3. Terrence Shannon Jr. can take Zach Edey’s crown
The Big Ten has some serious talent this season. Purdue returns the best big man the conference has seen in a long time in Zach Edey.
In 2022-23, Edey won the Big Ten Player of the Year while averaging 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game. Those are great numbers, and now the big man returns for one more season with the Boilermakers. He has also been named the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year.
While Edey looks to be the odds-on favorite to win the award again, don’t sleep on Terrence Shannon Jr. The talented Illini guard is coming off the best season of his career, averaging 17.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per contest.
Shannon also returned for one more season in the Big Ten, and I believe he could come for Edey’s crown this season. It is hard to match the numbers Edey put up last season, but if Shannon plays this season as he did against Kansas on Sunday night, then there is no doubt he can compete with Edey for Big Ten Player of the Year.
I was impressed with how Shannon played against the Jayhawks. He was extremely efficient and didn’t take bad shots. Shannon finished the game with 28 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals while going 8-of-13 from the field and 5-of-9 from three-point range.
Shannon has improved from everywhere on the floor. His shots from long range have obviously gotten better, as I believe that is what NBA scouts told him he needed to improve on before the next NBA Draft. I also think Shannon’s finishing at the rim has improved greatly. He was unstoppable when around the bucket against the Jayhawks.
2023-24 is going to be a special season for Shannon. Illinois fans better buckle up because it is going to be a wild ride.