Big Ten

Terps' big offseason continues with addition of Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon

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Terps' big offseason continues with addition of Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon

Maryland’s chances at reaching the 2016 Final Four just keep getting better and better.

The Terps made a huge splash Monday, announcing that Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon is coming to College Park. He is expected to earn his degree and be immediately eligible.

Sulaimon was a three-year impact player for Duke, but he grabbed headlines earlier this year for all the wrong reasons, becoming the first player ever kicked off a Duke team by Mike Krzyzewski.

Sulaimon’s dismissal was surprising, and Krzyzewski only said that Sulaimon was "unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program.” Later, allegations of sexual assault appeared in the Duke student newspaper, but neither the school nor the Durham police department involved Sulaimon in any investigation. According to Sports Illustrated, the alleged victims did not file complaint with the school nor the police. Solomon told ESPN.com last month that the allegations were not the reason he was dismissed and denied the sexual assault allegations.

[MORE BIG TEN: Purdue lands transfer, former Illinois State guard Johnny Hill]

Monday, Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon told ESPN.com that Sulaimon had been "vetted" and said in the program's announcement that he has confidence Sulaimon will "embrace this opportunity."

"I’ve known Rasheed and his family since he was in the seventh grade, first meeting him when he attended our basketball camp at Texas A&M,” Turgeon said in the announcement. “He was a very polite and poised young man, and I recruited him while I was at Texas A&M because of his commitment to both academics and athletics. We competed against Rasheed on multiple occasions in the ACC, and I was reminded of his dynamic playmaking ability. During our conversations with Rasheed and his parents, Kenny and Angela, Rasheed expressed the importance of proving that he is committed to being a great student-athlete and a selfless teammate. I have full confidence that Rasheed will embrace this opportunity at the University of Maryland.”

[MORE BIG TEN: Report: Five-star recruit Caleb Swanigan decommits from Spartans]

From a basketball perspective, Sulaimon’s addition is the latest piece of great news for Maryland’s chances at being one of college basketball’s top teams next season. Melo Trimble and Jake Layman have announced their returns, and the Terps will welcome in one of the highest-ranked recruits in the country in five-star big man Diamond Stone.

Last month, the Terps were given the third-best odds in the country to win next season's national championship. Those chances could get even better with the addition of Sulaimon, and Maryland could be one of the nation's top-ranked teams when the first polls come out.

Sulaimon had NBA aspirations while at Duke, playing heavy minutes as a key contributor in three seasons. He averaged double-digit points as a freshman, helping to guide the Blue Devils to the Elite Eight in the 2013 NCAA tournament. This past season, he averaged 7.5 points in 20 games before his dismissal. Duke went on to win the national championship.

“I am extremely grateful to the University of Maryland and coach Turgeon for this opportunity to further my education and continue to play the game I love,” Sulaimon said in the announcement. “I’m looking forward to starting this next chapter at Maryland.”

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.