Big Ten

Report: Illini make final three for Villanova transfer Dylan Ennis

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Report: Illini make final three for Villanova transfer Dylan Ennis

The Illini's offseason of roster change might not be over yet.

Dylan Ennis, a guard transferring away from Villanova, has the Illini listed as one of three possible destinations, along with Baylor and Oregon, according to a Wednesday report from ESPN's Jeff Goodman.

Ennis, who would be immediately eligible as a graduate transfer, has Chicago-area ties, finishing up his time playing high school basketball at Lake Forest Academy.

Born in Canada, Ennis played his freshman season at Rice in 2011-12 before transferring to Villanova and sitting out the 2012-13 per NCAA rules.

[MORE BIG TEN: Illini bolster frontcourt with Charlotte transfer Mike Thorne Jr.]

As a redshirt sophomore in 2013-14, he averaged just 5.1 points and 16.2 minutes a game. This past season his role increased, averaging 9.9 points in 28.1 minutes per game for a Villaonva team that beat Illinois, 73-59, in December and ended up earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

John Groce and the Illini have already had a lot of change to the roster since the middle of this past season that will have the team looking very different come next season.

Transfer guard Aaron Cosby parted ways with the team in February, and Austin Colbert will transfer after wrapping up classes this semester. Rayvonte Rice, Nnanna Egwu and Ahmad Starks are all departing after exhausting their eligibility. Tracy Abrams will return after missing the past season with an ACL injury. Mike Thorne Jr. just transferred in from Charlotte, and a four-man group of newcomers will arrive on campus this summer: Jalen Coleman-Lands, Aaron Jordan, D.J. Williams and Darius Paul.

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.