Then & Now: Carl Hayes
Compiled By Dave Brandon
(Photo Courtesy NU Media Relations)
Hayes played at Nebraska from 1990-1992, and is tied for
twentieth on the Nebraska all-time scoring list (1,136
points) with his former high school and college teammate
Clifford Scales. While at Nebraska, the 6’9” Hayes was
also a two-time honorable mention All-Big 8 player, and
was a starter on the two teams that earned back to back
NCAA appearances in 1991 and 1992.
recently talked with HHC as the latest installment of
"Then & Now”, as we continue to honor the 1990-1991 team
he was a part of.
HHC: Thanks for talking with us.
CH: No problem man, I’ve been looking forward to
HHC: As have
we. Talk about what brought you to Nebraska in 1988. Was
your former high school teammate Clifford Scales the
biggest recruiting tool, or was there more to your
decision than that?
Cliff Scales played a big part in me coming to Nebraska,
as did (Assistant Coach) Gary Bargen. Bargen pretty much
recruited me. Well, him and (Assistant Coach) Lynn
Mitchem. But yeah, Cliff and I went to high school
together, so that played a major part. Either I was
going to go there (Nebraska) or Colorado, because I had
another teammate who went to Boulder. So, I didn’t want
to go 500 miles away from home without knowing someone.
HHC: To refresh our readers, talk about
what kind of player Carl Hayes was, as far as individual
strengths, and what you brought to the team?
strengths were that I was a slasher. When I came to
Nebraska, I didn’t really have a major position, but was
just more of a 2/3 guy. And then Danny used me at the 4
my senior year when all the big guys were gone.
HHC: You redshirted your first year at
Nebraska in 1988-1989. What was that like?
CH: It was rough, because we were losing
and I wasn’t able to help the team. I don’t think it
helped my development a lot, because I wasn’t really
around the team like I wanted to be, and I kind of
slacked off and wasn’t focused like I should have been.
first season in 1989-1990 was a tough one, as you guys
finished 10-18. How tough was that year?
CH: It was
that bad, 10-18?
HHC: Yes sir.
CH: (Laughs) Ah man, I at least thought it was
12-18 (Laughs). We were terrible, huh? (Laughs). Well
that year, Beau Reid got hurt, which in hindsight,
actually kept me at Nebraska. There was no way I was
going to offset him and start in front of him, so that
injury kept me in Lincoln. But we were young and it was
a developmental year.
HHC: What did
you do that summer to prepare for the magical year that
would be 1990-1991?
off-season, I went to the Big 8 All-Star team, and I got
a little experience there playing with that team. Then I
came back to Chicago and played summer ball with Tim
Hardaway and some other guys, and I think the other guys
stayed back in Nebraska. And when we got back it was
good, because we had the talent but and began to gel
HHC: 1990-1991 was probably the best
basketball season in the history of Nebraska, as you
guys won 26 games, made the NCAA tournament, and
finished the year in the top ten of some polls. What
do you remember about that season, and what individual
games and moments stick out?
CH: You know what, the 90-91 season was
like… Well, even the year before, we had the talent, but
we didn’t successfully do what we needed to do to win
until 1990-1991. And, what we did that was necessary was
just blocking him (Danny Nee) out and playing as a team.
blocked him out because we didn’t think he knew what he
was doing. And I think the first few games, we were over
in San Juan, and we beat Illinois and another good team
(Saint Louis) before losing to Murray State. Then, we
came home and beat Michigan State, and right then we
knew, “Hey, this might be an okay season.”
the talent, and we just started to play together and
blocking out Danny Nee, because I don’t think he knew
what he was doing. It was Coach Bargen who was the head
guy. He knew his X’s and O’s, but since Danny was the
head coach, you had to listen to him a little, too.
HHC: What did it mean to you starting that year
with high school teammate Clifford Scales?
CH: It meant a
lot because he was a big part of me coming to Nebraska.
It was like a dream come true being with him, and he was
a good friend. Plus, his parents were close to my
parents, so it was like one big family back together. It
eased my pain as I sat out my first year and he really
helped me out.
HHC: 1991-1992 is often a forgotten year
in Husker Hoops history, as you guys made a second
straight NCAA Tournament trip and won 19 games. What
do you remember most about your senior season?
CH: That was a terrible year for me, because
Danny and I really didn’t see eye to eye. And, I was so
focused my junior year when we blocked Danny Nee out and
played as a team, and we had Rich King, Cliff Scales,
and all those guys, who helped us block him out.
senior year, I tried to tell the young guys the same
thing (to block him out), but they were so young and
they wouldn’t listen to me, and it was like, “Danny Nee,
Danny Nee, Danny Nee”. So, I was like the guy by myself,
and it was a terrible year for us.
HHC: We ask every player that played under Danny
Nee for a classic story or two, since he was such a
character. Tell us a couple classics.
CH: (Laughs). The classic Danny Nee story is
when one of my teammates basically got kicked off the
team for what rumors were going around. It’s a classic
story, although I don’t want to put the name in there
because that guy and me are still pretty cool. But, he
ended up basically getting kicked off the team for that.
So if anyone reads this story, they’ll know what I’m
talking about. And if Danny reads it, he’ll know what
I’m talking about. That’s a real classic story, and I
could deeper in it, but I better leave it alone
do you remember most about your times at Nebraska, both
on and off the court, and when was the last time you
were in Lincoln?
CH: Last year
I was in Lincoln passing through to see an old friend of
mine by the name of (Henry) T. Buchanan. I pass through
every year because I play in the Hastings tournament
each summer. So I saw T. and Ray Richardson.
as my favorite off and on the court memories, I’ll start
with off the court. That was a great time because I got
to meet a lot of friends who I’m still cool with today.
I think my sophomore or junior year, that’s when I had
my first child, so that was a great experience for me,
along with going to school, so I was trying to put
everything into one.
moment on the court was when I dunked on Doug Smith (of
Missouri) my sophomore year. He tried to take a charge
and I went right over him and dunked on him, and I think
they had a few pictures of that in the paper and
everything. So, if somebody down there still has that,
can you send it to me? (Laughs)
moment on the court was looking at Danny Nee in his
face. I know I shouldn’t have that hatred towards
anybody, but it’s the things he did to me that just
weren’t right. And not just to me, but others, too.
Tell us how you really feel! Hey, how did you get the
CH: It was a
guy from when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old who gave it
to me. And it was a guy who used to say, “The little boy
can score”. And he kept saying it so much, and somebody
thought he said “sco.” So one day we had a game, and he
was like “sco, sco”. So then it just stuck with me from
then and on.
understand that you played some professional basketball
after your times in Lincoln. Walk us through your career
stops, and talk about some of your favorite memories of
CH: Dapreis Owens and I went over to Turkey. It
was like a package deal, and we went there for like a
half of year. It wasn’t what it put out to be. They
didn’t pay our money on time, and just a lot of other
came back and started working. I had a few tryouts with
the Chicago Bulls because I was playing in the local
tournaments and going to Vegas to play in national
tournaments, and I got to tryout with them in Elton
Brand’s rookie year. And they sent me to the CBA, but I
didn’t play there. And then I also got a tryout with the
Milwaukee Bucks Ray Allen’s first year, and they tried
to send me to Fort Wayne, and I think I practiced a week
there but didn’t like it because the money wasn’t right.
So since I didn’t make the big leagues, I hung ‘em up.
HHC: And where will we find Carl Hayes
today, and what is he doing?
CH: Right now, I’m a broker. When I left school,
I worked for my father, who owned a construction
company. And I started helping him with that, as far as
payroll and the books. And then I started getting into
the real estate, and did a lot of things like that. So,
I’ve been in the real estate game the last four or five
thanks a lot for taking the time to join us, and are you
cool with taking e-mails from our readers at
CH: Yeah, most definitely.
Thanks a lot for joining us, and anything else you’d
like to add?
CH: Yeah. Tell
all the guys who read this from my years at Nebraska,
like Tony Farmer, Beau Reid, and the coaches, like Gary
Bargen, Jeff Smith, Lynn Mitchem, and even Beau Reid’s
father, that I miss them.