Recent content from Marcus Fuller
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.
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, 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.
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.
Gophers are adding some unique talent to a team coming off a Final Four season.
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.
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.
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.
Sophomore center and Cretin-Derham Hall grad Daniel Oturu could become the first Gophers player drafted since Kris Humphries in 2004.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sophomore center Daniel Oturu led the rally from a two-point halftime deficit with 24 points.
Junior Payton Willis said it would be like playing in a closed scrimmage before the season, but with "more on the line."
A three-way tie for the regular-season title between Maryland, Michigan State and Wisconsin points toward an expected wide-open tournament.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Gophers, desperate to get their confidence back after humbling back-to-back home losses to Iowa and Indiana, smashed Northwestern by 26 points.
Minnesota got several contributions inside from reserves in its victory over Northwestern.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Luka Garza on Sunday put up up 24 points and eight rebounds in a winning effort; Daniel Oturu went for for 15 and eight.
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.
Come Sunday, Daniel Oturu matches up against Luka Garza for the second time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, including reps from the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons.
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.
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.
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.
Alihan Demir's link to ex-Gophers star Vincent Grier helped eventually steer him from Turkey to Minnesota.
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.
Juwan Howard, the former Wolverines center who played in the NBA from 1994 to 2013, was impressed by Oturu's play.
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.
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.
Payton Willis' return gives the Gophers all their parts again.
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.
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.
The Gophers lost a heartbreaker to the Boilermakers in a marathon contest.
Center Daniel Oturu and guards Marcus Carr and Gabe Kalscheur are averaging a combined 47.2 points per game.
His work and Gabe Kalscheur's hot hand turn momentum following the Gophers' slow start.
Free throws were notably absent from the Gophers' losses earlier this season.
Sophomore guard Gabe Kalscheur is coming off a career-high 34-point game against Oklahoma State.
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.
Payton Willis' lingering leg injury might mean more extended playing time for Tre' Williams against Oklahoma State on Saturday.
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.
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."
The Gophers are attempting a higher percentage of three-pointers than any other team in the Big Ten.