Big Ten

Northwestern's Vic Law out for season, slated for shoulder surgery


Northwestern's Vic Law out for season, slated for shoulder surgery

Hopes might be brighter than they've ever been for Northwestern, but the Wildcats announced a major blow Wednesday.

Sophomore forward Vic Law will miss the entirety of the 2015-16 season, slated for surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

"We're certainly disappointed for Vic," Northwestern head basketball coach Chris Collins said in the announcement. "He dedicated himself and made great progress during this offseason and had a great summer and preseason on the court. I have no doubt that his attitude toward recovery and improvement will be relentless and that he will continue to be a tremendous teammate. We expect a full recovery in four to six months, and Vic remains a foundational piece of our program for the future."

"Making this decision was difficult, but it is absolutely the right one for me and for my team," Law said. "I'm focused on staying positive, working hard and getting back on the court as quickly as possible. I'm excited to contribute to this group from the sidelines, and my teammates know that nobody will be pushing them harder than I will this year."

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The St. Rita product was the highest-rated recruit in recent memory to commit to the Cats, and he had a solid freshman season a year ago. Law played in all 32 games, starting 19 and averaging seven points and 4.8 rebounds per game. During conference games, his 44.2 3-point percentage was the fifth best in the Big Ten.

After hitting a slow patch during much of conference play, Law turned it on near the end of the season, scoring a season-high 17 points and grabbing a season-high 11 rebounds in a win over Penn State. Law had 14 points and eight rebounds in the next game against Indiana, and he had 11 points two games later in a double-overtime win over Michigan.

In the team's final seven games, he was 14-for-24 from behind the 3-point line.

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Law was part of a big freshman class for the Cats last season that included other touted prospects like Bryant McIntosh and Scottie Lindsey, among others. This season, the Cats added three more freshmen in Aaron Falzon, Jordan Ash and Derek Pardon. These classes form the recruiting foundation of Collins' program moving forward, but he'll have to wait at least another year until all these players are at full strength.

With a shot at potentially reaching the program's first ever NCAA tournament, Northwestern opens its 2015-16 season Friday against UMass Lowell.

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.