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For Rutgers, A Panoply of Plaudits: Honors and Awards to winter teams and athletes

Quick update on awards, recognitions, rankings, and other good stuff.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Wrestling - UPDATED

Rutgers wrestling moved up one spot to No. 21 in the latest USATODAY/ NWCA Wrestling Division I Coaches Polll - the highest ranking this season for the team.  The Big Ten has eleven -- ELEVEN -- teams ranked in the Top 25.

Eleven Scarlet Knights competed and four placed at the 2015 "Shorty" Hitchcock Memorial Invitational, hosted by Millersville University.  Redshirt freshman Josh Patrick, sophomore Tyson Dippery, and rookie John Van Brill all finished third in their respective weight classes, while freshman Anthony Giraldo ended his day fifth.  Patrick, Dippery and Giraldo placed in their fourth open of the season, as Van Brill placed in his third tournament.

Ranking Update

Six Rutgers wrestlers are ranked by Intermat, The Open Mat, WIN Magazine or FloWrestling. 133-pounder Scot DelVecchio made his first appearance in the Intermat and FloWrestling top-20 after taking a 10-4 decision against then No. 14/10/13/19 Geoffrey Alexander (Maryland) last Sunday. Overall, overall he is No. 20/17/NR/19 in the four polls.

Anthony Ashnault continued his stellar season, picking up a pair of decisions to improve to a team-best 17-3 on the year and 13-1 in dual matches. The 141-pounder comes in ranked No. 5/7/8/8 in the four polls.

Junior 149-pounder Ken Theobold has been on a tear. Theobold topped his first ranked opponent, 5-2, in Penn State’s No. 17/18/11/16 Zack Beitz last Friday, following the win with a 15-0 tech fall against Maryland’s Shane Arechiga. Theobold is now ranked No. 17/16/17/19 – the first time in his career he has been ranked by the four polls.

157-pounder Anthony Perrotti is ranked No. 20/19/18/19 this week after not wrestling last weekend.

Redshirt sophomore 174-pounder Phil Bakuckas snapped a four-match skid by defeating Maryland’s Josh Snook, 4-3, Sunday. Prior to his meeting with Snook, No. 19/14/18/NR Bakuckas had wrestled four-straight top-five opponents.

Heavyweight Billy Smith rounds out the group of ranked Scarlet Knights at No. 14/18/NR/11. The redshirt junior was edged, 5-3, in a pair of heartbreakers over the weekend, both coming in sudden victory against ranked opponents. He will get another shot at a ranked foe in Nebraska’s No. 17/NR/19/NR Colin Jensen this weekend.


Swimming & Diving

For the fourth time this year, freshman diver Addison Walkowiak was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week.  This week she shared the honor with Mary Warren of Northwestern.  Addison swept the springboard diving events in Rutgers' dual meet against Penn State, finishing first in both the one-meter (285.40) and three-meter diving events (321.50).

Women's Basketball

Rutgers' Syessence Davis' 3.50 steals per game ranks fifth in the nation.

Five Big Ten players average double-digit rebounding numbers this season, led by Rutgers' Betnijah Laney with 11.7 caroms per game, the fifth-highest average nationally. Michigan State's Aerial Powers averages 11.5 boards per game, while Minnesota's Amanda Zahui B. (11.2), Purdue's Whitney Bays (10.8) and Michigan's Cyesha Goree (10.3) are among the top five rebounding leaders in the conference.

And did you see.....

SB Nation's Bill Connelly compiled his Top 100 football games from the past season and Rutgers made the list twice.  The Rutgers-Maryland game.....pause, sigh, smile, sneer toward College Park....came in at No. 16.  And the season-opening shootout at Washington State was No. 65.