Big Ten

Illini's Malcolm Hill invited to USA Basketball training camp


Illini's Malcolm Hill invited to USA Basketball training camp

Malcolm Hill could end up having a pretty interesting summer.

The Illini junior-to-be was named one of 22 players selected for USA Basketball's training camp ahead of the Pan American Games. Hill is one of 16 college players and one of five current Big Ten players invited to the camp, joining Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes, Michigan State's Denzel Valentine, Maryland's Melo Trimble and Purdue's Isaac Haas.

Of the 22 invited to the camp in Colorado Springs, just 12 will make the team, which will compete from July 21 through July 25 in the Pan American Games tournament in Toronto.

It's a big opportunity for all these guys, and John Groce should be particularly happy with the experience it could provide for Hill, should he make the final roster.

[MORE BIG TEN: Illini alum Rayvonte Rice to join Bulls in NBA summer league]

Hill had a strong junior year, ranking second on the team in scoring with an average of 14.4 points per game and third in rebounding with 4.8 rebounds per game. He had a huge 20-point performance during the non-conference season in a game against Villanova at Madison Square Garden. Hill scored a season-high 28 points in a win over Maryland and poured in 27 against Penn State. During the Big Ten regular season, he ranked 10th in the league in scoring with 15.1 points per game.

He was particularly prolific during Rayvonte Rice's nine-game absence, averaging 17.7 points per game as he was forced to take over as more of a primary scorer. Hill, along with fellow junior-to-be Kendrick Nunn, will have that primary-scorer role this fall.

It could be a Big Ten-dominated roster. Hayes and Valentine are coming off trips to the Final Four, while Trimble was one of the most impressive freshmen in the country, earning All-Big Ten First Team honors while helping Maryland to a second-place finish in its first season in the conference.

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.