The ranking system for Division II is based on tournament scoring. That is why a team like Drury with two ranked wrestlers is ranked the same as Indianapolis with six. They are projected to finish tied for 12th. Tournament rankings do not always make for the easiest dual predictions though. I could not pass up a chance though to make a prediction on the battle for 12th.
James Reynolds has been the only coach for Drury University wrestling since its inaugural 2016-17 season. The former UNO assistant helped found the program at Maryville and then took the reins of his own start-up. I expect big things from this young Panther team going forward in the next two seasons under tutelage. They have struggled to build a complete dual lineup so far and until they can gain experience or lure in more top tier talent that trend may continue. He has done a good job of building up individual talent and this season he has a shot at the program's first All-American. Reynolds brought wrestling back to southwest Missouri; now he works to build it up. Jason Warthan is building a legacy at the University of Indianapolis. He just led the Greyhounds to their second Super Regional title and will be looking for number three this season. Beyond that, he has helped build a team that has won three NWCA Academic National Championships in his 10 years at the helm. Division II is full of quality educational universities and Indianapolis has been one of the best under Warthan. This season he has a team that could not only compete for another Super Regional title, but might find a way to earn a team trophy at nationals as well. They currently have six individuals ranked and I could pick another two weights where they could qualify for nationals. I would love to see what they could accomplish in Cleveland with eight wrestlers headed to the tournament.
This will be a battle that will lean heavily towards the Greyhounds because of their depth. They are the better dual team. Look for Drury to work for an upset or two, but without their junior leader Jared Rennick in the lineup, they will be limited.
As always with our Dual of the Week, we’ll break down each matchup, what each team needs to do to win, make our predictions, and have the WrestleStat take on the dual as well.
#12 Drury vs. #12 Indianapolis
125: Clay Singh (DU) vs. DJ Smith (UI)
133: Jake Byrd or Chris Hansen (DU) vs. Ana Abduljelil (UI)
141: Peter Kuster (DU) vs. Angelo Robles (UI)
149: Seth Otis or Colin Harper (DU) vs. #8 Kyle Barkovich (UI)
157: #2 Blake Clevenger or Colin Harper (DU) vs. #12 Heath Lange or Blaze Lowry (UI)
165: Charley Genisio (DU) vs. #11 Sheldon Struble (UI)
174: Dylan Komperda (DU) vs. Gleason Mappes (UI)
184: Trenton Clines (DU) vs. #6 Brody Conner or Josiah Freeman (UI)
197: Dyland Ballew (DU) vs.#12 Brian Wagner (UI)
Hwt: Ben Melton or Cody Cornutt (DU) vs. #3 Dylan Faulkenberg (UI)
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