Michael Dougherty

If Dennis Rodman is “The Worm”, then Miles Tarver is “The Night Crawler.”
Tarver yanked down a Rodman-esque 17 rebounds — a career high — in the 19th-ranked Gophers’ 90-83 overtime win over No. 20 Indiana, Tuesday night at Williams Arena.
Yet, despite the rebounding clinic Tarver conducted under the baskets, the senior made a plea to the Twin Cities to help him with the other part of his game which also bears resemblance to Rodman: a total lack of a shooting touch.
“I’m making a public cry,” Tarver said. “Anyone in the Twin Cities who can help me make a layup, I need your help.”
Tarver was a woeful 1-for-7 from the field, and five of those misses came from no more than four feet away from the basket. But his 17 boards (10 defensive, seven offensive) kept Minnesota in the tight game.
Gophers forward Quincy Lewis, who tied a career high with 36 points, said there is no need to worry about Tarver and his four-foot field goal funk.
“We’ll help him,” Lewis said. “He had 17 rebounds, and as long as he keeps doing that we’ll take it. We can always help him on the layups.”
Tarver agreed his line of 17 boards, four assists, three steals and only four points was remindful of Rodman. But Tarver said he wants something else to be like Rodman — and surprisingly it has nothing to do with his Baywatch-beauty wife, Carmen Electra.
“If I could get paid like Dennis Rodman,” he said, “that would be beautiful.”
Tarver’s bundle of rebounds weren’t easy to come by either, thanks to a career night for Indiana redshirt freshman Kirk Haston.
The 6-foot-10 center from Tennessee scored a career high 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds. His performance had many people scratching their heads and wondering who this guy is.
“Who?” Lewis begged when a reporter asked him about Haston’s night. “Oh, number 35. Now that you told me the number, I know who you’re talking about.
“Coach Haskins told us coming in that he was a very solid offensive player, and he found his sweet shot.”
Tarver agreed.
“God, was he killing us,” Tarver said of Haston. “Coach said he was a great player, and he was a tremendously great player.”
But Tarver made sure Haston was not tremendously great enough. Haston had 20 points with almost 14 minutes left in regulation, and Indiana holding a 55-51 lead. But Tarver held him to just four points the rest of the way.
“We know Miles is not a great shooter,” Gophers coach Clem Haskins said. “But I tell you what, without Miles Tarver we wouldn’t be sitting here at 13-4 and 4-3 in the Big Ten. We need all of his energy and his leadership on and off of the basketball court. He’s really having a great year.”