Big Ten

Five-star big man Caleb Swanigan picks Purdue


Five-star big man Caleb Swanigan picks Purdue

Caleb Swanigan is heading to West Lafayette.

The five-star big man out of Fort Wayne, Ind., committed to Purdue on Tuesday morning with a simple tweet:

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Swanigan's commitment to Purdue comes less than two weeks after he decommitted from Michigan State, where he first gave his verbal commitment back in early April shortly after the Spartans returned from a trip to the Final Four.

But Swanigan picking Purdue is a huge deal for Matt Painter & Co. Swanigan is the first high school player named Indiana's Mr. Basketball to play for the Boilermakers since Glenn Robinson back in 1991.

Swanigan is a  6-foot-8, 255-pound post presence ranked as the No. 19 player in the Class of 2015 by Rivals.

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Adding Swanigan to the mix gives the Boilermakers one of the most impressive frontcourts in the country, as he'll team with a pair of seven-footers in A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas. Add in reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Rapheal Davis, other guards such as P.J. Thompson, Kendall Stephens and Vince Edwards and just-in graduate transfer Johnny Hill, and Purdue suddenly looks like one of the more lethal teams in the conference next season.

After reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2012 a season ago, Painter seems to have something cooking in West Lafayette.

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.