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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
Virginia assistant coach Brad Soderberg flashed a smile as he walked into the Marquette Hotel following last year’s title game.

A win for Dad: Virginia assistant Soderberg relished chance to coach '19 Final Four

Brad Soderberg will never forget what it was like celebrating Virginia's NCAA men's basketball championship — and a year of redemption — last April surrounded by loved ones, including his late father.
Baylor’s Freddie Gillespie (33) blocks a shot by Texas Tech’s Terrence Shannon Jr. (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game i

Minnesota talent ready to make unprecedented impact in NBA draft

Daniel Oturu, Tre Jones, Zeke Nnaji and others. College basketball players from Minnesota made names for themselves throughout the nation in bigger numbers than ever before.
Daniel Oturu and Amir Coffey during the 2018-19 season. Oturu has declared for the NBA draft after Coffey, now with the Los Angeles Clippers, did the

Added options create more uncertainty than ever for U's NBA draft hopefuls

Daniel Oturu and Amir Coffey, who went undrafted last year, might not have left college early five years ago. And Marcus Carr wouldn't have considered declaring for the draft. But things are different now.
Gophers guard Marcus Carr (left) declared for the NBA draft Monday.

Surprise move: Gophers' point guard Carr declares for NBA draft

Carr told the Gophers' coaching staff that he wants to return to Minnesota next season, but he hopes to put himself on the NBA's radar right now, according to sources.
A strong Gophers volleyball recruiting class includes, clockwise from top left: Taylor Landfair, Melani Shaffmaster,Cami Appiani and Jenna Wenaas.

Gophers coach McCutcheon impressed by freshman volleyballers

Gophers are adding some unique talent to a team coming off a Final Four season.
Clippers rookie guard Amir Coffey attempted to guard Rockets star James Harden — the 2018 NBA MVP — during an October preseason game in Honolulu.

Former Gophers standout Coffey gains NBA foothold with Clippers

There's no telling when the NBA season will continue, but Amir Coffey's journey is off to an exciting start after he left the U with one year of eligibility remaining.
RENÉE JONES SCHNEIDER • renee.jones@startribune.com
Gophers coach Richard Pitino spent two seasons molding Cretin-Derham Hall grad Daniel Oturu.

With Oturu leaving, confident Pitino shares challenges ahead for U

Gophers men's basketball coach Richard Pitino spoke confidently about the direction of the program, one day after Daniel Oturu's decision to declare for the NBA Draft.
Gophers sophomore center Daniel Oturu had decided to declare for the NBA draft

Time to move up: U's Oturu declares for NBA draft

NBA scouts attending his games this season saw how Daniel Oturu had improved between his first and second years with the Gophers. Underclassmen declaring for the draft have until June 3 to change their minds.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu reacted after scoring against Indiana at Williams Arena in February.

Gophers' Oturu declares for NBA draft

Sophomore center and Cretin-Derham Hall grad Daniel Oturu could become the first Gophers player drafted since Kris Humphries in 2004.
With sophomore center Daniel Oturu likely headed to the NBA, the Gophers are checking on possible transfers to fill his spot.

Pitino, Gophers study transfer market for a big man

The ever-expanding transfer portal could add to the 2020 class this spring, but it will be a challenge for the Gophers to add the depth and talent their frontcourt needs.
A view of the March Madness logo inside the Dayton Arena. The coronavirus outbreak abruptly ended the NCAA sports season, including the men's and wome

One simulated moment: How March Madness would have played out

Kansas vs. who for the title? The Minnesotans we'll miss seeing? Great underdog stories? College basketball writer Marcus Fuller has a guide to the tournament that didn't happen.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and his legion of fans had no NCAA tournament bracket to scrutinize Sunday.

A life without Madness: Selection Sunday silent for ESPN's 'Joey Brackets'

Joe Lunardi was at a hotel Thursday near the ESPN studios sipping coffee and fiddling with his final NCAA tournament projections when word came that the NCAA was canceling the men's basketball tournament.
Gophers senior Amber Fiser is among those who could get an extra year of eligibility.

NCAA plans to restore a year of eligibility for athletes impacted by cancellations

Prominent basketball coaches across the country, including Michigan State's Tom Izzo and Kentucky's John Calipari are in favor of wanting the NCAA to give seniors an extra year.
Minnesota's Daniel Oturu reacts during the second half against Northwestern at the Big Ten tournament. Was it his final game for the Gophers?

Hope snuffed out: Pitino's Gophers wanted one last shot at strong finish

Before the Gophers could board the bus to the arena on Thursday, Big Ten officials were shooing Michigan and Rutgers players off the court. End of tournament. End of hope.
Northwestern’s Pete Nance looked to drive on Gophers forward Isaiah Ihnen during the first half of the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament first-r

Gophers overcome halftime deficit, crush Northwestern

Sophomore center Daniel Oturu led the rally from a two-point halftime deficit with 24 points.
Iowa center Luka Garza, the Big Ten Player of the Year, will face Gophers center Daniel Oturu for the third time this season in the Big Ten tournament

Empty arena coming up for Gophers, but they'll take same approach

Junior Payton Willis said it would be like playing in a closed scrimmage before the season, but with "more on the line."
Wisconsin forward Micah Potter, right, hugs Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard after defeating Indiana 60-56 in an NCAA college basketball game in Bloomin

Who ya got? Unpredictable Big Ten tournament has several legitimate contenders

A three-way tie for the regular-season title between Maryland, Michigan State and Wisconsin points toward an expected wide-open tournament.
The Gophers finished 12th in the Big Ten, but coach Richard Pitino said he’s not concerned about his job security.

For second straight March, uncertainty surrounds Pitino's future with Gophers

Last season, Richard Pitino entered the Big Ten tournament needing to make Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle comfortable about the direction of the program. That uncertainty has returned.
Daniel Oturu is averaging 20 points and 11.4 rebounds per game this season.

Passed over: U's Oturu doesn't get spot on All-Big Ten first team

Daniel Oturu is among the nation's most productive players with averages of 20 points and 11 rebounds per game. But the Gophers' losing record likely played a role in the voting.
Gophers guard Tre' Williams attempted a three-pointer over Nebraska guard Haanif Cheatham in the second half of Minnesota's 107-75 victory at Williams

U smashes Nebraska, celebrates Senior Day with record batch of threes

Led by eight three-pointers from Gabe Kalscheur, the Gophers broke the school's single-game record in crushing Nebraska 107-75 at The Barn.
Gophers forward Michael Hurt had five points and a career-high seven assists in 20 minutes against Nebraska on Sunday, but his biggest assist came aft

Pitino on Hurt: 'The classiest kid I've coached'

Following an impressive send-off for his seniors in Sunday's 107-75 win against Nebraska, coach Richard Pitino made sure to thank co-captain Michael Hurt for the loyalty and leadership he gave to the program.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu (above) leads the Big Ten in rebounding (11.6), field goal percentage (.562) and blocked shots (2.5) and is second in scor

Limited engagement: Oturu likely playing final home game Sunday

Daniel Oturu, the Gophers' 6-10, 240-pound sophomore center brimming with NBA potential, is almost certainly leaving after this season, according to several sources.
Indiana guard Rob Phinisee pushes through the Gophers' Daniel Oturu to make a lay-up on Wednesday at Assembly Hall.

Another second-half slide sinks Gophers; Pitino ponders Oturu's future

The 72-67 loss at Indiana locked Minnesota into the 12th seed at next week's Big Ten tournament. Afterward, coach Richard Pitino was more certain of his own return for next season than that of star Daniel Oturu.
Minnesota's Isaiah Ihnen grabs a defensive rebound against Wisconsin's Micah Potter

Freshman Ihnen helping Gophers after adjustment to U.S. basketball

Isaiah Ihnen, a 6-9 German native hampered by injuries and getting used to a more physical game earlier in the season, played his best overall game at Wisconsin on Sunday.
Gophers senior captain Michael Hurt reacted at the end of Wednesday’s loss to Maryland, when his team let a 17-point lead slip away in part because

Gophers' foul shooting has been foul of late

In the past five games, the Gophers have shot a dismal 56.3% from the foul line (49-for-87). Not surprisingly, they have a 1-4 record during that stretch, including three home losses.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino, right, argued a call with official Mike Eades during the second half of Wisconsin's 71-69 victory in Madison on Sunday.

Gophers lead in final minute, but fall to Wisconsin

A combined 47 points from Daniel Oturu and Marcus Carr brought the Gophers back from a 12-point deficit, but the Badgers prevailed on their home court.
Richard Pitino had his team poised for a victory over Maryland on Wednesday, but in the end the game turned into another in a string of devastating ho

Old wounds haven't healed for Gophers men's basketball program

In the years since the Gophers basketball academic scandal, Dan Monson lasted seven-plus seasons, Tubby Smith stayed for six, and now Richard Pitino is deep into his seventh year, with his future uncertain.
Gophers players could not conceal their disappointment after a last-second loss to Maryland

Barn collapse: Gophers lose 17-point lead, Maryland wins on late 3-pointer

This is the first time since the 2017-18 season that the Gophers have lost three consecutive home games, games in which Richard Pitino's team was badly outplayed in the final minutes.
Ohio State's C.J. Walker, center, Minnesota's Gabe Kalscheur, left, and Marcus Carr chase a loose ball during the first half in January.

Pitino relying on young Gophers players when he'd rather not

Northwestern, Nebraska and Minnesota are at the bottom of the Big Ten. They also are the three teams getting the least production from their junior and senior classes.
Gophers guard Marcus Carr drove to the basket past Northwestern forward Miller Kopp (10) and center Ryan Young during the first half in Evanston, Ill.

NCAA hopes? Pitino says 'season is not over' after U crushes Wildcats

The Gophers, desperate to get their confidence back after humbling back-to-back home losses to Iowa and Indiana, smashed Northwestern by 26 points.
Gophers forward Isaiah Ihnen (35, shown against Iowa) didn't play at Northwestern on Sunday because of an injured wrist.

Gophers forward Ihnen misses game because of wrist injury

Minnesota got several contributions inside from reserves in its victory over Northwestern.
Gophers head coach Richard Pitino

Pitino, Collins both hitting road bumps in Year 7

Three years ago, Richard Pitino and Chris Collins were two of the hottest young college basketball coaches in the country. Their struggles to win consistently since have caused the script to flip.
Daniel Oturu of the Gophers dunked during a game against Oklahoma earlier this season.

Land of 10,000 Big Men? Minnesota centers making impact near and far

When it comes to producing talented big men for the basketball court, the state of Minnesota has long been a hotbed. But this could be the golden era of talent in the post.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu posted up Hoosiers forward De'Ron Davis in the first half at Williams Arena on Wednesday night.

Cold shooting, lethargic finish doom Gophers in loss to Indiana

Missed shots snowballed into lackluster defense as well down the stretch, causing many fans to lose interest and leave early as the Gophers' NCAA tournament hopes took another big hit.
Gophers guard Marcus Carr drove to the basket on Hawkeyes forward Cordell Pemsl (35) on Sunday at Williams Arena. When Carr scores 12 or fewer points,

Another 'Coffey run': Can Marcus Carr rescue U's playoff hopes?

What the Gophers need now is a player who can hoist this team on his back for a stirring stretch run, the way Amir Coffey did after Minnesota went through a rough patch last year.
Daniel Oturu (25) right with guard Gabe Kalscheur (22) looked up at the score board after Oturu missing a crucial free throw in the game's final secon

Everything falls apart for Gophers in final minutes of loss to Iowa

Minnesota didn't score in the final 5:25 of the game, giving up an eight-point lead in an ending of filled with turnovers and other mistakes that put a crimp in the team's NCAA tournament hopes.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu was pressured by Iowa guard Connor McCaffery (30) and center Luka Garza (55).

Iowa's Garza has edge over Gophers' Oturu in battle of big men

Luka Garza on Sunday put up up 24 points and eight rebounds in a winning effort; Daniel Oturu went for for 15 and eight.
Sophomore Gabe Kalscheur said of the Gophers’ situation: “We know we only have so many games left.”

Time of the essence: Gophers aim to boost NCAA portfolio, beginning vs. Iowa

The Gophers are not among the 11 Big Ten teams currently projected to make the NCAA tournament, but they believe they know the magic number of wins to get there: four or five more. First up is Sunday at home vs. Iowa.
Luka Garza didn’t have his best game against Daniel Oturu on Dec. 9, but he didn’t need to, as Iowa still beat the Gophers 72-52 in Iowa City.

Gophers vs. Iowa brings Oturu vs. Garza Round II

Come Sunday, Daniel Oturu matches up against Luka Garza for the second time.
Gophers center Daniel Oturu is averaging 36.6 minutes per game in Big Ten play.

Gophers get break from grind before Sunday showdown with Iowa

The Gophers played more Big Ten games in January than any other team in the conference, and finally have a break before Sunday's game. "It's a grind when you're playing that many games," Richard Pitino said.
Minnesota's Daniel Oturu shoots between Penn State's Myles Dread (2) and Lamar Stevens (11) during second-half action

Oturu's career-high 32 points not enough for Gophers at Penn State

Down by as many as 19, the Gophers mounted a second-half rally on the road against the surging Nittany Lions but could not come away with the win.
Wisconsin's Trevor Anderson guards against a three-point shot by Minnesota's Payton Willis during the second half on Feb. 5

Gophers get big boost with Willis' return from injury

Payton Willis provided an impact with 21 points vs. Wisconsin. The Gophers are hoping Willis can continue to give the backcourt a lift Saturday at No. 22 Penn State.
Former Rochester John Marshall standout Matthew Hurt is averaging 10.9 points as a freshman at Duke.

First-year phenoms mostly absent in college basketball this season

With only two freshmen among the 20 finalists for the Wooden Award, that says something about the lack of high-profile first-year stars dominating college basketball this season.
Gophers guard Payton Willis grabbed a loose ball after Wisconsin guard D'Mitrik Trice tripped and lost it in the first half.

Aggressive Gophers crush Wisconsin, boost NCAA tournament chances

Four Gophers players finished in double figures, led by a career-high 21 points from Payton Willis. The Gophers beat their rival at home for the first time since 2014.
Wisconsin’s Brad Davison, sidelined by a suspension, celebrated after a teammate was fouled by a Michigan State player during last Saturday’s vict

After tumultuous week, energized Badgers coming to the Barn

Kobe King's sudden decision to transfer away form Wisconsin and Maple Grove's Brad Davison's latest suspension were followed by an upset win instead of a collapse.
Illinois' Andres Feliz drives past Minnesota defender Marcus Carr in the first half

Strong defense can't make up for Gophers' woeful shooting in loss to Illini

The Gophers held Illinois to 33% shooting for the game, But it wasn't enough to make up for Minnesota connecting on just 25% of its shots and a season-low 20 points in the first half.
Minnesota guard and three-point shooting ace Gabe Kalscheur talked about Kobe Bryant: “It didn’t matter if he air-balled a bunch of shots. He thou

Mamba mentality: Gophers look to learn success from Kobe's air balls

Richard Pitino searched for a way this week to turn his basketball team's grief over Kobe Bryant's death into growth, as players studied the NBA icon's legacy.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino

Following the fathers: Pitino and others try carving own paths

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.
Michigan State guard Cassius Winston scored in the first half between the defense of Gophers forward Jarvis Omersa, left, and guard Gabe Kalscheur. Wi

Gophers honor legend Burton, but fall to No. 11 Michigan State

No. 11 Michigan State clamped down defensively to cruise in a 70-52 Gophers loss Sunday in front of a season-high announced crowd of 12,114.
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.