Potential 1st Round NBA Draft Pick Found Not Guilty in Sexual Assault Case

NBA Draft prospect and former Illinois Fighting Illini guard Terrance Shannon Jr. was just found not guilty in his pending sexual assault case this morning. Shannon was charged with felony rape and sexual aggravated battery last December.

He was suspended indefinitely by Illinois and ended up missing 6 games. Shannon returned to the team in late January after receiving a temporary restraining order. There was heavy criticism for allowing Shannon to play while the case was going on. Shannon had a lot of hate thrown his way because of the alleged incident. Now his name is cleared and he is an innocent man after being found not guilty.

This verdict comes just two weeks before the upcoming 2024 NBA draft. Shannon is expected to be a late first-round or early second-round pick. Now that he has been proven innocent, it will be interesting to see if his draft stock changes.

Terrance Shannon Jr. Found Not Guilty

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It has been a turbulent year for Terrance Shannon Jr. He was arrested in December for the alleged sexual assault incident a few months prior. An incident he claimed to not know of at all. There was no evidence that he ever came in contact with the person pressing charges.

While all this was going on, Shannon was suspended indefinitely by the school.  He then sued the school and was allowed back on the team a month later. After re-joining, he and the Illini started to play well. However, during this stretch, he faced a lot of backlash. Fans at games would be starting “No means no” chants during the game. I was at the Uconn vs Illinois Elite eight game in Boston and can tell you firsthand that those chants would break out regularly. And that was a neutral site game. I can’t imagine what it was like in a rival school’s arena.

Today, the verdict in the case of Shannon found him not guilty. He will now move past it and focus on getting ready for the NBA draft.

Shannon’s NBA Draft Stock

NBA Draft

It’s hard to tell how teams will access Shannon in the upcoming NBA draft. If you are talking about just his on-the-court play, he appears to be a fringe 1st round talent. I’m sure a lot of teams had him lower on their draft boards because of the pending case. With his innocence being proven, teams will likely be more willing to take him higher.

Terrance Shannon Jr. played four years in college, the last two being at Illinois. In his senior season this past year, he averaged 23.0 points per game. He led the Illini to a Big Ten tournament championship and an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. He has the size of a shooting guard (6 foot 6 inches tall) and shot 36% from 3-point land last year.

The upcoming NBA Draft is on June 26th and 27th. Shannon has shown he has a lot of upside in scoring the basketball. This year’s NBA draft also hasn’t been touted as one of the better draft classes in recent memory, so it’s possible a player of Shannon’s caliber could get selected earlier than we think.

About the Author

Cory is an Oregon Duck alumni from the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been playing, watching, and following basketball + baseball his whole life. Follow Cory on X @cory_pappas1 for more breaking stories and game previews.

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