Gophers get 4th spot in AP poll

by Todd Zolecki

The Gophers men’s basketball team has nine games to play and its goal to win the Big Ten title remains. But it now has at least one thing on the last Minnesota team to win the title — its ranked higher in the Associated Press poll than the 1982 Big Ten championship team.
In the latest AP poll released Monday, the Gophers moved up two spots to No. 4 in the nation. The 1981-82 team never ranked higher than fifth.
Gophers coach Clem Haskins said he gets satisfaction that his team is fourth, the highest ranking for a team under Haskins.
“It’s a credit to the program and the hard work of the kids,” he said. “It’s really paid off, and I’m happy for them. Not only for that, but for the institution. It gets the name of the University of Minnesota out there.”
Travelling with Miles
For those who didn’t get to see it, and even for those who did, yes that was Miles Tarver running the fast break Saturday in the closing minute of Minnesota’s 75-56 win against Northwestern.
On the break, Tarver had nothing in front of him except the basket. He just needed to catch the pass and slam it through the hoop. Easy right?
Not so. The Gophers forward never got that far. He fumbled the pass, stopped, took a dribble and took a step before putting the ball up on the glass.
It went in, but the Gophers bench couldn’t believe it. Gophers coach Clem Haskins sank into his seat in disbelief.
“You’re always going to get jawed a little bit and made fun of when somebody fumbles the ball when they have a wide open dunk,” Gophers center John Thomas said. “That’s always going to get a laugh or two out of everybody.”
The rumor is Tarver took one too many steps with the ball.
Tarver, however, said he did not, under any circumstance, travel. And he didn’t care for the accusation.
“They try to take away my buckets when I get them, and I don’t get too many,” he said.
He’s right. That was his second field goal of the Big Ten season.
Buh-bye now
If any Minnesota senior has ever been glad to play his last game at Welsh-Ryan Arena it has to be center Trevor Winter. The last two years there haven’t been kind to him at all.
He fouled out Saturday in 11 minutes. He had no rebounds and two points.
A year ago Winter fouled out in five minutes with one rebound.
His line for those two years: 16 minutes, 10 fouls, one rebound and two points.
Is Big Red overrated?
Since opening the season 13-1, Indiana has struggled with its Big Ten opponents. The Hoosiers are 4-5 in conference play to put them in sixth place.
Indiana coach Bob Knight has become more and more frustrated with his team. During the Hoosiers’ 78-74 loss at home to Illinois on Sunday, Knight benched point guard Neil Reed. After the game, Knight said he’s going to start looking toward his freshmen for leadership.