I’m not going out on a limb as I type this, but I firmly believe Arizona’s Allonzo Trier is sitting on huge season.
Points. Leadership. And, um, assists. Yes, assists. He’ll be the complete player I know he has in him.
And not that he’s due given what has gone on in his career here at Arizona, but he’s capable and now a veteran of the Wildcats.
It’s a season Arizona fans have been waiting for since the basketball prodigy arrived on campus more than two years ago. As Sean Miller said recently, “he’s positioned himself to be one of the very best at what he does.”
People – and voters – have noticed. He was named a preseason Associated Press All-American this week.
“Our hope together is that he can have one of those seasons where he can string it together from start to finish,” Miller said.
It would be a first for the athletic junior who has played in just 45 games the last two years, after playing just 27 in his first season after a hand injury midway through his freshman season. And just 18 games last season after the NCAA said he was ineligible after unwittingly taking a performance enhancing drug before the season. In late January, he was ruled eligible, returning to lead Arizona in scoring with 17.2 points per game.
“We have our fingers crossed that he has an opportunity where he has a start-to-finish year,” Miller said. “Where he’s healthy and he’s learning multiple positions.”
As Miller put it, Trier has had his “fair share of adversity.”
Now, apparently free and clear to have a solid year, that’s what I’m expecting: a solid season, one that will likely see him leave for the NBA after this season. Until then … enjoy.
And yet, he says he has nothing to prove, given what’s happened to him the last couple of years. He is who he is: a basketball player who works hard and hopes to get better.
“What we can prove is that we can win a national championship, which we are good enough to do,” Trier said. “We have a great coach who is leading us and if we follow suit of him, good things will happen for us.”
And they should, given Arizona is so loaded. But Trier will be the team’s cornerstone with Andre Ayton being the centerpiece. Miller has already said Trier has long been a “natural scorer” but has now become a better scorer. He’ll be asked to be a playmaker this season, in addition to being the key scorer on the perimeter. And he’s expected to be an even better defender.
Miller has said he expects Trier to have a very good season.
I agree. It’s what we’ve been expecting.
“He’s one of the best in college basketball and he’s proven it by making several USA teams and winning gold medals as a member of those teams,” Miller said.
Miller often says he’s never been associated with some more who wants to be great and who puts in the work.
“He’s always been wired to score and I’ve challenged him on defense,” Miller said.
What’s important is Trier “never fights coaching” and “if you judged him when he first got here, he’s a lot better and a lot smarter and that will show through.”