U blasts Phillipine nationals

Michael Dougherty

If Gophers men’s basketball co-captain Miles Tarver has President Clinton’s ear, like he jokingly claims, he might want to spend a little time with some advisors learning some proper diplomatic relations.
Tarver was one of the main participants in Monday night’s brawl during the Gophers exhibition game with the Philippine National Team at Williams Arena.
The 98-55 Minnesota victory was overshadowed by a nasty brawl in front of the Philippine bench less than four minutes into the first half.
Tarver and Andy Seigle, of the Philippine nationals, spent three straight trips up and down the court throwing elbows and jawing with each other before the melÇe erupted.
After Kevin Clark hit a 10-foot jump shot to give the Gophers a 7-5 lead, Tarver and Seigle tussled and Tarver put Seigle in a head lock.
The two players wrestled each other to the ground in front of the Philippine bench and many others joined in — including Kyle Sanden, Kevin Clark, co-captain Quincy Lewis and Terrance Simmons.
Simmons and Tarver were ejected for their involvement, as was Seigle, but Gophers coach Clem Haskins claimed Simmons was an innocent bystander.
“Poor Terrance, he was standing at half court and he’s no fighter,” Haskins said. “I’m sure when we review the video we’ll see he didn’t deserve to get ejected.”
Simmons, meanwhile, said he was shocked when he found out he was ejected, adding he was worried about being suspended for the team’s first regular season game Saturday with Appalachian State.
Tarver, on the other hand, was making light of the incident when he compared himself to another famous brawler — Mike Tyson.
“At least I didn’t bite anybody,” he said.
Tarver said the brawl was an unfortunate situation which took away from the game, but continued with his stand-up routine by bringing Clinton into his bit.
“Clinton just called and said, diplomatic relations with the Philippines depends a lot upon what I say right now,” Tarver said.
But while Simmons was getting tossed from the game, Lewis was tossing punches and making moves like Apollo Creed.
After the game, Lewis was pleading innocent. “What fight?” he said when asked about the fracas.
Oh, by the way, 36 minutes of the game was left to be played, and the Gophers regrouped without their co-captain (Tarver) and starting point guard (Simmons).
Lewis led the Gophers with 22 points, and Clark dumped in 19. The lone weakness the Gophers exhibited — other than Tarver’s lack of a good left jab — was some horrendous free throw shooting (12-of-27).