Big Ten

Report: NBA people think Melo Trimble, Nigel Hayes need to go back to school


Report: NBA people think Melo Trimble, Nigel Hayes need to go back to school

Maryland's Melo Trimble and Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes are in Chicago this week for the NBA Draft Combine. But they might be heading back to College Park and Madison real soon.

According to a tweet from ESPN's Jeff Goodman, people from around the NBA think the two Big Ten stars would be better served going back for another year of college hoops than trying their luck in next month's NBA Draft.

Thankfully for Trimble and Hayes, who might not be impressing NBA teams on the West Side, new rules allow them to return to their respective schools with their NCAA eligibility intact. It's part of the sure-to-be beneficial new process that allows underclassmen to declare without hiring an agent, participate in the Combine and team workouts and still go back to school after finding out far more information than they would have under the old process.

Both players had strong seasons a year ago, each leading their teams to the Sweet Sixteen, but that's not to say both guys were perfect despite their All-Big Ten seasons.

Trimble displayed better ball-distribution skills and better defense than he did in his spectacular freshman campaign but saw his scoring and shooting numbers plummet. Meanwhile, Hayes was inconsistent at the start of the season, part of the reason the Badgers limped out of the gate. But his performance was also part of why Wisconsin turned on the jets during Big Ten play and stormed back to an NCAA tournament lock.

The return of both players would surely be a boost to their respective teams. If Trimble returns to Maryland, he'd be the lone starter back from a squad that made the program's first Sweet Sixteen since 2003. If Hayes comes back to Wisconsin, it would mean Greg Gard would return all five starters and practically the entire roster in his first full season as head coach.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


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.