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Illinois Basketball: Cook and Shannon, Jr. DIA newcomers of the year



Illinois Basketball
Jan 8, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Taylor Mikesell (24) contests the ball with Illinois Fighting Illini guard Makira Cook (3) during the second quarter of the women’s NCAA division I basketball game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Illinois Fighting Illini at Value City Arena on Sunday afternoon. Basketball Ceb Wbk Illinois Illinois At Ohio State

Illinois Basketball: Cook and Shannon, Jr. named newcomers of the year

The University of Illinois, Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, gives five awards every academic year to honor some of the best athletes across all sports. The DIA presented the inaugural Newcomer of the Year Award this academic year. Unlike the Freshman of the Year, this award is for the best non-freshman competing for the Illini. ON FRIDAY, the DIA named Illini men’s and women’s basketball players Terrence Shannon, Jr. and Makira Cook newcomers of the year. Coaches and DIA executive staff selected Shannon and Cook for the award.

Cook leads turnaround for Lady Illini.

Rising senior Makira Cook was named First Team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and the media. Cook led one of the most impressive turnarounds in women’s college basketball. Last season, the Illini went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years. Cook averaged 18.3 points and 4.2 assists per game last season. She scored in double digits in all but three games last season, including 15 20-point games. Her best game was against Indiana, where she scored a career-high 33 points. She also scored 20 or more points in seven consecutive games.

Shannon shines in his debut season for Illini.

Chicago native Terrence Shannon, Jr. transferred from Texas Tech and had an instant impact on the Illini men’s basketball team. Shannon was named All-Big Ten First Team by the coaches and second team by the media. He led Illinois in scoring (17.2 ppg). Shannon led the Illini to its third-straight NCAA Tournament Appearance and fourth-straight 20-win season. One of Shannon’s finest performances came against #8 UCLA, where he scored 29 points, tying the school record with eight three-pointers. The Texas Tech transfer saved his best performance for rival #21 Northwestern, scoring 24 points in the second half, leading the Illini to the comeback win.

Both players will be back next season, and they are looking forward to even better things.


Armchair Illini is a comprehensive site dedicated to covering University of Illinois Athletics owned and operated by Alex Kyi. Dante Pryor has been writing about College Football for years on Saturday Blitz and is now the Lead Football Author for Armchair Illini.