Photo CC: TexasTech.com
Texas Tech basketball has had one of the most meteoric rises in College Basketball history thanks to Coach Beard and Crew. The elevation of this program is one that has caught some of the most well-respected basketball minds’ attention and rightfully so. With this rise to national prominences comes top-ranked recruiting classes and better overall talent. The past two seasons have featured the two highest-ranked players to commit in program history. From Jahmi’us Ramsey, Nimari Burnett all the way to talented transfers in Mac Mcclung, Tariq Owens, and Matt Mooney, Coach Beard has proven he can recruit and develop talent. Want proof, look at this image from Texas Tech Men’s Basketball on Twitter.
The process won’t stop there and maybe his biggest success story is yet to come in Terrance Shannon Jr. There’s a reason his name is skyrocketing up draft boards for the 2021 draft, he has the talent to be the next superstar in the Big 12 and the next Red Raider to be picked in the Top 10… here’s why.
Terrance Shannon Jr was a 4-star recruit out of Chicago, Illinois. He played at IMG Academy for a period of time during his high school career and thrived. Shannon Jr was a Top 100 recruit according to ESPN and on rivals, he was ranked the 60th player in the 2019 class. The pedigree is there for Shannon Jr to project to an NBA starter long term, in his freshman year he was solid, but there were a couple of issues within his game.
As a freshman at Texas Tech, Shannon Jr’s play was inconsistent. He showed flashes, but for the most part, he was like most freshman making the transition to major D1 basketball. During a stretch of four games from Jan 18th to Jan 29th, Shannon averaged 14 pts and 3.7 rebs. Now just looking at the numbers they don’t pop off the page, but two of those games were against ranked opponents in Kentucky and West Virginia. He was inconsistent as a freshman and most of that came on the offensive end. At times it looked like he was hesitant to shot the three-ball, the prime example is when they played Kentucky in the USA. There were flaws in his game as a freshman, but the highs far outweighed the lows.
When looking at Shannon’s 1st year in the 806, you obviously see the highlight plays, but the little things that help Tech win sometimes go unnoticed. One of those aspects is free-throw shooting. As a freshman, Shannon shot 82% from the charity stripe. Why is this a big deal? Historically, if you shoot well from the free-throw line, you have touch which will translate to other aspects of shooting on the floor i.e. three-point shooting. Shannon only shot 25.7% from three last year and as mentioned above, he looked hesitant at times to pull the trigger. This however didn’t stop him from making a huge impact in key situations when Tech needed him. Whether that was in Chicago (his hometown) against DePaul without Jahmi’us Ramsey where Shannon had a season-high 24 pts or the game where he led Tech to an upset over #12 WVU with a slash line of 24/7/4/2. The talent is all there for Shannon to compete for a Big 12 Player of the Year award, he just has to be more consistent. Like great players do, they work on their flaws in the offseason and that’s exactly what Shannon has done.
Shooting is the key for Shannon Jr in order for his game to take that next step. In 2019/20, Shannon only took 35 shots from three, which will no doubt change in 2020-2021. Shannon has been working on his shot all offseason with glowing reports coming from people that were working with him. In addition to him working on his shot, Shannon has been working on his defense and his ball-handling. With his elite athletic ability and size profile, Shannon could be asked to guard all five positions this upcoming season if the opportunity arises. When looking at Shannon’s all-around game, he has all the tools and skills to become an elite NBA prospect and scouts and NBA Insiders, have already taken notice.
Here are some draft notes from nbadraftroom.com about Shannon Jr. They are not alone in their analysis of Tech’s star sophomore.
Do you want even more Terrance Shannon Jr hype? Well here you go, look at where multiple NBA Mock Draft sites have Shannon Jr projected, I’m sure the first mock will catch your eye.
Just look at the level of talent that Shannon Jr is surrounded by in these mock draft and the players he’s getting comped too, this isn’t by accident. The pedigree and talent are there for Shannon Jr and so is the talent around him on the 2020-2021 Texas Tech roster. A lot of fans believe Nimari Burnett will be the “Go-To Guy” for Texas Tech and he could be, but don’ be surprised if Terrance Shannon Jr elevates his game in a similar way to Jarrett Culver from his freshman to sophomore campaign.