5. Will Florida Atlantic be able to slow down Terrence Shannon Jr.?
I would argue that Terrence Shannon Jr. has had one of the best starts to a season in the history of the Illinois basketball program. He has been incredible, and no one has been able to stop him.
Shannon needed to do some work on his game this offseason. He wasn’t shooting well from three-point range, and his sporadic play had killed the Illini at times. Shannon went into the lab and came out as one of the best players in the country.
So, can Florida Atlantic slow Shannon down? Is it possible to slow him down? That is going to be a big task.
Shannon has been unstoppable this season. He is averaging 20.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Honestly, those aren’t the numbers that are eye-popping to me. I believe his efficiency is what stands out about Shannon this season.
Through seven games, Shannon is hitting his shots from the field at a clip of 51.1%. He is also knocking down three-point attempts at a rate of 45.8%. Both of these numbers are easily career highs.
If you had to pick apart anything about Shannon’s game it is that he can turn the ball over too much at times. He only has two games this season with more than two turnovers, but in both of those games, he coughed the ball up five times.
Florida Atlantic might have the horses at guard to slow down Shannon, though. Led by Johnell Davis, the Owls have done some impressive work against guards this season. In the 34-point win over Virginia Tech, the Hokies backcourt was a combined 10-of-35 from the field and 0-of-13 from three-point range.
Even when Florida Atlantic gave up 89 points to Texas A&M, they shut down starting guard Tyrece Radford. A player who is averaging over 13 points per game finished the contest going 1-of-2 from the field and 0-of-0 from three-point range for two points.
Shannon should be in the conversation for the John R. Wooden Award this season. That is how good he has been for the Illini. On Tuesday, let’s see what Florida Atlantic throws at him to slow him down.