Big Ten

Purdue's Vince Edwards latest to test NBA Draft process

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Purdue's Vince Edwards latest to test NBA Draft process

Vince Edwards is the latest Purdue Boilermaker to test the NBA Draft process under the league's new rules.

Purdue announced Tuesday morning that Edwards intends to declare for the draft but that he will not hire an agent, the same decision made by teammate Caleb Swanigan.

Under the NBA's new rules, underclassmen are allowed to declare for the draft but not hire an agent, maintaining their NCAA eligibility while still attending pro team workouts and the NBA Draft Combine if invited. The final deadline to decide whether to pursue an NBA career or to head back to the college ranks is May 25.

The new rules make a lot of sense — as does taking advantage of them — giving players a better gauge of how likely an NBA future is or how ready they are for the jump to the pros, while keeping the safety net of college basketball in place.

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Edwards averaged 11.3 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game this season. He served as the Boilers' primary scorer outside of the low post and ranked second on the team in scoring behind seven-foot All-Big Ten First Team selection A.J. Hammons. Edwards turned it on at the end of the season, averaging 15.5 points over the team's final eight games, including scoring performances of 19 in the Big Ten Tournament title game loss to Michigan State and 24 in the NCAA tournament loss to Little Rock.

While the new rules allow for the possibility of Edwards and Swanigan returning to West Lafayette next season, Edwards' decision throws even more up in the air this offseason for Purdue. The departures of Hammons, Rapheal Davis and Johnny Hill are certain given their senior status, and in addition to the potential departures of Swanigan and Edwards via the draft, Kendall Stephens is exploring the possibility of a transfer.

It makes for an uncertain couple of months for Matt Painter and the possibility of a very different looking group of Boilers 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.