Big Ten

John Groce lands another big recruit as Trent Frazier picks Illini

John Groce lands another big recruit as Trent Frazier picks Illini

A big recruiting summer just got bigger for John Groce and the Illini.

According to a report from Illini Inquirer's Derek Piper, Illinois received the commitment of Trent Frazier, a three-star point guard from Florida ranked as the No. 142 player in the Class of 2017 by Rivals. Other recruiting rankings have more favorable views of Frazier. Scout ranks him as the No. 74 player in that class, and 247Sports ranks him as the No. 108 player, both services assigning Frazier a four-star ranking.

Regardless, it's a big addition for the Illini, who made big news earlier this summer by landing big man Jeremiah Tilmon.

"Relationship and loyalty. Head coach John Groce and assistant Dustin Ford have done an unbelievable job on recruiting me for the past two years," Frazier told CSN's Scott Phillips. "These guys have really shown me that I'm really their guy and makes it feel special. These guys have been to at least 25-plus games to see me play. I mean, it's incredible. And this visit this week is what put a stamp on it. Really meant a lot this week and this is why this is gonna be my new home."

Per Rivals, Frazier had offers from Baylor, Georgia, Kansas State, Memphis, Seton Hall, SMU and VCU.

Frazier was spotted at Illinois football practice during his visit to Champaign.

It's good news for Groce, who has consistently seen top-flight point guards land elsewhere throughout his tenure at Illinois. Jalen Brunson famously picked Villanova over Illinois and won a national championship last season. Charlie Moore was considering Illinois after de-committing from Memphis, but he ended up selecting California.

Groce's Class of 2017 is a strong one, featuring Tilmon, Frazier and DaMonte Williams. Frazier and Williams will join a backcourt that also features Class of 2016 recruit Te'Jon Lucas.

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.