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Oklahoma State wrestling: 5 things to watch vs. No. 12 Princeton

Nick Piccininni and Dakota Geer will have matches against top-five ranked opponents.

2019 NCAA Div I Wrestling Championships Session One Photo by Hunter Martin/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The No. 9-ranked Oklahoma State wrestling team will face their third consecutive top-15 opponent Friday when they host No. 12 Princeton at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Both teams didn’t have a dual during Thanksgiving week. The week prior, the Cowboys (2-1) rebounded from their first loss of the season with a 21-12 victory over then-No. 12 Minnesota, while Princeton (1-0) defeated then-No. 7 Lehigh 18-14. OSU fell to the Mountain Hawks 21-10 on the third criteria.

The Cowboys only have one dual this weekend, while the Tigers have two as they’ll head back to New Jersey for a home dual Sunday against No. 1 Iowa.

Here are five things to watch Friday night:

Start fast

Smith has expressed his concerns about his team’s inability to score the first takedown or a first-period takedown in general. The Cowboys have shown their resiliency and conditioning late in matches to overcome that, but scoring first certainly isn’t going to hurt them especially the younger wrestlers.

All Piccininni, no Glory

No. 3 Nick Piccininni and No. 4 Pat Glory met three times last season at 125 pounds, and the Cowboy won all three highlighted by a pin at the NCAA Championship. Glory was the superior wrestler on his feet, but once the action was taken to the mat Piccininni pulled away. Both wrestlers enter the match undefeated this season, with Piccininni having two of his three dual wins by bonus points.

Gfeller’s possible season debut

The Cowboys could get one starter back in the lineup with No. 11 Kaden Gfeller at 141 pounds, while No. 6 Joe Smith remains out at 174 due to a weight cut. If Gfeller is unavailable, redshirt junior Dusty Hone will go. Hone has dropped his last two matches. Redshirt senior Andrew Shomers, who is a natural 165 pounder, has also lost his last two matches.

Note: This will be something to watch until it happens.

Legacy showdown

The sons of two OSU legends will grapple at 157, with OSU’s Wyatt Sheets (son of Mike Sheets) and No. 9 Quincy Monday (son of Kenny Monday). Mike won back-to-back NCAA titles in 1983 and ’84, while Monday also took home a NCAA title in ’84 before winning gold at the ’88 Olympics and silver in ’92.

Wyatt lost to Lehigh’s Josh Humphreys by a 16-2 major decision, while Quincy has two wins against Humphreys (11-5, 8-6 decisions).

Dakota Geer’s first test

Geer, ranked No. 6, appears to be staying at 197, and where he stands among the top tier at that weight will be tested when he faces No. 2 Patrick Brucki. Geer lost 8-4 to Brucki in last season’s dual, but didn’t meet at NCAAs after Geer dropped down to 184 upon OSU teammate Preston Weigel’s return from injury. Brucki, who fell by decision to Weigel in the third-place match at NCAAs, is 2-0 this season but should still be a good match for Geer.

BONUS: OSU football OC Sean Gleeson?

Gleeson came to OSU from Princeton, where he spent six years and went undefeated during the 2018 football season. Former Princeton wrestler Max Rogers reached out to CRFF and said Gleeson is childhood friends with Princeton associated head wrestling coach Joe Dubuque.

Here’s some fun insight from Rogers to CRFF:

“Favorite story about them is Dubuque, who is probably 5-foot-3 on a good day, used to be taller than Gleeson in middle school when they played football together before he had a major growth spurt and now stands probably a foot taller.”


Lineups

125: No. 3 Nick Piccininni (6-0) vs. No. 4 Pat Glory (5-0)

133: Reece Witcraft (5-1) vs. Sean Pierson (2-3)

141: No. 11 Kaden Gfeller (0-0)/Dusty Hone (3-2) vs. Marshall Keller (5-2)

149: No. 4 Boo Lewallen (7-0) vs. No. 14 Mike D’Angelo (4-0)

157: Wyatt Sheets (4-1) vs. No. 9 Quincy Monday (5-1)

165: No. 14 Travis Wittlake (7-0) vs. Grant Cuomo (6-1)

174: Andrew Shomers (3-3) vs. Kevin Parker (0-1)

184: Anthony Montalvo (4-1) vs. Travis Stefanik (0-1)

197: No. 6 Dakota Geer (6-0) vs. No. 2 Patrick Brucki (2-0)

285: Austin Harris (1-3) vs. Aiden Conner (0-3)


How to watch

What: No. 12 Princeton (1-0, 1-0 EIWA) at No. 9 Oklahoma State (2-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater

Live stream: Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Radio: Hot 93.7 KSPI-FM