Monday press conference: Barry Davis

Wisconsin wrestling coach discussed upcoming matches with Northern Iowa and Northern Illinois

Audio file 1 (3:43)

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Opening statement

"Things have gone well so far. Actually we've already had one Big Ten match with Penn State. We beat them 19-15 out at Penn State. This weekend we're going to have another, No. 20 Northern Illinois, No. 24 Northern Illinois and No. 20 Northern Iowa. But these are going to be some real key match-ups in these dual meets. You've got some highly ranked guys I guess competing against each other."

"Actually I think Northern Illinois will be a better match-up for us than Northern Iowa, just from the match-ups on the mat. And also we have a live web cast. Thanks, Dan, for that. I appreciate that very much . . . Tam Flarup, for all our home duals. And you can go to at 2 p.m. our dual will be live on live web cast. So it's been a great thing for us as far as, you know, parents out of state, recruiting-wise, everything. So it''s been really good."

I know you were hoping that eventually your youngsters would improve and grow a little bit. Are you seeing that out of your squad right now?

"Yeah, a lot of the young kids are stepping up right now. And so, actually we had a few injuries, we had to throw a few other young guys in there, but the class from two years ago is doing very good. They've stepped up well for us. Craig Henning and Dallas Herbst as well as Kyle Massey, actually all three of those guys are ranked. And I think two of them are ranked in the Top 10 right now. So they've done a very good job and it's created a lot more competition . . . and it shows the way we're competing right now."

Do you look at the national rankings from a team perspective, Barry? I mean, is it legit that you're 8th in the country?

"One poll we're 8th, one poll we're 15th. So, you know, I don't really look at that. I look at how the guys are developing throughout the year. That's the key thing, keep them focused. As long as we're developing our athletes, I think that team thing will take care of itself."

Like in baseball they talk about hitting being contagious. You talked about the class from two years ago, are they feeding off each other? Do you think that their success is driving each other?

"Yeah, I think so. You know, they're very competitive and they're trying to find a way in the lineup that way, and that just creates more competition. And, you know, you've got a guy like Henning and Dallas Herbst and Kyle Massey doing so well, other guys see that and they want to be in the lineup as well too. So, yeah, it's created more competition all the way around for us. So it's been a positive."

Just looking at your schedule, it's going to get pretty hot and heavy at the end of January too, so I would assume that these matches and what you have to come prior to that are very important just to get ready for that.

"Oh, yeah. I mean, we've got, you know, two ranked teams coming up, and things are going very well right now. Like I told the guys this last week after the Vegas tournament that, you know, we've got two big dual meets coming up, one away, one home.

"After that, us coaches will get together and evaluate things, and they have to evaluate themselves and get there as a team and individuals and everybody at one time before the second half of the season. So we can't afford to let down now, but, yeah, obviously things get a lot tougher starting in January with Big Ten competition coming up."

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