Over the weekend, Illinois got some great news as 2017 guard Trent Frazier committed to the Illini over numerous other Power Five offers.
GO ILLINI???????????????? pic.twitter.com/hTEwlIGW3D
— Trent (@_Trentfrazier1) August 22, 2016
According to 247Sports, Frazier is rated as a four-star prospect, the No. 20 point guard in the class, and as the No. 8 player in the state of Florida in the 2017 class. He’s also listed at 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds and had offers from programs including Baylor, Kansas State, and Memphis among others.
Although Frazier is listed as a point guard by most of the scouting services, he’s absolutely capable of dominating the ball and leading his team in scoring. Not only does he have a jumper, but he has a nice crossover, can drive the hoop, and is a consistent finisher. He doesn’t have the raw athleticism or physicality of some other prospects, but he has more than enough to hold his own at the next level and in the Big Ten.
What’s particularly exciting about Frazier’s commitment is it comes shortly after the Illini missed out on a top 2017 target, Jordan Goodwin. Granted, Frazier isn’t the same level of prospect as Goodwin, but he’s no consolation prize. Frazier is formidable enough that fans could forget about Goodwin once the 2017-’18 season rolls around.
Along with the timing, Frazier adds another piece to what looks like a stacked 2017 recruiting class. Not only does Illinois now have four 2017 commitments; its class is also ranked No. 3 in the nation by 247Sports, tops in the Big Ten, and has three players rated as four-stars or better.
Not bad for a team coming off a 15-19 season.
That bears repeating. Somehow, coach John Groce has reeled in an elite recruiting class despite being on the hot seat in Champaign. That’s a rare feat which is incredibly difficult to achieve. Imagine the challenge of convincing a high school prospect to join a program, even though the coach may not be around when the player gets there.
Regardless of how things finish, that’s impressive.
Back to the 2017 class for the Illini: Frazier, Jeremiah Tilmon, and DaMonte Williams — and the players who should return for the 2017-’18 season such as Leron Black and Jalen Coleman-Lands — offer many reasons to like where the program is headed.
To put things in perspective, just imagine a potential 2017-’18 starting lineup. Frazier and Coleman-Lands could put together a talented backcourt; Javon Pickett could really make a splash on the wing; and Leron Black and Jeremiah Tilmon could form a great frontcourt. Illinois still needs to add another forward, but that’s a young and talented team.
Whether Groce and Illinois can ultimately succeed together remains to be seen, but with Frazier’s commitment, things are definitely heading in the right direction for a program that’s had more than its share of bad luck over the last few years.