The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Terrence Shannon Jr. speaks to media, discusses Illinois career and NBA Combine

Illinois+graduate+Terrence+Shannon+Jr.+speaks+to+the+media+on+Tuesday%2C+May+14+at+the+NBA+Combine+in+Chicago.
Sahil Mittal
Illinois graduate Terrence Shannon Jr. speaks to the media on Tuesday, May 14 at the NBA Combine in Chicago.

Terrence Shannon Jr. was as calm as ever during his media availability Tuesday morning at the NBA Combine in Chicago. Politely declining to comment about his rape charge and referring to his June 10 trial date were his most common responses to the barrage of questions posed by the media.

“No sir,” responded Shannon to a member of the media when asked if he wanted to clear anything up about his off-court legal situation.

Instead, Shannon stayed positive and focused on basketball, speaking confidently about himself as a player who can help an NBA team right away. 

“I feel like I’m the best two-way player in this draft,” Shannon claimed to reporters.

The Chicago native also added that he hadn’t met with any teams yet this year. Team meetings with players begin on Wednesday. Currently, Shannon is projected in most mock drafts to be selected anywhere from late in the lottery to the end of the first round.

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Along with the other prospects invited to the NBA Combine, Shannon was supposed to participate in on-court strength and agility testing and shooting drills on Monday; however, he never showed up. Shannon revealed that a minor injury was the cause for him not taking the court.

“I strained my hamstring,” Shannon said. “But I’ve been doing treatment on it, and I’ll be fine. I’ll be back soon.”

The minor setback for the former Illini star will likely not be a concern for teams after Shannon’s phenomenal season at Illinois. The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 23.0 points per game, good for third in Division I, and led Illinois to a Big Ten Tournament championship and its first Elite Eight appearance in almost 20 years. Shannon hasn’t spoken to the media since Dec. 22, 2023, making this his first chance to reflect on his final season in college basketball.

“It feels good to accomplish things, break records and have success with my team,” Shannon said. “We did a lot of things that people didn’t think we could do. Just to prove people wrong, I feel like we did a really good job of just staying in our own lane and controlling what we can control.

Illinois’ roster has completely changed since the season ended, with multiple players entering the draft and transferring. In total, only two scholarship players remain — rising sophomore guard Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn and rising junior guard/forward Ty Rodgers. When asked about both of them leading a new squad next season, Shannon displayed the utmost confidence in his former teammates’ abilities.

“Dra, he’s always hungry,” Shannon said. “I feel like he’s going to take the next step for Illinois next year. I’ve been hearing good things about him and Ty. Ty as well. Ty is a really hard worker. All he wants to do is win. I heard he made a lot of improvements so far already. They’re going to be really good for us next year. I’m really looking forward to it.

As he pursues his NBA dreams, Shannon will always remember the support of the Illinois student body and the wider Champaign-Urbana community, no matter where he ends up.

“It was always love from the Illini fans, and I thank them for supporting me, supporting my team and my coaches,” Shannon said with a smile. “I’ll always be grateful for that.” 

 

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Sahil Mittal
Sahil Mittal, Senior Sports Reporter
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