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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Trier unable to come in clutch for ‘Cats

Courtney Talak

Sophomore guard Allonzo Trier sits upset in the lockeroom after after Wildcats’ 73-71 loss to Xavier Musketeers in the Sweet 16 matchup on Thursday, March 23.

SAN JOSE, Calif.—After missing 19 games, Allonzo Trier was considered to be the missing piece in getting Arizona back to the Final Four, but sometimes pieces have a funny way of not fitting, as Arizona found out in the Wildcats’ loss to Xavier Thursday in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.Trier is a conundrum for head coach Sean Miller. His offensive output makes him a much-needed weapon on a team desperate for scoring, but his defensive ability, especially in the tournament, left a lot to be desired. 

Trier came out slow against Saint Mary’s College just a week ago and picked it up in the second half; the same was the case Thursday. This time, with the game on the line, Trier fell short.

Fifteen second-half points seems like a lot, but with the Wildcats’ season on the brink of elimination, Trier couldn’t come up with the bucket that Arizona needed most: the winning one. 

Several in-and-out shots from Trier kept Arizona from realizing the dream of reaching the Final Four and will keep Trier in the gym the entire summer wondering what might have been.

Perhaps it was the toll the entire season took on the sophomore that led him to look lethargic at times in the tournament. Whatever it was, it came at an inopportune time for the Wildcats.

“It’s been a long year full of emotions, full of stress, full of ups and downs,” Trier said. “Not disappointing because we had a great year with all the things we were able to accomplish.”

Trier was not the only Wildcat to make errors or miss the key play to lead Arizona to victory, but he is the guy who values having the game in his hands, and for that, the burden will fall on his shoulders.

Trier was able to muster 19 points and nine rebounds, but it will be the last miss with eight seconds left that will haunt him. 

Trier was upfront and honest about this being the last game of the season when he faced reporters in the locker room following the game. He has been all season. That is a testament to his need to carry the load for his team.

“Losing the last game of the season with your teammates, being so close to where you wanted to be and your goal,” Trier said, “just knowing you came up short, feeling like it wasn’t supposed to end like this, a lot of emotions bottled up.”

Trier hasn’t made any decisions as to whether he will attempt a run at the NBA, saying he isn’t thinking about that and that he will take some time before he does. As for now, he is Arizona’s best shooter, but it wasn’t enough against Xavier.

Follow Saul Bookman on Twitter.

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