By The Numbers
Trent Frazier played in all 32 games for Illinois, and started in the last 16 contest for the Fighting Illini.
He played 26.3 minutes per game scoring 12.5 points per game which was second on the team, and led all Big Ten Freshman. Fraizer shot .405 overall with a .347 mark from deep, but his shooting percentage jumped up to .457 in conference play while his scoring saw an increase to 14.7 points per game.
Frazier also put up 1.8 rebounds per game, 3.2 assist per game and led Illinois with 1.7 steals per game.
Frazier scored 20 or more points five times, while often being the only effective scoring threat for Illinois besides Leron Black. His ability to make tough contest three-point shots bailed Illinois out of many bad possessions.
Impact on the Illini
Quite often, Illinois had only two effective players — Trent Frazier and Leron Black. As the only consistent perimeter threat, Frazier was the main ball handler for Illinois, and the fulcrum through which the offense moved.
Frazier was also the most exciting and electric player for Illinois. He showcased both the ability to hit deep contested threes, and put the ball on the floor and drive to the paint. He also has the natural ability of many great scorers to hit difficult shots and make big plays.
Trent Frazier is taking over, and making some silly plays, in the second half. pic.twitter.com/Eat3O6wJxM— Illinois on BTN (@IllinoisOnBTN) February 4, 2018
He was often an one man wrecking crew, as seen in his 15-0 run for Illinois at home against Rutgers.
Frazier has that proverbial “it” factor. Some call it the “juice”. It always felt that the Illini were on the verge of something exciting happening when the ball was in his hands.
Trent Frazier’s Best Game
Trent Frazier had two games where he shot 7-of-11 from three point range — vs Iowa, and vs Wisconsin — but it was the Wisconsin game that was his most impressive performance.
Against an always tough Wisconsin defense Trent Frazier put up his career high in points with 32. He shot 10-of-20 from the field along with the previously mentioned seven three-pointers.
Despite the eventual 78-69 loss for Illinois, it was Trent Frazier who kept Illinois competitive in this game. The next closest Illinois’ scorer to Frazier was Black with 13 points, and only six Illini players scored in the game. Fraizer kept Illinois in a game they had not business to be in with a fantastic individual scoring effort.
All in All
Jaren Jackson won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year Award — for good reason too. Did you see his defense?! — but it was Trent Frazier who was the best offensive freshman in the conference.
He led all Big Ten freshman in points, assist, steals, and three pointers per game.
Frazier’s 12.5 points per game as a freshman is the fourth best in program history, and the best of the 2000s. This freshman season was the best for any Illini in recent memory.
With Ayo Dosunmu arriving next season, Trent Frazier will have more help on the perimeter, both in scoring and ball handling. With that and an offseason to improve, Frazier’s shooting efficiency could jump in 2018-19, which is incredibly exciting to think about.
This may have been the start of one of the best Illinois careers of recent memory.