Staff Directory 388384352

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
Gophers coach Richard Pitino

Fathers, sons, shadows: Gophers' Pitino tries to carve own path

Gophers coach Richard Pitino has learned how career-defining it is to go your own way. Other second-generation college basketball coaches have discovered that as well, some sooner than others.
Minnesota's Marcus Carr hits the game-winning 3-pointer over Ohio State's C.J. Walker during the final seconds.

Pitino trusts Carr ... Carr trusts shot ... Gophers get special win at Ohio St.

Richard Pitino looked to be holding his breath on the sideline for the final shot, choosing not to take a timeout and putting the game in the hands of point guard Marcus Carr.
Silvio De Sousa’s brandishing a stool will be a lasting image from Tuesday night’s Kansas-Kansas State brawl.

Scene turns ugly at a college basketball shrine

The 2019-20 season was already tough for casual fans to watch with the absence of dominant teams or a transcendent player. Then there was Tuesday night's Fight at the Fieldhouse — Allen Fieldhouse.
Daniel Oturu and Tre' Williams celebrate as Ohio State's D.J. Carton (3) and forward Andre Wesson (24) leave the court after the Gophers' upset win in

Gophers' December upset over Ohio State sent Buckeyes reeling

The Gophers clearly outplayed the then-No. 3 Buckeyes in the 84-71 victory Dec. 15 at Williams Arena. But now comes the rematch in Columbus, and Minnesota hasn't yet won a true road game all season.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu went at Rutgers' Akwasi Yeboah on Sunday. The Scarlet Knights beat the Gophers 64-56.

'They manhandled us.' Gophers can't rebound in road loss to Rutgers

It wasn't necessarily the margin — but how his team was outplayed — that had coach Richard Pitino frustrated in a 64-56 loss at Rutgers.
Eleven NBA scouts representing eight teams were at the Rutgers Athletic Center to watch Gophers center Daniel Oturu, left, including reps from the Bro

NBA scouts turn out at Rutgers for early look at Gophers' Oturu

Eleven NBA scouts representing eight teams were at the Rutgers Athletic Center, including reps from the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino, left, talked with Iowa coach Fran McCaffery before their teams met in Iowa City on Dec. 9. Their teams are a combined 1-

Gophers' struggles on road are a common plight

Other than the two teams with a losing overall record — Northwestern and Nebraska — the rest of the Big Ten has a record of 115-10 at home, including a staggering 38-3 home record in conference play.
Baylor forward Freddie Gillespie dunks over Maryland-Eastern Shore forward Gabriel Gyamfi on Dec. 3

From East Ridge bench to Baylor starter, Gillespie has Final Four dreams

Freddie Gillespie's belief in himself took him from being a reserve at East Ridge, to Division III Carleton College to starting for No. 2 -ranked Baylor.
Gophers guard Marcus Carr leapt for a wild bucket before landing off the court in the final minutes of Wednesday's game vs. Penn State

Gophers lean on Carr, Oturu to hold off Penn State down the stretch

The Gophers kept their winning streak alive against Penn State, running it to five in a row over the Nittany Lions behind 53 combined points from Marcus Carr and Daniel Oturu.
After struggling early in the season, Gophers graduate transfer forward Alihan Demir has scored in double figures in his past three games.

Demir tells of Gophers' overseas connection

Alihan Demir's link to ex-Gophers star Vincent Grier helped eventually steer him from Turkey to Minnesota.
Minnesota center Daniel Oturu (25) lays on the court after being injured on a play against the Michigan in the second half.

Despite injury scare, Oturu shoulders load in win over Michigan

Williams Arena was as silent as it's been all season when star center Daniel Oturu was on his back grabbing his left arm and writhing in pain midway through the second half.
Michigan coach Juwan Howard, right, had generous praise for the Gophers' Daniel Oturu, right, after the sophomore center's 30-point, seven-rebound gam

Michigan coach heaps praise on Gophers' Oturu

Juwan Howard, the former Wolverines center who played in the NBA from 1994 to 2013, was impressed by Oturu's play.
Michigan State's Cassius Winston is pressured by Minnesota's Marcus Carr during the first half

Stars prove too much for Gophers to handle in loss to Michigan State

Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman dominated the Gophers by combining for 46 of Michigan State's 74 points in a game that was close until the final minutes.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu leads the Big Ten in rebounding and is second in scoring.

No longer ignored, Gophers' Oturu playing himself into an NBA lottery pick

Most early mock drafts didn't include him, but Daniel Oturu's head-turning play has resulted in him being ranked among the nation's top players who eligible for this year's NBA draft.
The Gophers' backcourt is again in good shape, with Marcus Carr (dribbling) and Gabe Kalscheur (defending) being rejoined by Payton Willis (back left)

Gophers backcourt pieces are fitting together

Payton Willis' return gives the Gophers all their parts again.
Gophers guard Marcus Carr ended up forcing a turnover by Northwestern guard Pat Spencer with his defense in the first half.

Gophers uses depth to wear down shorthanded Northwestern

Daniel Oturu had 19 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Gophers 77-68 over Northwestern at the Barn while Marcus Carr finished with 17 points and seven assists.
Gophers fans stormed the Williams Arena court after an upset victory over Ohio State on Dec. 15, but only 9,854 were on hand.

Pitino seeks edge for Gophers and makes appeal: 'I want the Barn to be packed'

The biggest victory in Richard Pitino's seven seasons in Minnesota — last month over then-No. 3 Ohio State — featured a student-led court-storming. But the announced attendance for that game was 9,854.
Purdue guard Nojel Eastern grabbed a rebound over Gophers guard Marcus Carr during the second half Thursday.

Gophers' tank turns to empty in double-overtime loss to Purdue

The Gophers lost a heartbreaker to the Boilermakers in a marathon contest.
(Clockwise from right) Gophers sophomores Daniel Oturu, Gabe Kalscheur and Marcus Carr are the highest-scoring group of three players on one Big Ten t

Gophers basketball team builds around three sophomore stars

Center Daniel Oturu and guards Marcus Carr and Gabe Kalscheur are averaging a combined 47.2 points per game.
Gophers sophomore center Daniel Oturu earlier this year.

Oturu has U's first 20/20 game in 53 years in rout of Florida International

His work and Gabe Kalscheur's hot hand turn momentum following the Gophers' slow start.

Gophers back to scoring from free-throw line again

Free throws were notably absent from the Gophers' losses earlier this season.
Gophers guard Gabe Kalscheur (shown against Ohio State on Dec. 15) broke out of a shooting slump with 34 points against Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Gophers' Kalscheur showing he's a shooter again

Sophomore guard Gabe Kalscheur is coming off a career-high 34-point game against Oklahoma State.

Hurt steps up in a major way for Gophers

Freshman Tre' Williams on Saturday earned the first start of his career, but senior Michael Hurt also helped to make up for the absence of a veteran presence in the rotation.
Minnesota guard Tre’ Williams

Gophers freshman Williams shows he's ready for more minutes

Payton Willis' lingering leg injury might mean more extended playing time for Tre' Williams against Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Minnesota outside hitter Adanna Rollins (20) had a team-high 27 kills against Florida and Louisville, and was named Most Outstanding Player in the Aus

Rollins' killer play carries Gophers into volleyball Final Four

Adanna Rollins had a team-high 27 kills in two NCAA region matches and was named the Most Outstanding Player in the Austin Region last week.
Minnesota fans storm the court after an upset victory over Ohio State

Carr's 35 points drive Gophers to stun No. 3-ranked Ohio State

After playing the best game of his young basketball career to upset the Buckeyes, Marcus Carr was swallowed up by the Gophers' student section. "I kind of knew it was coming."
Richard Pitino’s team is shooting far more often from three-point range.

North Score: For struggling Gophers, will good news come in threes?

The Gophers are attempting a higher percentage of three-pointers than any other team in the Big Ten.
Gophers guard Marcus Carr drove against Clemson.

Five things that need to happen for Richard Pitino's Gophers

Five things that need to happen for a Gophers turnaround: 1. Find a sidekick for Oturu: Not only does Gophers sophomore Daniel Oturu have to…
Oklahoma State guard Isaac Likekele grabbed a rebound against Syracuse last month.

A look at Gophers' next eight games

Hard road Gophers’ next eight games Sunday vs. Ohio State: Many college hoops observers consider the Buckeyes the nation’s No. 1 team after their blowouts…
Gophers center Daniel Oturu backs Butler forward Bryce Golden toward the basket.

Gophers center Oturu bigger, stronger - and so are Big Ten rivals

A Big Ten deep at the center position means there are no nights off for the Gophers' Daniel Oturu.
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.
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.
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.