The last thing Allonzo Trier wanted to do over the summer was sit in front of a TV and watch the NBA draft. But he did … for a bit. Likely the time it takes for him to hit to catch-and-shoot a 3-pointer.
“I left in the middle (of it), I wasn’t very excited about it,” said Trier, Arizona’s sophomore star in-waiting. “It was a tough time because I knew I could have been there. Then watching some of the guys get drafted seeing I could have been in that position, you know, it was tough. (Instead) I went to the gym.”
And that’s pretty much where he lived and breathed all summer. Trier, a 6-foot-5 guard/shooter, has long been known as being a a gym rat but now he’s just a better, newer version. He’s down to five percent body fat, leaner and “more athlete,” he said.
“It’ll pay off this season,” he said.
Last season, he wasn’t half bad.
In fact, he was pretty much as good as advertised most the season, but his broken right hand slowed him. He averaged 14.8 points and 3.3 rebounds a game. He shot 31 percent from the 3-point line.
“I think I had a great year for a freshman,” he said. “It’s not easy to come in and do some of the things I did. (But) we didn’t finish the way we wanted to as a team.”
So, he’s back – in part to get better and to help UA win a title.
Upon Trier’s decision to return for his sophomore year, Sean Miller said he was “ecstatic about Allonzo’s decision “ adding that he believed Trier would become “one of college basketball’s elite players” for 2016-17.
He then added no one has ever worked harder than Trier at getting better.
Nothing has changed in months.
“He wears our GAs (grad assistants) and managers out,” Miller said. “There are only an X number of hours our staff can be around him in working out but that doesn’t stop him for working extra.”
How much was he in the gym? He didn’t keep track.
“Hours, hours and I’d be back for a second time (later in the day),” he said. “I dedicated a lot of my summer in being in here (gym) when I could have been at home or traveling.”
What did he concentrate on?
“Shots, different stuff … working on doing the right stuff,” he said.
Miller said Trier is more mature off the court “and has a way of understanding the importance of being more of a leader, being vocal and coming back for another year.”
Miller made sure to say Trier, UA’s best returning player who can score and will likely be THE guy with that this year, “was tremendous last year as a freshman and he’ll add to that, if healthy, this year. He’ll have a big year. He’s earned it.”
More importantly, he’s become “contagious” to his teammates in terms of work ethic and determination, hoping to have the impact he knows he can have.
“I returned to school because I wanted to prove some things,” he said. “I trust the plan that Coach Miller has for me. He has great trust in me as well as a player. That was my reason to return to school.”
So next summer maybe, just maybe, the NBA draft will be a good one to watch.
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