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Michigan State basketball: Terrence Shannon Jr. may return on Thursday

Thursday’s matchup could get a lot tougher.

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© Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State basketball fans were expecting to see the Spartans face Illinois without Terrence Shannon Jr. Not so fast.

Michigan State basketball is back in action Thursday night as they travel to Illinois to face the Fighting Illini. The Illini are one of the best teams in the Big Ten, but they have been playing without their star player Terrence Shannon Jr. who was suspended indefinitely after being charged with rape.

That suspension however may be coming to an end one day before the game.

Terrence Shannon Jr. may be back

Shannon was charged with sexual assault then released on bail in December but was suspended while the case played out. However, Shannon’s attorney just released a statement that he may be allowed to play in the MSU game in two days.

Bob Asmussen with The News-Gazette shared that Shannon’s attorneys “filed a request for a temporary restraining order.” According to Asmussen, “If the temporary restraining order is granted, it could allow Shannon to be back with the team this week.”

This restraining order may be filed on Wednesday, meaning Shannon could be able to play in the matchup on Thursday.

Impact of Shannon’s return

On paper, Shannon’s return sounds like it would have a massive impact on Thursday’s game. This season, he’s averaging 21.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. He also is shooting a blistering 40.8% from 3-point range as well. While these stats are extremely impressive, his team has still played well without him.

Shannon has missed three games so far this season. In those games, Illinois won twice by 30+ points and lost by five on the road against No. 1 Purdue. I think it’s safe to say they’ve been just fine without Shannon.

Now don’t get me wrong, Shannon returning would have a huge impact on the game. But his return, or lack thereof, won’t really affect the result of the game in my opinion. Illinois has proven to be elite with Shannon on the court and without him, so it probably doesn’t matter much at the end of the day if he plays or not.

Michigan State is going to be in a dogfight regardless if Shannon plays. So Tom Izzo will have to prepare his guys for anything.

Lead writer for Spartan Shadows since April 2023, writing over 450 articles. Michigan State basketball, football and recruiting expert. Class of 2019 graduate from Michigan State University specializing in Sports Management. Daily MSU runs a popular X page (@daily_msu) covering all things MSU Sports.

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