Big Ten

Illini's Jalen Coleman-Lands sidelined with stress fracture


Illini's Jalen Coleman-Lands sidelined with stress fracture

The Illini's top-ranked incoming freshman is out indefinitely, head coach John Groce announced Friday.

Jalen Coleman-Lands, a four-star guard out of Indiana, will miss the team's upcoming European trip after suffering a stress fracture in his left leg.

"After experiencing pain in his left leg, Jalen has been diagnosed with a stress fracture,” Groce said in the announcement. “His health is our No. 1 priority, so we are holding him out of all on-court activities indefinitely. We will re-evaluate his status heading into fall preseason training.”

While injured, Colman-Lands will miss on-campus practices as well as the trip itself, when the Illini will play games in Belgium, the Netherlands and France from Aug. 9 through Aug. 19.

[MORE BIG TEN: Foe-by-foe breakdown of Illini's non-conference hoops schedule]

Coleman-Lands is the headliner of a strong 2015 recruiting class for Groce. The La Porte, Ind., native was ranked as the No. 39 player in the Class of 2015. The shooting guard picked Illinois over Arizona, Indiana, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, UCLA, Xavier and others.

Coleman-Lands was dubbed by many as Groce's best recruit since arriving at Illinois. Coleman-Lands was the first player from Indiana to sign with the Illini since 1985.

While Coleman-Lands was the biggest name in the 2015 incoming freshman class, he's joined by Plainfield East's Aaron Jordan and Simeon's D.J. Williams.

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.