Big Ten

Northwestern big man Alex Olah out indefinitely with foot injury

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Northwestern big man Alex Olah out indefinitely with foot injury

Northwestern's terrific start to the season turned somewhat sour Sunday.

The Wildcats announced on Twitter that senior center Alex Olah is out indefinitely with a foot injury.

Olah has been strong for Northwestern so far this season, averaging 12.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He ranks in the top 10 in the Big Ten in rebounds, blocks and field-goal percentage.

Olah has four games this season with 21 points and has recorded a pair of double-doubles.

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Things could get tricky to say the least without the seven-foot senior, a huge part of this team. As they mentioned in the tweet, the Cats will lean heavily on Joey van Zegeren, the graduate transfer who came to Evanston from Virginia Tech ahead of this season. Head coach Chris Collins has talked glowingly about the depth van Zegeren provides, and now that depth is being tested. Derek Pardon, a 6-foot-8 freshman from Cleveland, is also listed as a center on the team's roster.

This is the second big-time injury for Northwestern this season. The Cats lost sophomore guard Vic Law for the year to a shoulder injury during the preseason.

Northwestern posted an 11-1 record in its first 12 non-conference games prior to Sunday night's game against Loyola (Md.), the final game before Big Ten play begins Wednesday.

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.