Analyzing Terrence Shannon Jr., Coleman Hawkins, and Curtis Jones in the Illinois-Iowa State Game

March 29th, 2024

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch Illinois’ 6-7 senior forward, Terrence Shannon Jr. face off against Iowa State in a Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament game.  He had a fantastic start, as he had a dominant first half in which he made threes and had a scintillating steal and dunk.  He ran into foul trouble in the second half, but he finished the game strong, as he helped lead Illinois to a win over Iowa State.  Here are my thoughts on how Shannon and other various prospects fared in this game.

Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 29 points, made 4 threes, and had 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists to lead Illinois to a win over Iowa State in the Sweet 16 of the 2024 NCAA Tournament. (Photo: Steven Senne/Associated Press, via Oregon Live)

Terrence Shannon Jr. had a strong showing in his team’s win over Iowa State.  He had a tremendous start in the first half, as he was making threes, had a scintillating, quick steal and dunk, and he also made a tough shot off the dribble while getting fouled.  He ran into some foul trouble early in the second half, but he recovered to keep playing well, as he helped his team get the victory.

Shannon shot the ball well from downtown.  He especially excelled knocking down long-range shots from beyond the arc early on.  He showed a knack for making spot-up threes off the catch, as he would often take advantage of being open, and he also showed a penchant for making corner threes.

He also did a very good job of scoring off the dribble.  Shannon drove hard to the hoop to score on a goaltend once.  He also managed to go to his left to score on a tough, off-balanced leaner in traffic while getting fouled.  He also would go hard to the hoop, which would enable him to frequently get to the free throw line.  He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Shannon showed a knack for scoring on thunderous dunks in transition.  He also managed to score on a quick, backdoor cut while getting fouled.  He also dribbled off of an offensive rebound to score on a floater.

As a playmaker, he looked to be fairly average.  Shannon is a willing passer that would look to find the open man, and he also was able to make some passes off the dribble to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  Sometimes though, he would over-dribble in attempt to get his shot off, which would lead him to getting the ball poked away from him to turn the ball over, and he also threw an inaccurate, hasty pass that got intercepted another time.

He also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  Shannon made a much more concerted effort to crash the glass in this game than he did in previous seasons back when he was at Texas Tech, and Shannon was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  On one hand, he was able to contest mid-range shots, as well as a shot in the post to force misses, and he would use his length, positioning, and instincts to do so.  However, he tended to commit loose ball fouls after diving on the ground in attempt to snag offensive boards.  He also rotated to commit a foul out on the perimeter, and Shannon was foul prone and missed considerable time in the second half.

In general, Terrence Shannon Jr. put forth a stellar performance in his team’s win over Iowa State.  He had a dominant first half as he demonstrated his shooting and scoring prowess, and he also threw down a monstrous fastbreak dunk off of a steal to showcase his great athleticism.  He did run into some foul trouble in the second half, but he bounced back to lead his team to get the victory.  He’s a very talented prospect that has continued to get better as time progressed.  However, he still may be a divisive prospect.  He’s a lottery-level talent, but he was embroiled in an off-court incident that may make him a character risk to the NBA team that drafts him.  Most likely, he will probably be selected in the mid to late first round range, and if he can put his off-court troubles behind him, he could end up having a very good career in the league.

Illinois’ 6-10 senior forward, Coleman Hawkins scored 12 points, made 2 threes, and had 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in his team’s win over Iowa State. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/Associated Press, via The Herald Journal)

Coleman Hawkins had a solid showing to help lead his team to a win over Iowa State.  He is an athletic, skilled big man that was able to make some impressive plays throughout the game to help his team get the victory. Hawkins did a great job of scoring on fast breaks.  He was able to run the floor to throw down a thunderous jam.  He also drove up court to score on a high-flying, two-handed slam another time.  He also shot the three-ball very well.  He was able to make a deep three off the catch.  He also utilized a pump fake move to score on a nifty, step-back three.  He struggled a bit to score off the dribble when driving to the hoop, but Hawkins really excelled at making shots from long-range and on fast breaks.

He also passed the ball very well.  He showed a knack throwing quick, long passes to set up scores for his teammates.  He showed that he can find the open man, and also get the ball to his teammates in stride.  Plus, he also was able to get boards on both ends of the floor to get his fair share of rebounds.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Hawkins was able to get his hands on passes to get steals and deflections.  On the downside, sometimes he would play a bit too aggressively, which would lead him to commit touch fouls.

Overall, Hawkins had a strong showing to help lead his team to a win over Illinois.  He is an athletic, skilled combo forward that has a variety of skills that could prove to be useful to an NBA team at the next level, and he could end up being a solid pick in the late first to the second round range for the 2024 draft.

Iowa State’s 6-4 senior guard, Curtis Jones also played very well in his team’s tough loss to Illinois.  He’s not an explosive athlete nor a flashy player, but he shot the ball well and consistently made shots to keep his team in the game. Jones did a great job of knocking down threes to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  He showed a knack for making spot-up threes off the catch, and he also would run off the ball to knock them down from beyond the arc.  He also did a decent job of scoring off the dribble.  He would drive hard to his right to score off the dribble, and he was able to make some tough shots in traffic.  He also was able to score on a one-legged, mid-range runner.  However, sometimes he would tend to take tough, off-balanced shots that would lead to misses.

Plus, he also displayed decent playmaking skills.  Though he primarily looked to score, Jones was able to throw accurate interior passes to find teammates on the move to notch a pair of assists.  He also took good care of the basketball and did not turn the ball over once.

Also, he was active at crashing the glass, and he did a decent job of rebounding the basketball to help his team on the boards.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  On one good play, he was able to recover to defend his man on a drive, which allowed his team to swat the shot that time. However, sometimes he had trouble staying in front of quicker opponents.  Another time though, he got beat off the dribble and tried to reach in when defending in transition, which led his team to give up the basket that time.

In summary, Curtis Jones quietly had a strong showing, as he especially thrived as a shooter and scorer on offense.  He is a score-first combo guard that didn’t quite shoot as well on the season though, but he is a crafty shot maker whose scoring skills could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA.

Keshon Gilbert had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Illinois.  He had an especially strong second half to keep his team in the game, and he is an athletic, energetic combo guard that can score the basketball. He did a decent job of scoring off the dribble.  He would score and draw free throws on strong, aggressive drives to the hoop.  He also showed that he can knock down pull-up jumpers both from the mid-range and beyond the arc.  He would sometimes take tough, contested shots off the dribble that would lead to misses, but he played better as the game wore on.

On the other hand, he was quite turnover prone in this game.  For the positives, he would sometimes show that he can throw accurate passes to find open teammates.  However, he would tend to throw hasty, inaccurate passes that would get intercepted. Also, he did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball.  He also played decent defense.  Gilbert was able to poke a ball away to get a steal, and he also deflected a pass out of bounds to nearly get another.

Overall, Keshon Gilbert played fairly well, as he overcame a slow start to help his team score in the second half.  On the other hand, he’ll need to improve his shot selection and take better care of the basketball.  That said, he is an athletic, skilled combo guard whose shot making ability could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA.

Marcus Domask had a decent showing to help lead his team to a win over Iowa State.  Though he didn’t particularly shoot the ball well, he did a great job of running the point and distributing the basketball, and he is a smart, skilled point forward that may be an underrated prospect for the NBA.

Though he struggled to consistently knock down threes or score out of the post, Domask was able to make a turnaround jumper early on, and he also managed to score on a strong drive in transition while getting fouled.  Domask showed that he can score out of the post and on fast breaks, but he will need to improve his outside shot and shot-creation skills. 

Domask also showed off solid playmaking skills in this game.  He was able to make an array of passes to set up scores for his teammates due to possessing very good court vision.  He showed a knack for passing out of double teams out of the post to find the open man, and he can find open teammates on the move to rack up assists.  A couple of times, he would be careless with the ball, which would lead to the occasional turnover, but for the most part, he showed an impressive ability to make passes out of double teams to find the open man, which really helped Illinois’ ball movement and ability to make plays on offense.

He also did a satisfactory job of rebounding the basketball, and Domask was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor.   He also played satisfactory defense.   Domask would use his length and positioning to keep his man in front of him and contest fadeaway jumpers to force tough misses.  However, there was one play where he collided into an opponent off the ball, which led him to commit a foul that time, but for the most part, Domask defended well in this game.

Overall, Domask had a fairly solid showing in his team’s win over Iowa State.  He is a cerebral playmaker that has a knack for finding the open man, and Illinois moved the ball really well in their win against Iowa State.  Though Domask may lack ideal athleticism, he’s a tall, playmaking point forward who possesses a very high basketball IQ, and his feel for the game and intriguing skill set could enable him to make his way to the NBA someday.

Dain Dainja had a fairly solid showing in his team’s win over Iowa State.  He is a strong, mobile big man that thrived at making plays in the paint to help his team on both ends of the floor.  Dainja would use strong moves to the hoop to score and draw free throws, and he also was active in looking to score on hustle plays.  Dainja also managed to throw down a powerful dunk off of a roll to the rim.  Sometimes though, he would take tough shots out of the post that would lead to misses.  On the downside, he would sometimes be turnover prone, as he would be careless at times.  He threw a bad pass that was intercepted once.  He pushed an opponent that led him to commit an offensive foul and a turnover.  He also attempted to dribble up court to show his ball-handling skills on the break, but he instead lost the ball to commit another turnover.

Also, Dainja did a very good job of rebounding the basketball, and he was active at crashing the glass to get plenty of boards when he was on the floor.  He also played solid defense.  He would rotate to block shots hard off of drives, and he also jumped a pass to get a steal.  However, there was one play where he rotated, but fouled a three-point shooter once.

Overall, Dainja played well, and he is a strong, mobile big man that provided a solid interior presence for his team in the middle.  He will need to add a reliable jump shot to his arsenal and improve his passing ability, but he is an intriguing prospect that could end up being a solid role player in the NBA someday.

Tamin Lipsey had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Illinois.  He had a solid first half as he made plays on both ends of the floor early on, but he struggled to make shots down the stretch, as his play seemed to fade towards the end.

Lipsey is an aggressive playmaker that was able to score on aggressive drives to the hoop when he was on his game.  He did an adequate job at that, but he also tended to miss on aggressive drives in traffic later on, as he tended to take plenty of tough, contested shots.  He was able to run off the ball to make a quick three, but he didn’t take enough three-point shots in this game.

He also displayed solid playmaking skills.  Lipsey is a patient playmaker that would make solid passes off the dribble to set up scores for his teammates.  He also played decent defense in this game.  He would intercept passes to get steals, but sometimes he would play too aggressively, which would lead him to commit fouls.  Overall, Lipsey is a fairly athletic, skilled playmaker that can make some very solid plays on both ends of the floor, but he will need to improve his shot selection.  He lacks elite size or athleticism, but his ability to run the team and make plays on offense could enable him to project into a backup point guard role in the NBA.

Tre King had a fairly solid showing in his team’s loss to Illinois.  He’s a fairly athletic, energetic big man that thrived at scoring on hustle plays.  He would score on off-ball motion plays such as rolls, cuts, and he also would score on put backs.  He did miss on easy, open layup on the break, and he also would sometimes miss due to rushing.  He did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  Overall, King will need to add a reliable outside shot to his arsenal and play more under control, but he is a fairly athletic, energetic player that could project to be a rotational big man in the NBA.

Milan Momcilovic had a terrible game, as he did not play well at all in his team’s loss to Illinois.  He looked overmatched, which was somewhat surprising considering that a lot of his prospect shine is based on his polish and feel for the game, but his lack of ideal athleticism showed as he was unable to make a field goal, and he also committed a costly turnover down the stretch.

He didn’t look to shoot the ball very often, but when he did, he would tend to attempt and miss on fadeaway, turnaround jumpers out of the post.  Momcilovic was able to draw free throws on a pull-up, mid-range leaner, but he only made one of two free throws that time.

He didn’t make any noteworthy passes, and late in this game, he had a chance to create his own shot when he handled the ball out on the perimeter, but instead, he telegraphed a pass and was intercepted, which helped seal his team’s fate to lose to Illinois.  He also didn’t grab many rebounds, as he only grabbed a couple of defensive boards when he was on the floor.  Overall, Momcilovic really struggled to make plays in his team’s loss to Illinois.  His lack of athleticism or shot creation skills showed, and he will probably need to stay in school for at least another year to hone his game.  He will need to do a much better job of making plays against taller, more athletic opponents if he wants to be able to improve his chances to play well at the NBA level in the future.

Illinois’ forward, Luke Goode quietly had a solid showing to help his team get a win over Iowa State.  He excelled at knocking down open, spot-up threes off the catch, and he also drew free throws on a tip-in after grabbing an offensive board due to possessing a solid motor.  

He also played satisfactory defense.  Goode was able to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he also contested a shot off the dribble to force a miss.  He did run into a screener off the ball to commit a foul once, but generally Goode defended well in this game.  Overall, Goode played well off the bench, and he was able to make a positive impact on both ends of the floor to help his team get the win.  Though he may lack ideal athleticism or shot creation skills, he is a skilled, energetic forward that could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA.

All in all, those are my thoughts on how Shannon and other various prospects fared in this game.  Thanks for reading.

NBA Scouting Live
error: Content is protected !!