Trent Frazier’s top five moments: Fifth-year senior comes up clutch in big games for Illinois men’s basketball

Guard+Trent+Frazier+dribbles+during+the+game+against+Michigan+State+on+Jan.+25.+Over+his+five+years+with+the+team%2C+Frazier+has+had+many+memorable+moments.++

Ryan Ash

Guard Trent Frazier dribbles during the game against Michigan State on Jan. 25. Over his five years with the team, Frazier has had many memorable moments.

By Christian Jones, Staff Writer

When fifth-year senior guard Trent Frazier got to Illinois in August of 2017, Illini basketball looked like the Starks after The Red Wedding.

The team had just recorded its first losing season in eight years, Malcolm Hill had played his final game and John Groce, who recruited Frazier, had been fired.

Now the Illini sit atop the Big Ten standings, and Frazier is ninth all-time in points scored with 1,670. 

“A lifetime contract if I can give him one,” said head coach Brad Underwood. “I’m going to dread senior night; I’m gonna dread that last one. He’s absolutely everything that we’re about. He’s everything that I want our program to stand for.”

In nearly five years in Champaign, Frazier has made a ton of big shots and locked down everyone in the Midwest. Here are the top five performances of his career thus far.

5. 32 points, seven 3-pointers made against Wisconsin as a freshman (Feb. 8, 2018)

Nearing the end of the 2017-18 season Frazier had already established himself as a dangerous shooter, but his scoring was inconsistent. Coming into a home game against Wisconsin, things were starting to settle down. 

Frazier scored in double digits in seven straight games before the Wisconsin game. He got the night started with a contested lefty-scoop high off the glass, and he rarely missed there after. A fading three to bring the Illini with four in the last two minutes was probably his biggest shot of the game, though.

The Illini lost that game, but Frazier made his mark.

4. 29 points, six triples and five steals against No. 3 Gonzaga (Nov. 19, 2018)

The Illini started the 2018-19 season with a big matchup against a nationally ranked Gonzaga team at the Maui Jim Invatational. 

Frazier showed out on a national stage. He hit back-to-back threes with seven minutes left in the second half, then notched a four-point play to bring Illinois within three points with less than a minute to go. The Illini lost this one, too, but it gave fans hope. Gonzaga went on to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament.

3. 15 points, six steals and four assists against Minnesota (Feb. 20)

In what could have been Frazier’s final season, his scoring returned to form after a disappointing junior season scoring-wise. 

In a 31-point victory on Minnesota’s home-court, Frazier recorded a career-high six steals while also scoring 15 points. He made three of four deep balls in the game, one which came from halfcourt after a steal.

Frazier became the first Illini in 16 years to record six steals.

2. 22 points and two steals to blowout No. 2 Michigan (March 2)

When No. 4 Illinois faced No. 2 Michigan in March of 2021, the Wolverines were 18-1. Michigan had canceled several games and though the Illini had more wins in conference play, the Wolverines held the top spot due to win percentage.

With Ayo Dosunmu out with a concussion, Frazier led the Illini to a win in Ann Arbor with 22 points. Michigan looked like the best team in the nation to many at that point, but it was over early in the second half.

1. 15 points, one steal and zero turnovers in Braggin’ Rights win against Missouri (Dec. 22)

After tasting victory in his very first Braggin’ Rights game, Frazier would wait four years before holding the trophy again.

Despite being on opposite trajectories in recent history, Missouri had beaten Illinois in their neutral site rivalry game for three straight years. Underwood’s squad came into the game as clear favorites even without Andre Curbelo in uniform.

Kofi Cockburn and Alfonso Plummer led the Illini with 25 and 22 points, respectively, and Frazier backed them up with 15 points as Illinois reclaimed Braggin’ Rights in a 25-point victory.

With 10+ games left in Fraizer’s final year, there’s still time for him to move up in the all-time points, steals and 3-pointers made lists. If he does, we’ll have to add a few more moments to the list.

 

@JonesChristianT

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