Big Ten

Report: Badgers' Nigel Hayes to test NBA Draft process

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USA Today Sports Images

Report: Badgers' Nigel Hayes to test NBA Draft process

Nigel Hayes is going to test the NBA Draft waters, but that doesn't mean his days at Wisconsin are done.

Like many others, Hayes will take advantage of new rules that allow underclassmen to declare for the NBA Draft without hiring an agent, allowing them to attend workouts with pro teams and the NBA Draft Combine, all the while keeping their NCAA eligibility intact should they choose to return to school by the May 25 deadline.

Hayes earned All-Big Ten First Team honors this past season, ranking 10th in the conference with a 15.7-point-per-game scoring average. He ranked 16th in the league in both rebounding and steals, averaging 5.8 boards and 1.1 swipes per game. Only Northwestern's Tre Demps averaged more minutes per game than Hayes, who played 36.2 minutes per game.

Hayes played a critical role on each of the last three Badgers teams, helping them to back-to-back Final Four appearances in 2014 and 2015 before leading a mostly inexperienced group to the Sweet Sixteen this past season. As he had to take a larger role following the departures of Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker, among others, his shooting numbers dropped significantly. After shooting 51 percent and 49.7 percent from the field as a freshman and sophomore, respectively, he shot just 36.8 percent as a junior this past season. And after hitting 39.6 percent of his 3-point attempts as a sophomore, he shot just 29.3 percent form behind the arc as a junior. But scoring, assists and steals were up significantly this past season for the Toledo native.

DraftExpress.com currently has Hayes ranked as its No. 49 overall prospect, however he is not included in the site's latest mock draft.

Should Hayes end up returning to Madison for his senior season, the Badgers would figure to be in pretty good shape for next season. Greg Gard did a phenomenal job in relief of Bo Ryan this past season, and his first full year at the helm would see him return almost every player on the roster, including a complete starting five of Hayes, Bronson Koenig, Ethan Happ, Vitto Brown and Zak Showalter plus a bevy of players who will be in their second years in the program.

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.

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.