Big Ten

Northwestern announces addition of Joey van Zegeren


Northwestern announces addition of Joey van Zegeren

Though initially reported back in February, Northwestern made the addition of Virginia Tech transfer Joey van Zegeren official on Monday.

The addition is a big one for the Cats, who can use van Zegeren's experience as an NCAA big man in a major conference. He's a 6-foot-10 native of the Netherlands and spent the past four seasons with the Hokies, going up against stiff competition in the ACC.

Suspended indefinitely before conference play began last season, he was no longer with the team by the end of January. But van Zegeren did graduate and earn his degree, meaning he's immediately eligible to suit up for Chris Collins this fall.

"We're really excited to add someone of Joey's caliber to our program," Collins said in the team's announcement. "He brings four years of ACC experience, and he's a veteran guy on the front line who has been very accomplished at a high level. He'll bring great athleticism, physicality and size, but most importantly experience to our team as we head into next season.”

[MORE BIG TEN: Ex-Flyin' Illini Stephen Bardo voices frustration on Twitter]

In 31 games as a redshirt sophomore in 2013-14, van Zegeren averaged 6.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in 22 minutes per game. In 13 games last season, he averaged 9.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.

It's a boost to the Cats' big-man corps, which consisted mainly of seven-footer Alex Olah. Backup center Jeremiah Kreisberg moved on after his lone season as a graduate student, leaving soon-to-be-sophomore Gavin Skelly, at 6-foot-8, the tallest returning player.

Northwestern will also welcome in 6-foot-8 freshman recruit Derek Pardon, who's listed as a center on his Rivals page.

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.