Ryan Easterling

Signing Day Spotlight: Trent Frazier

Illini Inquirer's breakdown of 2017 signee Trent Frazier.


Scouting Report: Bucket-getter. That's what Frazier is at the point guard position. You can get him out of bed in the middle of the night and he'll put the ball in the hoop. Frazier is one of the best scoring lead guards in the class because he is a lights-out shooter and super quick off the dribble. He loves to push the pace and get out in transition. Frazier has very good handles too. But he is slender and doesn't project to be a good defender at the next level. He needs to add strength for that end of the floor, and so he can absorb contact offensively as well. And he also needs to continue molding his point guard skills. Frazier is constantly in score-first mode, but he has to learn to distribute within a system and not force the issue. Playing with the correct pace is a big key. Frazier is very hard to guard off the ball-screen, though, and that fits right in to what John Groce wants to do with him. He can play off the ball too -- if need be. Right now, he is an offensive weapon with a good amount of upside.

First-year Impact: With Illinois losing Tracy Abrams and Jaylon Tate, Frazier will compete for minutes right away at the point guard spot in 2016-17. He and Te'Jon Lucas will man the rotation. The two are very different with their strengths and skill sets. No matter which direction Groce elects to go with his starting lineup, Frazier will play some significant minutes. He will probably have some early struggles with defense and turnovers. But he will make up for it by shooting around 38 or 40 percent from deep right away. 

Ceiling: All-Big Ten and pro career. If he's able to physically develop and max out his floor general traits, Frazier can be one of the most dangerous lead guards you'll find in the Big Ten -- maybe even in college basketball. And he should be pretty good a year or two before then too. As a finished product, he will be a dead-eye shooter with other attributes to go along for the ride. If you can make shots, you can play basketball for a long time. And that's exactly what Frazier can do.

Reminds Me Of: Acie Law. A lefty point guard who can flat out score the basketball. Big stage. Big shot. No problem. Law shot higher than 45 percent from three as a senior and he averaged more than 18 points per game. Playing for former Illinois assistant Billy Gillespie, Law helped lead Texas A&M to the Sweet Sixteen his senior year. Frazier will shoot it at a high percentage, put up some impressive point totals and help Illinois win some big games. Law went on to win the Bob Cousy Award and he was a first-team All-American. That's hard to match. But Frazier can develop into one heck of a collegiate player, and then have a long pro career afterwards. Both players have similar slender builds. Frazier has more jets in transition, but Law had more halfcourt pace and facilitating prowess.

Werner’s narrative: Another point guard?! Really?!?! Te'Jon Lucas ended the Illini's three-year drought Big Ten-quality point guards, and Frazier's signing gives the Illini something it hasn't had during the John Groce era: point guard depth. Lucas has elite distribution skills, but Frazier fits more of what Groce wants at the point-guard position: a bucket-getter. Frazier complements Lucas well and the two likely will split time during the 2017-18 season. But Frazier's shooting and scoring skills would seem to give him the upper hand long-term. Illinois will continue to try to upgrade at point guard -- especially with a special 2018 class of lead guards -- but with Frazier in the fold, Groce finally seems to have the point guards he needs to succeed in the Big Ten.

Quote: “They were the first people to recognize how much potential I have. I fit their style of play. They've produced some of the best point guards around. I feel like it's the perfect spot for me."

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