Tarver madness

Michael Dougherty

On Thursday Gophers basketball coach Clem Haskins did something he might never do again. He actually handed over a microphone to senior co-captain Miles Tarver.
The occasion for this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence was a press conference to announce the events for Friday’s Midnight Madness.
Tarver received a gag order from Haskins last season when he compared the Gophers to the sinking Titanic after a Gophers loss at Michigan. Tarver has since made the leap from basketball enigma to poised leader and team spokesman.
“My first couple of years here, I had a hard time understanding what my role was, as did most of you,” Tarver said.
Haskins, however, is sure to keep him on a short leash once the season begins.
Midnight Madness will go from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and will include a concert by former Gear Daddies frontman Martin Zellar at 10:15 p.m. Two students will have a chance to make a free throw, three-pointer and half-court shot and win a $10,000 scholarship.
KARE 11 news anchor Paul Magers will co-host the event with Tarver, who said the night is meant to honor the fans.
“That’s what we’ve based the whole night upon,” he said. “The fans make Williams Arena what I think is the hardest place to play in college basketball.
Shortly after midnight the team will be introduced and a brief warm-up and scrimmage will follow. All activities are free and open to the public, and Tarver said he has been working on a special ending to the night.
“At the end we’ll have a little rap session,” Tarver said. “I have a friend from Minneapolis who will come and incorporate some of us Gopher players in the song.”