Big Ten

Big Ten Player of the Year Caleb Swanigan leaving for NBA Draft, but Vincent Edwards returning to Purdue

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Big Ten Player of the Year Caleb Swanigan leaving for NBA Draft, but Vincent Edwards returning to Purdue

The Big Ten Player of the Year is heading to the NBA.

Purdue announced Wednesday that big man Caleb Swanigan will keep his name in the upcoming NBA Draft, forgoing the rest of his NCAA eligibility.

Matt Painter and the Boilermakers will keep the services of Vincent Edwards, the senior-to-be opting to return to West Lafayette for his senior season.

Both players took advantage of rules allowing underclassmen to test the NBA Draft process, gather information from NBA teams and decide whether to return to college with their NCAA eligibility intact.

"These were very difficult decisions for both Vince and Caleb to make, and we are happy for both of them," Painter said in the school's announcement. "Vince has the potential to be one of the best players in the Big Ten. He is one of the most versatile players in the country and will use what he learned from this process to improve in all phases of his game.

"We are also happy that Caleb will be able to achieve his goal of getting drafted by an NBA franchise. He has set forth on this path for a long time, and we are thrilled that he will be able to realize his dream. We wish him the best of luck as he moves forward in the process."

Swanigan was one of the best college players in the country last season, averaging 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds a game. He registered a whopping 28 double-doubles on the season, helping lead the Boilers to the Sweet Sixteen.

Swanigan, who spent two seasons in West Lafayette, is being projected as a second-round pick. Draft Express' most recent mock draft has Swanigan as one of the first 10 picks in the second round.

Edwards averaged 12.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game as a junior last season. He cranked it up at the end of the year after a slowish stretch in the middle of the campaign, scoring 21 or more points in three of the Boilers' final five games.

Losing Swanigan will obviously have a massive effect on Purdue's chances to win the Big Ten title next season, and his departure figures to dramatically alter the Big Ten landscape in general. The Boilers will likely remain a contender, but Swanigan's exit, albeit an expected one, could clear the way for Michigan State as the standalone preseason favorite for the league crown.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

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Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football. 

"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.

"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline." 

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."

"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.

"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."

Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

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Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.