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Terrence Shannon Jr. follows Hawkins, declares for 2023 NBA Draft

Shannon becomes second Illini to enter the draft.

Illinois v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

After one year with Illinois, Terrence Shannon Jr. is moving on.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Illini’s leading scorer announced on his social media accounts that he is entering his name in the NBA Draft. Shannon’s statement also included gratitude to his family, head coach Brad Underwood and all of Illini nation.

Unlike Coleman Hawkins, Shannon didn’t mention in his statement that he is maintaining his last year of college eligibility. For now, it is uncertain whether he has any intention of returning, but let’s take this opportunity to look back at Shannon’s journey to this point in his career.

In his first three years of college, Shannon was a major contributor at Texas Tech, averaging 11 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. He even experienced a national championship run with the Raiders in 2019, but joining Illinois for his senior year gave Shannon the chance to reach a new level.

The Texas Tech transfer started his Illinois career with a bang, tying his career-high of 24 points in the first game of the season.

After dropping another 30 points a few games later, the high-flying guard stepped it up even further against top-10 UCLA.

Shannon was the spotlight in Vegas, as his 29 points on a career-best 8-for-9 from three led to the comeback win.

This human-highlight reel was full of many other moments like these throughout the season. Shannon recorded 15+ points in 20 of his 31 games, one of the most memorable being his 24 points in the second-half comeback against Northwestern.

At the end of the season, Shannon averaged 17.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. His profound impact with the Illini throughout the season was enough to get him first team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches (second team from the media).

Shannon’s potential departure leaves Underwood and his staff with a big hole to fill, but only time will tell as to the true extent of his decision.

If this truly is a goodbye, Shannon gave Illinois fans plenty of exciting memories in just one year. In a season that was full of ups and downs, the senior guard was a bright spot throughout it all.