Shannon declares for 2023 NBA draft following senior season at Illinois


James Hoeck

Senior guard Terrence Shannon Jr. during a time out in midst of a game against Northwestern on Feb. 23. On Wednesday, Shannon announced that he would return to Champaign for one more season.

By James Kim, Sports Editor

Senior guard Terrence Shannon Jr. announced on Wednesday that he will be declaring for the 2023 NBA draft, per his Twitter page.

“I’m excited to announce I’ll be entering the NBA Draft,” Shannon said. “Illini Nation, I don’t know where to start. I’ve been truly blessed to be a part of such a prestigious program! All of you have made my experience here second to none! From the fans who supported the team, the staff at school and the arena and especially the Orange Krush — I love all of you!”

The announcement comes as little surprise following the season Shannon just had with the Illini. At the start of the 2022-23 season, Shannon’s decision to transfer to Illinois from Texas Tech made headlines across the country. It was official: The Chicago native was back home. After spending three seasons with the Red Raiders, the senior guard arrived in Champaign and immediately made an impact.

“This last year has truly been a blessing for me,” Shannon said. “Being home and closer to my family and friends which also granted them the opportunity to see me play in person.”

Starting 29 of the team’s 30 games this past season, Shannon was a staple for the Illini and spearheaded the program’s young, new-look squad alongside fellow veteran Matthew Mayer. A lot of Illinois’ big wins this past year flowed through the 6-foot-6 guard. Among the highlights were Shannon’s career-high 30-point showing against Monmouth, his 29-points to lead the team past No. 8 UCLA, his monster overtime performance to down No. 2 Texas and his return from injury against Northwestern to lead Illinois to an 18-point comeback triumph.

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Offering size, an explosive drive to the rim, as well as sharp defensive IQ, Shannon has plenty to offer teams in the NBA. He ranked sixth in the Big Ten in scoring as well as second in both free throws made and attempted. Over the course of the year, Shannon also showcased his skill from beyond the arc. The veteran guard nailed eight triples against the Bruins to tie the Illini program record for most made three-pointers in a single game.

Needless to say, Shannon enjoyed a strong senior season with Illinois and averaged 17.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. The guard was also awarded with first-team All-Big Ten honors, a selection on The Athletic Midseason All-Transfer Team and was a Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award Top Ten Candidate.

Shannon joins junior forward Coleman Hawkins as the second player on the 2022-23 Illini roster to declare for the 2023 NBA Draft. After finishing his strongest year of college basketball yet, the prestigious courts of the NBA do seem like a fitting next step for the Chicago native.

With multiple mock drafts projecting Shannon to go in the second round, the senior guard is on track to have a shot at becoming the second NBA-bound Illini since Ayo Dosumnu in 2021.

“I’ve worked countless hours and prepared myself for this,” Shannon said. “I thank God that this moment I’ve worked so hard and prayed even harder for has finally arrived.”



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