Big Ten

Hinsdale South center Barret Benson picks Northwestern


Hinsdale South center Barret Benson picks Northwestern

Chris Collins scored another big-time Chicago-area recruit Monday.

Barret Benson, a four-star prospect out of Hinsdale South, announced his commitment to Northwestern on Monday night.

[MORE BIG TEN: Big Ten leads college basketball in attendance ... again]

Benson, a Willowbrook native, is 6-foot-9 and 245 pounds, a center ranked by Rivals as the 108th best player in the Class of 2016.

Benson was highly sought after by several Big Ten schools. He picked the Cats over offers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Penn State and Purdue.

It's another great local get for Collins & Co. after landing four-star Vic Law out of St. Rita and three-star Scottie Lindsey out of Fenwick in the Class of 2014, three-star Jordan Ash out of St. Joseph's in the Class of 2015 and Benson and three-star Rapolas Ivanauskas out of Barrington in the Class of 2016.

Though just 29-36 in his first two seasons as the Cats' head coach, Collins has created a ton of buzz for the future by landing some of the highest-rated recruits the program has ever seen.

[MORE BIG TEN: Illini announce five non-conference games to be played in Springfield]

The Northwestern basketball program was understandably excited:

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.

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.