By Jim Carlson | Special to PennLive
on December 09, 2014 at 4:46 PM, updated December 09, 2014 at 4:52 PM
Maryland wrestling will benefit from Big Ten, Penn State’s Cael Sanderson says — PSU notebook
Penn State wrestler Matt Brown No 2 at 174 pounds; Lions climb in tournament rankings — wrestling notebook
Penn State crowns 5 tournament champs; Matt Brown tops Bo Nickal in finals at 174 pounds
A capsule glance at Sunday’s Nittany Lion Open wrestling tournament at Rec Hall
Progress is what Cael Sanderson wants to see from Penn State wrestlers at Sunday’s Nittany Lion Open
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Since the Big Ten Conference has spread even farther eastward and expanded to 41 schools – no, wait, that’s 14 – it can help or hinder recruiting, depending on how you look at it.
Penn State’s next wrestling foe – Maryland – hasn’t been known as a powerhouse team but perennially has some outstanding individual wrestlers.
The Terps, 4-4 this year so far with Big Ten losses to Wisconsin (28-12) and Nebraska (42-3), will be aided by their new conference affiliation, according to Penn State coach Cael Sanderson.
“They’re gonna be fine; they’re gonna do well,” he said Tuesday. “I think just being in the Big Ten gives them a lot of credibility.
“Just the competition schedule and wrestling in the Big Ten and history of the Big Ten and the success the conference has had at the national tournament says a lot. I think that’s enticing to recruits, so a lot of it in college athletics is obviously getting the right people in the program.
“Recruiting wise, that should be big for them. I think Kerry’s (head coach McCoy) done very well. They have good kids every year; they have national contenders every year. I think they’ll just keep doing what they’re doing and continue to build on that.”
Thursday’s match is set for 6 p.m. and will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.
QUICK RECOVERY: Most of Penn State’s squad competed in the Nittany Lion Open on Sunday, thus little recovery time prior to Thursday’s Big Ten opener at College Park, Md.
“Wrestling is a little tricky though because you have to make weight; you always have to factor that into our plan,” Sanderson said.
“We did a lot of stretching and rolling around the mat and getting loose (on Monday). Today (Tuesday) we’ll push their lungs a little bit.
“You have to be able to turn around and wrestle right away; that’s what you do at the nationals and the Big Ten, and the Scuffle’s coming up.”
Sanderson said the team would leave on Wednesday – and hope to avoid heavy DC-area traffic — and work out in Maryland.
“That seems to work well for us,” he said. “The only issue is you have to miss more class when you leave early, but it helps when you’re managing your weight to get down there and work out instead of work out here and then travel.”
INJURY UPDATE: Jimmy Lawson will make his season debut against Maryland at heavyweight. He’s wrestled only once since injuring his knee against Northwestern last January.
“I’m excited about this team, the challenges and the potential that we have in the way that the team is coming along.”–PSU coach Cael Sanderson
Jon Gingrich has filled in and earned a national ranking of eighth, but he is suffering from concussion symptoms from his first match on Sunday in the Open.
“It’s a minimum of five days before he can make contact again,” Sanderson said about Gingrich. “He had a couple of stitches in his lip but he’s doing well.”
Sanderson also said on Tuesday that 149-pounder Zack Beitz is “fine, he’s full speed ahead.”
Beitz was pulled Sunday after one round because of some breathing complications, Sanderson said Sunday.
YOUTH SHOWS WELL: Sanderson again was complimentary of three star freshmen who are redshirting but competed unattached on Sunday.