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for whom there was no room on the Michigan roster, wouldn't be allowed to transfer within the Big Ten, Beilein rescinded that restriction.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.

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.