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, 2008

Tay Fisher

Kenny Hasbrouck

Fran McCaffery


THE MODERATOR: From Siena, we welcome Coach Fran McCaffery and student-athletes Tay Fisher and Kenny Hasbrouck. Coach, your opening statements.
COACH FRAN McCAFFERY: Obviously I'm very proud of our team's effort. I thought one of the most critical things that was going to happen tonight for us to win was how we came out at the start of the game. And I thought we jumped on them a little bit. We got a lead. And I thought that was very important. I was concerned about foul trouble. We got into a little bit of foul trouble with Alexander. Obviously Tay Fisher was phenomenal, but so was Ryan Rossiter and so was Cory Magee.
We had great play off the bench. We got in a little bit of foul trouble. But the fact that we got the lead early and answered every run they made, I think, speaks to the character of this team.
Pretty much the last quarter of the season I think we started playing defense the way you have to play to win games against good teams. And I think this is the culmination of that, and we get to play Sunday.

Q. Every time Vanderbilt would get within nine, ten, 11, something like that, you guys always had an answer. How critical was that, that you never let those mini runs become big runs from them?
TAY FISHER: We knew they were a great team, and they were a great coming back team as well because we prepared for them. And we knew their plays. The scouting report was great and we just followed the game plan. And I was telling the team that we've got to act like we're down right now. And that's kind of hard to do when you just look up at the score. But it's been working the last six games whenever we were down. And I just felt like if I continued doing what was going right for us, it would lead to something good like this, and it definitely did. It was a great win, and I'm just happy for us right now.

Q. Kenny, similar question for you, you seemed to ask for the ball, demand the ball almost at times when it looked like they were going on a mini run. Did you have that confidence that you wanted the ball in those situations?
KENNY HASBROUCK: Yes, I felt as though they were struggling guarding the drive and penetration on our offense, and I felt as though I had a mismatch when it came to driving the ball and creating for everybody else and myself. So, yes, every time they scored or went on a mini run, I just tried to get a good basket or create a play for somebody.

Q. When you guys see Western Kentucky winning and San Diego winning, does it kind of get contagious? Do you get that feeling going into the game?
KENNY HASBROUCK: Actually, we wanted to be the first upset of the day, but besides that, it just shows that mid-major teams are coming up. There's not a big separation between mid-majors and high majors, there's just great players all around the country. Just focus when it comes to the NCAA Tournament. Our Coach Buonaguro told us the best teams in the tournament, the ones that prevail are the ones that focused and concentrate on the game plan, and that's how we tried to come up.
TAY FISHER: We knew that it was going to be a tough game, and we just came out and worked hard. We know that it's basketball. Teams aren't going to win with the name that's on the front of your jersey. You've got to go out there and play hard. A lot of people weren't going for us, and some people were going for us. But with all the predictions, we had to go out there and play hard. We know once the NCAA Tournament starts, since this is a lot of our first experience, we had to go out there and leave it all on the court and we did that tonight.

Q. How big of an upset do you guys consider this to be, if at all?
TAY FISHER: I really don't consider it an upset, because I have confidence in my team. And I knew that we can hang with anybody in the country. We had a tough schedule against Stanford, Memphis, Boise State, Syracuse. So Vanderbilt, they were right in that category with all those great teams that they play. So this was just like a regular season game. And we have gotten so much better since we played those teams. So I definitely feel like I can hang with them.
When people say Cinderella, it really doesn't come to my mind because I knew we could hang with anybody, and it definitely proved today and I'm just happy with this group.

Q. You were perfect from the field tonight, but you didn't take any two-point shots at all; 6-or-6 from three. Is that part of the game plan or the way things developed with you getting open looks?
TAY FISHER: That's just the way things developed. I hit my first couple of threes and they started putting big players on me. And I knew that I had to use my quickness and keep running off screens, and if that didn't work, just keep running and keep running. It definitely played to my advantage because I was not only getting open shots, I was also helping my team get baskets as well because they worried about me a lot. And that's what I have to do.
I'm just out there just to play defense as best as possible, and hit the open shot when I'm there. And I definitely did that tonight. I couldn't have done it without my team and my coaches coming to me every time.

Q. Tay's the old man of the crew, he's the only senior, do you guys look to him for leadership? I mean, you've gotten freshman and sophomores. It's kind of unbelievable this run. Is he the guy you look to for leadership?
KENNY HASBROUCK: Yeah, he keeps leading by example. He had two real big games straight and probably two of the biggest games of his career. It shows how good a person he is. How much he's focused and how concentrated he is on the game plan. And it just feeds off of everybody when he's playing that good.

Q. As a shooter, how do you pick up where you left off from the conference championship game not having played in 11 days?
TAY FISHER: You just got to stay focused. Our practice has been tough. We've been going hard every time. Having those 11 days off it could be a bad thing, but it definitely got us focused and got us prepared for this tournament. We went out and celebrated and had our fun. But once you hit the NCAA Tournament, you're thinking of the best coaches, the best players, the best teams in the country. And I was just really excited to say that Siena was one of those teams. And I think that we went out there and we proved it.
But it's just going to get harder and harder for us right now. We've just got to stay focused every time because we really want to go far, if possible. Just get as much as we can get done.

Q. As the game progressed, could you sense more and more frustration on Vandy's part?
KENNY HASBROUCK: I think for the most part they started backing down from us. They were trying to pressure us as much as they could. They thought we were going to turn it over, and it worked for the first five minutes of the second half. But I think when we started attacking and backing off and they started finding out that we weren't going to back down from them at all, and we were going to keep attacking, it worked to our advantage instead of theirs.

Q. The other two games today were last-second shots, but you guys won very convincingly. What message do you think you guys sent to the country today about Siena basketball?
TAY FISHER: That we compete. It really doesn't matter who we're playing against, we're going to compete. The best thing about basketball is you've always got another chance to be able to make up the things that you didn't do right. These last six games or seven games that we had, we won every game, but we got better every time. That's what we have to do. We have to get better every game and treat it differently, because every team isn't the same. So we're just getting prepared and starting right now. We already enjoyed ourself. We only have a day to prepare.
So we have to take it, soak it all in, because it is definitely a business trip. All the fun will happen once we get out there and get the job done.

Q. Can you share a little bit of what you were saying to Coach when he picked you up at half court after the game and held you for what seemed like a very long time in the air?
TAY FISHER: I don't know what I was saying, to be honest with you. I was just saying that we made it, and that we're doing this for our program. We're doing it for ourself. We really came a long way. And we don't have a big team as you can see. Most of the teams we play are bigger than us. So we've got to go out there and compete and use our quickness to our advantage, and that is definitely what we did.
I really don't know what I said to him, it was just a real exciting moment. Hopefully we can do it again. And I'll think about what I say next time so I can let you know (smiling).
THE MODERATOR: Now we'll take questions for Coach McCaffery.

Q. The emotions of that moment, you pick Tay up, give Kenny a big hug. These are guys, one of whom stayed, one of your first big kids you got in here. Talk about the emotions of that moment.
COACH FRAN McCAFFERY: Well, it's been a long journey to get here. I don't know if anybody realizes what it was like those first few months on the job. Seemed like everything was going wrong. And Tay was a rock. Everybody was wavering, and a bunch of people left. The players that had signed, they bolted. He was the one guy that stuck it out in that class. And there were a few key players ahead of him that were also a part of this, and I hope that they feel like they're a part of this. But Kenny being the first player to say yes to me, that's very special because he believed in me as someone that could be a part of his career, which is very important to him. He's a special player, he's a special person. And I think you can see his character probably more so than you see his talent. Because when it got a little sticky, he was the guy, and he's been like that for three years. Both of those guys are very special to me.

Q. Did you think that your guards could control and dictate the pace of this game to the degree they did?
COACH FRAN McCAFFERY: I did. Obviously I was concerned about the big fella in the middle. I was concerned about Foster's threes. But I felt like we could really get after them on the perimeter. They only made four threes. This is a three-point shooting team. Led the SEC in three-point shooting. So I thought our attention to getting out and getting a hand up on the three-point shooters was critical. But I think more importantly offensively I felt like we could spread them out and drive on them.
I thought Ronald Moore could run the offense the way he did. I thought he was tremendous tonight.

Q. Edwin had three first half points, Josh Duell had none, Alex was on the bench with foul trouble, yet it seemed to be going to plan and you guys are up 12. Did you think it was going to plan at that time? And how were you guys able to overcome the absence of contributions from a couple of key players that first half?
COACH FRAN McCAFFERY: Well, I think the way we did all year it's contributions from those who came off the bench. Obviously Tay was phenomenal. I thought Ryan Rossiter was spectacular in the first half. His length, I thought bothered their big guys. He makes a great finish when Chris de la Rosa penetrates. In that period of time when they really revved up the defense. Chris busted through, kicked it off to Ryan, he finished it. And I thought that energized him.
I mean, that's what you have to have. You cannot come into a tournament like this, play a team that won 26 games and rely on three or four people. It's going to have to be a collective effort to advance and it was tonight.

Q. On the other team Shan Foster the SEC Player of the Year. You guys limited and controlled him as well as any team has this season. What exactly did you do defensively and what did you tell your defenders to do to limit him so much?
COACH FRAN McCAFFERY: I think Edwin's a good match-up for him. They're built similarly. I think Foster murders guys in the 6' 2", 6' 3" range. You've got to put somebody on him who is 6' 6", 6' 7", he's got big length. He's a big shot fake guy. We try to stay down on his shot fakes. He shot fakes at the start and at the end of his move, and he gets a lot of threes in transition. First thing we did was limit his threes in transition. Have a bigger guy on him, and stay down on his shot fakes and make him more of a driver.

Q. You've got ten freshmen and sophomores, how did you prepare them for the big stage?
COACH FRAN McCAFFERY: I think two things, fortunately on our staff myself and Mitch Buonaguro have had a number of opportunities to participate in this great event. So we shared some of those experiences. I think one of the things that helped us also is the fact that we won our conference tournament on Monday. The bids didn't come out until Sunday. You look and say you're off for 11 days, is that going to be a negative? I felt like it was important that we have a chance to enjoy winning the championship, and then get to a point after three or four days where we put that behind us and started focusing on the next task at hand. I thought that enabled us to focus a little bit better.
But I do think that despite the fact that we have a young team, our upperclassmen of Kenny, Josh Duell, and Tay Fisher are tremendous leaders. But we have a great sense of maturity in that sophomore class. Those players have played a lot. They've produced. We have all league players in that sophomore class. We have a great point guard. We don't turn the ball over. So I think coming into this we were not in awe of what we were going to face, and I think we proved that.

Q. For the Commodores it's kind of been on Shan Foster's back when they're down late in the game. When you went in at halftime, was that a point of focus for you guys to limit Shan?
COACH FRAN McCAFFERY: We felt like in the second half they would do two things, ratchet up the defense, and run set plays at Foster and Ogilvy, that's what we thought. We did a better job on Foster than we did on Ogilvy. Part of the reason we didn't do a good job on Ogilvy is we didn't go get him. We played behind. We wanted to go get him a little bit. But we were so concerned about Foster, Gordon, Beal shooting threes that we had a tendency with the lead to stay out on the three-point shooters and then Ogilvy got some buckets. We went and got him one time and got a big stop. So that's how we looked at it.

Q. With two weeks to go in the MAAC, it was a five-way tie for first place. How important was it for you guys, and how big was it to be playing almost tournament basketball those last five games in the MAAC?
COACH FRAN McCAFFERY: I think that's a great point. Absolutely critical. We were in control of our own destiny, then we lose two games in a row. One at home in overtime. We lose on the road by a point. Then we're looking at a 5,000 mile trip to Boise, Idaho for bracket buster. And I think our team had, I think our team was going to go one of two ways on that trip. When we beat Boise the way we did, I think that was a statement of which direction we were going to go.
Go into the last weekend tied with three other teams and, obviously, had the win, won both games. Got the first seed. Secured the NIT bid, then won three games in our conference tournament. So it was sort of that every game is almost a "lose you're out" type of mentality. And it started long before the conference tournament. So I do think it was very beneficial.

Q. Jim Calhoun earlier today was talking about San Diego kind of gaining confidence early on. Did you feel like you guys had that the first ten minutes so you proved to the guys that they could play with Vanderbilt, and then did you see the confidence growing as the game went on?
COACH FRAN McCAFFERY: Oh, there's no question. Last thing you want to do in a situation like this is fall down 10-2, because now it's going to be a struggle. When you get a lead, jump-shooting teams are going to struggle a little bit more when they're behind than when they're ahead, so we never let them get the lead.
I thought establishing the fact that we were going to be the aggressor from the opening tip was absolutely critical. Not only in terms what have they thought of us, but what our players thought of themselves.

End of FastScripts
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