Big Ten

Report: Gophers grab Illinois State shot-blocking machine Reggie Lynch

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Report: Gophers grab Illinois State shot-blocking machine Reggie Lynch

Richard Pitino and the Gophers are picking up a transfer from Illinois State, according to a Tuesday-morning report.

According to the Star-Tribune's Amelia Rayno, Illinois State center Reggie Lynch will transfer to Minnesota.

[MORE BIG TEN: Caris LeVert to return to Michigan for senior season]

Lynch, who's 6-foot-10, is a Minnesota native and was one of the nation's top shot-blockers this past season, ranking 14th in the country with a whopping 2.8 blocked shots per game. He had a three-game stretch in non-conference play where he blocked 19 shots, getting at least six in each game, and he had eight games with at least five blocked shots.

Lynch also ranked third on the Redbirds in scoring this past season, averaging 9.5 points per game. He was the team's second-leading rebounder with 5.4 boards per game.

Lynch turned it on in conference play, averaging 10.8 points per game over Illinois State's final 17 games. That included 11 points, seven rebounds and five blocks in Illinois State's upset win over Wichita State in the Missouri Valley Tournament and 15 points, eight rebounds and six blocks in Illinois State's win over Green Bay in the first round of the NIT.

Lynch, who just finished his sophomore season at Illinois State, will sit out next season, per NCAA rules, and then have two years of eligibility remaining.

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.