Top 10 Illinois basketball players who would have cashed in from new NCAA rules

There is a new NCAA on the horizon, and I couldn't even imagine how much former Illinois basketball players could have made from the new rules
Nick Anderson
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6. Terrence Shannon Jr. (2022-24)

After Ayo Dosunmu left Illinois, we were looking for answers. We couldn’t lean solely on Kofi Cockburn, so Brad Underwood needed to get another talented guard. Terrence Shannon Jr. entered the picture.

Shannon was a huge get for the Illini, and if the rules of paying players was in place in the last couple of years, Shannon would have cashed in.

Not only did Shannon average double-digit points in his first three years in college, but he was a transfer portal player. A team like Illinois needed him, so his value went skyrocketing.

The production from Shannon was through the roof at Illinois too. He averaged 17.2 points in year one, and this past season, he hit 23.0 points per game. He would have made a killing with those numbers.

Illinois saw great success this past season with Shannon leading the way. We got back to the Elite 8 for the first time since 2005. That would have also earned Shannon some nice dough.

Shannon was also the main star of the team. We didn’t have a roster loaded with stars, so the funds would have been skewed his way.

I think Shannon’s value would have been dinged due to him only playing two seasons in Champaign, and his first season was a bit shaky.

5. Ayo Dosunmu (2018-21)

I think Ayo Dosunmu has a little of the Eddie Johnson feel to him. Johnson was one of the OG’s that put Illinois back on the map. Ayo fits into that category.

Ayo would have had a ton of value entering the college ranks. He was a top 40 recruit, which would have brought him money. He also was a huge in-state recruit who committed to Illinois and helped put us back on the map.

There wasn’t a ton of star power on the Illinois basketball team during Ayo’s time in Champaign. As a freshman, he would have made a killing. The only star to join him was Kofi Cockburn, but they would have made the bulk of the allotted money.

Illinois started to win with Ayo too. We were going back to the NCAA tournament for the first time in years, but COVID-19 ruined everything. Illinois then made the postseason in 2021. Ayo would have cashed in.

I guess if you look at any devaluing of Ayo it would be that Illinois wasn’t good his freshman season. We also didn’t see postseason success. This kid put us back on the map, though. He would have made a ton of money.