FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!
[ezcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]
Allonzo Trier's injury is going to make life tougher for Gabe York; Arizona won't have as good a scoring option on opposite wing.
Arizona is no stranger to season-altering injuries, not in the slightest.
Allonzo Trier becomes at least the 12th significant injured player over the last 40 seasons. The freshman guard suffered a broken right hand late in regulation during Arizona’s four-overtime 103-101 loss at USC on Saturday night. He is expected to be out four to six weeks.
Arizona will miss Trier’s scoring threat and ability to keep the opposing defense off-balance with his ability to make shots and draw fouls driving to the basket. By the time Trier returns, perhaps for the Feb. 12 rematch with UCLA at McKale Center, Arizona will have played the Washington schools home and away, at the Bay area schools and at home against the Oregon schools.
If Trier returns for the UCLA game, that would be Arizona’s seventh game from the end of the regular season. Eight games are in between, the same amount of games Kaleb Tarzewski missed earlier this season with a foot injury.
The best-case scenario: Arizona protects the home court against the Washington and Oregon schools and manages to split the road trips to the Bay area and Washington schools. That would give Arizona a 19-5 overall record and 7-4 record in the Pac-12.
If Arizona loses at least once at home and goes 1-3 on the road in the following eight-game stretch, the Wildcats would be 17-7 overall and 5-6 in conference play.
[ezcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]
What might happen with Allonzo Trier out at least a month with a broken right hand:
— Mark Tollefsen could rejoin the starting lineup as a wing player. Tollefsen is shooting only 32 percent from three-point range but he is shooting 52 percent overall. Take away his three-point attempts and Tollefsen is shooting 38-of-58, a remarkable 65.5 percent from within the arc.
— Justin Simon’s minutes should increase with Sean Miller having to sacrifice offense for defense with Simon one of Miller’s best defenders. Simon is averaging 7.2 minutes a game but he has as many blocks (three) and three fewer steals (five) than Trier despite playing 357 less minutes.
— Miller could also use Kadeem Allen like he used Trier, an aggressive perimeter player who drove the lane fearlessly to draw fouls. Allen has that ability. Allen shoots only 31.8 percent from three-point range, however, so opponents will drop off of him. For Allen to fit Trier’s role, it would require a lineup consisting of Parker Jackson-Cartwright at the point, Gabe York as a shooting guard and Allen on the wing. Arizona would give up a tremendous amount of size but that is a quick backcourt when matched against similar lineups.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Arizona head coach Sean Miller gives his thoughts on Allonzo Trier’s broken hand pic.twitter.com/yxwa4CqdqZ
The best news from today’s development is that Trier should return by the last month of the season and the Pac-12 tournament. The season is far from lost for Arizona, which is 1-2 in the conference for the first time since Miller’s first season of 2009-10.
The following is a list of significant Arizona injuries over the last 40 years. Some quick notes of them first:
— Two were knee injuries that kept a player out of the season from the start.
— Two others were season-ending well into the season.
— And two of them occurred during late runs of the NCAA tournament, affecting Arizona’s chance to advance and win the national title.
— Jim Rappis injured his left heel with 5:57 left in the first half in the 1976 West Regional Semifinal — when the Wildcats beat Jerry Tarkanian and UNLV 114-109 in overtime — but the senior guard continued to play despite being hobbled throughout. He finished with 24 points and 12 assists against the Running Rebels. His 12 assists were more than what UNLV produced as a team. His injury limited him to only four points against UCLA in the West Regional Final, lost by the Wildcats 82-66 at Pauley Pavilion.
— Steve Kerr tore the MCL and ACL in his right knee playing for the U.S. team in the 1986 World Championships in Madrid, forcing him to miss the entire 1986-87 season (of which he would have been a senior). The Wildcats finished 18-12 that season and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament at McKale against UTEP. He returns the following season to lead the Wildcats to their first Final Four trip.
— Richard Jefferson missed 13 games in the 1999-2000 season as a sophomore after fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his right foot three minutes into a game at Stanford on Jan. 8, 2000. He returned a week before the NCAA tournament. Arizona went 27-7 and lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament against Wisconsin.
— Loren Woods missed the last eight games of that season as a junior center, including the loss to Wisconsin, because of a back injury. Woods’ lower back injury kept him out of seven games in 2000-01, the season in which Arizona advanced to the NCAA title game when it lost to Duke.
— Gilbert Arenas’ injured his right shoulder, suffered against Michigan State in the Final Four in 2001, which affected the sophomore guard’s performance against Duke (shooting 4-of-17 from the field) in the national title game.
— Luke Walton missed four games because of an ankle sprain as a junior in 2002-03, a season in which Arizona was ranked No. 1 three separate times and lost in the Elite Eight against Kansas.
— Nic Wise missed four weeks in the 2007-08 season, his sophomore season, after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn left meniscus. The Wildcats went 19-15 that season under interim coach Kevin O’Neill and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament against West Virginia.
Veteran sports reporter Steve Rivera of GOZCATS.com offers his insight to Arizona injuries through the years that have been costly to the Wildcats.
— Kevin Parrom missed the first month of his freshman season of 2009-10 with a stress fracture in his right foot. He missed four games late in the season with the same injury. The Wildcats finished 16-15 and out of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 25 years. Parrom also suffered a broken right foot as a junior on Jan. 28, 2012, and misses the remainder of the 2011-12 season. The Wildcats finish 23-12 with an opening-round loss at home in the NIT against Bucknell.
— Sophomore forward Brandon Ashley suffered ligament damage in his right foot that later required surgery two minutes into the game at Cal on Feb. 1, 2014. He missed the rest of the season. The Wildcats started 21-0 with him in the lineup. Without him, they went 12-5 the rest of the way and lost in the Elite Eight against Wisconsin.
— Freshman forward Ray Smith suffered a season-ending torn right ACL injury in mid-October before this season. He was coming off missing his senior season at Las Vegas High School last year because of a torn ACL in his left injury. Smith reportedly was one of the better players in Arizona’s practice session at the time of his injury.
— Kaleb Tarczewski, a senior center, suffered a left foot injury Nov. 26 against Santa Clara in the Wooden Legacy tournament in Anaheim. He missed most of Arizona’s preseason workouts with a nagging foot injury but played in Arizona’s first four games. He wore a boot on his left foot while the stress reaction and strained muscle healed. Tarczewski missed eight games, a stretch in which Arizona went 7-1 with the only loss coming to Providence a day after suffering his injury against Santa Clara.
— Freshman guard Allonzo Trier, Arizona’s leading scorer (14.8 points a game) and most dangerous scoring threat on the perimeter, broke his right hand during Arizona’s four-overtime loss at USC and is expected to miss at least four weeks. Trier scored in double figures in each of Arizona’s past 10 games and produced 25 points, six rebounds and four assists in 53 minutes against the Trojans. He played the last four minutes of regulation and all four overtimes with the broken hand. The Wildcats are 13-3 overall and 1-2 in the Pac-12 after losing both games at UCLA and USC, each game going down to the last second.