A Seat in the Bleachers: Call Saints anything but uptight

CBS analyst Digger Phelps may butcher their names, but that doesn't faze the Saints as they march on

Note to Tigger Phlepps: It’s “Tay Fisher” and “Kenny Hasbrouck.”

Coach Felpps, we all make mistakes, but you’re on national TV, Siena’s victory over Vanderbilt was one of the big stories of the day and you completely blew it on the pronunciations.

OK, maybe you got bad infor­mation. A typographical error could have led to you referring to “Taj Fisher” during the highlights.

Hasbrouck said he heard his name on TV in all manner of permut­ations, though, including “Kenny Hansbrough,” leading to a suggestion that there were actually three Hansbroughs in the tourn­ament, not two, brothers Tyler of North Car­olina and Ben of Mississippi State.

“Yeah, there’s a few of us, and we’re all related,” Hasbrouck said, laughing in reference to the fact that he’s black and the Hansbroughs are white.

It was with good humor that the Saints reacted to the media fumbles.

That all goes hand-in-hand with how easygoing the Saints are and how comfortable they are in their own skin. Siena is the second-smallest school in the tournament, but the Saints showed up as one of the least uptight teams and most well-prepared. They’re also devoid of ego, at least that aspect of it that can be harmful to a team’s success.

Nothing fazes them, which gives them a good crack at beating Villanova in the second round this afternoon.

Fisher and Hasbrouck each got plenty of good-natured ribbing from their teammates about the mispronunciations.

“Aw, man, they called me Taj. Taj Fisher,” Fisher said. “They called Kenny ‘Kelly Hasbrouck.’ But it’s all right, it’s good to hear your name being almost close to said right.”

Another reason the Saints were in a forgiving mood was the fact that their coach, Fran McCaffery, was a longtime assistant under Coach Phipps at Notre Dame.

“My coach loves him to death, so hey, he’s just making it funny,” Hasbrouck said. “Nah, it didn’t bother us, it’s funny. We were smiling about it last night. We saw it, like, three times. Let’s see, I heard Kelly Hasbrouck, Kenny Hansbrough . . . Kent Hasbrouck. What else? Kenny Hansbrock.

“It was enjoyable, I just can’t believe we’re on a national stage like this.”

That’s the only thing the Saints really care about right now.

Hasbrouck was magnificent on Friday, scoring 30 points, and Fisher made all six of his three-pointers.

A photo of Hasbrouck dunking was used as the A-1 tease in Saturday’s Tampa Tribune, next to the headline “Underdogs Have Their Day.” Two photos of Fisher appeared inside.

“Hey, at least we’re on the map to get their names screwed up, so it’s all right,” junior center Josh Duell of Scotia said.

“I never thought that I’d get 30 points in an NCAA game, espec­ially my first one,” Hasbrouck said. “I

really don’t care if they mis­pronounce my name. They know who No. 41 on Siena is.”

“At least they’re saying ‘Siena’ right,” Fisher said. “That’s the most important to me.”

Got that, Digger Phlopps?

Categories: Sports

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