 2024
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STILLWATER – All you need to do is look Oklahoma State wrestling head coach John Smith square in the eyes and you know that this is thr stretch drive of the season. The young wrestlers for OKlahoma State like red-shirt freshman 125-pound Troy Spratley, red-shirt freshman 141-pound Tagen Jamison, red-shirt freshman Jordan Williams at 149, and at 174 true freshman Brayden Thompson are a combined 53-19 and in the past eight duals, all against ranked teams including N.C. State and Iowa State both ranked No. 4 at the time and No. 5 Missouri, they are 19-8.

Rank NWCA Div. 1 Coaches Poll InterMat Dual Rankings
1. Penn State Penn State
2. Oklahoma State Oklahoma State
3. Iowa Iowa
4 Iowa State Nebraska
5. Nebraska Iowa State
6. Ohio State Ohio State
7. Missouri N.C. State
8. N.C. State Cornell
9. Michigan Michigan
10. Cornell Missouri
12. South Dakota State South Dakota State

That home stretch starts on Saturday night (Feb. 10) inside Gallagher-Iba Arena at 6 p.m. All three of the remaining duals on the schedule are at home. Easy? No, Smith says this team has been more comfortable on the road, so wrestling at home against good competition is the way to hone his team for postseason. 

Pokes Report
Smith has that postseason intensity building.

“You know we’ve wrestled our better dual meets on the road,” Smith said. “I think a lot of times...  distractions... exactly, but we need to change that. We’ve got Bedlam, we’ve got Iowa, and we’ve got the No. 10 team in the country (South Dakota State and actually No. 12) coming in here this weekend and they’re good. We need to stay focused and take it one week at a time.”

This has been a hard working team and the change this summer of hiring former Oklahoma State and Olympic wrestler and North Carolina head coach Coleman Scott back has helped with technique and probably mental focus too. Smith is happy with the unbeaten 12-0 record and perfect in Big 12 (6-0). He obviously, wants to finish that way, but then have this team ready to improve on what was a devastatingly disappointing 18th place finish last year in the NCAA and a two-year adsence of winning the Big 12 Conference postseason tournament. 

Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics
Coleman Scott has helped a lot of the wrestlers and Troy Spratley, this week’s Big 12 Wrestler of the Week is among them.

“Tournament scoring is way different than this, and we have to get better,” Smith said after complimenting this team on how hard they work in the wrestling room. “You act like a freshman and we are in trouble at the end. We need to build our confidence up as we are going through these next three weeks. We damn sure need to be improving on our takedowns. The three-point takedown is a game changer and that has got to happen.”

The Oklahoma State starting line up has registered a total of 163 takedowns, an average of 16.3 takedowns per wrestler. Fix and Plott lead the way with 31 takedowns each. Spratley leads the younger wrestlers in the line-up with 20. Smith wants scoring, but as always, he wants wrestlers somewhere other than on the mat. That can be standing or being on top of opponents. 

The one thing that I’ve been confident in throughout is our ability to give off the mat. If you can get off the mat you’ve got a chance to win any match.  If you can’t get up, one thing is it is going to be wear and tear on you physically and you are going to lose the mental approach to your match if you can’t get up.”

Get up and score will be the goal the rest of the way with the Jackrabbits kicking off the stretch run on Saturday night. There should be eight weights that will feature both wrestlers being ranked. and South Dakota State will be favored at both 174-and-197-pounds. 

Weight No. 2 Oklahoma State No. 12 South Dakota State Past
125 No. 11 Troy Spratley (17-4) No. 15 Tanner Jordan (19-5) Tied 1-1
133 No. 3 Daton Fix (10-0) No. 16 Derrick Cardinal (18-4) Fix 1-0
141 No. 8 Tagen Jamison (16-5) No. 24 Clay Carlson (8-4) Never Met
149

No. 16 Jordan Williams (11-5) or

Sammy Alvarez (15-5)

No. 18 Alex Martin (15-6) Never Met
157 No. 11 Teague Travis (15-3) No. 16 Cael Swenson (15-5) Never Met
165 No. 3 Izzak Olejnik (19-3) Tanner Cook (6-8) Olejnik leads 3-0
174 No. 20 Brayden Thompson(9-5) No. 4 Cade DeVos (16-1) Never Met
184 No. 2 Dustin Plott (21-2) No. 12 Bennett Berge (12-2) Never Met
197 No. 15 Luke Surber (10-2) No. 6 Tanner Sloan (15-1) Sloan leads 2-0
Hwt. No. 10 Konner Doucet (14-5) Luke Rasmussen (14-8) Never Met

 

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Oklahoma State Only Home Matches Left and John Smith Said That is What's Needed

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