Big Ten

Three more members of 2015 recruiting class transfer away from Buckeyes

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Three more members of 2015 recruiting class transfer away from Buckeyes

Ohio State's 2015 recruiting class was the fifth-best in the nation. But only one member of that five-player class will be wearing scarlet and gray when their sophomore seasons start.

Three Buckeyes coming off their freshman seasons — Mickey Mitchell, Daniel Giddens and A.J. Harris — will transfer away from Ohio State, the program announced Tuesday.

“I have given freshman guard A.J. Harris permission to seek a transfer,” Ohio State head coach Thad Matta said in an announcement. “Mickey Mitchell and Daniel Giddens have asked for their release as well. We appreciate what A.J., Daniel and Mickey did for our program as freshmen, and we wish them well.”

[MORE BIG TEN: In context of preseason expectations, was season a disappointment for Terps?]

These transfers follow the transfer of Austin Grandstaff, whose departure from Columbus was announced shortly after the season began in December.

All in all, it means four of the five members of last year's highly ranked recruiting class — Ohio State ranked behind only Kentucky, Duke, Arizona and LSU — won't be around for their sophomore seasons. Grandstaff was the No. 44 player in last year's class, per Rivals. The website ranked Giddens, Harris and Mitchell at No. 51, No. 104 and No. 117, respectively.

JaQuan Lyle, the 24th-ranked player last year, will be the lone returning member of the class. And it doesn't look like Buckeye fans need to worry about him leaving.

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Buckeyes gear right here]

The departures of the four players figure to have to do with playing time and their expected roles on the team. Giddens was sixth on the team with 18.2 minutes per game, while Harris averaged 13.7 minutes per game and Mitchell averaged 12.8 minutes per game.

That excuse, if indeed it was the reason for the transfers, didn't sit well with former members of the program.

It was a disappointing season for the Buckeyes, who missed the NCAA tournament for the first team since 2008 and lost in the second round of the NIT.

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.