Notebook: Brands pushing urgency


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At the Iowa wrestling squad’s media availability on Tuesday afternoon, head coach Tom Brands gave reporters an insight to his philosophy in regards to coaching athletes to rebound after subpar performances. Brand’s team traveled to Edinboro on Dec. 5 and muscled out a 22-19 win over the Fighting Scots — not quite the domination it was looking for.

Two Hawkeye starters lost their matches — Edinboro’s AJ Schopp won a 3-2 bout over Tony Ramos, and Mitchell Port pinned Josh Dziewa — and Brands said balance is key when dealing with his grapplers following performances of that nature.

“To me, the tough balance would be if you’re a raving lunatic because they don’t perform and, you know, higher than a kite when they do perform,” the eight-year Iowa head coach said. “That’s when you get in trouble a little bit, I think.”

While Brands said he isn’t worried about the way Ramos will respond, he noted that Dziewa might need a different form of coaching after his loss.

He said the junior has a tendency to roll onto his backside — “He got beat in the Big Tens sitting on his butt,” Brands said — which may make it easier for opponents to score points or falls on Dziewa. Brands and his staff are looking to make sure the situation doesn’t become a habit.

“It’s a situation where in the practice room you see it as a problem,” Brands said. “That’s where maybe the boot up the butt comes into play a little bit more.”

Ramos excited about Schopp rematch

Ramos lost his first matchup of the young 2013-14 campaign at Edinboro. The senior struggled with an opponent he had defeated handily — 9-0 with 1:26 of riding time — on Feb. 16.

Ramos struggled to shoot in on the lanky redshirt sophomore’s legs and didn’t control the match the way he would have liked to in order to pick up the victory.

“I let him stall around the mat, run away, run away, get his one takedown and then just hang on and win a 3-2 match,” the Carol Stream, Ill., native said.

All that does it make Ramos hungrier.

“The biggest thing is that I don’t have to wait that long to wrestle Schopp again,” he said. “I’ll probably get him again at Midlands [Dec. 29-30 in Evanston, Ill.], so that’s exciting, that’s motivating.”

Burak, Telford may crack lineup

Brands announced Tuesday that starters Nathan Burak and Bobby Telford may be in the lineup for the final meet before the highly anticipated Penn State dual on Dec. 21.

Telford, the No. 3 ranked heavyweight, has not wrestled in competition since the Luther Open on Nov. 16 when he tallied five pins in just 7:32 on the mat.

Burak, ranked 10th at 197 pounds, has not performed in competition in the 2013-14 season.

“I would say they’re both A-go,” Brands said. “It depends, I mean, they’re A-go, I’m saying they’re A-go. If they don’t go, then I guess they weren’t A-go.”

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