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Terrence Shannon Jr. commits to Illinois

The former Illini target is finally coming to Champaign.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament West Regional-Texas Tech vs Duke Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

This is the impact transfer Brad Underwood has been hunting for.

Texas Tech guard (and former Illini target) Terrence Shannon Jr. announced his commitment to Illinois on Friday.

Shannon, who averaged 10.4 points and 2.6 rebounds last season, will likely find a place in the starting lineup early next season after a boatload of departures from last year’s Illinois team.

A nagging back injury kept Shannon from being as reliable last season as his first two seasons in Lubbock, but the once four-star recruit still has boatloads of potential.

Here’s some interesting perspective from Wreck ‘Em Red when Shannon announced his intent to transfer earlier this month:

Any way you look at it, Shannon’s junior campaign was far from what fans (and likely Shannon himself) expected. He did not play his way into the NBA Draft’s first round nor did he manage to increase his standing among professional hopefuls.

Remember that last offseason, Shannon put his name in the NBA Draft and went through the evaluation process before returning to Tech. At the time, it was believed that he was a mid-to-late second-round pick. Thus, he gambled on himself and came back to school to try to improve his status as a potential draftee. That gamble didn’t pay off and he’s left to try to improve his draft stock once again.

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen all of the seniors (plus Kofi Cockburn) enter the NBA Draft, plus Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk announcing his plans to transfer. So, Illinois still has some spots left open the roster, even after TSJ’s commitment.

Plus, TSJ has two years of eligibility (including his COVID year), but he's likely just a one-and-done in Champaign (so he’s listed as a senior in the below chart.

Guys like this — ones that Illinois was interested in out of high school — are always fun, because we have a bunch of content from back when he was being recruited! Here’s what our Matt O’Neall said back in 2018 (during a visit with Ohio State’s EJ Liddell and Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe).

The consensus top-100 recruit hails from Chicago and will be playing at IMG Academy this upcoming season. Underwood is trying to reshape this roster with long, versatile forwards, and Shannon is exactly that at 6-foot-6.

He is a potential do-it-all forward at the college level. He will need to come in and improve his jumpshot and get in the gym with Fletch to improve his quickness, but the potential is there for him to make an impact at a high major program.

Shannon Jr. recently committed — and decommitted — from DePaul, and took a visit to Texas Tech just last week. There has been a lot of buzz and positive momentum from recruiting analysts about Illinois and TSJ leading up to his visit, which is always a good sign. A highly recruited four-star player from Chicago at a position of need would be a great way to start off the class. Illinois desperately needs to gain some momentum on the recruiting trail and Shannon would be a big win.

At this time, Shannon doesn’t have any other visits lined up after Illinois, but he also just committed and decommitted from a school a few short weeks ago so it’s hard to know what his timetable will be. However, if you’re holding out hope for a commitment this weekend, this is where I would look.

I’d imagine the staff will be making a heavy push for Shannon to pledge to Orange and Blue sooner rather than later. Hopefully, they will be able to convince the Chicago native to stay home.