2015-16 UNI Preview (165-285)

As was promised yesterday, here’s the second half of the UNI lineup. Again, there isn’t any conference breakdown because I’ll be breaking down each squad in the conference and then posting a separate article on how UNI stacks up with them. And again I’d like to say that this isn’t necessarily where I see everything playing out at the end of the year, just to start things off. On with the second half!

Cooper Moore165: Cooper Moore (Junior)

Credentials: 2014 NCAA Qualifier, 2014 MAC Champion, 21-3 as a sophomore, 2015 MAC Champion, 2015 NCAA Qualifier

Challenger: None

165 is pretty simple: This is Cooper Moore’s weight. Last year Moore was hurt in one of the first duals of the year (at Purdue), and instead of bumping up another guy, or pulling the redshirt on true freshman Drew Foster, Schwab opted to simply forfeit the weight for three straight duals (all of which were losses). Moore came back from injury, probably earlier than he should have, with a huge brace on his elbow, but still racked up wins. Moore pretty much ran through the MAC, avenging his only regular-season conference loss with a 7-1 win over Old Dominion’s Tristan Warner in the MAC Championship. The Panther also earned two wins by pinfall in the NCAA tournament, the first over Purdue’s Pat Robinson and the second over the four seeded Nick Sulzer from Virginia. He dropped his next two matches to fall one win short of becoming an All-American. Coming into the year Moore has been ranked sixth by Flo, and he will look to come back healthy and ready to defend his MAC title and improve on his national ranking.

UNI's Curt Maas looks for an opening against Oho's Cody Walters at the 2014 MAC Championship

UNI’s Curt Maas looks for an opening against Oho’s Cody Walters at the 2014 MAC Championship

174: Curt Maas (Junior)

Credentials: 2015 NWCA All-Academic, 2015 Academic All-MAC, 19-12 as a sophomore.

Challenger: Kyle Lux, Jacob Holschlag, Isaiah Patten, Taylor Lujan

174 is one of those weights where fans might want to see another true freshman crack the lineup. Maas got off to a good start last year, at one point he had a 17-3 record, but limped to the finish line, dropping 9 of his last 11 matches including going 0-2 at the MAC Championships. Maas has a good forward motion, but needs to develop another shot or two that he knows he can hit when he needs to score points. The dual against Virginia Tech’s Epperly comes to mind from last year; Maas had Epperly backing up quite a bit during the match, but couldn’t get in on a shot for a score.

Kyle Lux may also be in the mix here, with some question on whether or not he bumps up to 184 full time, as he did for at least half the season last year. Lux was listed as a possible wrestler for 174 pounds as late as the aforementioned Virginia Tech dual, which was mid January of last year, so I think he could go either way to start the 2015-16 season. As for the freshman, I’m going to hold off on naming one of them a starter until I actually see how they wrestle, especially with how challenging it can be adjusting to the college game, namely being on bottom.

184: Cody Caldwell (Senior)

Credentials: 2014 NCAA Qualifier, 4th at 174 pounds at 2014 MAC Championship, 14-8 his junior year, 5th at 184 pounds at 2015 MAC Championship.

Challenger: Kyle Lux, Adam Drain

This is a weight that UNI, similar to 165 (and 125 and HWT), that pretty much has one guy at. Caldwell was hurt for most of the season last year, and I look for him to come back healthy and hungry against some MAC competition. Caldwell is looking to build on his 2014 NCAA qualifying year, and hopefully building up a little bit more to fill out at 184 pounds. I think that Caldwell needs to develop a shot that he knows he can score on, similar to Maas at 174. He’ll get an opponent backing up but can’t finish and give up a score. Obviously being healthy will solve a lot of problems for him, and his injury last year probably hindered him a lot more than we know.

The other name at 184 that could see some action (if Lux does stay down at 174, or just doesn’t wrestle up) is Adam Drain. The redshirt freshman from Mediapolis, IA had the most pinfall victories on the squad last year with 11. Although he never won an open tournament, he did place third at the Grand View Open and was 18-9 overall while wrestling unattached This included splitting a pair of matches with Iowa’s current redshirt freshman Mitch Bowman . Drain couldn’t beat Caldwell at the UNI Open however, so we’ll see how much he has improved since their match last December.

197: Jared Bartel (Junior)

Credentials: 6th at 2014 MAC Championships, went 12-7 as a Junior.

Challenger: Cody Krumwiede

197 is a bit of a toss-up for the Panthers. With no returning starter (Basil Minto graduated last year) there is opportunity for both Bartel and Krumwiede. I’m giving the nod to Bartel, at least early on in the year, because of the staff’s confidence in him two years ago to get the job done at the MAC Championship which Minto didn’t wrestle. Bartel won just two matches there, dropping to 6th in the process, but that’s still two more wins than anybody else, including Krumwiede, has on the current roster.

I haven’t seen either of these guys wrestle a heck of a lot, but I did see them both take on Pat Downey, formerly of Iowa Central Community College and now with Iowa State, in separate matches last year. Krumwiede faced him at the UNI Open, dropping a major decision. Bartel went against Downey in the dual against ICCC, with Downey coming out on top 9-4. Bartel was also the only other 197 man on the roster to defeat Minto last year. If Bartel can grab a hold of the weight, that would mean UNI would probably get two solid years out of him.

Cabell vs Mellon285: Blaize Cabell (Senior)

Credentials: 2014 MAC Third Place, 2014 NCAA Qualifier, went 28-7 as a junior, 2015 MAC Runner-up, NCAA Qualifier

Challenger: None

This is one of UNI’s big three weights, along with 125 and 165, to be locked up by a returning starter. Cabell was disappointed last year when he took second to Missouri’s Devin Mellon, whom Cabell had defeated twice before the MAC Championships. Cabell also notched two big wins against Virginia Tech’s Ty Walz, the second of which came in the NCAA Tournament.
Cabell can be great when he’s on his offense – he probably shoots more than any other three heavyweights combined – but he still needs some help on moving opponents who are bigger than he is. While Cabell is a big, strong wrestler, there are some opponents who will simply be bigger than he is. There’s no better example than last year when Cabell fell to Iowa’s Bobby Telford in the NCAA Championship: Cabell could not move the much bigger Iowa wrestler, and after getting taken down was ridden out for most of the match. The South Dakota State transfer – J.J. Everard – must take a redshirt season this year before officially competing. Everard will be a great addition to the room though, and will continue to push Cabell to find his offense.

What do you think of the full lineup? Does UNI make a move anywhere with a true freshman? Let me know what you think in the comments below, or let me know on the Twitter, I’m @Nic_Ryder. We want to hear from you guys on where you think everybody goes!

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