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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

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
Brock Stull, left, played well for the Gophers in their victory over Wisconsin, but it took away minutes from fellow guard Isaiah Washington, right.

Backcourt overhaul could mean more work for transfer Stull

It's been no secret Richard Pitino has been frustrated with the inconsistency of Isaiah Washington, who didn't play in Minnesota's victory at Wisconsin.
Minnesota's Dupree McBrayer (1) reaches for the ball held by Wisconsin's D'Mitrik Trice (0) during the first half

This time, Gophers close the door on Badgers in Madison to end losing streak

Minnesota grabbed a 15-point lead through the first 20 minutes, then used tough defense in the final minutes to stave off a big Badgers rally and win the Border Battle on the road for the first time since 2009.
Lawrence Westbrook scored the tying bucket at the end of regulation, then scored nine points in overtime the last time the Gophers won at Wisconsin be

Westbrook's memories of Gophers' 2009 victory at Wisconsin remain fresh

Lawrence Westbrook's 29 points led the Gophers to a 78-74 overtime victory at Wisconsin on Jan. 15, 2009. Before Thursday, that was the Gophers' only victory in Madison since the Kohl Center opened in 1998.

Gophers-Wisconsin men's basketball preview

The Gophers are 0-8 in the Border Battle since last beating the Badgers at home in Pitino's first season in 2013-14.
Gophrs forward Eric Curry (24) chats with Dupree McBrayer (1) just after entering the game during the first half.

Gophers end nonconference schedule with a win in Curry's return

Dupree McBrayer led the way with 15 points against Mount St. Mary's, but Eric Curry's 18 minutes of action were a sign of things to come.
Gophers guard Isaiah Washington went up for a shot against Oklahoma State on Nov. 30 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

'Jelly' is jelling on the basketball court for Gophers

Isaiah Washington has always been a crowd-pleaser with his "jelly roll" layups, but he will go several games without even attempting one now. But he's gaining confidence with assists.
Gophers senior Jordan Murphy dunked during the first half against North Carolina A&T on Friday night at Williams Arena.

Inside tandem of Jordan Murphy, Daniel Oturu power Gophers past North Carolina A&T

A strong interior presence gave Richard Pitino his 100th victory with the Gophers.

Gophers' Eric Curry is showing signs of his old self

Sophomore needs chance to shake the rust off.
Gophers guard Isaiah Washington dribbled past North Florida guard J.T. Escobar during an 80-71 victory at Williams Arena. Washington didn’t start Tu

Gophers struggle, escape to edge North Florida

Jordan Murphy had 20 points and 18 rebounds, while Isaiah Washington had a double-double of his own with 14 points and a career-high 13 assists.
Dupree McBrayer fought for a loose ball in the first half last week against Nebraska.

McBrayer to miss Tuesday's game, presenting opportunities for others

With Dupree McBrayer out of town to be at his mother's wake, Richard Pitino likely will look to Brock Stull to fill one of the backcourt spots alongside Amir Coffey and Gabe Kalscheur.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu grabbed a rebound over Arkansas State forward J.J. Matthews in the first half.

Oturu's double-double powers Gophers past Arkansas State

Daniel Oturu had a career-best 19 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in Saturday's 72-56 victory over Arkansas State.
Gophers junior guard Amir Coffey had 32 points, six assists and six rebounds in a victory over No. 24 Nebraska on Wednesday.

Gophers like more aggressive style from Coffey

Amir Coffey showed what he can do with a big game against Nebraska. Now, the Gophers want to see more: drive hard, push the ball up court or take open jumpers.
Amir Coffey is defended by Isaiah Roby in the first half

Coffey's career night leads Gophers to comeback victory over Nebraska

Amir Coffey's 32 points vs. Nebraska guided the Gophers' inspired play for senior guard Dupree McBrayer, who lost his mother to a battle with cancer on Monday.
Nebraska players wore warmup shirts honoring the memory of Gophers guard Dupree McBrayer's mom.

'More than basketball' Tributes pour in for grieving McBrayer

Players from both teams honored Dupree McBrayer's mother on the court and tributes showed up all across social media to Tayra McFarlane, 58, who died Monday.
Dupree McBrayer said when he struggled as a U freshman, his mother told him: “I didn’t raise you to be a quitter.”

Gophers' McBrayer plays through toughest loss — his mother's death

Tayra McFarlane, who died at age 58 on Monday in New York after a battle with cancer, taught her three sons to be tough, work hard and stay out of trouble while raising them as a single mom in Queens.
Minnesota's Gabe Kalscheur, right, drives to the basket against Ohio State's C.J. Jackson during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sun

No. 16 Ohio State's physical play too much for U in Big Ten opener

The Gophers didn't look ready for the toughness of the Big Ten and were completely overmatched physically in a 79-59 loss against the No. 16 Buckeyes on Sunday.
Ohio State's Kaleb Wesson, right, posts up against Minnesota's Daniel Oturu during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Dec. 2, 2

Gophers-No. 16 Ohio State men's basketball game recap

Highlights from the Gophers' 79-59 loss at No. 16 Ohio State on Sunday.
Gophers forward Jordan Murphy reached out to grab a loose ball in the first half Friday night vs. Oklahoma State at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Where does Gophers men's basketball fit in a much-improved Big Ten?

Seven Big Ten teams were ranked in the latest poll, the most since 1999. And 10 teams received Associated Press Top 25 votes, including the Gophers.
The Gophers played Oklahoma State in the second half Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Big bounce-back, big backdrop: Gophers hold off Oklahoma State at U.S. Bank Stadium

Jordan Murphy's 24 points and 16 rebounds helped the Gophers, who led by 18 at one point, fend off the Cowboys and erase some memories of a loss at Boston College.
The Gophers take on Oklahoma State in the second of four games this weekend at U.S. Bank Stadium, the venue's first basketball event.

Gophers head to U.S. Bank Stadium looking to overcome shooting woes

A stretch of 18 days and five games away from their home court continues Friday night for the Gophers, when they take on Oklahoma State at U.S. Bank Stadium, site of the Final Four in April.
Minnesota's Gabe Kalscheur vs. Omaha earlier this season.

Gophers basketball freshman Kalscheur brings veteran moxie

Five games into his Gophers career, Gabe Kalscheur already has established himself as a steady shot with good defensive instincts.
Minnesota's Gabe Kalscheur vs. Omaha earlier this season.

Kalscheur's 'insane' 3-pointer caps Gophers comeback over Washington

The Gophers shot just 26 percent from the field in the first half, but erased a nine-point deficit and finished the game off in style in the final seconds.
Gophers forward Jordan Murphy

Setting career rebounding mark is just the start for Gophers' Murphy

Now that Jordan Murphy is the Gophers' career leading rebounder, he has his sights set on other big goals.
Santa Clara’s Josh Martin tried to shoot over the Gophers’ Daniel Oturu during the first half in the Vancouver Showcase on Tuesday night.

Kalscheur's long-range skills push Gophers past Santa Clara

The freshman made seven three-pointers to lead all scorers with a career-high 25 points.
Eric Curry, a 6-9 redshirt sophomore, is out at least another two weeks after having surgery on his previously injured left knee before the season, bu

Curry, nursing injured knee, aiming to return to Gophers lineup by Big Ten play

The 6-9 redshirt sophomore is out at least another two weeks after having surgery on his previously injured left knee before the season.
Senior center Matz Stockman, left, is one of several reserves giving the Gophers quality minutes so far this season.

Gophers basketball team finding they have more in reserve this year

The bench provided a lift in their Vancouver Showcase opener.
Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino, during a game vs. Omaha earlier this season. The Gophers overcame sloppy play to win Sunday.

Gophers shake off turnovers, win opener at Vancouver Showcase

The Gophers looked sloppy at times handling the ball, but relied on defense to salt away a five-point win over Texas A&M.
Gophers forward Jordan Murphy

Gophers basketball embarks on test of high-major waters

The Gophers' nonconference schedule has lost some luster thanks to unexpected losses, but any high-major foe will do. First up: Texas A&M on Sunday in Vancouver.
Gophers head coach Richard Pitino

Pitino would go 0-for-Minnesota again if Hurt doesn't stay home

When it comes to in-state talent, Richard Pitino is at zero so far for 2019, and Rochester John Marshall's five-star forward, Matthew Hurt, has every major program after him and won't sign until the spring period.
Gophers guard Gabe Kalscheur moved the ball vs. Utah on Monday in the second half.

Zone-buster Kalscheur's three-point barrage boosts Gophers past Utah

Freshman Gabe Kalscheur scored 12 of his team-best 19 points in the first half and hit five three-pointers as the U defeated last season's NIT runner-up.
The Gophers' Isaiah Washington stripped the Utes' Novak Topalovic of the ball in the first half.

Richard Pitino scheduled Utah with Gophers fans in mind

While not being able to convince any top-tier teams to come to the Barn, Gophers coach Richard Pitino felt like he delivered by scheduling tougher opponents such as the Utes.
Jarvis Omersa, Daniel Oturu and Gabe Kalscheur combined for 30 points on 12-for-18 shooting in their Gophers debuts last week against Omaha.

Homegrown: Twin Cities freshmen make instant impact for U basketball

Daniel Oturu, Gabe Kalscheur and Jarvis Omersa have the chance to make the biggest impact of any crop of freshmen in recent program history.
Marcus Carr had hoped to be a sophomore guard for Richard Pitino’s Gophers this season.

NCAA rules Carr ineligible for this season; Gophers appeal decision

Marcus Carr transferred from Pittsburgh in the offseason and had hoped to play this year, instead of sitting out, per NCAA rules.But his waiver request to play this season was denied
Minnesota's Amir Coffey tries to make a play to the hoop against Omaha's Mitchell Hahn on Tuesday in the season opener at Williams Arena.

Under-the-radar Gophers open season putting 104 points on Omaha

Minnesota started 2018-19 with little fanfare from national media. But Tuesday's 104-76 victory over Omaha showcased what's possible from a team coming off a sub-.500 season notable for its run of injuries.
Dupree McBrayer, left, and Marcus Carr took part in a drill during an early practice. Carr is yet to be cleared by the NCAA.

Gophers guard Carr still waiting on NCAA waiver decision

Toronto native Marcus Carr averaged 10 points and started 27 games for Pittsburgh in 2017-18. The NCAA still hasn't made a decision on his waiver request to play for the Gophers this season.
Gophers point guard Amir Coffey penetrated down the lane and lofted a shot over Omaha’s Mitch Hahn during Minnesota’s 104-76 season-opening victor

Gophers basketball opens season with a 104-76 romp over Omaha

Gophers quietly open season and display depth by dismantling Omaha
Former Gophers point guard Nate Mason tried to play through an injury last season, but eventually needed hip surgery in the spring. The delay in havin

Still recovering: Ex-Gophers guard Mason feels stung by 'bad advice'

Nate Mason wishes he would have had surgery before last season and was now getting ready to be a redshirt senior. He thinks delaying surgery caused him to miss his chance at pro basketball.
Junior guard Amir Coffey (5), shown running sprints with his Gophers teammates, is at full strength after missing most of Big Ten play last winter.

Gophers' first goal: Getting, keeping everyone healthy and playing

Amir Coffey's shoulder. Dupree McBrayer's leg. Nate Mason's hip and ankle. Eric Curry's knee. Injuries defined a 2017-18 that collapsed into a losing record.
Washington

Five questions at the start of Gophers men's basketball season

A look at five issues facing the Gophers as the season tips off.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino earlier this year.

Gophers in a romp over UMD in lone men's basketball exhibition

They hit their first 11 shots from the floor on their way to a 56-point victory.
The stats for Jordan Murphy, left, dropped last season after the suspension of Reggie Lynch, but he still wound up averaging 16.8 points and 11.3 rebo

Gophers get Murphy some reinforcements

Jordan Murphy was the team's only dependable inside presence at the end of last season. But he should get some help from freshman Daniel Oturu and, when healthy, sophomore Eric Curry.
Eric Curry missed all of what would have been his sophomore season after tearing multiple ligaments and his meniscus in his left knee in August 2017.

Gophers' Curry out four to six weeks following knee surgery

After he tore multiple ligaments and his meniscus in August 2017, Eric Curry was fully cleared on Oct. 20 and played in the private scrimmage at Creighton the same day.
The Gophers held an open scrimmage Sunday afternoon.

Gophers basketball offense appears more diverse in scrimmage

Gophers basketball fans getting a first glimpse of the 2018-19 team came away with a pretty clear theme from Sunday's Maroon and Gold scrimmage:
No shame, no gain: Pitino goads players into more effort in practice

No shame, no gain: Pitino goads players into more effort in practice

Gophers coach Richard Pitino admits he has fun “shaming” players on his basketball team that don’t go hard enough in practice, so he came…
Izzo

Izzo denies Michigan State badly handled sexual assault allegations

For the first time, Tom Izzo on Thursday vehemently defended himself and his program against criticism he faced last season after reports surfaced that Michigan State poorly handled sexual assault allegations.
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