Illinois Basketball: 4 observations from the Illini loss to Arizona

Dec 11, 2021; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood reacts off the bench during the second half against the Arizona Wildcats at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2021; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood reacts off the bench during the second half against the Arizona Wildcats at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dec 11, 2021; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Alfonso Plummer (11) shoots the ball over Arizona Wildcats center Oumar Ballo (11) during the first half at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2021; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Alfonso Plummer (11) shoots the ball over Arizona Wildcats center Oumar Ballo (11) during the first half at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Illinois has some special talent on the floor

While the loss hurts and there aren’t many positives to take away from a defeat, one of the things that stood out to me was how special some of the talent is for us on the floor.

The snag in the offseason of Utah transfer Alfonso Plummer continues to be a great get. Plummer put up another 20-point performance by dropping 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field. He now has six-straight 20-point games, which is No. 4 all-time in Illinois basketball history.

Kofi Cockburn continues to show his dominance. He had another double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. He has the most double-doubles since the 2019-20 campaign in college basketball. I am going to miss the mountain of a man when he departs the program.

And everyone knew Trent Frazier was a special talent, but he started the season off rough. Thankfully, in the past two games, Frazier has broken out of his funk and has performed well. He was the leading scorer against Arizona with 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field.

I said this in an earlier slide, and I will say it again; Illinois has enough talent on this team right now to compete with the big boys of college basketball. If we could just get the supporting cast to perform and maybe a little healthier, then we will be back in the top 10 eventually.