Brands Seeks Toughness from Iowa Team

The top ranked Iowa Wrestling team beat UNI 30-12 on Thursday night and improved to 10-0 on the 2008-2009 season in dual meets. But Head Coach Tom Brands was not in a very cheery mood after the match, and he feels that is team can get much tougher.

Q: Is this what you wanted to see out of your team on Saturday?

Tom Brands: Not really. Here is the thing, it comes down to not having technique, it comes down to not even skills, because we are very skilled. We have guys that can do the job. It really comes down to toughness. That is the biggest ingredient we need to work on. It's a concern. It's a concern, and it's happening more than once. Ballweg at 157, at Heavyweight, we have to iron that out. We are depending on those guys. Those guys are not going away from the lineup, they are the mainstays. They are going to have to get tough. So Morningstar's deal, you could make excuses that the referee missed the call, a penalty point. T here was a lot happening there, I am not down on Morningstar. He just needs to put it together when you have a guy on the ropes, their corner is playing games. That doesn't matter, because guys can't recover. You have corners playing games, that is a lightning rod for that competitor, and the guy is on the ropes and you have to put him down. Ryan has gotten better and he will learn from this. I am not quite sure if he wanted to go down, if he misunderstood my hands. I am not convinced he had to go both up unless that is his call. He can escape from that guy.

Q: How do you develop toughness?

Brands: I think we have to control more of what is going on in that environment. From a start to finish point of view. We have a coaching staff that is built on toughness. Right now, we are not controlling enough start to finish. When we start doing that, you will start seeing progress. Metcalf, he didn't miss a minute, he didn't miss a second. There is a correlation there. When we start controlling those workouts from start to finish, then I think we can control our destiny more there. A guy like Ereckson, there is no reason why he can't hammer out double legs and come off the bottom for seven minutes. He needs explosion.

Q: Did Ereckson's leg injury get in his head?

Brands: I don't know. You can't take two injury timeouts, come on. This is Division One wrestling. You have to know. You are giving points away. You are giving mentality away, you are giving points away, that is not how you compete.

Q: I guess now you know what you need to work on to get ready for The Midlands.

Brands: We have the Midlands coming up, that is a tough tournament. You are throwing guys into some tough competition, a lot of times in those deals you have to make your own breaks. Right now overall, we have some pretty doggone tough guys. We have a good nucleus, we just need to add to that. Did we lose four matches? That is unacceptable to me. It comes down to, in this sport…I am lecturing now, but you have to push it and we are not making the other guy blink. You have to do that. When he blinks you hammer him and put him down. That is what they were doing to us. He made us blink.

Q: Talk about Dan Dennis and the way he wrestled tonight.

Brands: Dan Dennis; good. He can be better. One thing with him is there is a lot of push, with pressure, but he is trying to penetrate off the push, and he is pushing the guy away and trying to penetrate at the same time. A good set up, you need a guy coming into you and stick his feet in the mat. It's more push, push, and getting extended. He needs to work on that timing a little bit. He wrestles hard, but he is out of position sometimes, he gave up a reversal and a take down. He still gets as major.

Q: Where are things right now, after last Saturday and tonight?

Brands: Here is the thing, you have ten individuals. It's a team win, but you have ten evaluations. There is a lot to analyze here. You are not seeing what you want to see, because what sticks with you is Charlie Falck, Brent Metcalf and Jay Borschell, and the forfeit at 184, that is not what you are thinking on this staff. You are thinking of Morningstar, a key match. That is positive there, I will say that. That guy didn't hold up in the all star meet, he struggled there. When you get a guy on the ropes, you put him away. There was a missed call there, and I can't talk about referees, but there was an illegal head scissors there in one of those scrambles. That locks you down. Moza Fay is good at slowing you down good. So I am making an excuse there for once in my life.


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