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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Column: Allonzo Trier return marks change of fortune for Arizona

Arizona+guard+Allonzo+Trier+%2811%29+shoots+over+a+USC+player+in+McKale+Center+on+Sunday%2C+Feb.+14.+Trier+announced+Monday+that+he+will+return+to+the+program+for+his+sophomore+season.
Tyler Baker
Arizona guard Allonzo Trier (11) shoots over a USC player in McKale Center on Sunday, Feb. 14. Trier announced Monday that he will return to the program for his sophomore season.

Mondays are generally regarded as the worst day of the week. The weekend comes to a close and everyone has to go back to work or school.

While it might not be everyone’s favorite day of the week, it’s sure becoming the most eventful day of the week for Arizona’s basketball offseason.

Exactly one week removed from the news of freshman guard Justin Simon transferring, freshman star Allonzo Trier announced he is returning to the Wildcats for his sophomore season.

Trier, an All-Pac-12 Conference Freshman Team selection, played in 27 games this season for the Wildcats, starting in 21 of them and averaging 14.8 points and 3.3 rebounds.

His return continues the saga of preparations head coach Sean Miller has been making for next season. Trier took a few games to get settled in at Arizona, but once he did, he ran with the opportunity as a dynamic scorer that could spot up and create his own shot off the dribble, while also possessing a strong ability to drive to the basket.

“I am really excited about the quest to become a more complete player,” Trier said in a statement to Arizona Athletics. “I am also excited to develop as a leader and to lock arms with my teammates while competing for championships.”

His defense noticeably improved as the season went on. Some work is needed to stop opponents from driving, but his ability to shut down the perimeter improved.

Trier’s return also keeps depth at that 2-3 spot the Wildcats have been loading up on recently. With five-star recruits Kobi Simmons and Rawle Alkins already bound for Tucson, Trier will have another season in the desert to blossom.

“I am ecstatic about Allonzo’s decision to return to school for his sophomore year,” Miller said. “I believe he will become one of college basketball’s elite players next season.”

While it may seem silly to some that he passed up the NBA, Trier returning for his sophomore year couldn’t be a bigger blessing to the Wildcats.

Arizona will be one of the youngest teams in the country next season. Having graduated five seniors this year, Kadeem Allen and Trey Mason will be the only seniors next season. Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Dusan Ristic will be the only juniors.

The squad will be young, but a returning Trier brings some much needed experience into the roster. He has hit big shots at clutch moments for Arizona, most notably against USC with a broken hand, and he knows the sting of the early exit from the NCAA Tournament.

If anyone will have something to prove next season, Trier is your guy.

“During our conversations, Allonzo shared his desire to be a leader on a championship team and to improve his overall game,” Miller said. “By doing so, he puts himself in the best position possible for a very successful NBA future. I have not been around a player that works harder at the game or loves it more than he does.”

Had he had a full healthy season, Trier might have been an even more impressive scoring threat for Arizona. With a full offseason to work on his game, he could be one of the most dynamic scorers in the Pac-12 and even college basketball next year.

Trier has a common interest widely shared around Tucson.

“I love being at the [UA] and can’t wait for next season to begin,” he said.

Neither can we, Allonzo, neither can we.


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