Big Ten

Melo Trimble leaving Maryland for NBA Draft

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USA TODAY

Melo Trimble leaving Maryland for NBA Draft

A move several years in the making finally came Tuesday, with Maryland point guard Melo Trimble ending his collegiate career and declaring for the NBA Draft.

Trimble has been a candidate to depart the Terps for the NBA in each of the past two offseasons. He opted to stick around after a dazzling freshman campaign to join up with a group that entered the 2015-16 season as one of college basketball's national championship contenders. But his sophomore year saw a significant dip in his shooting numbers, and therefore a dip in his draft stock, bringing him back for his junior season.

Trimble was once again one of the best guards in the Big Ten this past season, and now his departure to the pros has finally come. In hiring an agent, Trimble is forgoing his senior season.

"I am confident and excited to pursue an opportunity to play in the NBA," Trimble said in Tuesday's announcement. "I am proud of what my teammates and I were able to accomplish these past three seasons at Maryland. I developed many great relationships and friendships, and together we able to create some very special moments for Maryland basketball.

"I want to thank coach (Mark) Turgeon for all of his support. He always believed in me. He challenged me and really helped in the development of my overall game. I am a more complete basketball player because of coach Turgeon and the coaching staff. To stay at home and attend the University of Maryland is the best decision that I ever made, and it was truly special to play in front of my family, friends and our amazing fans. Maryland will always be home."

In his three seasons, Trimble ended up in the top 15 in program history in scoring, assists, made free throws and made 3-pointers. Maryland won 79 games in Trimble's three seasons and finished in the top three in the Big Ten standings in each campaign.

As a freshman in 2014-15, Trimble averaged 16.2 points a game, shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range. He earned All-Big Ten First Team honors in his first year and was recognized as one of the country's top freshman guards, spurring speculation then that he would be a one-and-done player.

But with a trio of huge additions for 2015-16 — Robert Carter Jr., Rasheed Sulaimon and Diamond Stone — the Terps were looking like a national-title contender, and Trimble decided to stay for his sophomore season. While his scoring numbers decreased — he averaged 14.8 points a game and shot 41 percent from the field and 31.5 percent from 3 — Trimble helped Maryland reach the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in 13 years with nearly five assists a game.

His draft stock diminished, Trimble opted for one more season in College Park and saw his scoring average rise to a career-high 16.8 points per game while shooting 43.6 percent from the field. Trimble was once again named to the All-Big Ten First Team this season.

"Melo informed me that he has decided to enter his name in the NBA Draft," Turgeon said in the announcement. "Melo Trimble is a winner and helped change the face of our program. More importantly, Melo is a special person, and I thoroughly enjoyed coaching him. He is extremely humble and always puts the team first. Melo has grown as a leader and has done an outstanding job taking our program to new heights. Melo will be celebrated as one of the all-time greats in our program's history. We are very excited for Melo as he pursues his dream of playing professional basketball."

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.