Big Ten

Matt Painter reports Kendall Stephens will not return to Purdue

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Matt Painter reports Kendall Stephens will not return to Purdue

Kendall Stephens' time at Purdue is officially over.

Boilermakers head coach Matt Painter announced last month that Stephens, a St. Charles East product, had requested a release from his scholarship to pursue a potential transfer but that Stephens was still a member of the team and that the door was open for his return to the program.

That status has changed, though, as Painter told reporters Friday that Stephens is searching for a new school and will not return to Purdue.

"He's committed to finding a new situation for him," Painter said. His quotes were published by the Lafayette Journal Courier. "We wish him the best."

Stephens played a significant role for the Boilers as a freshman and sophomore during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, averaging 8.0 and 8.7 points per game, respectively. He shot 37 percent and 38.4 percent from 3-point range in those two seasons, averaging better than 20 minutes per game in each.

But this past season was a challenge for Stephens, who after appearing in the team's first 20 games missed significant time while dealing with the death of a childhood friend. Stephens sat out all but four of Purdue's final 15 games of the season, logging just 23 minutes and scoring just three points. He did not see action in the Boilers' final two games of the Big Ten Tournament or in their lone NCAA tournament game.

According to the Journal Courier, Stephens is considering Nevada, San Diego and Tulsa as options for a transfer.

Stephens' confirmed departure from the program adds to the immense roster change that could have Purdue looking like an entirely different team next season. A.J. Hammons, Rapheal Davis and Johnny Hill have moved on following their senior seasons, while Caleb Swanigan and Vince Edwards are exploring the NBA Draft process, which could lead to their departures, as well.

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

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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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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.