CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois basketball’s best player is returning to college. Terrence Shannon Jr. announced on Wednesday night he will spend his fifth and final year of college eligibility with the Illini, pulling his name out of NBA Draft consideration. Shannon waited until just a few hours before the NCAA early entry withdrawal deadline of 10:59 p.m. CT to make his announcement public on social media, simply saying: “I’m back.”

Shannon led the team in scoring last season averaging 17.2 points per game, to go along with 4.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals per outing after transferring from Texas Tech. The Chicago native earned All-Big Ten First Team accolades from the coaches, seventh best in the conference.

“Terrence did everything possible to educate himself through this process,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said in a statement. “He worked tirelessly to perform at his best and gain all the valuable feedback to make the best decision for his future. We are, of course, beyond excited he has chosen one more year of college and will return to our program. Terrence became a primary offensive option in everything we do, resulting in 17-plus points per night and a first-team all-league season. Because of his work ethic, he now has All-America potential with the ability to take his game to an even higher level next year.”

Shannon’s return only adds to the Illini’s experience in 2023-24, with fellow senior Coleman Hawkins announcing he’s also withdrawing his name from NBA Draft consideration to return to the Illini. In addition, senior transfers Marcus Domask (SIU), Quincy Guerrier (Oregon) and Justin Harmon (Utah Valley) are joining Illinois, making them one of the most experienced teams in the Big Ten.