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Stat Corner Powered by WrestleStat: Points Per Minute Leaders

Stat Corner

Who has the most potent offense in NCAA Division I wrestling? I’m sure that a few names spring to mind, but it can be difficult to measure due to match ending falls and tech-falls.  You cannot simply tally up who has scored the most points on the mat and it doesn’t even work to figure points per bout.  In past Stat Corners Powered by WrestleStat, we’ve looked at who scores the most bonus points, but never before have we attempted to measure who puts points on the board with the greatest alacrity.  This can be a tricky proposition, though. Not all tournaments track statistics in a publicly available manner, making it impossible to tell how many points were scored by a wrestler before a fall or default occurred. There is no single site tracking this information for every match either.  Still, the missing pieces of data can be minimized with a little hard work and we can see just how the most dangerous wrestlers in Division I stack up in this regard.  For the most part, this statistic is pure. We figured out how many points a wrestler scored in each match, how long they wrestled measured by clock time, totaled that up and computed points per minute for all their matches this season.  The one caveat is that we added four nearfall to the total when a fall was recorded.  The thinking there was that anyone who records a pin would almost certainly record nearfall if the match didn’t end and the vast majority would get a full set. One notable exception would be falls that came when the winning wrestler was not in control. When that information was known, the nearfall was not awarded. Here is what we found for those who have wrestled at least eight matches this season.

Rank Name School Weight Points Time on Mat PPM
1 Jason Nolf Penn State 157 183 39:39 4.62
2 Seth Gross South Dakota State 133 189 54:34 3.46
3 Zain Retherford Penn State 149 171 49:44 3.44
4 Michael Kemerer Iowa 157 199 1:01:20 3.24
5 Spencer Lee Iowa 125 79 24:40 3.2
6 Bo Nickal Penn State 184 138 48:13 2.86
7 Myles Martin Ohio State 184 295 1:45:09 2.81
8 Austin DeSanto Drexel 133 273 1:37:59 2.79
9 Vincenzo Joseph Penn State 165 165 48:56 2.66
10 Chance Marsteller Lock Haven 165 165 1:56:01 2.59

Few who have seen Jason Nolf (Penn State) wrestle this season will be surprised to see him on top of this list, but his margin over everyone else is staggering.  With the fall points, he has outscored his outstanding teammate Zain Retherford despite being on the mat for 10 fewer minutes overall.  Seth Gross (South Dakota State), who didn’t have a single seven-minute match en route to a Midlands crown, splits the Nittany Lions and has outscored Nolf by six points, but needed nearly 15 additional minutes to do so.  Rounding out the top five are a couple of Hawkeyes, Michael Kemerer and the newly out of redshirt Spencer Lee. Kemerer is overshadowed a bit by having the incomparable Nolf at the same weight.  However, he wrestles at an impressively high pace himself and is always looking to score.  Lee has an incredible arsenal on top which often leads to nearfall in bunches.  His numbers are particularly impressive when you consider that he scored just one point in seven minutes, more than a quarter of his total time on the mat this season in his loss to Ronnie Bresser (Oregon State). In the rest of his bouts, he is scoring 4.42 PPM.

Seven of the 10 wrestlers who top the PPM charts are undefeated with the exceptions being Lee, Austin DeSanto (Drexel) and Chance Marsteller (Lock Haven).  DeSanto, the true freshman whose incredible pace and intensity are already making his matches must-watch affairs, has four losses, including a pair of shutouts, both against Jack Mueller (Virginia).  The man from Drexel is scoring 3.72 PPM in his victories.  Considering the average number of points scored by both wrestlers in matches featuring at least one DI competitor last season was between 9 and 9.5, the average PPM, when we consider the average match does not last a full seven minutes, is likely less than 1.00. These guys, who all score, on average, more than 18 points for every seven minutes they are on the mat are phenomenal.  This is more than just incredible offensive ability, it is an arsenal of weapons combined with a desire to push the action and light up the scoreboard.  When these 10 are on the mat, you can’t look away.  Why would you want to?

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