The biggest question surrounding the Red Raiders this off-season was if Forward Terrence Shannon Jr. was going to come back or stay in the NBA Draft, I’m going to tell you why he should drop his name and return to Tech for one more year.
After his best season putting up career highs in points, assists, and steals, TJ Shannon declared for the NBA Draft while retaining his eligibility if he wanted to come back for another year. Shannon averaged 12.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Shannon made the All-Big 12 Third Team (2021) and was a Julius Erving Award Finalist (1 of 5 nationally). He scored a season-high 23 points at LSU where he also secured 10 rebounds to record his first career double-double. Shannon had 20 or more points in five games.
If you watched him from his freshman year to this last season you can see the growth and strides he made in the offseason. He developed more of an outside shot in his sophomore season improving his three-point shooting from 25% to 35%. And you can just tell he was more confident with the ball, especially when on a fast break where he used his freak athleticism to slam down dunks and attack the basket. I think NBA teams really like his aggressive attitude and mid-range game which will translate nicely to the league.
But, while all of that is good, he still needs to improve on things as a player if he is going to be a great player in the league with it changing so much nowadays and relying on that certain aspects of the game. There are a few reasons as to why I think Shannon should come back one more season and I’ll tell you about them:
- By coming back one more year he could his draft stock to the point where he could become a potential lottery pick.
Shannon is predicted by most to go sometime in the second round of the NBA Draft, but after the combine his stock did rise a little after scouts saw his athleticism and skill sets.
The biggest thing scouts said is he needs to improve his ball handling and shooting range, along with improving that right hand. If he were to come back one more year I think it would benefit him greatly in his overall game.
With the way things are changing in the NBA, you need to have a outside shot that can be a threat, and while Shannon did improve that this past season, it needs to be a little higher for teams to take notice, and he came back to play for Adams with the style he wants to run, he very well could get many opportunities to do so.
2. Shannon could very be one of the best if not the best player in the Big 12 if he came back.
If Shannon stays for another year, think he will very highly considered and of of the favorites for Big 12 Player of the Year.
After being a finalist for the Julius Erving Award which is the award given to the best Small Forward in the country, and being named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team and this past season being named to the Third Team All-Big 12.
With the Big 12 sending a lot of players to the draft this year, and with the progression he would make under Adams, I truly believe he would become one of the best players in the conference and in the country. And when you play in the Big 12 and with the competition and eyes that it always gets, scouts would certainly take notice.
3. Shannon would add to what is already a loaded team for Adams who would be primed for a deep run in March with his return.
As most Tech fans know, Adams and staff have had a really good and productive off-season with the transfers and recruits they have brought in thus far.
They have brought in a total of 8 guys, with two of them being commits, and the other 6 being transfers. The biggest thing about this is the talent level of these guys and the success they had their previous schools, which they hope to transfer here.
If Shannon were to stay and join the roster the Red Raiders would then have a total of 7 guys who averaged double figures last season, and that would be huge for Mark Adams to have such an experienced roster with a lot of depth.
And don’t get me started on all the athleticism Tech would possess if Shannon comes back, with guys like Arms, Calhoun, Wilson, Allen. I think these guys would be primed to be considered one of the top teams in the conference and maybe slip into the Preseason Top 25. But give these guys a few months to come together and practice under Adams and I promise they will not disappoint and will certainly look to make a deep run in March.
With the NBA deadline coming up on July 7th, look for Shannon to make his decision on whether to come back for a third year or keep his name in the NBA Draft and pursue a career!