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Marcus Fuller

Reporter | Gophers basketball
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Marcus Fuller covers Gophers men's basketball and college basketball for the Star Tribune. He has 13 years of experience covering Twin Cities college and professional sports. 


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, he spent two years in The Kansas City Star sports department. Fuller grew up in Hawaii and is a 2002 graduate of San Jose State.
Recent content from Marcus Fuller
Drexel junior forward Alihan Demir will make an official visit to Minnesota this weekend. He is 6-8 and a Turkey native.

Gophers looking at Drexel forward and other graduate transfers

The Drexel forward might be just the first to check out the U campus.
Minnehaha Academy's Jalen Suggs is very much on the Gophers' radar for the 2020 recruiting class.

Gophers, Pitino turn focus to 2020 after being shut out by state's Class of '19

With Rochester's Matthew Hurt set to announce his college choice - which will not be Minnesota - coach Richard Pitino has turned the page to 2020. Can he be more successful with another group that's attracting national attention?
Minnesota coach Richard Pitino gave Daniel Oturu some company down low by recruiting Sam Freeman, a 6-10 center like Oturu.

Freeman signs with Gophers basketball, is another 6-10 option at center

Sam Freeman, who picked the Gophers over Virginia Tech earlier this month, averaged 13.5 points, 11 rebounds and 1.5 blocks this season for his prep team in Texas.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino directed his team during a first-round game against Louisville. Pitino signed an extension at season's end.

New contract in hand, Pitino gears up for another recruiting push

The Gophers have up to four scholarships still available for the Class of 2019 with the spring recruiting period starting Wednesday.
Wasatch Academy’s Tre’ Williams, a 6-5 guard and four-star recruit committed to the Gophers, is among a handful of promising recruits pursued by c

Fresh off tournament, Richard Pitino poised for big decisions on next Gophers roster

Four, possibly five, slots to be filled in next month.
Jarvis Omersa and the Gophers are headed to Sioux Falls, S.D., again next season.

Gophers basketball will play Oklahoma next season in Sioux Falls

This will be the third game for the Gophers at the Sanford Pentagon, which included playing Oklahoma State in 2015 and Vanderbilt in 2016.
Virginia’s Ty Jerome hoisted the championship trophy aloft Monday as he walked off the U.S. Bank Stadium court. The Cavaliers showed that not just t

This year's tournament signals a new era for NCAA basketball

College Basketball Insider: Successful teams take a page from the past to build winners for the future.
Analysis and prediction: Texas Tech vs. Virginia for the national title

Analysis and prediction: Texas Tech vs. Virginia for the national title

These two programs have never played each other. Here's a look at how this historic first meeting might play out in Monday's national championship.
Michigan State's Earvin 'Magic' Johnson raises his hand after they defeated Larry Bird and Indiana State 75-64 to win the NCAA championship, in Salt L

80 years of fabulous finishes to the NCAA basketball season

As entertaining as the past couple of weeks of this year's NCAA tournament have been, it will take a lot for Monday's national championship game to crack this list of the top 10 title games.

NCAA considering a change to graduate-transfer rule, which would make them less desirable

The proposed change to the graduate-transfer rule would put colleges on the hook for a two-year scholarship commitment, instead of just one season.
NCAA President Mark Emmert said court cases involving recruiting and scholarships are still being decided.

NCAA President Emmert addresses looming recruiting, scholarship issues at Final Four

Timetable on addressing NCAA violators, rules changes unclear.

Beard supports Izzo's tough-love style at Michigan State

Although he doesn't personally know about the relationship Tom Izzo has with his players, Chris Beard said "there's no doubt" that there's a lot of trust involved, just like in his Red Raiders program.
Minnesota's Amir Coffey drives past Michigan State's Aaron Henry during the first half of their NCAA tournament game.

Coffey declares for NBA draft, keeps door open for return to Gophers

Even though he has declared and will work with an agent, new NCAA rules allow for Amir Coffey's return to the Gophers next fall for his senior season.

Gophers star Jordan Murphy has a busy Final Four weekend

The Big Ten team will try to defend its 3-on-3 championship title during Final Four weekend this year, with another Gophers All-Big Ten standout leading…
Gophers sophomore point guard Isaiah Washington announced Monday on Twitter he plans to transfer to another school.

Losing the love, guard Washington leaving Gophers basketball

Richard Pitino said he couldn't play everyone when referring to Washington, and the Gophers coach decided to use 6-foot-8 Amir Coffey as his main point guard.
Upon their return to East Lansing from Washington after midnight Monday, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and his team were greeted by thousands of fans

Coaches preparing their teams for crush of fans and media

Coaches lean on each other a lot for advice about how to deal with everything surrounding the event. Even Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who's bringing a team for the eighth time, still asks for help.
Guard Amir Coffey is one of three starters who will return to the Gophers for the 2019-20 season.

Gophers 'set expectations high' as they look to build on NCAA tourney

Making an NCAA tournament run is Minnesota's goal next season, but coach Richard Pitino's biggest challenge is replacing one of the program's all-time greats.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino watched from the bench during Saturday's NCAA tournament loss to Michigan State.

Minnesota lauds its 'awesome' fans for traveling to Des Moines for NCAA tournament

Minnesota fans packed Wells Fargo Arena for both the Gophers' NCAA tournament games.
Minnesota's Jordan Murphy shoots over Louisville's Jordan Nwora (33) during the second half of a first round game in the NCAA Tournament

Gophers, Spartans have made big strides since February meeting

No. 2 seed Michigan State, which turned its season around and won the conference tournament, squares off against a Gophers team that in the opening round turned in its best performance of the season vs. Louisville.

Big Ten matchup pops up quickly in NCAA tournament

Saturday's Gophers/Spartans game will be the earliest two Big Ten teams have played in the NCAA tournament since the expansion to 64 teams in 1985
Minnesota's Amir Coffey (5) celebrates a three-point basket during the first half against Louisville. It was one of 11 by the Gophers, who ranked near

Gophers show new moves in Louisville win; Michigan St. next

Only a dozen of the 353 teams in Division I have fewer three-point baskets than the Gophers, who hit 11 of them in beating Louisville and moving into a Saturday night game against No. 2-seed Michigan State.
Minnesota forward Jordan Murphy

'No doubt': Murphy insists sore back won't keep him out vs. Michigan State

In the second round Saturday, the Gophers will need Jordan Murphy at his best against No. 2 seed Michigan State, who won the Big Ten regular-season and conference tournament titles.
Louisville's Malik Williams (5)

Louisville's versatility will test Gophers; Stockman might not play

The Cardinals ranked second in the ACC in three-point attempts overall (834) and first in free-throw shooting percentage (77.5), which is on pace for a school record.
Guards Amir Coffey (5) and Dupree McBrayer are two of the veteran players who are trying to share their 2017 NCAA tournament experience and knowledge

Veterans trying to prepare younger U teammates for NCAA pressure

The upperclassmen learned the hard way when the Gophers played their first NCAA tournament game under Richard Pitino as a No. 5 seed against Middle Tennessee State
Gophers guard Gabe Kalscheur went for a loose ball with Purdue’s Sasha Stefanovic on Friday, when Kalscheur shut down Boilermakers star Carsen Edwar

Defense is key if Gophers are going to succeed against Louisville

The Gophers know another letdown can end their season.
The Gophers were one of 68 teams selected for the NCAA tournament Sunday. Play begins this week and reaches its epic conclusion next month at U.S. Ban

Destination Des Moines: Gophers, Pitino draw Louisville

The 10th-seeded Gophers won't have to travel far for their first-round matchup with 7-seed Louisville on Thursday - a familiar opponent for coach Richard Pitino.
Michigan's Isaiah Livers reacts after making a shot during the second half against the Gophers in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament

Gophers run out of steam in blowout loss to Michigan but it's energy well-spent

Michigan led by 19 at halftime, and showed was playing for something bigger in a 76-49 throttling of Minnesota at United Center. But the Gophers' statement in Chicago was noted.

Gophers guard Washington sees mop-up minutes

The former four-star recruit from New York missed his only shot, but Isaiah Washington had two assists and three fouls in 11 minutes against the Wolverines
Minnesota's Matz Stockman (35) battles against Purdue's Matt Haarms (32) and Aaron Wheeler (1)

Gophers' Stockman treated for concussionlike symptoms

Gophers' 7-footer Matz Stockman left Friday's game midway through the second half and was tested by the team trainer. He was hit in the head unintentionally by Purdue's Trevion Williams
Jordan Murphy goes up for a dunk against Purdue's Grady Eifert

Bring on the Big Ten semis: Murphy, Coffey lead Gophers to upset of Purdue

The seventh-seeded Gophers got 27 points from Jordan Murphy and 21 from Amir Coffey to upset No. 2 Purdue 75-73 and advance to Saturday's semifinals in Chicago.
Jordan Murphy drives against Penn State's Mike Watkins during the first half

Gophers AD Coyle confident recent victories enough for NCAA berth

The Gophers are confident they've done enough to be named one of the 36 NCAA at-large bids to be announced Sunday.
Amir Coffey dunks over Penn State's Lamar Stevens during the second half, one in which Coffey willed the Gophers to overtime and a victory

Coffey saves best for last in Gophers 'needed' OT victory over Penn State

Amir Coffey's 22 points in Thursday night's 77-72 overtime victory moves the seventh-seeded Gophers into Friday's third round vs. No. 2 Purdue, and all but assures them a spot in the NCAA tournament.
Gophers guard Amir Coffey has been a prolific scorer of late, averaging 29 points in his past three games, but the team’s NCAA tournament chances ha

Life on the bubble: Gophers believe they're in, but win would ease angst

Richard Pitino believes the Gophers are in good shape to receive the program's second NCAA tournament at-large bid in three years. A win over Penn State on Thursday would firm that thought.
Gophers guard Amir Coffey struggled early against defense by the likes of Maryland forward Ricky Lindo Jr. but eventually finished with 23 points in a

Gophers end regular season with a dud at Maryland

The Gophers faltered early against the Terps and now must wait on a rocky NCAA tournament bid.
Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Jordan Murphy (3) thanked the fans on his last time playing at home Tuesday March 5, 2019 at Williams Arena in Minnea

Storm alert: Gophers survive 11th-ranked Purdue's late surge for upset

The Gophers knew what was at stake for them on Senior Night — the potential for a major accomplishment to add to their NCAA tournament résumé.
Eric Curry played against Purdue earlier this season.

Curry injures foot, will miss rest of Gophers season

Sophomore center Eric Curry had just returned this season from a knee injury.
Senior captains Dupree McBrayer (1) and Jordan Murphy have been through much during their careers at Minnesota.

End of the journey: Senior Night will be emotional for U's Murphy, McBrayer

The senior captains have backgrounds and paths to Minnesota that could not be more different, but they formed a strong bond during their four years with the Gophers,
Joe Lunardi wears many hats in his life, but to college basketball fans he’s Joey Brackets, projector of the NCAA tournament field.

Meet Joe Lunardi, Mr. Bracketology and tracker of Final Four teams

ESPN's Joe Lunardi has become as synonymous with March as Cinderellas and pep bands.
Gophers guard Amir Coffey, right, smiles after scoring a basket as he runs with center Daniel Oturu during the second half

Coffey doesn't tire as he scores in bunches at Northwestern

Amir Coffey entered Thursday's game averaging just 11 points on 35.9 percent shooting in his previous seven games.
Gophers senior Jordan Murphy fought for a basket against Indiana on Feb. 16.

With NCAA tournament hopes on line, U needs more from its veterans

During Sunday's loss at Rutgers, the Gophers' most experienced players deferred to freshmen, who were the ones playing more like veterans.
Gophers freshman Daniel Oturu scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half at Rutgers.

Home-state freshmen carry the load in Gophers loss

The Gophers freshmen combined for 41 points against the Scarlet Knights.
Gophers senior guard Dupree McBrayer put up a shot over Rutgers defender Peter Kiss on Sunday.

Road to nowhere? Gophers' NCAA hopes take another hit with loss at Rutgers

Freshmen Gabe Kalscheur and Daniel Oturu were the only Minnesota players in double figures, combining for 41 points in a 68-64 loss.
Richard Pitino

Gophers coach Richard Pitino: We're still in the fight

In a Q&A with the Star Tribune, Richard Pitino gave an assessment so far of this season, how the offense can improve, talks with athletics director Mark Coyle about his program's future and more.
Gophers guard Amir Coffe tried to squeeze between Michigan defenders Colin Castleton, left, and Charles Matthews.

Bad shooting, defensive lapses frustrate Gophers in loss to Michigan

Forward Jordan Murphy admitted that the Gophers were so discouraged with their poor shooting at times that it carried over to defensive lapses.
Minnesota guard Amir Coffey, right, is hoping for a rare Gophers win over a top 10 team.

Gophers need calm, but want 'crazy environment' for Michigan rematch

Beating seventh-ranked Michigan tonight at Williams Arena could be what nails down Minnesota's spot in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Curry returns from calf injury, but Washington sits out Gophers' win

The Gophers were down one player to injury for Saturday's 84-63 win vs. Indiana, but they gained another back into the rotation.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino watched his team lose to Wisconsin on Feb. 6, the second game in this four-game skid.

In search of a solution: Gophers desperate to end losing streak

The Gophers enter Saturday's home game against Indiana hoping to climb back up and stop a four-game losing streak. They are 0-for-February and have fallen from sixth to eighth place in the Big Ten since the slump began.
Minnesota's Dupree McBrayer, left, Amir Coffey (5) and Nebraska's James Palmer Jr. (0) go for a loose ball during the second half of an NCAA college b

Angry Pitino laments 'absolutely unfortunate' final moments in loss to Nebraska

James Palmer Jr.'s two free throws with 1.1 seconds left following a controversial foul call sealed Nebraska's 62-61 victory. "We deserved to win the game," Gophers coach Richard Pitino said.
Nebraska's James Palmer Jr., right, hugs coach Tim Miles following Wednesday's game.

Injuries, losing streak complicate Nebraska's season

The Cornhuskers' seven-game losing streak — one that ended by edging the Gophers 62-61 on Wednesday — put the program in danger of missing the NCAA tournament for the fifth consecutive year.
Michigan center Jon Teske defended a shot attempt from Gophers guard Amir Coffey in January.

'We have to pull through': Gophers in search of answers away from home

Poor shooting, undisciplined defense and an absence of mental and physical toughness to finish games have all contributed to a 1-6 road record filled with lopsided losses.
Minnesota center Eric Curry

Gophers' Curry sits out Saturday's game because of calf injury

"We need Eric back," coach Richard Pitino said. "We're clearly a better team, just a more complete team with him back."
Gabe Kalscheur has hit a Gophers-best 47 three-pointers this season, but the freshman guard from DeLaSalle has cooled off from long range following a

Frozen solid: Misses from deep range adding up in a bad way for Gophers

The Gophers are among the nation's worst teams at shooting three-pointers, and are on pace to set a program record for lowest three-point percentage.
Badgers forward Nate Reuvers blocked a shot by Gophers guard Gabe Kalscheur

Lakeville North's Reuvers gets to play at Williams Arena — as a Badger

Nate Reuvers attended Gophers games as a standout at Lakeville North, but he always wondered what it would be like to play on the Barn's raised floor. Wednesday he got his chance.
Richard Pitino’s Gophers can earn an NCAA at-large bid by performing well in the final nine games of the season.

Gophers believe remaining schedule sets up well for NCAA berth

Minnesota's remaining schedule, beginning with tonight's game vs. Wisconsin, is ideal for a team needing more quality victories to feel comfortable on Selection Sunday in March.
Purdue standout Carsen Edwards shot over Gophers forward Eric Curry in the second half Sunday, when the All-America guard scored 15 of his 17 points.

Gophers men lose 13-point lead in second half, fall to Purdue

Purdue put together a 21-2 run midway through the second half to end Minnesota's upset bid. "We went cold at the wrong time," Richard Pitino said.
After starting at center for the first 18 games of his freshman season, Daniel Oturu (shown in a Jan. 30 game against Illinois) didn’t need much tim

Now as a reserve, Oturu still providing boost for Gophers

The 6-10 Cretin-Derham Hall product carried his team in the first half Sunday, scoring 13 of his 19 points in a 73-63 loss at No. 17 Purdue.
Success for the Gophers often depends on 6-8 guard Amir Coffey establishing himself quickly on offense.

Gophers' Coffey leads in college while developing NBA skills

Junior guard Amir Coffey is having a banner season, averaging a career-high 18.9 points (third in the Big Ten), 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists in conference play.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu (25) looked to pass the ball while being defended by Illinois guards Tevian Jones (5) and Ayo Dosunmu. The University of M

Gophers freshman center Daniel Oturu back playing after shoulder injury

He had 11 points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes, going 7-for-10 from the free-throw line.
The Illini was winless in Big Ten play when the Gophers visited Champaign on Jan. 16. They weren’t by the end of the night

Stain removal: Gophers hope to erase memory of rout at Illinois

The Illinois team that dominated the Gophers 95-68 on Jan. 16 will be on the other bench again Wednesday night at Williams Arena as Minnesota looks to take another step in its recovery process.
Forward Eric Curry helped cap the Gophers' 92-87 upset of No. 19 Iowa with a late second-half dunk at Williams Arena on Sunday.

Hot-shooting, slick-passing Gophers knock off No. 19 Iowa

Playing without starter Daniel Oturu, Minnesota shot 57 percent from the field and dished out 25 assists on 32 field goals. "When we get the ball moving, good things can happen," coach Richard Pitino said.
With Daniel Oturu unavailable because of an injury, center Matz Stockman (35) provided valuable minutes off the bench in the Gophers' 92-87 victory ov

Back-up big men step up, play big roles in beating Iowa

The Gophers knew Daniel Oturu's absence Sunday would be difficult to overcome, but Eric Curry and Matz Stockman rose to the challenge.
A Michigan fan in the student section holds up a sign at referees at the game official review a buzzer-beater at the end of an NCAA college basketball

Buzzer beaten: No. 5 Michigan survives Gophers final-minutes rally

"We thought we were going into overtime," said Gophers center Eric Curry, who blocked the shot that was tipped to Michigan's Charles Matthews for the game-winner.
Minnesota's Jordan Murphy went after a defensive rebound against Wisconsin's Charles Thomas on Jan. 3 in Madison.

He takes and takes: Gophers' Murphy has 'special' talent for rebounding

Every missed shot is another rebound-in-waiting for Gophers' senior Jordan Murphy, whose 12 boards per game leads the Big Ten and ranks second nationally.
Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Jordan Murphy (3) dunked the ball with an and-one opportunity late in the first half against the Penn State Nittany L

McBrayer's late free throw helps the Gophers survive Penn State

For the second game in a row, the Gophers faced a winless Big Ten team, but Dupree McBrayer's free throw with 2.7 seconds left helped them escape with a 65-64 victory over Penn State.
Gophers forward Jordan Murphy (3) high-fived guard Dupree McBrayer (1) after McBrayer was fouled during a three-point attempt in the second half vs. P

Gophers-Penn State game recap

The Gophers needed some last-second help to avoid being the first conference victory for a second consecutive Big Ten foe.
Wolves coach and former Gophers basketball player Ryan Saunders

Saunders returns to Williams Arena, shares experiences from time at U

Earlier in the season, Ryan Saunders made a commitment to talk to the Gophers booster club before Saturday night's game against Penn State. That was before he got a pretty big job change. But he stuck to it.
Duke's Tre Jones (3) is escorted from the court following an injury during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse in Durha

Tre Jones proving his value at Duke; injury won't keep him out long

College basketball insider: What recruiting analysts and Minnesota basketball fans suspected long ago was that Tyus Jones' little brother also could lead Duke to the No. 1 ranking.
Marcus Fuller's Final Four prediction: Will fast-starting powers stay strong?

Marcus Fuller's Final Four prediction: Will fast-starting powers stay strong?

College basketball reporter Marcus Fuller will get about a dozen weeks this winter to predict the four teams coming to Minneapolis in April. Here's his second shot.
Illinois forward Kipper Nichols grabs a loose ball near Minnesota center Daniel Oturu during the second half

Bad start, worse finish: Illinois crushes Gophers by 27 for first Big Ten win

Illinois hadn't won a game since beating East Tennessee State more than a month ago and had dropped its first five Big Ten games. Gophers coach Richard Pitino said, "We didn't compete like a Big Ten team physically."
When Eric Curry entered the game Dec. 30, the sophomore had a big smile on his face. He was thinking about his mom, who predicted the standing ovation

Mom's encouragement helped Gophers' Curry heal

Missing last season and games into this season was the most adversity Eric Curry had experienced in his career, but his mother helped him get through it from afar.
The Gophers’ Dupree McBrayer raised his head after a moment of silence honoring his mother, Tayra McFarlane, at Williams Arena.

'She would want me to keep fighting': McBrayer plays inspired

As much as he's gone through in the past month, Dupree McBrayer has still been the most consistent all-around player for the Gophers, who will lean on his leadership tonight at Illinois.
Gophers forward Jordan Murphy pulled down a rebound against Rutgers during the second half Saturday.

Jordan Murphy, Gophers teammates improve from free-throw line

The Gophers made 20 of 25 attempts from the foul line against the Scarlet Knights.
Ethan Happ came back to Wisconsin after testing the NBA waters. “There were people who thought I could benefit from another year,” he said.

Top college basketball players back on campus, and boosting Big Ten

College basketball insider: The Big Ten greatly benefited from a majority of the league's top non-seniors deciding to stick around for one more season.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu lost control of the ball underneath, but still had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Gophers fall short on both ends of court as Maryland rallies to win

Maryland's Anthony Cowan and Jalen Smith combined for 48 points and the Gophers shot just 9-for-23 from the free-throw line to end Minnesota's six-game winning streak.
Maryland forward Jalen Smith

Terrapins' recruiting keeps pace with Big Ten's elite basketball teams

Maryland was rated No. 1 in the Big Ten and top-10 nationally last year with a six-player 2018 class that included McDonald's All-America Jalen Smith
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