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Wisconsin sophomore Nigel Hayes has a strong jump shot but an even better sense of humor.
The Badgers and coach Bo Ryan met with the media Saturday in Omaha in advance of their round of 32 game Sunday against Oregon. All NCAA tournament press conferences have a stenographer transcribing them in order to provide accurate quotes as quickly as possible to members of the media.
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So Hayes decided to test the stenographer in Omaha on Saturday. Hey, why not have a little fun when you've worked all year for this experience? Here is how the Badgers' press conference started:
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.
Later a reporter followed up seeking clarification on what Hayes was trying to accomplish.
Q. Why did you start off saying those things and then I have to follow-up.
NIGEL HAYES: Well, the wonderful young lady over there, I think her job title is a stenographer, yes, OK. 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.
And finally there was this:
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 mean to make your job any more difficult!
Turns out, Hayes wasn't alone in being fascinated by the stenographer. He and some of his teammates spent some time talking with the stenogrpaher in Omaha on Friday and learning about the craft. The Badgers' official Twitter account shared pictures.
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