Feb. 3, 2012
TEMPE - The Arizona State University wrestling team will wrap up the 2012 regular season this weekend as the squad hosts Stanford on Sunday, Feb. 5 at Wells Fargo Arena at noon MST. The event will also celebrate Senior Day for Eric Starks (174) and David Prado (125). The event will be the final conference dual of the season for the Sun Devils (6-10, 2-2 Pac-12) and the team will then look ahead to the Pac-12 Conference Championships, set to take place Feb. 26 in Boise, Idaho. The dual was rescheduled from 2 p.m. to Noon in an effort to increase fan support in conjunction with Sunday’s Super Bowl.
• ASU remains unranked on the season
• ASU victory over CSU Bakersfield was the first road win for ASU in over a year and the first Pac-12 road victory since the 2009-10 season.
• Levi Cooper leads the team with 21 victories on the season and just four dual losses
• Nathan Hoffer was the first member of the team to reach double digit is dual wins, earnng his 10th against Oklahoma State. He has since been joined by Levi Cooper and Shane McGough, who both have posted 10 wins now with Hoffer picking up his 11th against CSU Bakersfield
• Levi Cooper upset the top-ranked returning NCAA Champion in Zach Rey of Lehigh at the Northeast Duals
• Head Coach Shawn Charles is in his third season as head coach
• Redshirt freshman Shane McGough has logged 10 of his 15 victories this year with bonus points (6 falls, 3 majors, one tech fall)
• ASU is 8-3-0 in the series against Stanford, but has lost three of the last four
• The Sun Devils return one All-American this season in heavyweight Levi Cooper
• Cooper (HWT) is the only Sun Devil ranked by all of the major ranking services
• Seventeen Sun Devils have experienced their first collegiate action this season, representing the overwhelming majority of competitors thus far
IN THE RANKINGS - TEAM
The Sun Devils entered the season unranked for the first time since the 2008-09 season. This comes despite finishing sixth at the NCAA Championships last year, though the loss of national champions Anthony Robles and Bubba Jenkins and the very young team the Sun Devils will be fielding are likely to blame for their omittance. The team did not receive any votes in the most recent NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
Seven opponents on ASU’s 2011-12 schedule can be found within the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll that was released earlier this week, with the Sun Devils losing all seven. The team fell to #1 Oklahoma State and #10 Oklahoma two weekends ago and lost to #14 Lehigh, #18 Binghamtom, #7 Nebraska and #16 Oregon State and #25 Old Dominion earlier this season, though they did beat Penn who, while unranked now, was #20 at the time.
IN THE RANKINGS - INDIVIDUAL
Returning All-American Levi Cooper is the only Sun Devil consistently ranked by all of the major ranking services, and did himself a huge favor in upsetting former No. 1 Zach Rey at the Northeast Duals. The victory rocketed Cooper from the mid-teens in most rankings to the top-10 across the board, peaking at No. 4 by The Open Mat. Cooper got back into the win category after getting swept in Oklahoma with a pin against Bakersfield’s Frankie Hurtado and he sits at #9 in the Amateur Wrestling News rankings.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION: Stanford
Arizona State holds the series edge against the Cardinal with an 8-3 all-time record, but has lost three of the last four contests. Stanford (8-6, 3-1 Pac-12) is led by Nick Amuchastegui, a senoior currently ranked No. 1 in the nation at 174 pounds and last year’s NCAA runner-up at the weight class. Ryan Mango is the only other Cardinal ranked, coming in at No. 5 at 125 pounds.
A LOOK BACK: Cal Poly/CSU Bakersfield
A shorthanded Sun Devil squad couldn’t keep up with Cal Poly in last weekend’s Pac-12 road opener. The Sun Devils dropped the dual 26-11 though it should be noted that the team was without four of its typical starters, including the team’s leader in wins, Levi Cooper. ASU bounced back though and ended am eight-match losing skid with a victory against CSU Bakersfield on Sunday, 25-17. It was ASU’s first true road victory since November 13, 2010 and first Pac-12 road win since January 3, 2010.