home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 21, 2015

Nigel Hayes

Frank Kaminsky

Bronson Koenig

Bo Ryan


THE MODERATOR: The gentlemen from Wisconsin are with us, Nigel Hayes, Frank Kaminsky and Bronson Koenig are here and ready. We are set for questions.

Q. Nigel, obviously if you look just statistically, you've taken quite a leap in the 3-point shooting, to whatever, and in other areas. Can you describe just the steps you took to kind of, you know, raise those parts of your game?
NIGEL HAYES: Hello, it works now. Before I answer that question, I would like to say a few words, cattywampus, onomatopoeia and antidisestablishmentarianism. (Laughs). Now, back to your question. It was just a lot of hard work, teammates giving me great confidence, and when you play with players that are very unselfish like the two next to me who also give you that confidence and involve the team, it's a lot easier to get things done.

Q. Bronson, talk about your role and how it's changed since Traevon has been down, and do you think you've played better since you've gotten more time out there and kind of what that last six, eight weeks have been for you?
BRONSON KOENIG: Yeah, I think I have gained some experience, gained some confidence. My teammates and coaches have done a great job of giving me that confidence. Honestly, my job is pretty easy when I have the best player in college basketball right next to me to pass to, and especially when Sam, Nigel and Frank are playing as well as they have been, that's really a tough force to stop.

Q. Why did you start off saying those things and then I have to followup.
NIGEL HAYES: Well, the wonderful young lady over there, I think her job title is a stenographer, yes, okay. And she does an amazing job of typing words, sometimes if words are not in her dictionary, maybe if I say soliloquy right now, she may have to work a little bit harder to type that word, or quandary, zephyr, Xylophone, things like that, that make her job really interesting.

Q. Thanks for keeping it lively. Back to what I asked you about before, confidence is one thing, but I heard you take like some different approaches, like wearing certain type of goggles and dribbling. What are some things you put into your game from a work ethic or point?
NIGEL HAYES: I was just trying to make sure I become a better, more well-rounded player out there on the court by working on ball handling, shooting, the footwork and all those things will also make me a better player, and if I'm better, it also makes our team better, so it was just a bunch of hard work in the off-season. And by me doing that, the results are showing, and the team is better, and if I'm able to play better obviously it makes the team better.

Q. Bronson, when you came in and took kind of that starting role, did you have any doubts in yourself or any thoughts that this was a team that was going and how you were going to form in there and keep it going as well as it has been?
BRONSON KOENIG: No, not really. I was pretty confident in myself to just come in and make plays for either myself or my teammates, which is what I'm good at, and like I said, before when I have a great group of guys around me like I do, my job is not that hard.

Q. Maybe if you guys could talk about the challenge that Oregon presents, and then I will throw out a second question, since there are not many of us here.
BRONSON KOENIG: Oregon is a really good team; we got a chance to watch them last night against Oklahoma State, and they can score in a hurry. It's kind of Pac 12 basketball. They present a lot of athleticism, long athletes, stuff like that. Yeah, they can score!

FRANK KAMINSKY: Well, we played them last year, and if you remember back to last year, we were fighting to get back into that game after giving them a pretty big lead, so we understand how good they are and we understand how good the players on their team can be when you let them go out there and play freely, so we understand that we have to come out and play our best basketball if we want to beat them.

NIGEL HAYES: Yeah, again, they can score in a myriad of ways, and once you let any one of their players get going, especially the player they have in young, they have become very dangerous, so our job is to go out there and try to put as much pressure on them and make their shots as tough as possible.

Q. Frank, if you could maybe describe some things you have noticed as far as the progression that Nigel has taken.
FRANK KAMINSKY: Well, Nigel is a great basketball player, and he has a great work ethic. I haven't seen too many people who work as hard at basketball as he does, just from coming in -- in the summers I come in pretty early to shoot, and Nigel would already be there working on his shot. So to see him grow as a basketball player as he has over the last year, it's surprising to most people, but when you see how much he actually puts into it, he absolutely deserves everything that's coming to him right now and how well he's playing, and hopefully he can keep it up.

Q. Frank and Nigel, when you go mid-season and you lose such a key player like Traevon, and Bronson said it's been easy for him because he's had guys like you. What has he done to kind of help you guys out? Was there any kind of a transition period or did you feel like you guys kind of picked up right away with that kind of that new starting 5?
NIGEL HAYES: I don't think there was really much we had to do with Bronson. Bronson was already a great point guard on his own. If he would have went to any other school in the Big Ten, he probably would have been the starting point guard. He just happened to come in behind Tra, and once he was given the starting job, he played just how everyone, especially us on the team, knows he can play; and he's gone out there and done that for us.

FRANK KAMINSKY: Bronson is a great basketball player; we all knew that when he first got there. We all knew what he was capable of. He showed us every day in practice, so when he was finally given that chance to go out there and start and play the majority of minutes, we all expected a lot out of him, and he answered every call we had for him. So we have a lot of faith in Bronson, and he's done really well for us.

Q. What's the earliest you've seen him at the gym? The earliest you've come in and he's already there?
FRANK KAMINSKY: I'm not up that early, so I wouldn't know, but knowing Nigel, he's really weird, so probably like 3 or 4 in the morning, wouldn't you say? 4:30?

NIGEL HAYES: Frank prevaricated right there, it's more around 5:15.


Q. Frank, when you see a team like Oregon, they've got Bell at 6'9, kind of their center, but they go more with kind of 6'6, 6'7. Is that the match-up you see with you and Nigel and Dekker, the area for you guys to go to against them?
FRANK KAMINSKY: Like I said before, it looks good on paper and it sounds good when you say it out loud, but we know it won't be that easy. We know we're going to have to go out there and try and dominate inside, and it's not going to be easy. It's going to take a lot of effort, and I think we're capable of doing it. With Nigel, Sam and I getting things done on the inside, we've done good pretty good so far this season, so hopefully we can keep that up.

Q. Frank, you talked about the work ethic you guys have, and I know you had a very tough summer job. Could you talk about your summer job, how tough that guy was to work for and the work you did this summer?
FRANK KAMINSKY: This is the first time I've ever really had a summer internship. I was working at Merrill Lynch. I just learned what it takes to go through the routine of a day, what the working life is like. I didn't necessarily like it a lot, but I learned a lot of things. So there was this one boss. He was pretty mean. He was always telling me what I was doing wrong and calling me and telling me to go home; I was such a terrible worker. But no, it was a great experience and it was a good last summer of college.

Q. Just curious about your vocabulary. Are these words like you looked up or is this just a thing for you? Not that you didn't know, I'm just saying like you had a list ready to go.
NIGEL HAYES: No, I actually like words. It started from a younger age when my stepfather would tell me to read a lot of things, and I would read words and I would not know what it means, and then once I learned and I tried to read more words. Then it's just fun to know words, and you can say certain words that put people in a quandary, and they don't know what you're talking about. And it makes for more fun, I guess. I'm sorry for my usage of words. I didn't make to make your job any more difficult!

THE MODERATOR: Looks like they're having some fun with it. Gentlemen, thank you very much for your time, good luck tomorrow. Coach Bo Ryan is here. We are going to have him open up with a statement on yesterday's victory. Bo?

COACH RYAN: Well, we feel fortunate to be able to advance considering the way Coastal shot the ball and the way Cliff had those guys playing. But our guys managed to make sure they remembered that Frank Kaminsky was on the team and helped get us here, so he ended up having a pretty good game. And a lot of our offense went through the post, which is what we like. Again, we're fortunate that we were able to get more points than what we gave up, because we gave up more than we wanted to.

Q. Bo, when you look at Oregon compared to last year, do you see similar styles with different guys or does different personnel make it a different match-up than last year?
COACH RYAN: Well, Dana has worked some magic with the way he has 'em playing defense. They're doing some things -- doing more of one thing as opposed to another, and it seems like they're lying on each other and picking up for one another. That's when you know you got a pretty good team. That's how they're playing right now. The hot teams are continuing to play, and they didn't back their way in here. They really came into the NCAA Tournament on fire. So offensively, they've got three, four guys that can score from a lot of different places and score on anybody. They have proven scorers besides Young and that makes 'em tough. If you only have one or two guys that are scoring, that's one thing, but they have a lot of guys that can fill it up; and they had a lot of guys last year that could fill it up. Maybe they don't have Moser, but they have some other things that they're using to their benefit, and that's what coaches do, they figure out a way to work with the personnel that you have. You can't worry about what you don't have; you just work with what you do have.

Q. Can you talk about for you guys when Traevon goes out in the middle of the year, were you confident that Bronson could come in and do what he's done? Were there subtle changes you had to make or what do you do when you lose a guy that important early and you know he's going to be out for a while and how Bronson has filled in.
COACH RYAN: You say in the middle of the year. I always think conference, so we lost him early, in the conference season, and then go win 10 straight and then only lose one more after that, you know, on the road to a tough Maryland team. What Bronson has done, I don't think anyone could have expected. It has been remarkable, and I don't know how much outside people understand what he's accomplished at this point, but we certainly do. The guys believe in him. He hasn't changed expression; he's on a mission to help this team as much as he can. And, you know, Trae is one of those guys that talks to him, also, and helps him out, but he's -- Bronson Koenig is going to be a guard that the country, if they haven't figured it out already, they will know in the next couple of years how good he is.

Q. Bo, are you aware of the hard time that Nigel Hayes gave the wonderful woman down here to your right just a few minutes ago?
COACH RYAN: I am well aware because I stayed here yesterday to find out how she does her job. And I always thought it was a regular keyboard, and obviously it's not, so I know they were given three words. Antidisestablishmentarianism is one of them, so she has to do that one again. I can't remember what the other two were because I'm not ready for that test that they gave my parents as they got into their 80s where the doctor would say, all right, I'm going to mention three things: Ball, car, umpire. And then they would keep talking to my parents as I'm sitting in there at their retirement home. About 15 minutes later they would say, okay, what were the three things that I told you to remember in the beginning? How many of you can remember those three things? I can't remember all three; I just remembered one.

Q. Any chance Traevon could play tomorrow?
COACH RYAN: Not that I know of. You gotta understand how it works nowadays. The coach is the last one to know. Seriously! There is absolutely nothing a coach can do with a player who was injured. The trainer and the medical staff, the doctors, if they come to me and say, he's ready, then he's ready. I haven't had anybody come to me yet and say that. I can't get him in the back room with a rubber hose and go, hey, Trae, you're playin, come on.

Q. Obviously Nigel has taken another step in his game this year. I'm wondering if you could maybe just explain how that happened, what he put into his work to make that happen.
COACH RYAN: First of all, you're dealing with one of the brightest young men I've ever had the opportunity to coach; and if he has a shortcoming, it won't be a shortcoming for very long. He's done so much community service; he's worked with so many different people in Madison, in the state of Wisconsin. Everybody wants to be around Nigel Hayes, his personality. But what Nigel Hayes wants to do is be the best player that's ever played the game. You might say, well, he's not this, he's not that, he's not this -- you just take, for example, the lack of 3-point shooting last year and see what he did in the off-season and see what he's doing from the three-point line this year, and it's really hard to say that there isn't anything that Nigel can't do eventually. So that's the great part about being a teacher/coach, because that's how I've come through the system, as a junior high and high school teacher, and they gave me the coaching job. And to work with people who are students, people who don't have all the answers, people who feel there's still things they have to learn, how lucky am I as a coach to have those kind of guys compared to the headaches that I hear from my fellow coaches about other guys who feel they have all the answers.

Q. Bo, you kind of touched on it earlier. What impresses you most about Joseph Young and his ability to take over games at different points?
COACH RYAN: What impresses me? Because he can take over games at different points. You gotta reword that.

Q. Is there anything you can do defensively to try to slow down a player like that?
COACH RYAN: If he comes out of his shoe; if he does something on his own, where he doesn't play as well, but that's not going to happen. So no, I mean, he's going to get shots; he's going to get points. He's going to involve other people. He's just a real, good player, a very good player, because he makes other people around him better, too.

Q. I wanted to follow up about Nigel because you said obviously like with his three-point shooting, how that developed so drastically I guess, and you said what he did in the off-season why that happened. So what did he do in the off-season?
COACH RYAN: He has a secret training plan that he really doesn't discuss. He's up before everybody else. Before 5 a.m.; works on stuff. I found him dribbling a tennis ball and a basketball ball one morning at about 7, 7:30, and he didn't even know I saw him because I didn't want to say anything. But academically, Dean's List, like, real classes at Wisconsin. He's just -- he's unique and not because he's a good student and an athlete, but his combination and his personality and what he does with it. He uses what he has. He doesn't get cheated. Couple languages. Italian and German he either took or is taking now.

Q. Bo, when you --
COACH RYAN: I had four years of French 1, by the way, so I can admire a guy that's taken a couple of language.

Q. Bo, when you look back at last year's win over Oregon, was there anything your guys gained that helped carry them through that next week of the tournament?
COACH RYAN: I will tell you what we gained, and Dana and Oregon, they realize, once the game started, they were on the road. I give those guys a lot of credit, that was a heck of a ball game, and they were in an environment. Just like, you know, when you're at Oregon, you have to go to Arizona; you have to go to Washington. And we have to go to Purdue; we have to go to Michigan. We have to go on the road. So it was a tough game for them, but I think our guys gained a lot of confidence with how we came back. And it obviously helped us against Baylor and Arizona and in the Kentucky game. It did help us for the rest of the year and plus gave these guys who are back some experience to see what it's like to advance, because you could have a really good team -- there's a lot of really good teams that are out. There's 32 or 34 -- how many teams are out? With the play-in games I get lost. That are pretty good teams. So for our guys who have been able to play five games last year in the NCAA Tournament, that's pretty good, pretty good stuff.

Q. On Nigel, I know he likes brain teasers and trivia. Has he ever stumped you with something?
COACH RYAN: I just told him one time about coming early to practice, I said, that's a good job, Nigel, getting here early, "the early bird catches the worm." And he said, "Coach, do you know that the second mouse always gets the cheese?" That was last year after, like, two months he was on campus. I thought that was pretty good. I had never heard that one. And I hear a lot of stuff. But he can tell you what a big group of geese are, he can tell you what a big group of sheep are. He has all those names that they give to groups of animals and still has time to make the Dean's List. That's amazing.

Q. Bo, Josh has had a pretty good run of playing against really good scorers lately. Do you sense that he looks at a guy like Joe Young as a real challenge? Do you sense that he gets up for games like this?
COACH RYAN: Oh, yeah. Well, Josh is up for every game, but he knows how good Young is, because we've already played them. So it's not like here is a new guy that all of the sudden is getting noticed. But it is true that when teams play on the West Coast, the East and the Midwest, they don't know as much about them, but Young is as good of a scorer as anybody will see in the country at any time, and Josh has had to guard some pretty good people over the years. But he won't be the only one. There will be some times we have to pick Young up because of an exchange or in transition. It's still about the other guys on the court that make your defense what it is or what it isn't.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Bo. Good luck. See you tomorrow.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297