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
Gophers freshman Pharrel Payne

U freshman Payne wows coach Johnson with physical readiness

6-foot-9 Pharrel Payne is preparing for a bigger role than he might have expected right away when he committed to the team after starring at Park Cottage Grove.
Minnesota’s Luke Loewe (12) is hoisted by teammates after Minnesota defeated Pittsburgh Nov. 30. Loewe scored the go-ahead basket in the closing sec

Gophers men's hoops to play at Virginia Tech in 2022 Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Ben Johnson won his first road game last season in Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Pittsburgh.
Parker Fox took a shot in practice with the Gophers last week.

Parker Fox will miss Gophers basketball season with knee injury

Fox suffered his second major knee injury in the last two years at practice on Monday. The 6-8 junior also missed last season.
Clockwise from top left: Keegan Murray, Chet Holmgren, Jaden Ivey and Jabari Smith could all be Top 10 selections in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

No. 1 to No. 30: Every first round selection in our NBA mock draft

Who selects Chet Holmgren? Do the Wolves target a point guard? Will two Big Ten players go in the Top 5? Marcus Fuller gives you his take on the entire first round of the NBA draft.
Gophers guard Payton Willis celebrates with Parker Fox after hitting a three-point shot last season. Fox missed the 2021-22 season with a knee injury.

Gophers forward Fox, a potential starter, suffers another knee injury

The 6-8 junior sat out last season after knee surgery but made a full recovery. He hurt himself again in Monday's practice.
Chet Holmgren (right), David Roddy (top left) and Kendall Brown are expected to be drafted Thursday night.,

Holmgren, Roddy, Brown set to be latest to go from Minnesota to NBA

For the third straight year, there could be multiple Minnesotans picked in the draft, including the potential for a high school reunion with the Orlando Magic.
Baylor’s Kendall Brown put up a shot against Iowa State in March.

Minnesota's trio of NBA draft hopefuls

Chet Holmgren, Kendall Brown, and David Roddy are draft hopefuls from Minnesota in Thursday night's NBA draft.
Gophers center Treyton Thompson battling with Iowa twins Keegan and Kris Murray on Jan. 16 at Williams Arena.

Gophers men's basketball Big Ten opponents announced for 2022-23 season

Ben Johnson's Gophers scheduled to play rival Iowa only once in the regular season — at home.
Gophers basketball coach Ben Johnson is excited to have 11 solid scholarship players on the roster for the 2022-23 season. Summer practice begins Mond

Optimism runs high as U men's hoops team opens summer practice

Coach Ben Johnson has four returning players and seven newcomers on the 2022-23 roster. Here's a look at each of them:
Gophers men’s basketball coach Ben Johnson posed with mascot Goldy Gopher in Stillwater on Monday night.

7 Minnesota freshmen, transfers bring optimism to U basketball

Gophers men's basketball coach Ben Johnson had a feeling newcomers would be the hot topic when he and women's coach Lindsay Whalen spoke to fans at Monday's Coaches Caravan event.
Dawson Garcia, an incoming transfer for the Gophers from North Carolina, via Marquette and Prior Lake, practiced this spring at a north Minneapolis gy

Dawson Garcia's journey: Faith, basketball bring him home to U

Nearly every morning since returning from North Carolina, the former Prior Lake basketball star has been working on his game — and his faith journey — in Minneapolis.
Men’s basketball coach Ben Johnson speaks to the media before the start of the University of Minnesota Coaches Caravan this spring.

Ben Johnson set to get one-year contract extension from university

University of Minnesota officials have already approved the deal, which runs through 2027, and the Board of Regents is expected to sign off next week.
National rankings services have seen enough potential in Totino-Grace’s Taison Chatman to place him among the top 30 players in his class since his

Next big thing in Minnesota prep hoops is this Totino-Grace guard

Taison Chatman, a four-star 2023 prospect, had the Gophers' Ben Johnson and Kansas' Bill Self among the coaches following him this spring.
Gophers coach Ben Johnson

U men going to California for Thanksgiving week tourney

UNLV and Southern Illinois will be among the teams in Minnesota's division of the SoCal Challenge as Ben Johnson brings an overhauled roster into his second season as coach.
Osseo’s Josh Ola-Joseph signed with Gophers in November, but transferred high schools to play at AZ Compass Prep.

Ola-Joseph eager to play for U after leaving Minnesota for senior year

Of the three Minnesota natives who signed with Ben Johnson and the Gophers in November, Joshua Ola-Joseph was the least visible last season.
Totino-Grace’s Taison Chatman and Jefferson’s Daniel Freitag are getting national attention in spring AAU basketball.

Two Gophers point guard targets lighting up AAU basketball scene

Taison Chatman of Totino-Grace and Daniel Freitag of Jefferson, both offered by Gophers, are continuing trend of high-profile guards from Minnesota.
Men’s basketball coach Ben Johnson speaks to the media before the start of the University of Minnesota Coaches Caravan Monday.

U men's basketball likely done recruiting after signing third transfer

Coach Ben Johnson isn't expected to use their last two scholarships for next season after adding three players through the transfer portal.
Gopher sophomore Shelby Frank is one of the nation’s top discus throwers.

After breaking U record, thrower looks toward Big Ten, bigger goals

The Gophers are hosting the Big Ten outdoor track and field meet this weekend, and Shelby Frank is favored to become the program's first conference discus champion in 17 years.
Gophers sprinter Amira Young

Gophers to watch at the Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Championships

The University of Minnesota will be hosting the event Friday-Sunday with a handful of Gophers in the mix for conference individual titles.
Dartmouth’s Taurus Samuels played against Georgetown this year. Samuels is the latest transfer to join the Gophers.

Gophers add depth at guard with Dartmouth grad transfer Samuels

The Gophers, who lost their entire backcourt from last season, need a playmaking combo guard with experience. Taurus Samuels started 23 games in 2021-22.
Dartmouth senior guard Taurus Samuels has been recruited by the Gophers since entering the transfer portal.

Gophers men's hoops host Ivy League guard Taurus Samuels on official visit

Ben Johnson looking at Dartmouth grad transfer to possibly help recently-signed point guard Ta'Lon Cooper.
Dawson Garcia (13) transferred from Marquette to North Carolina after his freshman season.

Johnson hopeful transfer Garcia will get waiver, immediate eligibility

Gophers coach Ben Johnson didn't get into details, but he expressed confidence in Dawson Garcia's situation being favorable for a possible hardship waiver.
Cherry’s Isaac Asuma (3) looks to make an outlet pass around Nevis defender in Class 1A quarterfinals.

Sophomore guard from Iron Range gets scholarship offer from Gophers

Isaac Asuma, who has played varsity since seventh grade and was a state tournament standout in March, is the third Minnesota Class of 2024 player to get a Gophers scholarship offer.
Freshman Abdoulaye Thiam (2) during Gophers practice.

Gophers freshman guard Abdoulaye Thiam enters the transfer portal

The 6-3 former junior college transfer is the first to transfer with eligiblity left from current Minnesota roster.
Luke Loewe, left, is getting Gophers teammate Eric Curry hooked on his other sport.

Can't row his boat: Loewe moves on from basketball to U's fishing team

Once he graduates with his master's degree, senior Luke Loewe hopes to achieve his dream of becoming a pro angler. But he has a more pressing problem right now.
Dawson Garcia averaged 13 points and six rebounds per game as a freshman at Marquette last season.

Garcia, Cooper officially sign with the Gophers

Prior Lake's Dawson Garcia, the highest ranked recruit for the Gophers men's basketball team in years, officially signed his letter-of-intent on Tuesday.
Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren

Chet Holmgren, possible No. 1 overall pick, enters NBA draft

The 7-1 former Minnehaha Academy star announced Thursday he was entering the draft after one season in college.
Morehead State’s Ta’Lon Cooper was an All-Ohio Valley Conference first team point guard this season.

Gophers land Morehead State point guard transfer Ta'Lon Cooper

Needing guards, Minnesota added Cooper, who ranked seventh in Division I basketball with 5.9 assists per game.
South Carolina and UConn tip off during the championship game in the NCAA Women’s Final Four on Sunday, April 3 at Target Center in Minneapolis.

Big Ten basketball tournaments coming to Minneapolis in 2023, 2024

Target Center will host the 2023 women's tourney and the men's and women's tourney in 2024, the Big Ten announced Wednesday.
Prior Lake’s Dawson Garcia played 16 games for North Carolina this season, including 12 starts.

Garcia chooses U, wants role in 'getting Minnesota basketball back'

The 6-foot-11 forward from Prior Lake, who started 12 games for the North Carolina last season, will become the seventh scholarship player from Minnesota on the 2022-23 roster.
Elon’s Hunter McIntosh and Morehead State’s Ta’Lon Cooper are visiting the Gophers this week.

Next challenge for Gophers men's basketball: Find a new point guard

Point guards from two mid-major programs are visiting the campus and Gophers men's basketball coach Ben Johnson this week as the team seeks a replacement for Peyton Willis.
Indiana guard Parker Stewart dribbles up court against Minnesota on Feb. 27.

U men's hoops needs new backcourt; eight transfers linked to team

Former Indiana guard Parker Stewart visits Minnesota's campus this weekend with other potential transfers scheduled to be on campus soon.
Gophers coach Ben Johnson led the team to a 13-17 finish in his first season.

Imagine a Gophers men's hoops team with mostly Minnesota talent

If Ben Johnson can add North Carolina transfer Dawson Garcia, that would give the Gophers men's basketball team seven scholarship players from Minnesota.
Former Prior Lake star Dawson Garcia played 16 games for North Carolina this season.

Dawson Garcia enters transfer portal, Gophers will be in hot pursuit

The 6-11 former McDonald's All-American from Prior Lake played for North Carolina and Marquette the last two seasons.
Gophers newest recruit Henley brings out comparison to Coffey

Gophers newest recruit Henley brings out comparison to Coffey

Coach Ben Johnson told 6-foot-7 Jayden Henley there were similarities between his game and former Gophers star Amir Coffey, who now plays for the L.A. Clippers.
Clippers guard Amir Coffey is in his third year after leading the Gophers to the NCAA tournament in 2019. He averaged career highs of 69 games, 30 sta

Ex-Gopher Coffey having his best NBA season with Clippers

Amir Coffey, who had a career-best 35 points to end the regular season Sunday, started 30 games this year as the Clippers prepare to face the Wolves in a play-in game Tuesday.
Gophers Athletic Director Mark Coyle

U to pay athletes for academic achievement starting this fall

Athletic director Mark Coyle announced Friday the U plans to give "education-related financial support" to athletes in fall 2022.
Ben Johnson enters the offseason with no players in the transfer portal, down from 10 when he began as Gophers men’s basketball coach a year earlier

Turnabout: U men's basketball sees transfer portal as friend not foe

Coach Ben Johnson has no players seeking to leave. It's a dramatic change from the 10 players who left via the NCAA transfer portal after last season.
Dawn Staley led South Carolina to the NCAA women’s basketball title. Hubert Davis and North Carolina nearly matched the feat, losing to Kansas in th

Staley, Davis represent coaches of color on college hoops' biggest stage

Marcus Fuller's College Basketball Insider: It's been difficult for people of color to land head coaching jobs, let alone reach the Final Four. That brought more attention to the accomplishments by South Carolina's Dawn Staley and North Carolina's Hubert Davis.
South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston (4) reacted after being called for a charge during Sunday’s NCAA championship game.

Five factors that led to South Carolina's championship game victory over UConn

Women's Final Four Insider: South Carolina had a 16-3 offensive rebounding edge 17-2 edge in second-chance points in the first half.
South Carolina’s Destanni Henderson drove past UConn’s Olivia Nelson-Ododa in Sunday’s NCAA championship game.

Recap: South Carolina overpowers UConn with 21 offensive rebounds

The Gamecocks controlled the boards, leading to 22 second-chance points.
Geno Auriemma and Dawn Staley shook hands after a game at UConn.

And the winner is . . . Marcus Fuller breaks down the women's title game

Key match-ups, coaching strategy and all of the other elements in tonight's women's Final Four title game will result in one of these teams winning a close one.
Don Yates (left), Louis Hudson (center) and Archie Clark were Gophers sophomores during the 1963-64 season.

Gophers legend Lou Hudson named posthumously into Naismith Hall of Fame

Hudson was a star for the Gophers in the 1960s and went on to become a six-time NBA All-Star.
Louisville forward Emily Engstler drives to the basket past South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston on Friday night. Both players made impacts on the game.

Five courtside thoughts: Boston's rebounding, Engstler's energy and more

Aliyah Boston, South Carolina's All-America forward, made her presence felt on the boards, while Louisville's Emily Engstler outhustled her opponents to the ball.
Stanford guard Lacie Hull and UConn forward Aaliyah Edwards fight for the ball during Friday’s semifinal game

Game recap: UConn comes through in the clutch to reach title game

The Huskies overcame 19 turnovers in the win in the NCAA semifinals at Target Center.
South Carolina star Aliyah Boston was a force on offense and defense Friday, including this moment against Louisville’s Olivia Cochran.

Game recap: Boston just too much for Louisville in semifinal

Women's Final Four, semifinal recap: The national player of the year came through with a huge game on the huge stage in Minneapolis.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski celebrated with his team, including Tyus Jones (right) after winning 2015 NCAA title.

From Tyus to Theo, Minnesotans helped Duke reach last two Final Fours under Coach K

Minnesota natives who played for Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski reflect on his last season and Duke's Final Four game Saturday vs. North Carolina.
Kansas coach Bill Self took the final snip of the net after his Jayhawks defeated the Miami Hurricanes 76-50 to win the NCAA Midwest Regional champion

Marcus Fuller's five things to watch in the men's Final Four

Most of the big coaching personalities have been on the championship stage before. That doesn't mean there's not new territory to claim in this unique climax to the season.
The play of two outstanding guards — Stanford’s Haley Jones (left) and UConn’s Paige Bueckers — will have a large impact on the outcome when t

Stanford vs. UConn: Star guards and legendary coaches take the floor in semifinal

No coaches in women's basketball have won more games than the Cardinal's Tara VanDerveer (1,157) and the Huskies' Geno Auriemma (1,148).
South Carolina guard Zia Cooke, and Louisville’s Emily Engstler.

South Carolina vs. Louisville: Gamecocks can't overlook Cardinals

South Carolina's Aliyah Boston can dominate inside and be a difference-maker. Louisville can counter with Hailey Van Lith, who has scored 20 points or more in four straight NCAA tournament games.
Stanford’s Haley Jones has been a steady point guard for the defending national champions.

Stanford's Jones is 'the Magic Johnson of women's basketball'

Her Hall of Fame coach calls her that, and Haley Jones, last year's Final Four MVP, will run the show for the defending NCAA champion in Friday's semifinals vs. UConn.
Arizona guard Shaina Pellington walked past a March Madness sign en route to her team’s locker room before playing UNLV in the first round of the NC

After last year's outcry, women get a fairer slice of March Madness

A comparison between the men's and women's tournaments detailed drastic inequities, including a huge difference in spending. Changes have been made and will be on display in Minneapolis.
Connecticut’s Rebecca Lobo races down the court after the Huskies won the NCAA Women’s Final Four with a 70-64 victory over Tennessee on April 2,

1995 revisited: The trip to Target Center that started it all for UConn

Geno Auriemma, Rebecca Lobo and the Huskies finished that season 35-0, but not without some anxious moments in Minneapolis.
Coach Shaheen Holloway and Saint Peter’s have defeated Kentucky and Murray State in the NCAA tournament.

Marcus Fuller's five things to watch in the men's Sweet 16

Saint Peter's and coach Shaheen Holloway, the top NBA prospects, is Gonzaga the best team left and more.
Iowa State’s Gabe Kalscheur drove past Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis during Sunday’s NCAA tournament game.

Ex-Gopher Kalscheur contributes to Iowa State's Sweet 16 run

Edina native Gabe Kalscheur played three seasons with the Gophers, but his 22 points led Cyclones into Sweet 16 after beating Wisconsin.
Park Center's Braeden Carrington (4) splits a pair of Andover defenders on his way to the basket. Class 4A quarterfinals, Park Center vs. Andover, 3-2

Gophers recruit Carrington making state title run on future home court

The Barn will be home soon enough, but Park Center guard Braeden Carrington's first game on the raised floor will be in the 4A semifinals Thursday vs. Eastview.
Colorado State guard David Roddy celebrated the team’s victory over Utah State in the Mountain West Conference tournament quarterfinals.

Roddy's emergence turns Colorado State into NCAA tourney team

Former Breck star David Roddy had scholarship offers from the Big Ten but joined fellow Minnesotan Niko Medved, who's coaching the Rams.
Iowa guard Tony Perkins celebrated the team’s victory over Purdue in the Big Ten tournament championship game Sunday in Indianapolis.

Marcus Fuller's five things to watch in the NCAA men's basketball tournament

Sister Jean is back. Welcome, Chet Holmgren. And the Iowa Hawkeyes have a tough first-round matchup against Richmond, team with upset-bid experience.
Pharrel Payne (21) of Park Cottage Grove playing against Holy Family and Boden Kapke (33) on Feb. 9.

Payne excited to join Gophers, but looking for state tourney trip first

The 6-9 senior from Park of Cottage Grove plays Eastview on Thursday for a shot at his school's first trip to state in almost a half-century.
Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30), guard Jalen Coleman-Lands (55) and forward Zach Clemence (21) celebrate after defeating Texas during overtime in an NC

Marcus Fuller predicts the entire men's NCAA tournament bracket

Here are all the bracket picks, upsets, intriguing players and championship contenders to study before the tournament tips off.
Baylor guard Kendall Brown dunked over Iowa State forward Robert Jones, when the teams met March 5.

Ten Minnesotans to watch in the NCAA men's basketball tournament

Chet Holmgren and Kendall Brown, two projected NBA lottery picks, highlight the list of top Minnesotans in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
Clockwise from top left: Chet Holmgren of Gonzaga; James Akinjo of Baylor; Ochai Agbaji (right) and Jalen Wilson (left) of Kansas; and Bennedict Mathu

Flawed conference powers tumble; Gonzaga No. 1 men's tourney seed

Sparked by ex-Minnehaha Academy star Chet Holmgren, the Zags lead a field that includes a number of lower-seeded rivals who are dangerous despite losing in their conference tournaments.
Purdue guard Jaden Ivey is just one of the top NBA prospects to watch in the NCAA Tournament.

Five thoughts on the men's NCAA tournament bracket

Baylor faces a tough task in its attempt to repeat; this could be the most loaded field ever in terms of NBA-worthy talent.
The teams of Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis (23) and Illinois center Kofi Cockburn (21) are both out of the Big Ten tournament, but Indiana’s

Will Big Ten be in line for nine NCAA bids on Selection Sunday?

If bubble teams Indiana, Michigan and Rutgers are selected Sunday, that would likely give the conference a record-tying nine NCAA tournament bids.
Gophers seniors Eric Curry (1) and Payton Willis (0) were captains of a team that finished 13-17.

Exit interviews: Seniors Curry, Willis have no regrets despite U's struggles

Eric Curry and Payton Willis would have traded individual success for a better record, but it still was fulfilling for them to walk away having career-best seasons.
Penn State guard Sam Sessoms (3) reacts after Minnesota was called for a foul during the second half.

Gophers basketball season ends with empty thud in loss to Penn St.

Minnesota's bench played only one minute during the 60-51 loss in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament. The Gophers led early but faltered at the finish.
Minnesota forward Eric Curry, left, tries to get past Penn State forward John Harrar during the second half on Feb. 12.

Gophers holding their own in the paint could be difference vs. Penn State in Big Ten tourney

Pregame: Eric Curry's battled health issues entering Wednesday's game, but he had 22 points in a victory against the Nittany Lions last month.
Jamison Battle (10) of Minnesota celebrates after a basket in the second half Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021 at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.

Was U's Jamison Battle wrongly overlooked in All-Big Ten voting?

Battle earned all-league honorable mention, but there's an argument to be made that Battle was among the top 15 players in the conference.
Gophers coach Ben Johnson hopes his team can show it’s better in the Big Ten tournament than its last-place finish in the regular season.

Can last-place Gophers make an impression at Big Ten tournament?

The Gophers open tonight against Penn State in Indianapolis, trying to show they're better than their last-place finish and recent play.
Penn State forward John Harrar worked around Gophers forward Eric Curry when the teams met Feb. 12 at Williams Arena.

Big Ten tournament gameday preview: Gophers men's hoops vs. Penn State

The Gophers and Nittany Lions play in Wednesday's opening round in Indianapolis after splitting their regular-season series.
Minnesota forward Jamison Battle (10) and Penn State forward Seth Lundy (1) watch a free throw during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 1

Gophers men will open Big Ten tournament against Penn State

The Gophers fell to the 14th seed to play the 11th-seeded Nittany Lions for the third time this season on Wednesday in Indianapolis.
Marcus Carr (top left), Gabe Kalscheur (bottom left) and Jamal Mashburn Jr. have played big roles on their new teams this season.

Ten players who left the Gophers: How they're doing one season later

Marcus Carr is the floor leader for nationally ranked Texas and Jamal Mashburn Jr. followed Richard Pitino to New Mexico. Here's an update what happened with all players who transferred after last season.
Gophers forward Jamison Battle led all scorers in a 75-62 loss at Northwestern with 20 points.

Gophers finish last in Big Ten after lopsided loss at Northwestern

Coach Ben Johnson appeared to be as frustrated as he has ever been with his team, staring at a 20-point halftime deficit against an opponent his team had defeated recently.
Minnesota’s Eric Curry (1) plays against Nebraska’s Derrick Walker (13) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 9

Gophers frontcourt struggling to compete and stay healthy

Pregame: Senior Eric Curry missed Wednesday's game with an injury, but he will start Sunday in the regular-season finale at Northwestern.
Gophers forward Jamison Battle (10)

For struggling Gophers, Battle is a bright spot shining brighter

DeLaSalle product Jamison Battle had a career-high 39 points Wednesday, the most ever for a Gophers sophomore in Big Ten play.