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Marcus Fuller

Reporter | Gophers basketball
Marcus Fuller joined the Star Tribune in 2016 after 11 years covering Gophers sports – and just about every other team and league in town -- for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Before making the Twin Cities his home, Marcus spent two years in The Kansas City Star sports department. Marcus grew up in Hawaii and is a 2002 graduate of San Jose State.
Recent content from Marcus Fuller
Oregon knocked Kenisha Bell and Minnesota out of the the NCAA tournament on Sunday, but Bell will be a senior next season looking for another run into

'We will come back.' U women look to build on season's success

Destiny Pitts, the Big Ten freshman of the year, and all but three seniors will be back next season motivated to return to the NCAA tournament for a deeper run.
Oregon standout guard Sabrina Ionescu, left, was fouled by the Gophers' Gadiva Hubbard during the second half of Sunday night's game.

Dominant Ducks end Gophers' basketball season with 101-point show

Minnesota was trying to make its first women's Sweet 16 appearance since 2005, but were done in by high-scoring Oregon and its spectacular star Sabrina Ionescu.
Oregon's Satou Sabally, left, Oti Gildon, center left, and Lexi Bando, right, pressured Minnesota's Carlie Wagner during the second half Sunday night.

Gophers women's basketball team trying to send its seniors out in style

Carlie Wagner, Jessie Edwards and Bryanna Fernstrom were thrilled with reaching NCAAs, winning in first round.
Minnesota's Kenisha Bell, center, shoots between Green Bay's Jen Wellnitz during the first-round matchup.

Gophers, Oregon in for a shootout in women's basketball tournament

If you like offense, you're in for a treat Sunday. In Division I women's basketball, only Connecticut and Baylor average more than the Gophers' 85.3 points per game. Oregon isn't that far behind at ninth (82.1).
The Gophers’ Kenisha Bell tied up Green Bay’s Allie LeClaire. Minnesota won 89-77 over the Phoenix behind Bell’s 26 points, 24 in the second hal

Gophers pushed, then push back to defeat Green Bay in NCAA first round

Down 13 points in the third quarter, the 10th-seeded Gophers came alive down the stretch to win 89-77 against No. 7 seed Green Bay.
Minnesota's Destiny Pitts, Kenisha Bell, Gadiva Hubbard and Jessie Edwards, from left, celebrate the team's first-round win over Green Bay in the NCAA

Gophers freshman Pitts shows poise with 20 points

The Gophers set an NCAA tournament school record with 10 three-pointers vs. the Phoenix. Destiny Pitts led the team in threes, shooting 5-for-7 from beyond the arc
Former teammate Grace Coughlin said Carlie Wagner is “one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met in my life. She’s the type of person who always p

Wagner gets one more shot – finally – at the NCAA tournament

Senior scoring machine Carlie Wagner is the only player remaining from the Minnesota team that last played in the Big Dance in 2015, when it lost in the opening round to DePaul.
Borseth is happy to be back in Green Bay after time in Ann Arbor

Borseth is happy to be back in Green Bay after time in Ann Arbor

Green Bay women's basketball coach Kevin Borseth has picked up where he left off with the Phoenix.
The path to San Antonio: Marcus Fuller's NCAA predictions

The path to San Antonio: Marcus Fuller's NCAA predictions

From top seeds to top point guards to top match-ups, here are 14 things to watch as the NCAA men's basketball tournament starts with tonight's play-in games.
Gophers senior guard Carlie Wagner looked up at the giant screen while hugging coach Marlene Stollings and fellow guard Kenisha Bell.

Border battle: Gophers playing Green Bay in NCAA women's opener

The Gophers were a bit on edge Monday after the selection show displayed a graphic of them as one of eight teams fighting for the final four spots.
Can Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue or Michigan end the Big Ten's drought in winning the NCAA men's basketball tournament?

Can Big Ten teams shed conference's tarnished image in NCAA tourney?

Four teams this season argue they have as good a chance as any of their Big Ten predecessors to win the title.
Gophers guard Gadiva Hubbard passed to a teammate under pressure in the first half during the 2018 Big Ten women's basketball tournament.

Stollings says despite NCAA debate, Gophers women have earned bid

The Gophers (23-8), who finished fourth in the Big Ten, are having a selection show viewing party for fans at Williams Arena on Monday night.
College basketball players practice leading up to an NCAA tournament game.

Cloud hangs over this year's March Madness with FBI probe

But FBI probe lingers in background of college basketball's biggest month.
Minnesota guard Gadiva Hubbard dribbles between Ohio State guards Jensen Caretti (33) and Sierra Calhoun during the first half of an NCAA college bask

Gophers women's basketball falls just short vs. top-seed Ohio State

The Gophers led the up-temo Big Ten semifinal early, but Ohio State went on a big run to finish.
Gophers' Wagner had motivation for victory over Iowa

Gophers' Wagner had motivation for victory over Iowa

A berth in the Big Ten semifinals was the only way Carlie Wagner's family would see her play this week.

Gophers-Ohio State game recap

The Gophers women's basketball team lost 90-88 to top-seeded Ohio State in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament.
From left to right, Palma Kaposi, Carlie Wagner, Gadiva Hubbard and Kenisha Bell celebrated after beating Iowa 90-89 Friday in the Big Ten tournament.

Stollings: Gophers 'in safely' for NCAAs after holding off Iowa in Big Ten tourney

After losing a 12-point lead in the first half, Minnesota had to fight off a Big Ten player of the year Megan Gustafson's Big Ten tournament record 48 points
Gophers guard/forward Destiny Pitts battles for the ball with Iowa forward Amanda Ollinger during the second half in the 2018 Big Ten Women's Basketba

Gophers' Pitts finally gets hot shooting in fourth quarter

The Big Ten freshman of the year opened the game 1-for-12 from three-point range. But Destiny Pitts scored 11 of her 14 points on 3-for-4 shooting from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter.
Gophers point guard Kenisha Bell wants to get to her first NCAA tournament this March.

Bell's next big move: Get Gophers into the NCAA tournament

The Gophers were just 15-16 in junior Kenisha Bell's first season, but the team has blossomed behind her and senior guard Carlie Wagner into an NCAA contender.
Gophers forward Jordan Murphy will return next season as one of the nation’s top players. This season he averaged 16.8 points and 11.3 rebounds per

At least help is on the way for Gophers men's basketball

The Gophers ended with losses in 14 of their final 16 games but could get better quickly with a restocked roster of healthy veterans and three recruits from the Twin Cities.

Gophers' 2018-19 projected lineup

Marcus Fuller projects next season's Gophers starters and top reserves.
Rutgers guard Geo Baker (0) and Minnesota guard Isaiah Washington (11) go after a loose ball after Washington lost control of it during the first half

Washington eager for next year after 'being pushed every day' by Gophers

Isaiah Washington, a Harlem native, was the top recruit in Minnesota's 2017 class out of St. Raymond's High School in the Bronx.
Jordan Murphy led the Gophers in scoring this season and led the Big Ten in rebounding. (AP file photo)

In Murphy's corner this season: Mom and Dad on ultimate road trip

Amid the team's struggles, Gophers' junior Jordan Murphy is finishing his best season. His parents moved to the Twin Cities from Texas so they could see his games.
Jordan Murphy

Murphy named second-team All-Big Ten; Mason passed over

Jordan Murphy averaged 17 points per game and also broke the program's single-season rebound mark with 352; Nate Mason only received honorable mention.
The Gophers' Kenisha Bell passed to Carlie Wagner (33) earlier this month vs. Michigan.

U's Bell, Wagner, Pitts bring home Big Ten women's basketball honors

Kenisha Bell and Carlie Wagner were named All-Big Ten first team Monday by both media and coaches, and Destiny Pitts was selected as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Purdue center Isaac Haas (44) dunked in front of Gophers forward Michael Hurt in the second half Sunday. No. 9 Purdue defeated Minnesota 84-60.

Gophers crushed by Purdue to end regular season

The Gophers finished the regular season with their 13th loss in 15 games after getting blitzed to open the second half. They open the Big ten tournament on Wednesday as the 11th seed.
Richard Pitino on his program: “We believe in what we’re doing.” (Star Tribune file photo by RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER,

Gophers' Pitino on college basketball scandal: 'Hard to really know' what's to come

Richard Pitino is confident in his program, which was reviewed by the U earlier this season. But like many, the coach is looking for answers as more layers of corruption are exposed.
Minnesota's Nate Mason shoots during the first half against Iowa at Williams Arena on Wednesday.

Mason helps Gophers end losing streak, beat Iowa on Senior Night

A motivated Nate Mason put Monday's stinging loss behind him and finished his career at Williams Arena with 33 points in an 86-82 win Wednesday night against the Hawkeyes.

Gophers' Amir Coffey has shoulder surgery, out four to six months

Gophers sophomore guard Amir Coffey is on the road to a long recovery process after successful surgery on his right shoulder Wednesday.Coffey, a 6-foot-8…
Senior Nate Mason will finish his Gophers career among the program’s career leaders in points and assists.

Through adversity, Mason put a stamp on his Gophers legacy

Whenever point guard Nate Mason faced adversity during his University of Minnesota career, he believed he had the strength to overcome it.
Wisconsin's Nate Reuvers (35) and Ethan Happ, behind, trap Gophers forward Jordan Murphy during the first half Monday.

Gophers lose late lead, fall by 10 to Wisconsin in overtime

The Gophers led by seven with six minutes to play and by three with 13 seconds left. But key mistakes and a call they disagreed with combined to send them to their ninth straight loss.
Brad Davison (34), a former Maple Grove two-sport standout and the 2016 Star Tribune Metro Football Player of the Year, is one of the bright spots dur

Former Maple Grove star Davison toughing out season with Badgers

The two-sport standout in high school is ignoring a shoulder injury to be a Badgers bright spot as they prepare to face the Gophers.
Gophers guard Amir Coffey dribbled away from Wildcats forward Gavin Skelly (44) and center Dererk Pardon (5) in the first half. ] JEFF WHEELER Ô jeff

Coffey to miss rest of Gophers basketball season

The sophomore has missed 10 of the past 12 games because of an injured right shoulder.
Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo was under heavy scrutiny in late January when an ESPN report mentioned his program, along with the Spartans f

Michigan State keeps winning despite its off-the-court issues

Coach Tom Izzo has chosen not to address any of the reports accusing his university of covering up sexual assault allegations against his program.
Indiana guard Robert Johnson scores on a breakaway dunk in front of Minnesota guard Jamir Harris during the second half of an NCAA college basketball

More of the same: Gophers fall at Indiana, losing streak reaches seven

Already without four top players, mistakes by the Gophers basketball team now turn tight games into blowouts like Friday's at Assembly Hall because the talent and depth just isn't there.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino said of this year's struggles: "I’ve never seen a team get hit with this many things in the middle of the season."

'Really, really hard' reality: Gophers slide out of postseason view

Even going undefeated in the last five regular-season games wouldn't be enough to get the Gophers men's basketball team into the NCAA tournament for a second consecutive year.
The Gophers' Michael Hurt (42) tried to block a layup by Nebraska's Evan Taylor at Williams Arena on Tuesday night.

U's best efforts not enough in sixth consecutive loss

Mason's 34 points, Murphy's latest double-double fail to save U vs. Huskers.
Sophomore guard Amir Coffey, the Gophers’ third-leading scorer at 14 points per game, missed his third consecutive game against Nebraska on Tuesday.

Gophers' Coffey still hampered by right shoulder injury

Amir Coffey, the Gophers' third-leading scorer at 14 points per game, missed his third consecutive game against Nebraska on Tuesday.
Tim Miles has guided Nebraska to eight Big Ten victories this season, after winning 17 the previous three combined.

Nebraska, Miles following Gophers' playbook from last season

The Cornhuskers were predicted to finish 13th in the Big Ten, but are currently tied for fourth with Michigan and looking at an NCAA tournament berth.
Minnesota guard Nate Mason (2) makes a lamp as Michigan guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (12) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketb

Gophers rally for overtime before losing 76-73 to Michigan

Minnesota led for much of the game early before losing for the seventh time in eight games.
Michigan's Charles Matthews is defended by Nebraska's Isaiah Roby.

As Gophers know, transfers can make big impact to revive a team

The No. 24 Wolverines, who play host to the Gophers on Saturday, are led by Kentucky transfer Charles Matthews, who is averaging 14.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists this season.
Gophers junior Jordan Murphy is a few inches shorter than most Big Ten centers, but he is powerful enough to hold his own physically.

Small for a center, Murphy moves back into middle for U

Jordan Murphy is playing center again is the latest tweak to a starting lineup that has changed eight times this season. Small ball appears to be Minnesota's last hope
Gophers guard Isaiah Washington played just seven minutes against Maryland earlier this month, missing all three of his shots and finishing scoreless.

Hyped freshman Washington learning from Gophers bench

There have been some ups but many downs lately for Isaiah Washington, playing few minutes on a struggling Gophers basketball team.
Gophers guard Isaiah Washington stood near Northwestern guard Scottie Lindsey (20) as the clock ran out during the Wildcats' 77-69 victory at Williams

Northwestern deals U its sixth loss in seven games

The Wildcats faced a 10-point first-half deficit and trailed 40-34 at halftime, but they shot 54 percent in the second half.
Amir Coffey worked his way between Ohio State’s Jae’Sean Tate (1) and Andre Wesson on Saturday, when Coffey returned from a five-game absence.

Coffey's accelerated recovery gives Gophers hope they can do the same

Amir Coffey's sooner-than-expected return gives the team hope to turn things around this season, a task they'll try to begin tonight against Northwestern at the Barn.
Gophers defenseman Tyler Nanne (29) attempts a shot that sails to the right of Michigan State Spartans goalie John Lethemon

Gophers hockey completes sweep over Michigan State

Following a one-goal win at Michigan State on Thursday, the Gophers kept the momentum going with a 2-1 victory against the Spartans on Saturday in New York City.
Ohio State guard Kam Williams (15) and forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) guard Minnesota guard Amir Coffey (5) during the first half of an NCAA college ba

Coffey shows 'great heart' in return but Gophers fall to Ohio State at MSG

The Gophers fell to 1-5 without suspended center Reggie Lynch in a 67-49 loss at Madison Square Garden.
Maryland guard Anthony Cowan, center, shoots between Minnesota forward Davonte Fitzgerald (20) and guard Dupree McBrayer during the second half of an

Second-half surge sends Maryland by Gophers 77-66

Maryland on Thursday shot 56 percent from the field, and a blistering 68 percent in the second half to shut down the Gophers.
Gophers freshman guard Jamir Harris was averaging only 1.2 points and eight minutes in Big Ten play, but he scored a career-high 16 points — making

Freshman Harris rewarded for patience, hard work with start

Freshman Jamir Harris' first start and 36 minutes on the floor boosted the Gophers' offense on Monday in edging Penn State on the road.
Gophers point guard Nate Mason (shown earlier this month playing against Illinois) scored a team-high 25 points in a 95-84 overtime victory against Pe

Gophers' unsightly slide ends with overtime victory at Penn State

Nate Mason and Dupree McBrayer combined to score 49 points, and Jordan Murphy had 22 points and 19 rebounds.
Gophers guard Amir Coffey

Gophers feel Coffey's absence in all areas

The Gophers are quickly finding out they can't replace injured guard Amir Coffey's versatility.
Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach Richard Pitino shouted to his players from the bench in the first half of their game against Purdue on Saturday, J

Gophers endure one of worst losses in Barn history, 81-47 to Purdue

Purdue looked like the defending Big Ten champions, but the Gophers resembled a team still struggling mightily.
Nate Mason fouled out in the Gophers’ 83-60 loss to Northwestern on Wednesday. (AP Photo by Nam Y. Huh)

Mason, Murphy need to put Northwestern disaster behind them

Nate Mason and Jordan Murphy compounded the Gophers' problems Wednesday by picking the worst time to struggle in the same game — letting frustration lead first to foul trouble and then the bench.
Richard Pitino met with the media on Jan. 5 to discuss the Reggie Lynch situation.

Pitino says he followed protocol in determining Lynch's status

Coach conferred with athletic director Mark Coyle. Lynch, appealing two sexual misconduct decisions, can practice but not play in games.
Point guard McKinley Wright, Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball in 2017, leads Colorado in scoring (15.6) and assists (5.2).

Eleven Minnesota freshmen taking men's college basketball by storm

McKinley Wright, a former Minnesota Mr. Basketball at Champlin Park, leads a loaded Class of 2017 from Minnesota.
Purdue guard Carsen Edwards (3) drives past Minnesota guard DuPree McBreyer (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Jan

Purdue's Carsen Edwards climbing list of Big Ten's best guards

He's Purdue's leading scorer (16.9 points per game), a confident shooter and arguably the Big Ten's top guard.
Northwestern guard Scottie Lindsey, left, blocked a shot by Gophers guard Dupree McBrayer during the first half Wednesday.

A feeble fall: Gophers badly outplayed in 23-point loss

Jordan Murphy's string of double-doubles came to end at 17 games and the Gophers suffered their worst lost in two years.
Gophers junior Jordan Murphy, already a double-double machine, will need to become a even more efficient scorer.

Who steps up for Gophers with Lynch, Coffey out? Everyone

To make the NCAA tournament, nearly every player that sees the floor for the Gophers, including Jordan Murphy, is going to need to do more the rest of the way with a shorthanded lineup.
Jordan Murphy (3) and Jamir Harris (4) cover Indiana's Aljami Durham during the first half

Indiana goes on late run to defeat undermanned Gophers 75-71

Missing two starters, the Gophers were up by four with under four minutes to play but allowed the Hoosiers to close the game on a 10-2 run.
Gophers guard Nate Mason chased after a loose ball Wednesday against Illinois.

Mason returns, helps Gophers piece together victory over Illinois

The Illini made only one of their first 19 shots, but Minnesota struggled to finish them off. Nate Mason returned from an ankle injury, and scored 17 points.
Richard Pitino said of his team: “Let’s control what we can control. Let’s get better and really, really excited about the next 16 games.”

After some bumps, U tries to right the ship as Big Ten play picks up

Expectations were for the Gophers to look like not only a potential high seed in the NCAA tournament, but a team that could eventually could compete for the Big Ten title. That's not the reality, though, as the conference season gets into full gear with home games Wednesday vs. Illinois and Saturday vs. Indiana.
Minnesota Golden Gophers guard Nate Mason (2) winced in pain as he was helped off the floor after suffering a leg injury in the second half against th

Mason injures ankle in Gophers' 35-point victory over Florida Atlantic

The Gophers announced Saturday night that senior guard Nate Mason is day-to-day after injuring his left ankle while trying for a steal early in the second half.
Gophers sophomore guard Amir Coffey emphatically threw down a dunk in the second half against Oral Roberts on Thursday night at Williams Arena.

Strong second half propels Gophers past Oral Roberts

After struggling to pull away early, the Gophers turned up the defensive pressure in the second half in their return to the court after a 10-day break.
Richard Pitino and Nate Mason have about a week to rest and work out the kinks of a rough start to December.

Pitino welcomes break in schedule for worn-out Gophers

The Gophers are in a nine-day stretch without a game, and coming off a narrow victory over Drake in which they were booed at halftime.
Minnesota Gophers center Reggie Lynch bent over backwards to score his 1000th career point early in the second half.

'Like going to the dentist'; Gophers escape by one point over Drake

The Gophers trailed Drake, which was 7-24 last season and picked to finish last in the Missouri Valley Conference this season, until the final nine minutes.
Nebraska's Glynn Watson Jr. (5) drives past Minnesota's Nate Mason (2) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lincoln, Neb., Tue

Exposed: As competition toughens, opponents poke holes in U's defense

Without players to replace the graduated Akeem Springs and injured Eric Curry, Minnesota has been exposed as a team that fails to communicate in its half-court defense.
Arkansas forward Dustin Thomas pulls up for a jump shot over Minnesota defender Jordan Murphy in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Fri

Slide continues as No. 14 Gophers fall 95-79 at unranked Arkansas

The loss, Minnesota's third in the past four games, will likely drop the Gophers out of the top 25.
Eric Curry had a strong freshman season with the Gophers, but his sophomore season was over before it began.

Gophers' Curry bides his time following serious knee injury

Sophomore forward Eric Curry won't get a chance to play in his homecoming game Saturday at Arkansas because of a knee injury but Gophers staff, teammates and family have kept Curry's spirits high..
Gophers freshman guard Isaiah Washington passed the ball around Nebraska's Jordy Tshimanga during the second half Tuesday. Nebraska won 78-68.

Gophers left looking red-faced in road loss to Nebraska

The No. 14-ranked Gophers lacked energy and squandered chances on both ends of the court in losing for the fifth straight time at Nebraska.
Gophers guard Dupree McBrayer missed only one game because of a leg infection that caused him to lose nearly 20 pounds.

McBrayer's return helps Gophers return to things they do best

Dupree McBrayer came back Sunday after missing a game because of a right leg infection that caused him to be hospitalized and lose nearly 20 pounds
Isaiah Washington (11) lost control of the ball in the second half.

Gophers prized freshman Washington gets first college start

Dupree McBrayer missed Wednesday's game against No. 10 Miami with an infection in his leg, and was replaced in the starting lineup by freshman Isaiah Washington.
Jordan Murphy leads the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding. (AP photo)

Should Big Ten just name its player of week award for Jordan Murphy?

Gophers forward Jordan Murphy has won the conference player of the week award in men's basketball for the third straight week.
Former Louisville head coach Rick Pitino smiles as he watches the game action during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game between Alabama

Watching his son's team rise, Rick Pitino spends weekend in Brooklyn

The fired Louisville coach watched both of the Gophers' games in Brooklyn.
The referee speaks to Alabama head coach Avery Johnson after a fight broke out during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Minne

Gophers defeat three-man Alabama by just 5; entire Tide bench ejected

Alabama's entire bench was ejected midway through the second half, and the Crimson Tide finished the game with just three players vs. the Gophers.
Gophers center Reggie Lynch defended against Alabama A&M forward Mohamed Sherif as he shot in the first half last week.

Six-game stretch starting today will put Pitino's Gophers to the test

Alabama, Miami and the first two Big Ten games are coming up for the No. 14 Gophers, who play UMass at 11 a.m. this morning in Brooklyn.
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