Tom Brands Opening Comment
We fell off of our horse and got back on…we feel good about it. We want to win a team title with 10 champions, or as close to that as we can have. We only had one champion. We want more than that, but the way these guys came back, that is how you win a team title. Where you are not where you want to be in the bracket, but you still have to perform and move forward. That is a testament. The other thing is is that these fans travel a long way to see a team title, see the guys wrestle for individual championships. For them, they are living and dying on every match. Even though we had one champ, there were a lot of positives with our guys on the back side of the bracket to give our fans something to cheer about and give them a reason to come on Sunday.
Q: Did you say anything to the team last night?
Tom Brands: I told them exactly what I told you, Miss. If you are a competitor and you feel like you have been wronged, right the wrong. Some of our guys are getting to the point where it's not as much fun. You have to make it fun. For it to be fun you have to put a lot of effort into your preparation.
Q: The guys said you didn't mention anything last night about winning the team title. What did you think of them today?
Brands: This is a carbon copy of a Gable coached team. I don't say that to pat myself on the back. That is about tradition, Gable's influence; it's alive. The way these guys came back, you have to talk about it. It's the story. The way Metcalf won in the finals is the story.
Q: Where does that come from?
Brands: Deep inside, how his mommy and daddy raised him. He is a great competitor.
Q: How big of a match was that to stem the tide?
Brands: It was a big match for team, but individual championships is our philosophy. Even the dual meet season, we talk about winning individual titles. If you don't believe you will be the individual national champion, you need to get on the same page as the coaches with this program. Guys are believing it and buying into it. He represented us at the highest standard. The way he won was a great testament to his guts. Head strength and guts.
Q: What kind of momentum does this give you going into St. Louis, the comeback you just had?
Brands: All positives are good because you can get to work a lot quicker on Monday. There is not a lot of time, but there is enough time to fine tune and get better.
Q: So you're not surprised by the way your guys came back?
Brands: We are at a high level, and we expect a lot out of these guys. They expect a lot out of themselves first and that is the key. I am not surprised because we have been able to bounce back, and we have bounced back on short turnaround and this was the shortest turnaround, daylight savings time. I am not surprised, but I wasn't into predictions. I told them to right that wrong, go out there and right that wrong.
Q: What can Mark Perry do to bounce back?
Brands: He will bounce back because he does. That is not how you want to wrestle, or not how this program wants to be represented. I am going to hold my tongue and we will build him. He has to think the right way starting now. If he can do that, he will be fine and he will do that. This was the second most important tournament in his season, that is how he looks at it. There was no energy out there. You have to have energy