Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats signee Trier conducts himself like basketball veteran because he is one

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Findlay’s Allonzo Trier attempts a three-pointer that hit nothing but net against Planet Athlete Academy Saturday night (Photo by Robert Scot, VirlVideo.com)

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HENDERSON, Nev. — His facial expression stays the same no matter the circumstance. Turnover: A look of determination. Assist: A concentrated eye on who to defend downcourt. Three-pointer made: Focus on his man running to the other end. Three-pointer missed: No difference.

After his multiple baskets, Allonzo Trier does not smile at his defender. He does not showboat to the crowd following one of his breathtaking dunks or smooth-as-silk shots from three-point range.

“I’m very confident,” he told me. “I’m very focused.”

To the point. That says it all.

“Like I told (assistant coach) Joe Pasternack at Arizona, ‘He’s not going to be rattled by playing anywhere in the country in college. It’s not going to rattle him. I promise you.'”
— Marcie Trier, mother of Arizona basketball recruit Allonzo Trier

At 19 years old, Trier (pronounced TREE-er) conducted himself like he’s been there before, like a 37-year-old veteran, in Findlay Prep’s 133-63 win Saturday night over visiting Planet Athlete Academy of Phoenix. He performed that way because he has actually been there before, too many times to count, in his basketball career which extends to when he was perfecting his shot in the gym while in the first grade.

His mother Marcie, Allonzo’s personal trainer who has instilled in him a die-hard work ethic, watched her son from the stands at the Henderson International School gym as he scored a game-high 38 points. He made all 17 of his free throw attempts, exhibiting that calm, confident demeanor that Sean Miller and his staff respect.

“He’s a mature player,” Marcie said. “He has a mature game. I think because he’s had a target on his back since the sixth grade it helped him raise his game another level.”

The six-year span from the sixth grade to now has taken Trier on a basketball odyssey in an attempt to be the best he can be on and off the court. The New York Times ran a cover story on Trier’s basketball evolution when was only 13.

Since the sixth grade, Trier has moved from Seattle to Dallas to Oklahoma City to Tulsa to Washington, D.C., and now to Henderson. He has played for four high schools in four years. He transferred from Washington D.C. power Montrose Christian to the nationally prominent Findlay program this year.

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Allonzo Trier flanked by his mother Marcie (left) and aunt Michelle and cousin Allerick (Photo by Robert Scot, VirlVideo.com)


Allonzo Trier, who can play both the point and shooting guard positions, makes a no-look pass in Findlay's game Saturday night (Photo by Robert Scot, VirlVideo.com)

Allonzo Trier, who can play both the point and shooting guard positions, makes a no-look pass in Findlay’s game Saturday night (Photo by Robert Scot, VirlVideo.com)

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Allonzo Trier's athletic ability is impressive with his explosive ability around the basket

Allonzo Trier’s athletic ability is impressive with his explosive ability around the basket (Photo by Robert Scot, VirlVideo.com)

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Arizona is next in 2015-16.

“It’s not that he traveled a lot; it’s because he played with the same AAU program for four years,” Marcie told me. “He has competed from the West coast to the Midwest to the East coast. He can play anywhere against anybody.”

Allonzo’s game has also gone international, helping the Team USA Under-17 team to win a gold medal this summer. Miller was as an assistant coach on that team. Their experience together in Colorado Springs, Colo., helped Trier’s decision to sign a national letter of intent with Arizona on Thursday.

He is part of a present four-man class that is unanimously rated No. 1 by recruiting services.

Miller’s reputation as an impeccable recruiter is proven by his ability to sign Trier and win over Marcie, a 36-year-old single parent who keeps a very close eye on her son’s development.

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“He makes you feel very comfortable,” Marcie said about Miller. “He has this great way of connecting with you by just showing you how he wants to help Zo grow as a man and as a player.

“I think that was really intriguing to us. We felt that he was invested into Zo’s future and that was important to us. Many of the areas of Zo as a basketball player and as a person, (Miller) showed that he would really help him.”

Marcie, a social worker in Oklahoma City, flew to Las Vegas this week to be with her son and be part of the signing process Thursday. After all of the millions of shots attempted since the first grade, the miles traveled and difficult challenges against the best competition, Trier hit the motherlode by earning a scholarship to a university.

The long road that Trier and his mom spoke of with me included his experience with dyslexia diagnosed in sixth grade, which forced him to be held back a year. He went through home school his first two years of high school, playing for varsity basketball programs in Oklahoma his first two years that allowed home-school students.

“It was a great feeling,” Allonzo said about signing the national letter-of-intent Thursday. “I’ve come a long way.”

Marcie brought along with her twin sister Michelle and niece Allerick to join in on the celebration of Allonzo’s momentous occasion.

“It was something that I thought he worked 12 years for,” Marcie said of the scholarship. “He invested his time. He sacrificed and it all came to fruition. He’s going where he wants to go, where he can grow as a man and a player.

“Hopefully he can fulfill his dreams.”

Trier is well on his way to achieving his goals of winning a national title at Findlay, leading the Pilots to a 4-0 record with an average margin of victory of 51.8 points. A 6’5″ and 200-pound shooting guard, Trier averages a team-best 37.5 points with 5.8 rebounds a game.

“I definitely think I can get better. I think we can all get better at everything. I can get better offensively, as well. But I think that’s one thing (defense) that I can lock in with, and Coach Miller can help me.”
— Allonzo Trier, Arizona basketball recruit

His accurate, feathery shooting touch, so light that the ball barely strikes the net on the way down, is a result of the hours of shots in the gym with his mom over the last 12 years.

He made all 17 of his free throw attempts in Saturday night’s game. He has converted 35 of 37 free-throw attempts (94.5 percent). He averages nearly 10 free-throw tries a game, exemplifying his ability to draw fouls by playing aggressively to the basket.

“I work at it a lot,” Trier said when asked about his free-throw shooting, which should be a Godsend to an Arizona program that struggled at the line last year and was 12-of-25 from there against Mount St. Mary’s on Friday.

“Any way I can help (Arizona), I will work hard at it,” he added.

He understands that his improvement on the basketball court never ends despite all of his experiences in the last six years.

Trier, who like most players his age requires more strength and stamina, will benefit from Arizona’s strength and conditioning program. He knows his defense will be a point of emphasis for Arizona’s coaches this season with Findlay and when he arrives in Tucson next summer. His footwork defensively, staying in front of the ball-handler, is one area that will be stressed.

“I definitely think I can get better,” Trier said of his defense. “I think we can all get better at everything. I can get better offensively, as well. But I think that’s one thing (defense) that I can lock in with, and Coach Miller can help me.”

Allonzo Trier is making 94.5 percent of his free throws (35 of 37) through Findlay's first four games

Allonzo Trier is making 94.5 percent of his free throws (35 of 37) through Findlay’s first four games (Photo by Robert Scot, VirlVideo.com)

Trier’s mother will also apply her stamp on his development as he takes the next step. Although she remains in Oklahoma City, she will continue communication with her son and serve as a coach despite being more than 1,000 miles away.

“Since the first grade, we’ve been in the gym for hours,” Marcie told me. “I know he has taken a million shots, but it’s his work ethic. I told him, ‘I don’t care if you play chess or if you choose to be a veterinarian or a basketball player, whatever you do, you give 110 percent.’

“I alaways told him, ‘You’re only as good as your last game. Every time you step on the court you have to redeem yourself.’ He has always lived up to his work ethic. He’s the type of the kid that although he goes to Arizona and starts at ground zero, he will put in the work.

“You don’t have to tell him or push him because he pushes himself.”

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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