Big Ten

Diamond Stone leaves Terps for NBA, Melo Trimble to test draft process

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USA Today Sports Images

Diamond Stone leaves Terps for NBA, Melo Trimble to test draft process

It's going to be a very different-looking Maryland basketball team next season.

The school announced Monday that freshman center Diamond Stone has declared for the NBA Draft and plans to hire an agent and that sophomore point guard Melo Trimble will enter his name into the NBA Draft but not hire an agent.

Stone's decision means his time at Maryland is done, while the possibility exists that Trimble can return with his two remaining years of NCAA eligibility intact. New rules allow players to enter their names into the draft without hiring an agent, which means they can attend NBA team workouts and the NBA Draft Combine before needing to make a final decision by May 25. Trimble can gain knowledge and receive feedback about his readiness, standing and pro prospects and still choose to return to the Terps. By hiring an agent, Stone will forfeit his remaining NCAA eligibility.

What's certain at the moment is that Stone will not be back, making it four starters from this year's team that will not be back next season. Robert Carter Jr. made the same decision as Stone last week, while Jake Layman and Rasheed Sulaimon exhausted their eligibility this season. If Trimble also opts to leave for the professional ranks, it means a brand-new starting five for Mark Turgeon next season.

Stone — projected by many to be a one and done when he signed up to play at Maryland ahead of this season — is expected to have plenty of suitors in the draft after averaging 12.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game this season. DraftExpress.com has him as the No. 23 pick in its most recent mock draft.

"I want to thank the University of Maryland and coach Turgeon for an unbelievable experience this past year,” Stone said in the announcement. "Coach Turgeon really pushed me to get better each and every day. My family and I spent a great deal of time discussing my future, and we felt this was the best decision as I pursue my dream of playing professional basketball. I want to also thank all of the Terp fans and the students on campus who have been very supportive since the day I arrived to College Park. It means a great deal to me. I’ll always be a Terp for life.”

“When we first met with Diamond and his family, one of our goals was to help him achieve his dream of playing in the NBA,” Turgeon said in the announcement. “Diamond has always been a very skilled and talented offensive player, but he worked hard in other facets of his game this past year. He has vastly improved his strength and conditioning and has made strides defensively. This will be beneficial as Diamond pursues a career in professional basketball. We are happy for Diamond and wish both him and his family the very best.”

Trimble has landed on the All-Big Ten First Time in each of his seasons at Maryland. He surprised by returning to school for this past season after dazzling as one of the top freshmen in the country a season ago. This year his scoring and shooting numbers were down — averaging 14.4 points per game and shooting 41.4 percent from the field and 33.5 percent from 3-point range this season after averaging 16.3 points per game and shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range in 2014-15 — though he improved in other areas. DraftExpress.com has him as the No. 35 pick in its latest mock draft.

“I am looking forward to taking advantage of this opportunity and entering my name in the NBA Draft,” Trimble said in the announcement. “I am excited that the new rules allow me the chance to go through this process.”

“Melo will go through the draft process, which will provide him a stronger understanding of where he could potentially be selected,” Turgeon said in the announcement. “Melo has worked very hard, and we will continue to support and guide him throughout this process.”

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

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USA TODAY

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.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.