Minnesota head coach J Robinson and 125-pound returning All-American Jayson Ness spoke at pre-championship press conference Wednesday afternoon at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Jayson Ness, Minnesota, No. 2 seed at 125 pounds
On coming in as defending national champions:
"We need to come out and wrestle the way we can wrestle. Come out and do everything they can to go out and win every single match if we can and get as many points. It's going to take a full team effort. Everyone wrestling their best."
On coming back from a loss:
"It's just that never-die attitude. Any time you lose you have to come back strong. We won the national title one year without having a champion that's because of the way they wrestled in the wrestle backs."
"They came back strong. They came back hungry and ready to win. So here every single match is going to count. Every single point is going to count. We know that and it may come down to winning by a half a point."
"Anything you can do to score bonus points or get another point for winning a match is going to be important. So any time you lose you got to know that third place is still there and you can still get big points for your team."
On the team performing:
"I think they will do their best and still be able to compete to the best of their abilities."
On performing as a team:
"It's been a real up and down year. A lot of good moments, some bad moments we just kept fighting the whole time and we are just going to keep plugging away. I think we showed them what we were capable of at the Big Tens and I think coming into this we can show them we can move up another level. So it's a little different attitude because now instead of being the top dog we're the underdogs. I think we're going to have to have a lot more fight if we're going to have a chance to win."
Head coach J Robinson
On Minnesota's season so far:
"It's been a frustrating season, there's no doubt about that. We've had a lot of injures the entire way and we never really got our team together until the Big Ten tournament. Then we had some other problems, but I don't think you have to think in terms of defending a title, you have to be here to win a title. The other part, for us, we don't have to worry about two more months of competition, after these three more days we're done. We don't have to worry about trying to get someone back in two weeks, it's our finale right now."