Big Ten

Hoosiers' James Blackmon Jr. expected to miss rest of season after knee surgery

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Hoosiers' James Blackmon Jr. expected to miss rest of season after knee surgery

Indiana is expecting to be without one of its best players for the remainder of the season.

James Blackmon Jr., the Hoosiers' second-leading scorer who has missed the past two games after injuring his knee in practice, will have knee surgery Tuesday, the team announced, adding that it is expected that Blackmon will not play again this season.

"This is a very tough outcome for our Indiana team but most importantly for James," Indiana head coach Tom Crean said in the announcement. "He is establishing himself as one of the most elite guards in the country this season. I feel terrible for him and he has a tough road ahead of him, but it is one he has been down before and we fully believe that this process will lead him to have an incredible future in the game at Indiana and well beyond. We look forward to helping him with his full recovery, and I know he appreciates everyones thoughts, prayers and concerns."

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Hoosiers gear right here]

This is the second knee surgery this year for Blackmon, who had surgery on his other knee this summer, keeping him out of some summer workouts.

Blackmon, a sophomore, averaged 15.8 points during the Hoosiers' first 13 games of the season, including a career-high 33 points in a win over Alcorn State.

Blackmon ranks in the top 10 in the Big Ten in scoring and also ranks third in the conference in made 3-pointers and seventh in 3-point percentage.

Indiana, 12-3 overall and off to a 2-0 start in Big Ten play, goes up against Wisconsin on Tuesday night before playing host to Ohio State on Sunday.

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

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USA TODAY

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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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.