Big Ten

Michigan transfer Spike Albrecht stays in Big Ten, picks Purdue


Michigan transfer Spike Albrecht stays in Big Ten, picks Purdue

Spike Albrecht will stay in the Big Ten after all.

After much fuss was made over John Beilein's decree that Albrecht, for whom there was no room on the Michigan roster, wouldn't be allowed to transfer within the Big Ten, Beilein rescinded that restriction. And Albrecht has taken full advantage, opting to use his final year of NCAA eligibility at Purdue.

Albrecht played a pivotal role on numerous Michigan teams over the past few seasons. As a freshman, he scored 17 points in the 2013 national championship game loss to Louisville. He was a key reserve the following season as a sophomore and took on an emergency starting role as a junior, averaging 32 minutes a game with multiple Michigan stars sidelined with injuries.

Last season, Albrecht faced his own injury woes, playing sparingly in just nine games before shutting down his season to recover from a pair of hip surgeries.

A native of Crown Point, Ind., Albrecht understandably wanted to remain in the Midwest and both Purdue and Indiana were listed as options he was considering earlier this spring. As a student-athlete who has already earned his degree, Albrecht will be immediately eligible for the 2016-17 season.

There's one more hurdle to clear, as the Big Ten must OK Albrecht's in-conference transfer. But many assume it will be no problem, as fellow former Wolverine Max Bielfeldt went through the exact same situation last season, transferring from Michigan to Indiana, where he won Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year honors this past season.

Should all the formalities go through without a hitch, Purdue will add its third straight graduate transfer point guard after adding Jon Octeus and Johnny Hill in each of the past two seasons.

Albrecht would certainly help boost a Boilermaker team that is shaping up to look drastically different than the one that reached the Big Ten Tournament title game this past season. Seniors A.J. Hammons and Rapheal Davis will be gone, as will guard Kendall Stephens, who is transferring. Meanwhile, both Caleb Swanigan and Vince Edwards are testing out the NBA Draft process and could head to the pros.

Regardless of what the roster looks like, it sure seems Purdue is happy to have Spike.

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.