Terrence Shannon Jr. was in the NBA draft process this summer for a majority of the allotted time the NCAA allows collegiate players to flirt with the association. Shannon went to the combine and had an agent preparing him to go pro, but at the last minute, he decided to come back to the Red Raiders and play for Mark Adams, who he called the only coach he'd come back to play for.

Shannon missed time at the start of the season after Texas Tech opened an inquiry into potential infractions from his time in the NBA draft process. Nothing was found which led TJ Shannon to return to play in six non-conference games. Shannon scored at least 15 points in 5 of 6 of those contests, but was injured against Arkansas State and missed significant time.

During TJ's absence, the Red Raiders won two huge games against Kansas and Baylor. Texas Tech opened 3-1 in the Big 12 without the NBA prospect and people wondered aloud if Shannon would fit into the team which had found a groove with the emergence of Adonis Arms and Clarence Nadolny.

In Shannon's return, the haters relished a bit as Kansas State won their first Big 12 game in five tries as Shannon returned to the lineup looking rusty after more than a month off the court. Against Iowa State, Shannon looked timid again. Almost like he was still favoring his back which had been injured forcing the time off.

TJ shook it off this weekend against West Virginia leading the Red Raiders to a 78-65 victory. Shannon played 32 minutes scoring 23 points with five rebounds. It's not just the amount of points, it's how he scored them. Shannon sank two three-pointers late in the game and was clutch with his free throws after getting to the rim late in the contest.

The most impressive part of Shannon Jr.'s game might have been his defense. Taz Sherman kept the Mountaineers in the game across the first 35 minutes of the game, but after draining a three in Daniel Batcho's eye with 6:25 left, Mark Adams was done messing around. Adams out Shannon Jr. on Sherman, who didn't score a single bucket in the final stretch. Shannon was locked on Sherman from baseline to baseline not letting him out of his sight.

At his best, Shannon Jr. is Keenan Evans on the offensive side of the court and Jarrett Culver on the defensive end. If Texas Tech and Mark Adams can continue to get Shannon's best, the Red Raiders will be tough to beat.

Texas Tech Basketball Beats West Virginia at the USA