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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
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.
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.