Evaluating Terrance Shannon to VCU

Three reasons VCU fans should be stoked:

1. Terrance Shannon is about as athletic as they come. He’s 6-8, 240. He can run. He can jump. If either teams gets into transition and Shannon is on the floor, he instantly becomes the most likely player in college basketball to be 3-4 seconds away from a Sportscenter Top 10 moment. The only thing that surprises me about his four years at FSU is that he didn’t destroy a backboard or some opponent’s manhood.

2. His effort is what coaches point toward when they’re telling other players that they don’t play hard enough. If he just randomly dove on the floor in the middle of a play for no reason, it wouldn’t surprise anyone who has watched him. He’s one of the only power forwards in basketball who will begin bodying up his man at the timeline.

3. He’s got the Terrance Shannon Face, which – even if you’ve never seen him play – you’ll immediately recognize when he makes it. Imagine some stranger snuck into his dorm room and took a giant dump in his toilet. When Shannon discovered it and realized that his toilet was now plugged – that’s the face he makes. He’ll make the Terrance Shannon Face after he dunks on someone, after a bad call goes against him, and sometimes just at random.

Three reasons VCU fans should curb their enthusiasm:

1. When Shannon was a role player playing with a group of talented bigs – Bernard James, Xavier Gibson, Jon Kreft (yes, I just typed that) – he was great. He even had the highest offensive rating of any of the bigs, prior to his injury in 2011-12 (more on that in a moment).  The reason he was so efficient is that he dunked everything in sight. Only the things in sight weren’t possessions which flowed through him. He cleaned up garbage. He ran the break. He was a monster. Then a UConn player fell on top of him (and Shannon was called for the foul, just to rub it in) and his shoulder fell apart and he didn’t play anymore with those talented bigs.

This past season, playing alongside inexperienced big men, Shannon was exposed. He suddenly started taking shots which looked like they’d never been practiced before outside of a random game of HORSE. Four years in the system, and Shannon’s list of offensive moves is still a blank slate.

2. Shannon committed 5.3 fouls per 40 minutes as a junior (which was actually an improvement) which is far more than any VCU regular. One of his favorite fouls is the Shannon Special (which sometimes leads to the Terrance Shannon Face) in which he assaults the ball-handler roughly 50’ from the basket for absolutely no reason, and he typically only does this when the opposition is in the double-bonus during a close game.

3. Shannon has injured his knee, his other knee, his shoulder and his neck. In four years at FSU, Shannon has played in 72 of 135 potential games, and this doesn’t even count his senior year in high school in which he played zero. If I were coding a video game and needed a durability scale for college players it would go:  1) durable, 2) average, 3) injury prone, 4) Terrance Shannon.

The verdict:

IF a) Coach Smart can get Shannon to buy into an appropriate role on offense, b) he stays healthy, and c) he stays out of foul trouble, then this transfer is an absolute slam dunk for VCU. And by all accounts he’s a good kid. FSU fans, who just lost him, will likely watch a bunch of VCU games next season just to check in.