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Best Individual Performances of Season: #2 Trent Frazier against Iowa

The freshman sensation put up 27 points on the Iowa Hawkeyes.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Count Illinois’ 104-97 overtime home loss to Iowa as one (of the many) gut wrenchers of this past basketball season. That doesn’t mean it was a total waste — in fact, it was a coming out party for true freshman guard Trent Frazier.

January 11. The Illini return to the State Farm Center after consecutive, back-to-back 10-point losses to the Michigan Wolverines and Minnesota Golden Gophers. Trent Frazier scored a combined 20 points in those two losses. The young man was eager to put on a show in front of his home crowd... and he did.

The freshman sensation from Florida scored an almost career-high 27 points against Iowa, lighting it up from three-point range. Frazier was 7-of-11 from behind the arc and felt all kinds of heat as he kept putting the ball in the net.

Three of those 27 points came in game-tying fashion to send the Illini to overtime. Watch this incredible, one-handed floater as time was expiring:

Coming into the season, most of the freshmen hype was all on the shoulders Mr. Basketball Mark Smith. Smith has now transferred, and one of the theories as to why is that he never was able to replicate the performances, or the confidence displayed over and over again by co-freshman Trent Frazier.

“Trent’s fearless,” head coach Brad Underwood said many times in his post-game press conferences. Between the ears, Trent Frazier is a winner. He doesn’t hesitate. He doesn’t over think. He just goes out there with a tremendous swagger and lets the game come to him. We saw it in the Iowa game. We saw it the following week at Nebraska. We saw it pretty much every game including and after the close overtime loss to Iowa.

Looking ahead, Trent Frazier figures to be an anchor for this Illinois basketball team. It’s one thing to be a regular starter, it’s a whole other thing to be your team’s best player and go-to scorer. That’s what Trent Frazier is as he continues to add to his arsenal of floaters, off-hand tear-drops and improved free throw shooting. With incoming freshman Ayo Dosunmu on his way to Champaign, Frazier will be asked to play more off-ball, allowing him the time to square up and get even better at knocking down shots from the perimeter.