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MD92

Mendez vs Frosh Nick Lee

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Two of the best freshman I've seen.  Who wins this hypothetical match up?  Both were at 126.  Mendez was obviously an undefeated champ.  The only thing that kept Lee from winning was #1 in the country Micic.  Lee bonused everyone that year (aside from Micic).  Who you got?

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I’d say Mendez as well. I think at the scenario you’re putting out there, Mendez is stronger and his defense is as tough as it comes. That’s one thing that hurt Lee, he couldn’t get to Micics legs due to his defense. Love some Lee wrestling but I have to go with Mendez on this one. 

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1 hour ago, PhillyFanMD said:

Unlike Lee Mendez was able to put returning state champ on his back and win.  Lee didn’t!  No excuses 

Unlike Mendez, Lee wrestled the #1 ranked wrestler in the country at his weight. Not a fair comparison. 

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Believe it or not, I'm on the fence with this one.  I tend to give Lee the nod (I know, I know...homer) strictly on his dominance.  Here's a reminder of his 2014 post season run starting at semi state.  I don't see the brackets for sectional or regional that year, but I'm confident that he teched or pinned his way through those as well.

Evansville Semi State

Tech Fall Payton Reese, Franklin 23-7 3:19

Fall over Brent Haynes, Charleston 2:20

Fall over Elliott Malloy, Danville 2:27

Fall over Quenton Harris, Avon :34

State

Fall over John Hunting, Rochester, 1:26

Fall over AJ Belden, Westfield, 1:50

Loss to Micic 10-3

Tech Fall over Erique Early, 24-9

 

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Great question. A couple of things make it so hard to answer. Recency bias will always favor Mendez. We saw it with our own eyes just a few days ago. He was no fluke. Clearly the best wrestler at 126 in the state of Indiana. He did not look like a freshman physically or in his technique. The real deal. 

On the other hand, lets discuss quality of competition. Mendez beat a defending state champion who is not ranked nationally (at least I couldn't find a rank, correct me if I am wrong) and came in with 2 losses. And that defending state champ was only ranked third in his own state (and finished third, nice job rankers). Lee lost, there is no denying that, but it was to a senior who was ranked #1 in the nation (and still #1 five years later). It is impossible to determine the magnitude difference between the levels of competition, but it must be acknowledged that it is vast.

So summing it all up....I have no freakin' idea, but I love the concept. Oh yeah, and I'll take Lee.

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43 minutes ago, Jayruss said:

Unlike Mendez, Lee wrestled the #1 ranked wrestler in the country at his weight. Not a fair comparison. 

Mendez won’t lose his junior year either like Lee

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8 minutes ago, PhillyFanMD said:

Mendez won’t lose his junior year either like Lee

Nor will he wrestle someone the caliber of Red during his junior year...

 

 

 

 

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I love how we dismiss who Lee’s 2 losses were to. #1 in the country Chad Red and #1 in the country Micic. He pretty much buzzsawed everyone else in his way. Not saying he was better than Mendez his frosh year, but there could be a valid argument made in his favor. 

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28 minutes ago, PhillyFanMD said:

Mendez won’t lose his junior year either like Lee

Which is just another way of saying Mendez again will not wrestle the #1 ranked wrestler in the nation. I agree.

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1 hour ago, Jayruss said:

Unlike Mendez, Lee wrestled the #1 ranked wrestler in the country at his weight. Not a fair comparison. 

Yes, but he lost by major decision 10-3. Mendez beat a state champ as an 8th grader. 

That being said, Lee forgoing senior year was a wise move in hindsight, for him. The development trajectory of doing your Senior year in a Penn State RTC club room, with limited strain on academics while you are there, is huge. It's like taking a year off at the Olympic training center with the best competition, just at the right time. You get all the training without the angst of competition after many years, with a relative mental break, knowing you can focus on one thing, improving. 

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9 minutes ago, Powerline said:

Not even close, Ditka all the way! Before the heart-attack, a 'one-hundred to tree', after the attack, major decision, 'fifteen to tree', these guys couldn't escape Ditka's mustache, end of story. 

image.jpeg.862adbc432ffdfa67482ae7a4fd33207.jpeg

How about mini Ditka? I know. Still mini Ditka.

And speaking of mustaches, how fantastic was the lip rug sported by the North Central coach? That man was half 'stache. I feel like the mustache grew him, not the other way around.

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2 minutes ago, Powerline said:

Yes, but he lost by major decision 10-3. Mendez beat a state champ as an 8th grader. 

 

And Lee won IHPO as a 7th grader....

Both had state and national success on their resumes....    

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1 hour ago, MD92 said:

Believe it or not, I'm on the fence with this one.  I tend to give Lee the nod (I know, I know...homer) strictly on his dominance.  Here's a reminder of his 2014 post season run starting at semi state.  I don't see the brackets for sectional or regional that year, but I'm confident that he teched or pinned his way through those as well.

Evansville Semi State

Tech Fall Payton Reese, Franklin 23-7 3:19

Fall over Brent Haynes, Charleston 2:20

Fall over Elliott Malloy, Danville 2:27

Fall over Quenton Harris, Avon :34

State

Fall over John Hunting, Rochester, 1:26

Fall over AJ Belden, Westfield, 1:50

Loss to Micic 10-3

Tech Fall over Erique Early, 24-9

 

I love Lee, but outside of Micic (who I love as well) that's not exactly a murder's row.  

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5 minutes ago, BClark said:

I love Lee, but outside of Micic (who I love as well) that's not exactly a murder's row.  

Let’s not forget he majored two-time runner-up and eventual NCAA D1 qualifier(I think) Zack Davis at team state. That, along with teching a senior Erique Early, is pretty dang impressive.

I was just talking this hypothetical match with a coworker yesterday. We couldn’t really come to any firm decision. Gun to my head, I’m probably picking Mendez, but if they’re in the same sectional I could see a 2-2 split.

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6 minutes ago, SWINfan said:

And Lee won IHPO as a 7th grader....

Both had state and national success on their resumes....    

Lee is tough, technical, and tenacious, would be a great match.  In my opinion, at that age, he seemed a little stiff when comparing him to his junior year, and that is normal. But it is clear Lee worked his ass off in the Penn State RTC room his senior year off from competition. 

But in Mendez, I saw a little brawler developing since the beginning of the year.  Beating guys and tech falls is unbelievable accomplishment, but it seemed by state he was mauling dudes. He seemed not afraid to be in bad position or if guys tried to score on him, short memory, good head & hand defense. There is a difference in going out knowing you might get beat, teched, or pinned, but knowing you just might get mauled on top of that is another thing.  

Watts put up a good fight in the semis, tough kid, but you could tell even he knew that Mendez was a different kid then he wrestled at Al Smith. That being said, there are not guarantees in the future; as he get's bigger, the kids in those middle weights become more athletic. Will be fun to watch.  

 

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30 minutes ago, wrestlenewbie said:

Which is just another way of saying Mendez again will not wrestle the #1 ranked wrestler in the nation. I agree.

Considering Mendez might be the #1 ranked wrestler in the nation at his weight by his junior year would make it that impossible🤔

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6 minutes ago, SIACfan said:

Considering Mendez might be the #1 ranked wrestler in the nation at his weight by his junior year would make it that impossible🤔

Good point. Flo has him 19 right now, up from honorable mention. He is moving in the right direction.

But not necessarily so. Remember, Lee dropped down in weight (or at least did not move up) in order to seek the match with Red.

Edited by wrestlenewbie

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49 minutes ago, Jayruss said:

I love how we dismiss who Lee’s 2 losses were to. #1 in the country Chad Red and #1 in the country Micic.

How unfortunate was Nick Lee during his HS career. He has to be the best ever Indiana 1x Champ, correct?

I think about this every time I watch a Penn State match & the announcers mention that Lee was a State Champ. Even though they never say anything about it, you can often hear in their tone that they are surprised to see he only won 1 title.

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