Big Ten

Michigan's Caris LeVert still weighing NBA decision

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Michigan's Caris LeVert still weighing NBA decision

Caris LeVert still doesn't know whether he'll be heading to the NBA Draft, and Michigan still doesn't know whether it will have it's best player back for next season.

Michigan head coach John Beilein told reporters Monday that LeVert is still in the process of deciding whether or not to make the leap to the NBA. That decision is being affected, of course, by the broken foot that knocked LeVert out for the majority of the past season. LeVert, per Beilein, is still in recovery mode from the injury, still in a walking boot and won't be able to return to the court until next month.

The NBA Draft is in June.

"I don't know that complete (information), but I know that he's beginning sometime in May, they're going to give him clearance to start running," Beilein said, his quotes published in a story by MLive.com's Brendan F. Quinn. "If you look at his situation last summer, it took a bit for him (to recover from stress fracture surgery in the same foot)."

[MORE BIG TEN: Badgers' Sam Dekker declares for NBA Draft]

LeVert missed the Wolverines' final 14 games after suffering the foot injury during a Jan. 17 win over Northwestern. He was expected to be one of the Big Ten's top players a season ago, and the NBA Draft predictions didn't seem out of line. A junior last season, LeVert averaged 14.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in his injury-shortened campaign.

"Gaining information is the only thing we're trying to grab right now," Beilein said. "We're trying not to make any kind of timelines or anything like that. It's how can we get the most information at the earliest time. ... With the announcements last week of more and more kids (entering the draft), it gives us more information. So that's what we're trying to put together and we'll continue to meet this week."

This wouldn't be the first time, though, that a player who missed significant time entered the draft and saw little in the way of negative impact on his draft stock. Michigan saw a similar situation just last year with big man Mitch McGary, who sat out almost the entire season while injured/suspended, only to end up the No. 21 overall pick.

[MORE BIG TEN: Five-star big man recruit Caleb Swanigan picks Spartans]

But LeVert's return to Michigan would be a huge boost for the Wolverines, who would see the return of all but one of the players from last year's team. Michigan struggled at times this past season with LeVert and fellow star Derrick Walton Jr. on the bench with season-ending injuries. But that also meant increased playing time and unexpected development from the likes of Aubrey Dawkins and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. Add that to the returns of Walton, Zak Irvin and Spike Albrecht, and the Wolverines suddenly look like one of the better teams in the conference.

Right now, though, Beilein and Michigan await LeVert's decision.

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.