CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Trent Frazier is getting his swagger back. The Illinois guard tweeted that exact message after beating Purdue on Sunday night, the junior scored 12 points, his highest total since putting up 13 a month ago at Maryland.
“It’s just one of biggest things you know,” Frazier said. “The past three years, swagger’s been my big thing. I’ve always had it but there was just something missing, just having fun. I have that so I’m excited for tomorrow’s game (at Wisconsin). We’ve got to go out there and be engaged and locked in to get a road win.”
Frazier is fifth on the team in scoring this season, averaging 9.4 points per game. He’s one of four guys who have started every game and is second on the team in minutes, averaging 29 per game, only behind Ayo Dosunmu. But for all the offensive ability Frazier possess, it’s the defensive end of the court where the Florida native has made the most progress. Frazier held Boilermakers sharp shooter Sasha Stefanovic in check, only allowing him to hit two 3-pointers and eight points total in 28 minutes. He came into the game with 40 points in his last two outings.
“I want to be one of the top defenders in the country, not even just the conference. My goal is to win All-First Team Defensive Team,” Frazier said after the Purdue game. “Coach Gentry said no open looks tonight, and that’s what I wasn’t going to let them get, open looks.”
“It’s amazing what two years and how it can shift ones thinking. He understands it, he’s taking a lot of pride in it and he’s done that every year, I mean he’s done that every game this year,” Illini head coach Brad Underwood said. “He’s drawing the other team’s best threat.”
Illinois visits Wisconsin Wednesday night for a 8 p.m. tipoff from the Kohl Center. The Illini have lost 15 straight games to the Badgers and haven’t won in Madison since 2010.