Big Ten

Purdue lands transfer, former Illinois State guard Johnny Hill

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Purdue lands transfer, former Illinois State guard Johnny Hill

Last season, it was Jon Octeus transferring in to serve as Purdue's (eventual) starting point guard. Well, it worked so well the first time, perhaps the transfer-point-guard route can work well again.

Johnny Hill, a transfer point guard from Texas-Arlington, signed up with the Boilermakers over the weekend. While he might not assume starting point guard duties, he should play a big role for a Purdue team that looks better and better by the day.

Hill, a Glendale Heights native and graduate of Glenbard East High School, spent his first two seasons of college basketball at Illinois State and made 26 starts as a sophomore during the 2012-13 season before transferring to Texas-Arlington. After sitting out a season per NCAA rules, he averaged 10.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 26.9 minutes per game this past season at Texas-Arlington. He only played in four of the team's final 13 games due to injury.

[MORE BIG TEN: Report: Five-star recruit Caleb Swanigan decommits from Spartans, heading to Purdue?]

Having already earned his degree, Hill is eligible to play immediately at Purdue.

Hill picked Purdue over Illinois and others, and his addition is certainly a boost. Matt Painter & Co., though, are waiting to see if an even bigger boost arrives in the form of Caleb Swanigan, the five-star big man who decommitted from Michigan State late last week and is reportedly considering Purdue. His addition would no doubt be a game-changer.

Hill's arrival and the potential arrival of Swanigan teamed with the already existing stockpile of talent in Rapheal Davis, A.J. Hammons, Isaac Haas, Vince Edwards, P.J. Thompson and Kendall Stephens could make Purdue one of the Big Ten's most dangerous teams next season.

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.