First things first. Early in this Fighting Illini hoops season, I adopted Trent Frazier as my large adult son. I'm going to assume you know what that means, i.e. Frazer is not really my adopted son.
Anyway, Frazier has worked his way into the starting lineup for a few reasons: he's the most dangerous scoring threat for Illinois on any give possession, he's (BY FAR) the most exciting player on the roster, and he's fearless. Also, he's only a freshman. It's exciting to think about Trent slashing to the basket — his finishing is already fantastic — and knocking down triples for the next few seasons.
That all being said, after each Illinois game I manage to watch, I will check in with a post about how Frazier played. Well, until either I am asked to stop or everyone tells me how much they hate this column.
Obviously I am desperately pulling for everyone who steps on the floor for us, but my dude is just so enjoyable to watch.
Let's get it.
(Note: I decided to write this before Trent went all the way off in the second half.)
How did Trent Frazier play against Wisconsin tonight? (Score: Wisconsin 78, Illinois 69)
Whooooooo boy. My boy went OFF. Unfortunately, apart from a Leron Black, who notched a double-double, no one else on the team managed to hit double figures in scoring. The illini lost to the Badgers for the 13th consecutive time, which is ridiculous and seems like it can't possibly be true (narrator: it's true).
But Trent...Trent was magnificent. He finished with a career-high 32 points on 10-20 shooting including 7-11 from downtown(!).
Let's take a look at some of Trent's bombs.
Here's the one right before halftime:
Frazier from way downtown to close the half pic.twitter.com/UPLsDkq5Eh— IllinoisLoyalty (@IllinoisLoyalty) February 9, 2018
And then there's this one, as the shot clock was winding down halfway through the second half. Frazier shot it from Mattoon (shouts to Will Leitch).
⚡️ Trent Frazier ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/s5M9qdLF3k— IllinoisLoyalty (@IllinoisLoyalty) February 9, 2018
And this one, from earlier in the second half, where he puts Ethan Happ on skates:
Trent Frazier pic.twitter.com/ICpXfRrE3o— IllinoisLoyalty (@IllinoisLoyalty) February 9, 2018
Finally, here's our hero trying to keep the Illini in the game late in the second half:
Frazier. 30 points. pic.twitter.com/12NwiQf68b— IllinoisLoyalty (@IllinoisLoyalty) February 9, 2018
In the end, all of Trent's heroics weren't enough. To be honest, if he has to shoot 20 times for Illinois to have a chance then things are not going well. When he has to fill in as the main scorer it takes away from his ability to set up his teammates. He finished with only two assists tonight.
Finke, Nichols, Lucas and Smith combined for seven points. That's just atrocious. Here's to hoping they can bounce back on Sunday when they host Penn State.