March Madness: Sweet 16 pregame, Illinois’ Terrence Shannon remains silent on unsolved rape case

Content warning: This article contains descriptions of an alleged sexual assault.

Terrence Shannon This week, he’s acting like everything is normal as he and his team prepare for the Illini’s first Sweet Sixteen appearance in nearly two decades.

But throughout the NCAA tournament, no matter where they fell Iowa Shannon will remain quiet Thursday in Boston or as they advance to next month’s national championship game in Phoenix.

The Illini announced before the game that Shannon “will not speak to the media” throughout the postseason “based on the advice of his legal counsel.” Kansas A brief legal action in December put him back in court the next month, and he has not spoken about his case except for a brief post on social media in January.

For better or worse, this strategy is what he and Illinois Are persisting.

“I’ve said it many times, I’m a college basketball coach,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood said Wednesday at TD Garden. “When we found out about this situation, it was our athletic director Josh Whitman informed me. And then we made the decision that was made by the university and then obviously brought to the field, and I’ve always said I’m going to coach the guys in the locker room. I’m going to be the guy that I coach. The best supporters of those are those we have to find a way to get through those tough times.

“Then he came back and joined us and he became a part of our team again. He’s been a great teammate. We got him back and we’re sitting here today.”

Terrence Shannon arrested, legal battle

Shannon’s legal troubles date back to a September incident at a bar in Lawrence, Kansas.

Shannon was in Kansas for the Jayhawks’ football game against Illinois on Sept. 8, and that night he went to a bar near campus. The alleged victim told police A man she later recognized from photos and social media groped her skirt and underwear and sexually assaulted her in a crowded bar. She reported the incident to police the next day and went to a local hospital for a sexual assault exam.

Shannon’s attorneys have repeatedly argued that he is innocent, pointing to a lack of witness testimony and very clear surveillance evidence because “the alleged incident occurred in a very public bar,” they wrote in court documents.

However, the state of Illinois suspended Shannon indefinitely on December 28 after an arrest warrant was issued in Kansas.He quickly filed a motion with a federal judge and it was granted Temporary restraining order forces Illinois to reinstate him January 19th. Shannon, The judge said in his rulingwould “suffer irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction.”

Shannon missed a total of six games during that layoff. Returns to help Illinois beat Rutgers On January 21, in Champaign, he received a standing ovation from the home fans.But three days later, he was He was heavily questioned on the road to Evanston during Northwestern’s upset win.

Shannon’s case is still ongoing and he won’t appear in court again until May.

Terrence Shannon and Illinois will take on Iowa State in the Sweet 16 on Thursday.

Terrence Shannon and Illinois will take on Iowa State in the Sweet 16 on Thursday. (Michael Reeves/Getty Images)

Shannon leads Illinois to Sweet 16

While Illinois has largely managed to survive without him during the hiatus, he is a big reason why Illinois can reach the Sweet 16 this spring for the first time since 2005.

Shannon Farm scored a team-high 23.3 points, ranking third in the country behind Denverof Tommy Bruner and Purdue Universityof Zach EadieHe led the Illini over Wisconsin Scored 34 points in the Big Ten Tournament title game, a day after scoring 40 points in a shutout nebraska in the semifinals.

The University of Illinois also had two overwhelming victories in the NCAA tournament. In the first two rounds, it defeated Morehead State and Duquesne State by double digits, with Shannon scoring 28 points each.

“He’s done a great job of being a dominant player,” teammate Coleman Hawkins said Wednesday. “I feel like a lot of times in the playoffs it’s going to be tough because everybody knows what you’re doing, but we’ve been letting Everything just becomes very simple. “He does a great job of being a reliable source of going out and scoring at any given moment, whether the game is down or not. Seeing his speed, his physicality dominate the game, it’s It’s really great.”

The Illini will face Iowa State in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night. A win would put them in the Elite Eight for the first time since reaching the national championship game under Bruce Weber.

Although he has a lot to do off the field, Shannon seems to have found a way to put it all behind him in the second half of the season. Now that they’ve entered the regional round of the tournament, more eyes are on him, but his strategy hasn’t changed and he’s just focused on basketball for the time being.

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