Big Ten

Illini guard Kendrick Nunn out eight weeks with torn ligament in thumb


Illini guard Kendrick Nunn out eight weeks with torn ligament in thumb

If it weren't for bad luck, the Illini wouldn't have any luck at all.

An offseason of constant injuries got even worse Tuesday, when the team announced junior guard Kendrick Nunn will miss the next eight weeks while recovering from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. He'll have surgery Wednesday.

Head coach John Groce told reporters at Big Ten basketball media day last week that Nunn injured his thumb, the reason why the junior and Chicago native wasn't in attendance. He had no update on the extent of the injury then.

Nunn was injured during practice, Groce and fellow junior guard Malcolm Hill said last week. The team announced Tuesday it was on Oct. 13.

“It was weird because I don’t remember when it happened," Hill said. "He said he tried to steal a ball and he felt something, but it seemed it didn’t really hurt to him. I guess the adrenaline was going. He didn’t really feel it till the day after, and that’s when he realized it was hurt."

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If Nunn is ready to go as soon as the eight-week recovery period ends, he could return in time for the annual Braggin' Rights game against Missouri on Dec. 23. The Big Ten season starts a week after that, on Dec. 30, against Michigan.

This offseason has been a nightmarish one for the Illini from an injury standpoint. Senior point guard Tracy Abrams suffered a torn Achilles and is out for the season, the second straight offseason during which he's suffered a season-ending injury. Freshman Jalen Coleman-Lands has been dealing with a stress fracture in his leg and is still recovering after sitting out during the team's European trip. Sophomore forward Leron Black had surgery to repair a torn meniscus and will miss time. And junior guard Jaylon Tate suffered a concussion this offseason, as well.

It's unknown how many of those players, if any, will be ready for the season-opener against North Florida on Nov. 13.

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.