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
Ty McDevitt takes over as Gophers baseball coach, replacing legend John Anderson.

Gophers name pitching guru McDevitt next head baseball coach

Gophers pitching coach and alum Ty McDevitt agreed to a three-year deal to become the program's next head baseball coach, the Gophers announced Wednesday.
Dawson Garcia, left, and Parker Fox are among the key returnees for the Gophers for next season.

Gophers men's basketball roster gets another major makeover

The combination of unexpected departures and only three players returning who had significant playing time once again forced Minnesota deep into the transfer portal.
Minneapolis native Lu'Cye Patterson, left, has decided to transfer from Charlotte to play his final year of eligibility with the Gophers.

Charlotte hoops transfer Patterson returns home, commits to Gophers

Minneapolis native Lu'Cye Patterson, who averaged 14.6 points per game for Charlotte last season, is transferring home to Minnesota.
Totino-Grace’s Dothan Ijadimbola (0) celebrates after defeating DeLaSalle 74-67 in the class 3A semifinals at Williams Arena on March 21.

Two U men's basketball targets featured on this star-filled AAU team

The D1 Minnesota team of high school sophomores is among almost 300 teams playing this weekend at an AAU tournament that will take over gyms in the west metro.
Early in her freshman season one year ago, Gophers shortstop Jess Oakland struggled to live up to her lofty goals. After rebuilding her self-confidenc

Big Ten softball's best hitter? She plays shortstop for the Gophers.

The Gophers will open the Big Ten softball tournament on Wednesday with the conference's top hitter on their side. Jess Oakland has been a force as a sophomore.
Gophers men's basketball coach Ben Johnson continues to retool the roster.

Texas San Antonio big man Edmonds commits to Gophers as a transfer

Colorado native Trey Edmonds scored in double figures 11 times last season before entering the transfer portal and picking Minnesota.
Caleb Williams threw a behind-the-back pass during November's exhibition game between the Gophers and Macalester. Williams announced Wednesday he will

U gets Macalester star, N. Mexico St. wing who has been at 3 other schools

Macalester guard Caleb Williams scored 41 points against the Gophers in an exhibition game; New Mexico State wing Femi Odukale has also played at Pitt and Seton Hall.
Gophers guard Cam Christie (24) had several big moments for the team as a freshman. After earlier declaring for the NBA draft, Christie also entered t

U's Christie enters transfer portal after previously declaring for draft

There was a scenario where the 6-6 guard would return to the Gophers if he removed his name from the NBA draft. But Christie has now given himself to option to play college basketball elsewhere.
Caleb Williams (32) shot over former Gophers guard Elijah Hawkins (0) during an exhibition game in November. Williams scored 41 points against the Gop

U basketball targets Macalester star Caleb Williams, other transfers

Williams, a 6-2 guard who scored 41 points against the U in an exhibition game, visited campus recently. The Gophers still have needs at guard and in the post with the transfer portal closing Wednesday.
Brennan Rigsby (4) takes a shot for Oregon against South Carolina on March 21 in the NCAA tournament in Pittsburgh.

Gophers hoops lands Oregon guard transfer after Hawkins' departure

The Gophers had an increasing need at guard after Elijah Hawkins entered the transfer portal earlier this week.
Oregon guard Brennan Rigsby (4) takes a shot against Utah on March 9 in Eugene, Ore.

Changing up the guards: Oregon transfer interests U, visits campus

The Gophers are looking to replace guard Elijah Hawkins, who entered the transfer portal on Monday. Brennan Rigsby of Oregon is visiting the U, and a couple others have attracted the team's interest.
Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck added a wide receiver in Georgia transfer Tyler Williams on Tuesday.

U football lands wide receiver transfer from Georgia

Former Georgia receiver Tyler Williams adds to one of the Big Ten's top transfer classes for P.J. Fleck's Gophers.
Pharrel Payne (21) of the Minnesota Golden Gophers hangs on the rim after a dunk agains the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second half Thursday, Feb. 22,

Ex-Gophers forward Payne transferring to Texas A&M

Pharrel Payne, a Cottage Grove native who started for the Gophers this season, says he'll play for the Aggies next season.
Gophers guard Elijah Hawkins has entered the transfer portal after saying last month that he would return to Minnesota next season.

After saying he'd stay, U point guard Hawkins entering transfer portal

Elijah Hawkins, who ranked second in the nation with 7.5 assists last season, said after the Big Ten tournament that he would "definitely be back" with the Gophers.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck has been adding high-profile players to the roster.

Gophers get transfer commitment from 6-foot-8 Clemson defensive end

Adam Kissayi, who committed to Gophers coach P.J. Fleck last summer before flipping to Clemson, has changed his mind again.
Jaxon Howard had offers from across the country when he committed to LSU on July 1, 2022 at Robbinsdale Cooper High School.

Former Cooper football star Howard transfers from LSU to Gophers

Former Cooper star and LSU defensive end Jaxon Howard, the most highly touted high school football recruit in Minnesota last year, has committed to the Gophers
Frank Mitchell, who ranked fourth in the nation in rebounding with Canisius, is transferring to the Gophers.

Mitchell, a 6-8 rebounding machine, likes the fit with U men's basketball

Frank Mitchell, who ranked fourth nationally in rebounding this past season at Canisius, will be counted on to help replace Pharrel Payne.
Frank Mitchell ranked fourth in the nation in rebounding with Canisius.

Gophers men's basketball lands big-man transfer Mitchell from Canisius

Canisius transfer Frank Mitchell, the nation's fourth-leading rebounder this past season, committed to the Gophers on Wednesday.
Gophers players huddle up before the 2023 season opener against Nebraska.

Four-star linebacker gives commitment to Gophers football

The No. 1 recruit in Minnesota for the 2025 class had offers from several top programs including Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin
Gophers forward Parker Fox (23) celebrates a dunk against Ohio State on Feb. 22 at Williams Arena.

Fox announces he's returning to U men's basketball for one more year

Mahtomedi native Parker Fox had a strong finish to the season and is coming back for a seventh season of college basketball.
Cam Christie (24) was an impact player for the Gophers as a  freshman this past season.

Is Christie gone, too? Gophers freshman guard declares for draft.

Cam Christie, who earned All-Big Ten freshman honors this past season, announced he'll test NBA waters while maintaining college eligibility.
Gophers quarterback Max Brosmer is working to get acclimated with the team's receivers.

Four things to watch Thursday at rare open Gophers football practice

With no Gophers spring game, this is the best chance to catch an early glimpse at next season. All eyes will be on new quarterback Max Brosmer, along with Darius Taylor and the backup running backs.
Gophers quarterback Max Brosmer, a transfer from New Hampshire, directs players during practice Thursday.

Gophers show off new receivers but there's work to be done

"We're creating more playmakers," Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck said after Thursday's open practice that featured both dropped passes and redemption catches.
Jaxon Howard has entered the NCAA transfer portal after picking LSU comping out of Robbinsdale Cooper.

LSU defensive end Jaxon Howard, once a Gophers recruiting target, enters transfer portal

Howard was flooded with offers coming out of Robbinsdale Cooper and considered the Gophers before selecting LSU.
New Gophers special teams coordinator Bob Ligashesky has 40 years of coaching experience in college and the NFL.

U's new special teams coach has experience working with the best

The Gophers football team can't wait to see what kicker Dragan Kesich and punter Mark Crawford will do under new special teams coordinator Bob Ligashesky.
DJ Burns Jr., right, is making a big impact for N.C. State after transferring in from Winthrop two years ago.

Transfers make big mark on men's Final Four, especially the underdogs

All four teams have transfers who have played key roles this season. North Carolina State, which is making a surprising run as a No. 11 seed, has seen the biggest boost.
Minnesota Gophers forward Dawson Garcia (3) and forward Parker Fox (23) celebrate an and-one opportunity by Garcia in the second half Monday, Jan. 15,

Garcia staying with Gophers; Johnson hopes fans appreciate choice

Ben Johnson was sitting in his office Thursday when he got a text saying Dawson Garcia was in the building. The coach didn't know what to expect.
Ben Johnson instructed his team during a time out during a Big Ten tournament game against Michigan State last month.

Five Gophers going, but Johnson hopeful four starters will be back

Gophers coach Ben Johnson said he isn't upset with players who decided to enter the transfer portal, saying they "make decisions that are best for them."
Gophers guard Mike Mitchell Jr. (2) makes a pass against Indiana center Kel'el Ware on Jan. 12 in Bloomington, Ind.

Gophers guard Mike Mitchell Jr. is staying with Ben Johnson's program

Mike Mitchell, who averaged 10.2 points per game this season, will return to the Gophers next season, his father told the Star Tribune.
Gophers forward Pharrel Payne continued his development this season under coach Ben Johnson.

U basketball losses mount: Payne, Carrington, Ihnen enter portal

The Gophers men's basketball team has seen three sophomores from Minnesota enter the transfer portal over two days.
Andrew Morgan (23) defends against Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) while playing for North Dakota State.

Gophers transfer portal watch: NDSU big man visiting

Former North Dakota State big man and Waseca native Andrew Morgan plans to visit the Gophers on Thursday. The 6-10 junior has one year of eligibility left.
Joshua Ola Joseph (1) of the Minnesota Gophers Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, at Williams Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • carlos.gonzalez@

Gophers sophomore Ola-Joseph enters transfer portal

Joshua Ola-Joseph saw his role with Gophers basketball decrease late this season. Now the forward is heading to a new team.
Incoming Gophers recruit Isaac Asuma leads Cherry to the Class 1A championship over Fertile-Beltrami last Saturday at Williams Arena.

U recruits Asuma, Grove ready for jump from state tourney to college

Cherry's Isaac Asuma remembers being wide-eyed as a sophomore at Williams Arena, but by Saturday's 1A title game, the Iron Range star felt in his element. Fellow Gophers recruit Grayson Grove of Alexandria joined him on the all-tournament team.
Gophers guard Cam Christie (24) averaged 11.3 points per game and made the Big Ten's All-Freshman team this season, but he is considering his pro opti

Gophers roster analysis: Decisions by two key players loom largest

The Gophers had 10 more wins this season than in 2022-23. Their continued improvement, however, will be largely based on who decides to return.
Indiana State's Jayson Kent (20) and the Gophers' Braeden Carrington (4) reach for a rebound during the second round of the NIT on Sunday in Terre Hau

Hawkins hurt as Gophers lose to Indiana St. in NIT's second round

After being the standout in Minnesota's opening-round win, point guard Elijah Hawkins was limited to 21 minutes because of an injured hip.
Indiana State's Robbie Avila (nicknamed "Cream Abdul-Jabbar"), right, dribbles against Drake's Darnell Brodie in the Missouri Valley Conference champi

Indiana State has 'Cream Abdul-Jabbar.' It also has Gophers' full respect.

Entering Sunday's game against the Gophers, the Sycamores are the No. 1 seed in the NIT and the No. 1 snub from the NCAA tourney.
Indiana State players celebrate their Missouri Valley Conference regular season title on March 3.

Gophers' next NIT opponent is tournament's No. 1 seed

One of the most intriguing early NIT matchups could be when the Gophers men play at Indiana State, the tournament's No. 1 overall seed.
Gophers men's basketball student manager Drew Evenson, left, has been an inspiration for the team.

Gophers manager is ready for his own version of March Madness

Drew Evenson was surrounded by his Gophers basketball family when he finished cancer treatment. "He's as big a part of this team as anybody," coach Ben Johnson said.
Purdue star Zach Edey (15) drew a foul against Wisconsin's Steven Crowl during last Saturday's overtime loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament se

No. 1 seeded again, can Purdue avoid another embarrassment?

Remember how the Boilermakers lost in the first round last year to a No. 16 seed in one of the most memorable NCAA tournament games in recent years?
Gophers guard Cam Christie, right, looks to keep the ball away from Butler in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapol

Hawkins' free throws in final seconds boost U past Butler 73-72 in NIT

In addition to two free throws with five seconds left, point guard Elijah Hawkins also had 15 assists to get the Gophers into the second round.
Marcus Fuller makes his 2024 NCAA men's basketball tournament predictions.

NCAA men's basketball bracket. Fuller's picks, predictions, highlights

The NCAA men's basketball tournament has been set, and Star Tribune college basketball writer Marcus Fuller has his bracket ready for your inspection.
Five Minnesotans to watch in the upcoming NCAA tournament (clockwise from left): Iowa State's Curtis Jones, Colorado's J'Vonne Hadley, Texas Tech's Ke

Minnesotans to watch in the NCAA men's basketball tournament

Minnesota natives in this year's tournament include Kerwin Walton, Dain Dainja, Steven Crowl and several others.
Gophers guard Cam Christie, left, and forward Parker Fox (23) defend Michigan State's A.J. Hoggard during the Big Ten tournament at Target Center. The

Gophers don't hesitate to grab NIT spot, look forward to facing Butler

Ben Johnson, in his third season as Gophers coach, can build on his NIT experience as an assistant under Richard Pitino in 2013-14.
Tennessee guard Dalton Knecht is this season's SEC player of the year.

NCAA men's basketball: What to watch in all four regions

Four must-watch players and four must-watch matchups from the 68-team field announced Sunday.
Illinois coach Brad Underwood speaks from the stage after his team was awarded the trophy for winning the Big Ten tournament on Sunday. The Illini bea

Big Ten tournament at Target Center brought plenty of big performances

Marcus Fuller's five takeaways from five days of competition in downtown Minneapolis.
Gophers coach Ben Johnson will get to extend the season into the NIT, with a first-round matchup at Butler.

Gophers men's basketball gets NIT bid, first-round matchup with Butler

The Gophers' season has been extended with a first-round matchup against Butler in the 32-team NIT.
Nebraska forward Juwan Gary (4) shows his emotions during a 98-87 loss to Illinois in the Big Ten tournament semifinals Saturday at Target Center.

Hoiberg-led Nebraska runs out of steam in Big Ten semifinals, looks toward NCAAs

Nebraska could not hang on to a second-half lead in losing to Illinois 98-87, but the Cornhuskers are poised to get an NCAA tournament bid Sunday.
Gophers coach Ben Johnson and his players will find out Sunday night if they get an NIT bid.

Gophers men hoping for NIT bid Sunday, but it's certainly no lock

The Gophers went 18-14 and 9-11 during the Big Ten Regular season before getting bounced from the conference tournament by Michigan State.
Michigan State guard and former Cretin-Derham Hall standout Tre Holloman (5) takes a shot out of Purdue star Zach Edey's reach Friday at Target Center

Heide, Holloman relive state title matchup during Big Ten tournament

The former Minnesota prep standouts faced off Friday when Purdue beat Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament.
Gophers senior Parker Fox, middle, hypes up the team before Thursday's loss to Michigan State in the second round of the Big Ten tournament at Target

Gophers: 'Imagine what we could do' next season

As the Gophers wait for a possible NIT bid Sunday, roll call for next season has begun. Elijah Hawkins will return. Dawson Garcia and Cam Christie are undecided.
Gophers guard Cam Christie, left, fends off Michigan State guard A.J. Hoggard during Thursday's Big Ten tournament game at Target Center.

Gophers overmatched in 10-point loss to Michigan State; season over?

The Gophers led by two points at halftime, but couldn't hold off the Spartans at the Big Ten tournament with their fifth loss in six games. Now, the waiting game for a possible NIT berth.
Gophers guard Elijah Hawkins, left, and teammate Parker Fox defend against Michigan State's Tre Holloman in Thursday's Big Ten tournament matchup.

Gophers point guard Hawkins 'definitely coming back next year'

After Thursday's loss to Michigan State, Gophers point guard Elijah Hawkins made it clear he doesn't have plans to transfer.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, center, Malik Hall, right, and Tyson Walker react during overtime against James Madison during an NCAA college basketba

Gophers, Spartans both riding 1-4 skids into Big Ten hoops tourney

The Gophers must drastically improve on defense to have a chance to make a Big Ten men's basketball tournament run, starting Thursday against the Spartans.
Gophers forward Dawson Garcia celebrates with the student section at the end of a game last month.

Garcia believes U isn't done winning. But will he be here for that?

The Gophers will open the Big Ten tournament Thursday morning vs. Michigan State, with Dawson Garcia delaying his decision on whether to return for another season.
Minnesota Gophers guard Cam Christie (24) hits a 3-pointer under pressure by Iowa Hawkeyes forward Payton Sandfort (20) in the second half Monday, Jan

Gophers' Garcia, Christie named to All-Big Ten teams

The Gophers men's basketball team's leading scorer, Dawson Garcia, and top freshman, Cam Christie, were named to All-Big Ten basketball teams.
The Gophers men's basketball team, predicted to finish last in the Big Ten under third-year coach Ben Johnson, moved up to ninth going into the confer

Gophers improved this season. So why is Ben Johnson frustrated?

Johnson stood outside the visitors' locker room at Northwestern on Saturday night, unhappy about his team's fourth loss in five games — and what it didn't represent.
Former Gophers forward Jamison Battle (10) will face his former teammates Thursday at Williams Arena.

Five Minnesotans to watch at Big Ten men's basketball tournament

The Gophers have key players from Minnesota — Dawson Garcia, Pharrel Payne and Parker Fox among them. — and there are other homegrown standouts returning to the state this week.
Purdue center Zach Edey appears headed for his second NCAA player of the year award.

10 players to watch at the Big Ten tournament at Target Center

The Big Ten men's basketball tournament makes its Minneapolis debut this week, and here are some of the stars in conference play this season.
In his first game back from sitting out with a concussion, Gophers guard Braeden Carrington was strong Saturday off the bench.

Four things learned in Gophers basketball's loss to Northwestern to end regular season

Garcia may travel well, but the Gophers defense struggles to match his energy on the road lately.
Michigan State guard Tre Holloman (5) is defended by Minnesota forward Dawson Garcia (3) and guard Elijah Hawkins (0) during the first half of an NCAA

Gophers men's basketball to face Michigan State in Big Ten tournament

Ben Johnson's Gophers play their first game in the Big Ten tournament early Thursday at Target Center.
Gophers guard Elijah Hawkins finished with 14 points and 10 assists, but no player other than Dawson Garcia scored in double figures.

Gophers smothered by Northwestern 90-66 in final game of regular season

Dawson Garcia finished with his third 30-point game of the season to lead the Gophers, but the momentum was entirely in Northwestern's favor from the opening tip.
Gophers guard Braeden Carrington (4) in January.

Gophers' Braeden Carrington back from concussion, but Joshua Ola-Joseph out at Northwestern

Sophomores Braeden Carrington and Joshua Ola-Joseph had been recovering from concussions this week, but only one of them was cleared to play Saturday in Evanston.
Gophers sophomore Pharrel Payne (right) pulled down a rebound against Ohio State at Williams Arena on Feb. 22.

U men's basketball excited about future, with one big 'if' in play

Gophers athletics director Mark Coyle isn't in the habit of making big statements about his teams a year in advance. But there's something about this team that excites him.
Gophers guard Elijah Hawkins (0) defends Northwestern guard Boo Buie (0), who became the program’s all-time leading scorer surpassing John Shurna’

Gophers could land No. 8 seed for Big Ten tourney with win Saturday

The Gophers hope to finish league play strong by completing a season sweep of Northwestern.
Kiara Buford and Jeremiah Carter rarely have time to sit down. They lead the University of Minnesota on all NIL matters.

Meet the NIL era MVGs: Most Valuable Gophers

Jeremiah Carter and Kiara Buford are tasked with keeping University of Minnesota coaches, leaders and athletes up to speed and in-bounds on all NIL matters.
Gophers guard Elijah Hawkins drives to the basket during Wednesday's 70-58 home loss to Indiana.

Four things learned from the Gophers' stumble against Indiana

The Gophers took a deflating 70-58 loss to Indiana on Wednesday night in what could be the final game at Williams Arena for Parker Fox.
Indiana Hoosiers guard Trey Galloway tries to keep control of a loose ball against Gophers guard Elijah Hawkins in the first half.

Gophers men lack urgency, lose to Indiana in final home game

For the second time this season, the Gophers were done in by Indiana's inside game. "We just didn't have the right mentality today," forward Parker Fox noted.
Iowa star Caitlin Clark (22) goes to the basket during last year's Big Ten tournament at Target Center.

Get ready, Minnesota. A dozen days of basketball bliss are coming.

Basketball Across Minnesota: Minneapolis is about to become the center of the college basketball world. Hoops diehards are salivating over what they'll be able to see at Target Center.
Gophers guard Mike Mitchell Jr. makes a pass against Indiana center Kel'el Ware during Minnesota's 74-62 road loss on Jan. 12.

Gophers vs. Indiana. Are there NCAA hopes, however slim, to play for?

The Gophers play their final home game of the season Wednesday against Indiana with a chance to finish with six straight victories at Williams Arena.
Cam Christie (24) of Minnesota celebrates a three pointer in the second half.

One and done? U's Christie puts off talk about entering NBA draft.

You won't see freshman Cam Christie's name often on NBA mock drafts for this year. But scouts are keeping an eye on the two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
The Gophers' Elijah Hawkins, front, and Pharrel Payne high-five fans Saturday at Williams Arena. Minnesota beat Penn State 75-70.

U men's basketball leaned on crowd energy, home court in comeback

Ben Johnson's Gophers overcame a 23-point deficit Saturday vs. Penn State to earn their 16th win at Williams Arena, their most since 2016-17.
Gophers guard Elijah Hawkins (0) tries to dribble past Penn State guard Ace Baldwin Jr. (1) in the first half at Williams Arena on Saturday.

U men eke out 75-70 win vs. Penn State after making big comeback

The Gophers rallied from a 23-point deficit in the first half to win its fifth consecutive home game on Senior Day.
Cam Christie, foreground, has been one of the best freshman in the Big Ten this season.

Gophers men's basketball needs a jump-start Saturday vs. Penn State

The Gophers used a victory at Penn State to start a winning streak earlier this season, so the rematch against the Nittany Lions has a chance to do the same.
Pharrel Payne high-fives fans after the Gophers' victory against Ohio State earlier this month.

Why the Gophers are a longshot for NCAA tournament

Improvement is unquestioned, but a weak schedule and a weak conference will keep the men's team from dancing ... unless there's a lot of madness (and winning) this March.
Gophers junior Dawson Garcia blocked a shot from Illinois' Coleman Hawkins on Wednesday in Champaign, Ill.

March Madness a long shot, but U men have these things to play for

Losing to Illinois decreased Minnesota's already slim chance of an NCAA basketball tournament bid. But there are still things to motivate the team through its final regular-season games,