Big Ten

Wright State transfer Mark Alstork picks Illini, and you've got to see his announcement video

Wright State transfer Mark Alstork picks Illini, and you've got to see his announcement video

Mark Alstork is coming to Illinois, announcing his commitment to Brad Underwood's program Wednesday afternoon.

But while the Wright State transfer — who averaged 19 points a game last season — is a welcome addition to a team looking to replace an awful lot from last season, it's Alstork's commitment video that demands a little more exploration.

Alstork sits in his apartment during the video, which dedicates much of its runtime to showing Alstork's collection of Kobe Bryant posters.

He reminds viewers of his final four choices — Illinois, LSU, South Carolina and Pitt — as each school's logo pops up, though Alstork pretends like the logos are in the room with him, holding two in his hands and watching others floating above his head.

He swats the South Carolina, Pitt and LSU logos away before making his announcement by tossing the Illinois logo up into the middle of the screen.

Also, there's an unexplained slideshow of nature photos playing on a TV behind him.

You've got to see this thing:

Well, that's the quite the production, and it's exactly production that Underwood & Co. hope Alstork brings to Champaign.

A graduate transfer, Alstork will be immediately eligible this fall in Underwood's first season. Alstork could start after Illinois lost leading scorers Malcolm Hill, Maverick Morgan and Tracy Abrams to graduation this spring. There are questions as to whether Jalen-Coleman Lands, another starter from last season, will return this fall.

That means Alstork could be a veteran starter for the team, playing alongside young guards like sophomore Te'Jon Lucas and incoming freshmen Mark Smith, Trent Frazier and Da'Monte Williams.

In addition to averaging 19 points a game last season, Alstork averaged 4.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists in more than 30 minutes a game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from 3-point range.

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.