Staff Directory 6370596

Marcus Fuller

Reporter | Gophers basketball

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
The dynamic play of St. Thomas freshman Andrew Rohde is one reason the Tommies were drawing good crowds in their second Division I season.

St. Thomas leading scorer Rohde enters transfer portal

Andrew Rohde, a 6-6 freshman from Milwaukee, earned first team All-Summit League honors for the Tommies this season.
Minnesota Duluth men’s basketball coach Justin Wieck, front right, has led the team to its first NCAA Elite Eight.

Long a hockey school, UMD sees both basketball teams surge

Both the Bulldogs women's and men's teams will play in the NCAA Elite Eight this week, with the women on Monday and the men on Tuesday.
Jamison Battle, left, and Ta’Lon Cooper were honored on Senior Night, March 5. Now both have entered the transfer portal.

Battle, Cooper may not be done with college despite Senior Night honor

Jamison Battle and Ta'Lon Cooper have entered the NCAA transfer portal at the same time that they are expected to pursue opportunities to turn pro.
Big Ten's NCAA tournament outlook at a glance

Big Ten's NCAA tournament outlook at a glance

Eight Big Ten teams made the Big Dance. Here's a closer look.
Purdue’s Zach Edey celebrated with teammates after the team’s 67-65 victory over Penn State in the Big Ten tournament championship last Sunday in

Can this Purdue team end the Big Ten's NCAA championship drought?

The Boilermakers have the nation's top player, 7-4 Zach Edey, but his supporting cast might not be enough.
Fuller's NCAA men's tournament bracket: 10 big things to know

Fuller's NCAA men's tournament bracket: 10 big things to know

With the 68-team tournament starting Tuesday night, here are all the bracket picks, upsets, intriguing players and championship contenders — and college basketball writer Marcus Fuller's pick to win it all.
Forward Race Thompson, who played high school ball at Armstrong, averages 7.9 points and 5.1 rebounds for Indiana.

Minnesotans to watch in the NCAA men's tournament

Indiana's Race Thompson and Iowa State's Gabe Kalscheur are among those from Minnesota heading to the Big Dance.
Jaden Henley announced that he’s entering the NCAA transfer portal. Also planning to leave is reserve center Treyton Thompson.

Henley, Thompson planning to leave Gophers, enter transfer portal

Jaden Henley was an AAU teammate of Dennis Evans, who renounced his commitment to the U; Treyton Thompson, from Glenwood, Minn., is leaving after two seasons during which he played sparingly.
Dennis Evans, from Riverside, Calif., has switched his college plans from Minnesota to Louisville.

Dennis Evans commits to Louisville, which had 4-28 record this season

Louisville was among several programs that jumped into the recruiting mix for Evans once he was changed his mind about coming to Minnesota.
Jalen Wilson, left, of West Region No. 1 seed Kansas, leads the Jayhawks in scoring (20.1 points per game) and rebounding (8.4).

Repeat for KU? Breaking down the men's NCAA tournament bracket

Though Kansas had a blip of a three-game losing streak, the defending champion Jayhawks were otherwise strong, and are playing in perhaps the tournament's weakest region.
Gophers point guard Ta’lon Cooper (55) was under pressure from Maryland’s aggressive defense in Thursday’s season-ending loss at the Big Ten tou

Gophers backcourt could be in flux with decisions looming for Cooper, Henley

Ta'Lon Cooper had a solid year. Jaden Henley showed signs of growth. But another improved freshman, Braeden Carrington, could be the only guard back.
Maryland’s Julian Reese was fouled by the foot of the Gophers’ Pharrel Payne during the second half of the Terrapins’ 70-54 victory in the Big T

Gophers run out of upsets, end season with 70-54 loss to Maryland

Gophers freshman Pharrel Payne had a team-high 17 points and didn't miss a shot, but it wasn't enough for Minnesota in the second round of the Big Ten tournament.
Gophers forward Jamison Battle is trying to stay in the moment and enjoy the Big Ten tournament, even with plans to turn professional after this seaso

Battle reflects as Gophers career draws to a close

Junior forward Jamison Battle expects to play professionally after this season but was glad his time with the Gophers lasted longer than one game in the Big Ten tournament.
Damian Johnson has taken the success he had coaching at North St. Paul and added to it at Benilde-St. Margaret’s.

Former Gophers standout rising quickly through coaching ranks

Basketball Across Minnesota: Damian Johnson has led a turnaround at Benilde-St. Margaret's after a successful stint at North St. Paul. One thing you should know: There's a sure way to get into this coach's doghouse.
Gophers forward Dawson Garcia (3) took a shot against Maryland when the teams met Feb. 22 in College Park, Md.

Can the Gophers pull off another Big Ten tournament upset tonight?

Dawson Garcia is playing his best basketball for the Gophers entering Thursday night's game in Chicago, but Maryland's been red hot against the U this season.
Four-star Gophers recruit Cameron Christie had a big senior season at Rolling Meadows in Illinois. The Gophers opened the Big Ten tournament nearby in

'I trust coach Johnson.' Recruit Christie still committed to Gophers

Four-srat recruit Cameron Christie acknowledged that he'll miss the chance to play with Dennis Evans, who changed his mind about coming to Minnesota. 'I never wavered,' the Illinois prep star said.
Minnesota’s Dawson Garcia looks to pass as Nebraska’s Wilhelm Breidenbach defends during the first half Wednesday at the Big Ten men’s basketbal

Battle fouls out, then Gophers battle to beat Nebraska in Big Ten tourney

Minnesota played the last nine minutes without star Jamison Battle and needed others to step up in the 74-71 win Dawson Garcia and Ta'Lon Cooper had double-doubles, with Cooper's including 12 assists.
Minnesota head coach Ben Johnson watches the action against Wisconsin during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Sunday, March 5, 20

In season of losses and lows, Johnson works to move on without panic

On a Tuesday night last month, Gophers coach Ben Johnson got hit with a bombshell of a phone call that no college basketball coach ever wants to hear. Another low point in a season filled with them.
Gophers forward Jamison Battle battled for position against Nebraska’s Denim Dawson in a Feb. 25 game. Battle is likely to make himself eligible for

Gophers men to open Big Ten tournament against Nebraska

The Gophers look to avoid their second consecutive first-round exit in the Big Ten tournament Wednesday in Chicago.
Wisconsin guard Max Klesmit, center, drives past Minnesota forward Pharrel Payne, left, and forward Jamison Battle during the second half.

Gophers lose to Badgers; Battle likely to turn pro after end of season

Jamison Battle, the junior forward and Minnesota's second leading scorer, has talked about leaving the U for professional basketball after the season, coach Ben Johnson said.
Jamison Battle was one of three seniors honored Sunday after the Gophers-Wisconsin basketball game at Williams Arena. Battle still has one year of eli

Gophers basketball to honor three graduating seniors vs. Wisconsin

Gophers starters Jamison Battle and Ta'Lon Cooper have eligibility remaining but graduate this year. Also graduating is transfer Taurus Samuels.
Indiana guard Sara Scalia wrestled for a jump-ball call against Ohio State guard Rikki Harris on Saturday at Target Center.

Scalia has another good game, but Indiana falls short at Target Center

Stillwater native and former Gophers player Sara Scalia scored 15 points Saturday to conclude a memorable trip back home.
Wisconsin’s Chucky Hepburn (23) passed the ball between Minnesota’s Pharrel Payne (21) and Ta’Lon Cooper (55) on Jan. 3 in Madison.

Gophers men's basketball gameday preview vs. Wisconsin

After a dramatic first Big Ten home win, Minnesota looks to keep building vs. the Badgers.
The Gophers celebrated a game-winning three-pointer by Jamison Battle, center, against Rutgers on Thursday.

Gophers excited to finish regular season against Badgers

Ben Johnson saw improvement in his team in Thursday's thrilling last-second victory against Rutgers. The Gophers hope that can carry over Sunday vs. Wisconsin.
Ohio State forward Taylor Thierry goes up for a shot while double teamed by Indiana guard Henna Sandvik (21) and forward Lilly Meister (52) during the

Down 24 in first half, Ohio State storms back to beat No. 2 Indiana in Big Ten semifinals

The Buckeyes used a full-court press to force several Indiana turnovers, gaining a spot in Sunday's Big Ten championship game.
Former Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen went to hug Isabelle Gradwell (14) after her last-second 3-pointer to beat Nebraska on Feb. 15.

'Thank you, Lindsay.' Players show fondness for Whalen after departure

Gophers players are using social media to show appreciation for Lindsay Whalen after what athletic director Mark Coyle called a mutual decision to remove her as head coach.
Maple Grove’s Kennedy Klick, shown here playing for DeLaSalle in the 2020 state tournament, was the Gophers’ first commitment in the 2023 class.

Even without Whalen, Gophers recruit Kennedy Klick plans to stick with U

Kennedy Klick, a standout guard for Maple Grove, told the Star Tribune on Friday that her "heart is set to play for the University of Minnesota."
Brooke Olson has helped Minnesota Duluth reach new heights this season.

Olson, UMD make a case to be among the NSIC's best women's team ever

Basketball Across Minnesota: The Bulldogs became the first team to win three consecutive NSIC women's tournaments, and this will be UMD's fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II tournament.
Isaac Asuma celebrated with his Cherry (Minn.) High School teammates after defeating Fosston 68-59 on Jan. 27.

Iron Range star Asuma commits to Gophers in school gym after team wins

Sitting behind the bench recently at the U's 76-69 loss against Penn State, Isaac Asuma and his family weren't discouraged by the program's struggles.
Gophers forwards Joshua Ola-Joseph (1) and Pharrel Payne, right, celebrated the game-winning three-pointer by Jamison Battle, center, to beat Rutgers

Down by 10 with 1:04 left, U shocks Rutgers on Battle buzzer-beater

The Gophers trailed 70-60 and looked destined to lose their 13th game in a row. Then Jamison Battle led a thrilling comeback that included hitting a trio of three-pointers in the final 43 seconds.
The dynamic play of St. Thomas freshman Andrew Rohde is one reason the Tommies are drawing good crowds.

St. Thomas charges into first Summit tourney led by elite freshman Rohde

6-foot-6 Andrew Rohde was the hidden jewel of the St. Thomas recruiting class, which included three Minnesota natives and was ranked the best in the Summit League. He third in the nation in scoring among freshmen.
The Gophers’ Braeden Carrington has had his freshman year plagued by injuries.

Gophers freshman Carrington has right attitude despite setbacks

Former Minnesota Mr. Basketball Braeden Carrington is expected to play Thursday vs. Rutgers after hurting his knee last weekend.
St. Thomas guard Maggie Negaard, left, leads the Tommies in scoring at 12.8 points per game.

St. Thomas women's basketball team gets ready for its own 'Big Dance'

The Tommies will make their Summit League tournament debut on Friday against Western Illinois.
Cottage Grove native Pharrel Payne has given the Gophers a physical inside presence this season as a freshman.

Playing with Payne becomes U's best hope at center after Evans rejection

How can the U compete in the Big Ten without more of a formidable inside presence moving forward? The answer might be already in the program.
Guard Ta’Lon Cooper (55) and the Gophers took a 90-55 loss when they visited Rutgers on Feb. 1.

U men's basketball faces Rutgers, still seeking first Big Ten home win

The Gophers have a 12-game losing streak. After facing Rutgers, they'll play Wisconsin at home Sunday to close the regular season.
Isaac Asuma celebrated with teammates in the locker room after defeating Fosston, Jan. 27, 2023 at Cherry (Minn.) High School. He will make his colleg

Cherry star Asuma praises U, will announce college choice Thursday

The Gophers told Isaac Asuma he would likely be mostly a point guard in college, but they would also use him off the ball in a scoring role. He envisions helping the program as a freshman.
Gophers players Jaden Henley (13), Dawson Garcia (3) and Pharrel Payne (21) walked off the court after a loss to Penn State on Feb. 18 at Williams Are

Big Ten cancels Gophers game at Michigan State, called no-contest

The Gophers were scheduled to play at Michigan State on Feb. 15, but a campus shooting happened two days before that in East Lansing.
Nebraska’s Sam Griesel scores in the paint over Minnesota’s Dawson Garcia during the second half Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb.

Gophers lose 12th straight. Johnson: 'Turnovers just crushed us'

The Gophers set a school record for free throws and outrebounded Nebraska, but had other problems that led to the 78-67 loss that kept them at one win in the Big Ten.
Jaden Henley (24) of the Minnesota Gophers Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.

Gophers freshman Jaden Henley shows growth after returning to starting lineup

Entering Saturday's game at Nebraska, the 6-7 California native is coming off his best game in Big Ten play.
Dennis Evans ran a drill with his high school basketball team in December.

Five-star Gophers recruit Evans changes his mind, asks for release

Dennis Evans, a five-star, 7-foot senior from California, formally requested on Friday to be released from his signed national letter of intent. He would have been the team's highest-ranked recruit in 20 years.
Gophers forward Jamison Battle stepped back to take a shot against Penn State guard Seth Lundy in last Saturday’s loss at Williams Arena.

Gophers men's basketball looks to avenge loss to Nebraska

The Gophers are riding an 11-game losing streak, but the January matchup at Williams Arena showed they can play the Cornhuskers tough.
Tre Holloman, right, drove toward the basket against Indiana’s Jalen Hood-Schifino during during Tuesday’s 80-65 Spartans victory in East Lansing,

Former Cretin standout Holloman building his game at Michigan State

Basketball Across Minnesota: Tre Holloman is in a reserve role as a freshman and sees a progression the way other point guards have grown under coach Tom Izzo.
In his third game back from a foot injury, Dawson Garcia had 15 points in the Gophers’ 88-70 loss at Maryland on Wednesday.

Gophers overpowered by Maryland as losing streak reaches 11 games

Odds that Minnesota can pick up a second Big Ten win this season are slim if they have repeat performances defensively like Wednesday night, when Maryland scored at will after the first 10 minutes.
Gophers forward Joshua Ola-Joseph defended Maryland guard Jahmir Young (1) when the teams met Feb. 4 at Williams Arena.

Challenge for Gophers guards: Show improvement vs. Maryland tonight

In the last two games, the Gophers' guards were outscored 57-8 and 28-9 in losses to Penn State and Illinois. Maryland will challenge them with one of the top backcourts in the Big Ten.
Gophers forward Jamison Battle reacted during the team’s 35-point loss to Maryland on Feb. 4 at Williams Arena.

Gophers men face Maryland again after earlier 35-point loss to Terps

The Gophers hope to halt a 10-game losing streak now that they are healthier this time around.
With Dawson Garcia, middle, back in the lineup, that loosened the Illinois defense for Jamison Battle, left, to score 31 points in the Gophers’ 78-6

Garcia returns as Gophers' focal point for late-season stretch

Dawson Garcia had a hard time being patient when he missed five games because of a bone bruise in his right foot.
Illinois’ Matthew Mayer (24) drove past Jamison Battle (10) of the Gophers during the first half.

Gophers losing streak hits 10 at Illinois despite Battle's 31 points

Minnesota is 1-14 in Big Ten play after the Illini used a balanced offensive attack — all five starters scored in double figures — to fend off a season high from Jamison Battle.
Dawson Garcia (3) of the Minnesota Gophers and Terrence Shannon Jr. (1) of the Illinois Illini fight for the ball in the second half Monday, Jan. 16,

Illinois' leading scorer out as Gophers try to snap losing streak

Gophers coach Ben Johnson saw Dawson Garcia, his top scorer, return on Saturday. Illinois is not so fortunate with Terrence Shannon Jr. out with a concussion.
Gophers forwards Jaden Henley (13), Dawson Garcia (3) and Pharrel Payne (21) trudged off the court after losing to Penn State 76-69 Saturday.

Gophers basketball road trip begins with postponed game at Illinois

Dawson Garcia returned from injury, but the Gophers are still trying to end an eight-game losing streak Monday in Champaign.
Former Park Center athlete Dain Dainja, dunking against Rutgers earlier this month, is averaging 10.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game this season for

After Gophers looked elsewhere, Park Center's Dainja became Illini's big man

Ben Johnson and his Gophers men's basketball program showed some interest when former Park Center standout Dain Dainja entered the transfer portal. But they opted to pursue others.
Minnesota forward Pharrel Payne (21) and Penn State forward Michael Henn (24) wrestle for a rebound in the first half Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023 at Willi

Garcia returns but Gophers men fall to Penn State for ninth loss in a row

The team's leading scorer missed five games because of a foot injury and scored 23 points in the 76-69 loss.
Minnesota head coach Ben Johnson, right, talks with forward Dawson Garcia during a break in action in the first half of an NCAA college basketball gam

Gophers leading scorer Dawson Garcia returns from injury to start against Penn State

Garcia and freshman Braeden Carrington were cleared to play Saturday against Penn State after missing a combined 13 games.
Gophers freshman Jaden Henley, right, battled Iowa’s Kris Murray for a loose ball in Minnesota’s last game, a 68-56 defeat for the Gophers last Su

Gophers, Penn State take different approaches into Saturday's matchup

Gophers coach Ben Johnson added more youth to the roster than Penn State's second-year coach Micah Shrewsberry did, hoping for long-term benefits.
Gophers freshman Joshua Ola-Joseph scored 11 points in their last game, a 68-56 loss to Iowa at Williams Arena last Sunday.

Gophers leading scorer Garcia likely to remain out vs. Penn State

Minnesota will try to end its eight-game losing streak, when Penn State visits Williams Arena on Saturday night.
Macalester men’s basketball coach Abe Woldeslassie (left) had Bridgeport Tusler (center with clipboard) as an assistant last season. Tusler now lead

Minnesota's Black college basketball coaches inspire each other

Basketball Across Minnesota: Macalester's Abe Woldeslassie and Crown College's Bridgeport Tusler were on the same staff a year ago. Now they're among four Black coaches at the NCAA level in the state.
A worker cleaned up outside Berkey Hall at Michigan State University on Tuesday, one day after a shooting on campus left three students dead.

Johnson shows support for Michigan St., plans for rescheduling game uncertain

Minnesota and Michigan State are working to find a date when the game, originally set for Wednesday, can be played. The Gophers' schedule is posing complications.
Gophers freshman Joshua Ola Joseph blocked a shot from Iowa’s Kris Murray during Minnesota’s loss Sunday at Williams Arena.

4 Gophers takeaways: Freshmen fight on and frontcourt frustration

The Gophers started three freshmen for the first time this season with Jaden Henley joining the lineup. A first-year player has led the team in scoring eight times this season.
The Gophers’ Ta’Lon Cooper fell for a loose ball in the first half against Iowa on Sunday at Williams Arena.

'Small victories' not enough; Iowa sends Gophers to 8th straight loss

Still relying on four freshmen because of injuries, the Gophers fell behind early and now have their longest regular-season losing streak since the 2017-18 season.
Minnesota forward Pharrel Payne goes up for a dunk during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Maryland, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023,

Injuries in the frontcourt are speeding up Gophers' development of freshman Pharrel Payne

The 6-9 Cottage Grove native will start his fourth straight game for the U on Sunday in place of injured leading scorer Dawson Garcia.
Iowa forward Patrick McCaffery took a shot against his former AAU teammate, Jamison Battle, when the Gophers played in Iowa City on Feb. 6, 2022.

Gophers can relate to Iowa player's battle with mental health issues

Gophers forward Jamison Battle voiced support for Patrick McCaffery, the Iowa player who took a leave of absence for anxiety this season. "If you're not doing well mentally, then you're not going to perform well," Battle said.
Minnesota Gophers head coach Ben Johnson in the first half Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.

Gophers men's basketball returns from COVID break vs. Iowa

A five-day COVID-19 pause earlier in the week delayed a game against Illinois until Feb. 20.
Carleton men’s basketball coach Ryan Kershaw, third from the left, has the team on a historic pace.

Coaching legend exits and a new power rises in Minnesota basketball

Basketball Across MinnesotaL Carleton College is closing in on its highest win total in 114 years of basketball — and its first title since the mid 1960s. The veteran-filled Knights were brought to this point by Guy Kalland, who retired in 2022 after 38 seasons.
Minnesota head coach Ben Johnson in the first half Monday, November 7, 2022, at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.   ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • carlos.go

Johnson facing U's struggles by leaning on experience with defeat

It's not something Gophers men's basketball coach Ben Johnson is proud of on his résumé, but his experience with losing streaks as a former U player and assistant is helping him relate to his current team's season.
The Gophers are coming off Saturday’s 81-46 loss to Maryland.

Postponed Gophers game at Illinois rescheduled for later this month

Minnesota's next scheduled game is noon Sunday against Iowa at Williams Arena. The game at Illinois will now be played on February 20.
Maryland forward Julian Reese reacts after a basket scored against the Gophers during the first half Saturday at Williams Arena

Blown out at the Barn: Gophers lose big again, falling 81-46 to Maryland

It's now seven straight losses for the Gophers, who are on their longest losing streak during the regular season since the end of Richard Pitino's final year.
Minnesota Gophers head coach Ben Johnson in the first half Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.

Gophers' Garcia out again but injuries no excuse for poor defense

Top scorer Dawson Garcia will be sidelined again Saturday vs. Maryland, but the Gophers have to figure out how to improve defensively in a hurry.
Gophers recruit Cameron Christie Christie is averaging 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists this year for Rolling Meadows (Ill.).

Future U guard Christie wishes he could be in Minnesota already

Cam Christie, who averages 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists this year for his Illinois high school, is the highest-ranked guard recruit for the U since Amir Coffey and Isaiah Washington joined in 2016 and 2017.
Gophers freshman Joshua Ola-Joseph had a season-high 17 points in the Gophers’ last game, a loss against Rutgers.

Gophers' leading scorer Garcia to be a game-time decision vs. Maryland

Garcia has missed the past three games with a bone bruise, and the Gophers' losing streak stands at six.
Gophers guard Ta’lon Cooper defended a shot by Rutgers’ Cam Spencer during Wednesday’s road loss.

4 Gophers takeaways: Inept defense + bad 3-point shooting = blowout

The only way the Gophers can compete in Big Ten games right now is by defending at a high level. They didn't come close to doing that at Rutgers, and fell short in other ways while losing 90-55.
Rutgers’ Paul Mulcahy, left, fought for control of the ball with the Gophers’ Taurus Samuels, below, and Joshua Ola-Joseph during the first half o

Worst loss in two decades, U men smacked by 35 points at Rutgers

The 90-55 thumping by Rutgers was also the biggest victory margin for the Scarlet Knights since they joined the Big Ten. Minnesota now has lost six in a row,
Minnesota forward Dawson Garcia (3) drives past Illinois forward Coleman Hawkins (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Mond

Gophers frontcourt banged up going into matchup at Rutgers

Garcia's out for the third straight game with a foot injury. The Gophers have used different players in the frontcourt rotation in his absence.
Indiana guard Sara Scalia scored 19 points in a Jan. 23 victory at Michigan. The former Gopher faces her former team at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Williams A

No longer a starter, ex-Gophers star Scalia has new role with Indiana

Basketball Across Minnesota: Sara Scalia transferred last year to No. 4 Indiana after three seasons with the Gophers. Her team brings its championship dreams to Williams Arena tonight.
Minnesota guard Luke Loewe (12) looks to pass off the ball under pressure from Rutgers guard Paul Mulcahy (4) in the second half.

Tough, tenacious: Johnson wants Gophers to be more like Rutgers

Coach Ben Johnson has yet to establish an identity for Gophers men's basketball. And he's not shy about admitting he wants his program to look like what Rutgers has built.
Rutgers guard Paul Mulcahy has helped the Scarlet Knights become one of the surprise teams in the Big Ten. They play host to the Gophers on Wednesday

Gophers looking to end five-game losing streak in game at Rutgers

Minnesota defeated the Scarlet Knights at home last season but hasn't won at Rutgers since 2017.
Gophers forward Pharrel Payne made a pass during the first half of Saturday’s loss at Northwestern.

Four takeaways: Lopsided loss to Wildcats showcases shortcomings

It had been five years since the Gophers men's basketball team suffered a bigger loss at Northwestern than its 81-61 defeat over the weekend.