Big Ten

Check out who was named to Big Ten all-conference teams and other end-of-season award winners


Check out who was named to Big Ten all-conference teams and other end-of-season award winners

The Big Ten honored its best Monday afternoon.

The conference announced its slate of end-of-season awards a day after the regular season came to an end, headlined by Purdue big man Caleb Swanigan winning Big Ten Player of the Year honors.

Swanigan — who leads the league in rebounding and ranks second in scoring — was also named to the All-Big Ten First Team, joined by Wisconsin's Ethan Happ, Iowa's Peter Jok, Minnesota's Nate Mason and Maryland's Melo Trimble.

Jok is the conference's leading scorer, the only person averaging more points than Swanigan's 18.7 per game with an eye-popping 20.2 points per game on the season. The Iowa senior also ranks fourth in the conference with 75 made 3-pointers.

Trimble, Mason and Happ also rank in the top 15 in the league in scoring. Trimble averages 16.9 points per game to go along with 3.7 assists per game. Mason, the leading scorer for the resurgent Golden Gophers, averages 15.5 points per game and 5.1 assists per game. And Happ, the Badgers' big man, averages 13.9 points per game while also ranking just behind Swanigan's 12.6 rebounds a game with nine rebounds a game. Happ is also the league leader in steals with 62 takeaways on the season.

The Big Ten announced its other all-league teams, too. The All-Big Ten Second Team consisted of Michigan State's Miles Bridges, Illinois' Malcolm Hill, Northwestern's Bryant McIntosh, Michigan's Derrick Walton Jr., Wisconsin's Bronson Koenig and Nebraska's Tai Webster. The All-Big Ten Third Team consisted of Indiana's Thomas Bryant and James Blackmon Jr., Minnesota's Jordan Murphy, Northwestern's Scottie Lindsey, Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes and Purdue's Vincent Edwards.

Bridges was also the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Bridges ranks in the top 10 in the league in scoring with 16.6 points per game, in the top five in the league in rebounding with 8.3 boards a game and in the top five in the league in blocked shots with 1.6 of them a game.

Bridges led the Big Ten All-Freshman Team, joined by Penn State's Tony Carr, Minnesota's Amir Coffey and the Iowa duo of Jordan Bohannon and Tyler Cook.

The conference's Defensive Player of the Year was Minnesota's Reggie Lynch, who is a shot-blocking machine for the Gophers. He's swatted a total of 106 shots this season, good for second in the entire country.

Lynch was joined on the Big Ten All-Defensive Team by Happ, Happ's Wisconsin teammate Zak Showalter, Northwestern's Vic Law and Purdue's Dakota Mathias.

Minnesota's Richard Pitino took home Big Ten Coach of the Year honors, while Iowa's Nicholas Baer was the conference's sixth man of the year.

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


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


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.