Melvin Gordon arrived in Madison hoping to become the next great Wisconsin back. After two years of frustration, midnight crunch sessions and an endless string of Snapchats, he's rushing toward a spot among college football's best ever
The NFL isn't the only place where big hits come in small packages. Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is among the majors' shortest players, but with his lightning reflexes and refined mechanics the AL batting champ doesn't produce like it
In championing the rights of amateur athletes to control—and profit from—their names and images, former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon has become the face of the most important legal case in the history of collegiate sports
Anthony Davis's rapid rise from overlooked high school junior to NBA phenom mirrors his teenage growth spurt. The Pelicans' do-it-all big man with lofty goals is off to a historic start this season—and he's only 21
PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY TOM LYNN FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
Badger Of Honor Melvin Gordon's season is beginning to sound like a Bunyanesque tale, and not just because the junior running back helped Wisconsin beat Minnesota 34--24 last Saturday to claim the Paul Bunyan Axe. Gordon rushed for 151 yards on 29 carries—and that was a down game for the nation's leading rusher, the first time since Nov. 1 that he hadn't cracked 200 yards. Gordon did set the Big Ten rushing record against the Gophers, and with 2,260 yards he has a chance to break Barry Sanders's single-season mark of 2,628 (page 32).
PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY BILL BAPTIST NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Prayer Jordan Sometimes even NBA players just have to stop and watch when one of their own tries an especially dicey aerial maneuver. Such was the case last Friday when Clippers center DeAndre Jordan went up for a reverse layup against the Rockets: You can almost see the thought bubbles—Which Jordan does he think he is?—emanating from his earthbound teammates and opponents. Jordan's bid for highlight-show glory was unsuccessful but he fared better in areas that matter. He had a game-high 13 rebounds, and L.A. won 102--85.
PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY GARY LLOYD MCCULLOUGH FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
Soaking In the View From the northeast pool at Jacksonville's EverBank Field, Hailey Ward (left) and Addison Messina of Daytona Beach floated as the Jaguars floundered on Sunday during the first half against the Giants. Entering the game 1--10, the Jags trailed 21--3 at intermission and seemed dead in the water, but a pair of defensive touchdowns and a last-minute field goal buoyed them to a 25--24 victory.