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BREAKING: Terrence Shannon Jr Will Return to Illinois Basketball



BREAKING: Terrence Shannon Jr Will Return to Illinois Basketball
Feb 23, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (0) reacts after scoring during the second half against the Northwestern Wildcats at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

BREAKING: Terrence Shannon Jr Will Return to Illinois Basketball

The news we all have been waiting for. Terrence Shannon Jr, the Illinois Basketball star shooting guard, out of Lincoln Park, Illinois announced on social media that he will return for one more season in Champaign. After participating in the NBA Draft combine, Shannon Jr officially withdrew his name from the NBA Draft and sent a shockwave throughout Illini Nation. Shannon Jr will be one of the best players in the Big Ten and immediately raises the floor of an Illinois team that is otherwise starting over.

Shannon Jr projected as a second round pick in the 2023 NBA draft, and showed some flashes in the combine. However, Shannon Jr still has the chance to improve his game significantly.

What this means for Illinois Basketball

I have said this in plenty articles, but the best teams in college sports are made of players who could have turned pro. Players who may have been selected in a draft, however chose to return to college for another year. Illinois Basketball succeeded after Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn both chose to extend their college careers. IU had a successful season with Trayce Jackson-Davis. Shannon Jr has the chance to repeat that pattern. Terrence brings some continuity to an Illinois roster that practically has none. Despite this, Illinois is notably older and less reliant on freshmen like they were this year. Having Shannon Jr immediately elevates the floor for this new squad.

Shannon Jr will have to work on some parts of his game. He needs to focus on his right hand as teams know that he is dangerous going with his left hand. Also, he struggled to focus through contact this past year and at the Combine. Given his strength, this has to improve. Shannon notably worked on his mid range game as teams tend to close out hard on him to take away catch-and-shoots. Despite this, he needs to work on being aggressive. He had 2 points in the first half of the NCAA tournament loss. He also struggled asserting himself during the combine scrimmage. Possibly playing with a true point guard may alleviate this.

More decisions to be made

The spotlight now shifts toward Coleman Hawkins. Hawkins also showed flashes at the NBA combine and flashed that he could be an intriguing second-round pick. However, Coleman could probably return to Illinois, be one of the league’s best and make a killing off of NIL. Hawkins clearly wants to be an NBA player, and would prefer that over another year in College, however I know for sure that Coleman would not even consider returning to Illinois if Terrence Shannon Jr stayed in the draft. It seems like a coin flip now on that end.

Additionally, Illinois needs their lead guard. There is no secret that RayJ Dennis seems to hold the fate of Illinois Basketball’s season in his hands, however fans are getting anxious and teams are getting in their sells to knock Illinois off the leaderboard. Getting Shannon Jr is a massive win, however there is still much to gain and much to lose.


Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is also the lead content creator and lead editor of all articles on Armchair Illini. He has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS Sports and more.