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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Allonzo Trier returns at right time for ‘Cats

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Mike Christy
Arizona Wildcats guard Allonzo Trier (11) drives on Washington Huskies forward Noah Dickerson (15) during the first half of the No. 23 University of Arizona Wildcats vs. University of Washington Huskies men’s college basketball game at Alaska Airlines.

Allonzo Trier woke up Saturday morning in a good mood.

The freshman knew that in a mere couple of hours, he’d walk into Alaskan Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, slip off his warm-up gear, and slip on his No. 11 jersey for live game action.

He had tested out his right hand during full-contact practice on Friday and felt no apparent pain.

He’d given himself the green light by that night.

Trier’s broken hand healed up on the quick side of the four-to-six-week timetable.

“They gave me the go ahead that it was going to be fine, so I just had to live if anything bad happened,” Trier said after Arizona’s 77-72 win over Washington on Saturday.

In an ill-starred season that has featured numerous injuries and absences for the Wildcats, Trier’s speedy recovery served as a possible shift of fate. Arizona head coach Sean Miller certainly appreciated Trier’s return to the team. The UA’s exhausted backcourt of Kadeem Allen, Parker

Jackson-Cartwright and Gabe York could only hold so much weight.

Allen entered the weekend coming off an illness and wasn’t playing at full battery Saturday, according to Miller. Thus, the Wildcats didn’t just want Trier back by the Washington matchup.

They practically needed him there.

“When a kid gets hurt, it’s like everybody just forgets,” Miller said. “Why aren’t you scoring or why are you losing? It’s as if you forget a real key player going down affects everything and everybody.”

When Trier did enter the Wildcats’ contest in Seattle on Saturday, it understandably took the freshman guard a bit of time to readjust.

Trier missed his first look and picked up three fouls by the final minute of the first half. But he sparked Arizona’s biggest run of the half when he stole a Washington inbound pass and turned it into a fast-break dunk to steal momentum about nine minutes before the half.

Trier found himself isolated at the top of the perimeter with the shot clock winding down on the next possession. The former McDonald’s All-American released a high-arching shot just over the outstretched arm of Washington’s Marquesse Chriss to put the Wildcats up two.

“I just looked at him and I was like, ‘man, it’s great to have him back,’” teammate Ryan Anderson said.

Trier’s debut, though, didn’t go as well as he would have liked.

He fouled out of the game with 6:10 remaining after collecting just 16 minutes of action. Trier questioned a couple of the calls against him, but those same calls might go in his favor the rest of the season.

The Wildcats, after all, will play five of their last seven conference games in McKale Center, a place where they’re still the odds-on favorite to walk out victorious on any given night.

Trier will have plenty of opportunities over the next month to impress the home crowd, even if he left his hometown with a bit of dissatisfaction.

“I knew I wasn’t going to hit the ground running full speed and be great [Saturday],” Trier said. “But I did what I could to give us a little bit of a boost.”


Follow Ezra Amacher on Twitter.


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