Illini Basketball Report Card: vs. Gonzaga, Nov. 19, 2018

Illini Basketball Report Card: vs. Gonzaga, Nov. 19, 2018

Player of the game
Illinois guard Trent Frazier
Even in a loss, it’s hard to argue anyone played better than the Illini sophomore. Frazier put the Illini on his back in the second half and knocked down the key shots that got them back in the game as part of his game-high 29-point performance.

Backcourt
Illinois:
B+
Gonzaga: C-
Frazier’s breakout second half — buoyed by 6 of 11 three-point shooting — kept the Illini in the game. So did forcing 22 Gonzaga turnovers, including seven by point guard Josh Perkins, who had three total in the Bulldogs’ previous three games.

Frontcourt
Illinois:
C-
Gonzaga: A-
Freshman forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili again was the Illini’s best option in the post, and he flashed some nimble moves on the block to finish around the basket. Foul trouble for Kipper Nichols and an ineffective 5 minutes from Adonis De La Rosa didn’t help Illinois keep up with Rui Hachimura and the Bulldogs’ collection of bigs.

Bench
Illinois:
 C-
Gonzaga: B
The Illini rely on a strong bench given coach Brad Underwood’s desire to play a 10-man rotation. Alan Griffin made some big plays in just his second career game, but Andres Feliz struggled with more fouls (four) than points (two) in 16 minutes and Tevian Jones only got a single minute of playing time.

Overall
Illinois:
B
Gonzaga: B
Plenty of positives to take away from almost upsetting the No. 3 team in the country like Frazier’s play in big moments, Bezhanishvili continuing to look like a pivotal piece not only now but for the future and those 22 Gonzaga turnovers. Some of the same defensive struggles and a rough night for too many key players balanced the scales.

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