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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
Iowa center Luka Garza, center, drives to the basket between Minnesota's Daniel Oturu, left, and Alihan Demir, right, during the second half

Disconnected Gophers display their flaws in 20-point loss to Iowa

A disturbing Gophers' narrative continued in a humbling loss. "There are stretches out there where we're not connected offensively or defensively," senior captain Michael Hurt said.
Amir Coffey, James Palmer Jr., Tyler Cook and Nick Ward all left school early to pursue professional careers.

Coffey, other early departures for NBA, hurting Big Ten's overall depth

Players declaring early for the NBA often go undrafted, and in the Big Ten, rosters are feeling the impact of the lost talent. "You got a broken system here," Purdue coach Matt Painter said.
Gophers guard Marcus Carr drove to the basket in the second half.

Carr stars in Gophers' wire-to-wire win over Clemson

Point guard Marcus Carr could do no wrong on the court Monday. The only blemish on his night was when he almost got hurt celebrating a teammate's success.
Freshman guard Tre’ Williams (shooting against Payton Willis in practice) has shown potential as a long-range shooter for the Gophers, but he needs

Pitino: Tough schedule keeping Gophers from building needed depth

Part of coach Richard Pitino not relying on his bench is because of the lack of experience, with four freshmen and a sophomore. But there's more to the issue.
Badgers cornerback Caesar Williams broke up a pass intended for Gophers receiver Tyler Johnson in the second half.

Opportunities slip from Gophers' receivers grasp

After a big Gophers play to open Saturday's game, the Badgers contained Minnesota's big-play receivers.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino watches from the sideline as his team played Butler earlier this month. The Gophers lost to DePaul on Friday.

More questions arise after Gophers lose to DePaul at Williams Arena

Daniel Oturu finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds but the Gophers shot just 34% from the field, and dropped to 0-4 against high-major conference teams.
Gophers head coach Richard Pitino

U basketball fills schedule with strong opponents to treat fans, test players

The question the Gophers have yet to answer this season is this: Can they beat a high-major opponent?

Gophers football player O'Brien will have surgery Wednesday

It's not known yet whether Casey O'Brien will be with the team for Saturday's game against Wisconsin.
Tanner Morgan (2), Rashod Bateman (13) and Tyler Johnson (6) celebrated Bateman’s third touchdown reception for the Gophers last Saturday at Northwe

Gophers climb to No. 8 in College Football Playoff rankings

After slipping to No. 10 last week, the Gophers moved back up after beating Northwestern.
North Dakota guard Marlon Stewart (1) plowed into Minnesota's Gabe Kalscheur (22), Jarvis Omersa (21) and Marcus Carr (5) on Sunday during the first h

Hometown hero: Omersa stars off bench as U smacks North Dakota

For Minnesota native Jarvis Omersa of Orono, what happened Sunday night is the sort of thing he imagined when he decided to play for the Gophers.
Gophers guard Gabe Kalscheur shoots in front of Butler forward Bryce Nze during a game earlier this month.

Gophers men's basketball team favors attack from afar

The Gophers lead the Big Ten with 10.6 three-point baskets per game. They have made 93 three-pointers in five game (compared to 53 last season) and attempted 147 (93 last season).
Guard Gabe Kalscheur (22), who hit five of the Gophers' 14 three-pointers, leads Minnesota's fast break in the second half.

Threes for all: Gophers use historic long-range success to pummel Central Michigan

Last season, the Gophers were among the worst in the nation in shooting three-pointers. On Thursday at the Barn, they hit the second most in team history.
Dawson Garcia, right, was congratulated by a friend moments after announcing Wednesday that he will play college basketball next year at Marquette.

Garcia chooses Marquette, says 'he felt like part of the family'

The 6-foot-11 forward from Prior Lake, who listed Minnesota among his final four schools, is the sixth state high school player in the class of 2020 to commit to a Division I program elsewhere.
After his Gophers lost three games in a row, Richard Pitino got more bad news from a five-star in-state recruit.

Gophers tackle losing: On the court and in recruiting Minnesota's best

Richard Pitino's team will try to break a three-game losing streak tonight, one day after Prior Lake's Dawson Garcia became the latest Minnesota star to leave the state instead of accepting an offer from the U.
Minnesota guard Gabe Kalscheur gets knocked over by Utah forward Timmy Allen during Friday's first half.

Gophers' comeback bid against Utes falls short

The Gophers gave up the first 16 points, and spent the rest of the night trying to come back — pulling within one — but ultimately never did take the lead, losing their third game in a row, 73-69 to Utah.
Minnesota grown sophomores, from left, Jarvis Omersa, Daniel Oturu, and Gabe Kalscheur posed for a photo last season.

Gophers basketball counting more on a trio of Minnesotans

The all-Minnesota signing day class two years ago of Daniel Oturu, Gabe Kalscheur and Jarvis Omersa received more buzz than any other recruiting class in Richard Pitino's tenure.
Minnesota center Daniel Oturu backs Butler forward Bryce Golden toward the basket in the first half.

Poor shooting, turnovers sink Gophers despite Oturu's big game

Despite playing while sick, Daniel Oturu produced 24 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, but he didn't get much help from teammates in a 64-56 loss to Butler.
Isaiah Ihnen

Gophers freshman Ihnen cleared after wrist injury; doesn't play vs. Butler

Isaiah Ihnen was ranked as a top-100 recruit when he picked Minnesota over Texas Christian and Tennessee, but Gophers fans will have to wait longer than they expected to see him play.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu scored 15 points against Oklahoma in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Saturday, but the Gophers need to do a better job of working th

Paint touches: Gophers need to do better at feeding ball inside

Richard Pitino watched the Gophers men's basketball team miss jump shot after jump shot during a scoreless 4½-minute stretch during Saturday's loss to Oklahoma.
Gophers guard Marcus Carr drove for a shot in Tuesday’s 35-point victory over Cleveland State.

Pitino: Gophers' next three-game stretch the hardest in the country

Minnesota has a big test coming, starting Saturday against Oklahoma in Sioux Falls, and continuing with two more tough opponents on the road.
Dawson Garcia of Prior Lake

Gophers basketball woos Prior Lake's Garcia, promotes stay-at-home trend

Blue-blood college programs such as Duke and Kentucky often get any player they want, but some recent top recruits have opted to play for home-state schools.
Gophers guard Marcus Carr made a strong move to the basket past Cleveland State forward Deante Johnson (35) in the second half at Williams Arena. Carr

Gophers crush Cleveland State under barrage of threes in opener

Transferss Marcus Carr and Payton Willis combined for 35 points in their first start as the team showed much more three-point prowess than last season.
Gabe Kalscheur showed both an outside shooting touch and an ability to score at the basket as a Gophers freshman last season.

Pitino's Gophers try to convince skeptics they're still on the rise

Entering Tuesday's season opener against Cleveland State, the Gophers face more skeptics than believers on whether they can sustain last season's success.
Daniel Oturu and his parents, Deborah and Francis, stand in prayer at Mountain of Fire and Miracles church.

For Gophers basketball center Oturu, home is where the heart is

Raised in a family that spent years apart and crossed an ocean before reaching Minnesota, Daniel Oturu calls it "God's work" that he's a Minnesota-grown talent playing for the hometown Gophers.
Gophers sophomore wrestler Gable Steveson (pictured) and teammate Dylan Martinez remain suspended, pending the results of a Hennepin County investigat

Steveson remains suspended as Gophers wrestling season begins

A Hennepin County investigation into Gophers standout heavyweight Gable Steveson remains active.
Gophers men's basketball coach Richard Pitino before a practice last month. ] Aaron Lavinsky • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com The Gophers men's bask

Gophers beat SW Minnesota St. in exhibition without digging deep

After winning the exhibition game 73-48, coach Richard Pitino said he didn't want to reveal too much about his team before the games actually count.
Gophers head coach Richard Pitino ran drills with his team last week.

Exhibition game is first chance to see Pitino's revamped Gophers

With three transfer students in the starting lineup, the U plays Southwest Minnesota State tonight before the season starts for real next week.
Said coach Richard Pitino of Marcus Carr and Payton Willis: “I don’t look at them like young guys. I look at them like veterans.”

Changing of the guards: Gophers backcourt comes from different directions

They haven't played an official game together. But Marcus Carr, Payton Willis and Gabe Kalscheur have separately started games in the Big Ten, ACC and SEC.
From left, Gophers men’s basketball freshmen Sam Freeman (32), Bryan Greenlee (3), Isaiah Ihnen (35), and Tre’ Williams (1).

'All of us are tough': Four-man freshman class excites Gophers basketball

How this freshmen class came together for the Gophers wasn't traditional, but Richard Pitino's team needs them ready to contribute.

Injured Curry frustrated but knows: 'Keep my head up and keep my spirits high'

Eric Curry, who will have surgery next week, said he is frustrated by a season-ending injury but will overcome it like he has others in the past.
Gophers forward Eric Curry took a shot during the team’s first practice in September.

Out again: Gophers' Curry will miss season because of knee injury

Gophers junior forward Eric Curry, who was coming back from two injury-plagued basketball seasons, suffered his latest knee injury last week and will need surgery.
Jamal Mashburn Jr's father was a standout for Rick Pitino at Kentucky before moving on to the NBA.

Fathers and sons: Young Mashburn also chooses to play for a Pitino

Nearly 30 years after their fathers teamed up at Kentucky to reach a Final Four, Richard Pitino and Jamal Mashburn Jr. will form a second-generation connection at the U.
Gophers forward Eric Curry was returning to full health when he went through the team’s first practice in September.

Gophers' Curry suffers another knee injury, out indefinitely

The progress junior forward Eric Curry made toward being ready to play this season suffered a significant setback Monday with an injury to his right knee in practice.
At 6-10, Martice Mitchell is listed as a center but has the ability to play the wing and stretch the floor.

Four-star recruit commits to Gophers basketball team

The Gophers men's basketball team was the only Big Ten program without a 2020 commitment before 6-10 Martice Mitchell's announcement.
Former Gophers hockey standout Hannah Brandt supports compensation for college athletes but fears sports like hers could suffer. “I wouldn’t want

Will Minnesota help test NCAA's grip on sports revenue?

It took a state with 58 schools and thousands of NCAA athletes to flex enough muscle to give nine other states, including Minnesota, the confidence to announce plans to introduce similar legislation.
Gophers guard Marcus Carr sat out last year after transferring from Pittsburgh. “I really took last year just to learn about the team and how best I

Who's in charge? Gophers men's basketball doesn't have captain yet

The opener is less than five weeks away, but the Gophers men's basketball team hasn't named any captains yet for the upcoming season.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino addressed reporters Wednesday at Big Ten Media Day in Rosemont, Ill.

Pitino supports Calif. law allowing athletes to profit off their images

Gophers basketball coach Richard Pitino was the first coach at Big Ten Media Day on Wednesday to show support for the California bill passed this week.
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo

When will Izzo retire? He'd first like to win another NCAA title

ROSEMONT, Ill. – When will Tom Izzo’s Hall of Fame career come to a close at Michigan State? That’s not something Izzo could answer…
Gophers basketball coach Richard Pitino spoke to forward Michael Hurt (42) during a recent practice. Both Pitino and Hurt will appear at Big Ten media

Gophers' Pitino among first coaches to speak at Big Ten media day

The Gophers, who return sophomore starters Daniel Oturu and Gabe Kalscheur, were 22-14 overall and 9-11 (seventh) in the Big Ten last season.
Gophers men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino ran drills last week during the team’s first official practice of the 2019-20 season.

Pitino's 'totally different team' isn't getting much love yet

Getting to the second round of last season's NCAA basketball tournament hasn't earned the Gophers much love as the 2019-20 season gets ready to begin.
Purdue receiver Rondale Moore led the Big Ten with 114 catches for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns last year as a freshman, but he can be a game-breaker

Purdue's Moore poses complex challenge again for Gophers

No matter where he lines up, the versatile Rondale Moore is a threat.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu (25) took part in a drill during a practice in early August.

Pitino wants bigger Oturu to be more physical, shoot some threes

Coach Richard Pitino sees a couple of ways that Daniel Oturu, the former Cretin-Derham Hall, can improve his game during his second season at the U.
The Gophers lost 57% of their scoring from last season. Freshman guard Tre’ Williams is one of seven new players looking to fill the void.

Five big questions for Pitino, Gophers men's basketball

The roster is dealing with a lot of turnover, but coach Richard Pitino has shown he can rebuild on the fly.
Ben Carlson of East Ridge and Steven Crowl of Eastview made verbal commitments to Wisconsin this week. Both made recruiting visits to Minnesota last m

Border battered: Wisconsin gets two U basketball recruits in 24 hours

Of seven players in the Class of 2020 offered men's basketball scholarships by the Gophers, four have already chosen other schools. That's left many Minnesota fans frustrated.

Many recruiting battles still to come for in-state talent

The Gophers lost out on Mayo's Gabe Madsen.
Though the Gophers defense had moments to shine Thursday night, such as Chris Williamson’s 43-yard interception return for a touchdown, it also had

Ugly third quarter on defense nearly cost Gophers the victory

Defensive coordinator Joe Rossi's scheming was put the test Thursday night when South Dakota State's adjustments led to a brutal third quarter
Gophers guard Payton Willis was named the MVP of the team's three-game trip to Italy earlier this summer.

Gophers' transfer Willis a State Fair rookie but a veteran on the floor

The Vanderbilt transfer has the most playing experience of any backcourt player for Richard Pitino.
After graduating early, Jashon Cornell, stopped by Cretin-Derham Hall on Jan. 8, 2015, to say goodbye before leaving for Ohio State.

Ohio State's Cornell, of Cretin-Derham Hall, hopes to live up to prep hype

Jashon Cornell, the nation's former No. 1 recruit, hopes to start at DT at Ohio State.
Gophers tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford has added 40 pounds to his 6-7 frame since arriving on campus last year.

Spann-Ford emerges as potential breakout player for Gophers

After using redshirt year to grow and learn, the tight end is ready for impact.
Gophers guard Tre' Williams drove to the basket as assistant coach Ed Conroy watched during a team practice before leaving for Italy.

Gophers basketball finishes trip to Italy 3-0 behind freshman Williams

With returning starter Gabe Kalscheur out with an ankle injury, freshman Tre' Williams led the Gophers in scoring Saturday with 22 points in a 98-66 victory over Como Select.
Antoine Winfield Jr. went through warmups during practice.

Winfield takes healthy attitude into another new season with Gophers

After missing most of two years, safety Antoine Winfield Jr. can't wait to pop somebody. "If he has a healthy season, he's going to be a terror in the Big Ten, that's for sure," linebacker Carter Coughlin said.
Sky Brown, 11, celebrates after maxing out her time on her first run during the Women’s Skateboard Park qualifier round at the X Games at U.S. Bank

Stillwater X Games star Hause caught up in 11-year-old's board flair

Eleven-year-old Sky Brown made X Games history by becoming the first female to land a Frontside 540.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu (25) — one of two returning sophomore starters who averaged double-digit minutes, along with guard Gabe Kalscheur — to

In Italy, U men's basketball will find playing, bonding time

The nine-day trip to Italy starts Saturday, including several games that will give Richard Pitino a chance to see what life is like without stars Amir Coffey and Jordan Murphy.
Joan Gabel, the new University of Minnesota president, said mental-health issues are epidemic at U.S. universities.

U athletes seeking out more care for mental health issues

Between 30% and 40% of Gophers athletes used the athletic department's sports psychology services last school year, a university athletic official told the Board of Regents.
Hopkins guard Kerwin Walton (12) drove to the basketball during the 4A state basketball tournament in March.

Minnesota strong: U works to benefit from very deep 2020 prep class

July is a critical month for the Gophers men's basketball team, as coach Richard Pitino and his staff tracks an extremely deep group of players from Minnesota.
Former Gophers standout Amir Coffey will make his NBA Summer League debut Saturday for the Clippers.

Coffey: Decision to leave Gophers early for NBA was 'easy'

In a telephone interview, Amir Coffey expressed no regrets about leaving college early, even after going undrafted.
Jordan Murphy (left) and Amir Coffey hope to break a 15-year run of no Gophers players being picked in the NBA draft this week.

Gophers hoping to end 15-year drought in Thursday's NBA draft

Only two other teams in the Big Ten have gone a longer time without having a player drafted.
Incoming Gophers recruit Isaiah Ihnen

Gophers' top incoming basketball recruit missing start of summer practice

Four-star recruit Isaiah Ihnen's enrollment process is complicated as he makes his way from Germany to Minnesota.
Kevin Warren held a news conference Tuesday in Rosemont, Ill. “My entire life has been about challenges and overcoming challenges,” he said.

Torch gets passed: Vikings' COO Warren to be Big Ten commissioner

Kevin Warren, the Vikings chief operating officer, was officially named the next commissioner of the Big Ten at a news conference Tuesday morning. He'll be the first African-American to lead a Power Five conference.
Dressed for track success, Temi Ogunrinde (hammer throw) and Obsa Ali (steeplechase) lead the Gophers into this week’s NCAA Outdoors Championships.

Gophers track stars Ali, Ogunrinde change lanes to find success

Four years ago, Obsa Ali and Temi Ogunrinde had no clue about the steeplechase and hammer throw. But Wednesday they start the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas.
Marcus Carr is hoping to fill the void left by Amir Coffey.

With Coffey gone, new Gophers guard Carr will get big chance to reach big goals

The transfer from Pittsburgh impressed last season, but that was in practice after NCAA denied his waiver request to play immediately for the Gophers.,
Gophers guard Amir Coffey challenged Arkansas in a game last December at Williams Arena. Coffey, a junior, decided to leave the Gophers early to turn

Coffey makes it official: He's leaving Gophers to go pro

Following a spring of testing the waters with NBA team workouts, the 6-foot-8 former Hopkins standout received enough positive feedback to bypass his senior year with the Gophers.
Gophers guard Amir Coffey battled with Illinois in a game at Williams Arena in January.

It's decision day for Amir Coffey: Gophers or go pro

Amir Coffey's decision could heavily shape the expectations for Minnesota's 2019-20 Big Ten season. The deadline for his decision is 11 p.m.
Men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino, left, and athletic director Mark Coyle mixed and mingled with fans at the Gophers coaches caravan tour stop i

Hottest topic on Gophers caravan: What's going on with Amir Coffey?

The former Hopkins standout is taking advantage of new NCAA rules allowing non-seniors to go through the full draft process. Amir Coffey needs to make his decision soon.
With Drexel graduate transfer Alihan Demir (left), a versatile 6-9, 230-pound forward from Turkey, and Isaiah Ihnen (right), a 6-9 German with guard s

German teen to join Turkish transfer on Gophers basketball team

With Drexel graduate transfer Alihan Demir (left), a versatile 6-9, 230-pound forward from Turkey, and Isaiah Ihnen (right), a 6-9 German with guard skills, the Gophers went international this spring to bolster the roster for next season.
Alihan Demir, a 6-9 forward, averaged 14.8 points and 6.4 rebounds with Drexel this season and had visited Kansas State this offseason, too.

Gophers land Drexel forward as grad transfer to help beef up post play

Alihan Demir, who made official visits to Minnesota and Kansas State last month, announced his decision on Twitter. The 6-9, 230-pound forward could make an immediate impact in 2019-20 for Minnesota.
Minnesota's Amir Coffey drives past Michigan State's Aaron Henry during the NCAA tournament. Coffey soon will decide whether or not to fully declare f

Gophers' Coffey invited to NBA G League Elite camp

Amir Coffey, who led the Gophers in scoring and assists, will compete to be among a group of draft-eligible players added to the NBA combine based on their performance at the G League camp May 12-14.
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.