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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Allonzo Trier: From ‘Iso Zo’ to just ‘Zo’

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Simon Asher

Allonzo Trier (35) jogs towards the UA bench during a time out, Jan. 21. 

During halftime of the matchup between USC and No. 4 Arizona, one of the questions of the “get to know your Wildcat” that featured asked Allonzo Trier “What was your childhood nickname?”

“Iso,” Trier said.

That nickname fits, because that’s the style of play Trier plays. The “give me the ball on the wing, let me hold it while everyone clears the way and watch me go to the rack” attitude. This leads to driving in the lane to either score a layup or at least draw contact and take a trip to the free throw line.

Either or, Trier is focused on getting two points and he’s always had that part of his game in the arsenal, but the sophomore guard has developed a new dimension to his game—the 3-pointer.

Against the Trojans, Tried tied a career-high with four 3-pointers and shot 66.7 percent from beyond the arc. Being 10 games in, Trier is starting to find some traction from everywhere on the floor and he finished Thursday with a season-high 25 points.

“As a coach, you have to know your players. Allonzo is a really improved 3-point shooter,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. “It’s just a path this year, missing 19 games. It’s taken him a little bit of time to show how improved he is, specifically from thee. He did a really good job out there, especially on offense.”

Trier missed 19 games this season for failing a performance-enhancing drug test and didn’t come back until the Wildcats played at UCLA. Is there any chance Trier calls his suspension a blessing?

“No especially when you only play 10-out-30 [games] so of course I’m not where I want to be,” Trier said. “It’s not about that. It’s about doing what’s best for the team and how can I make the impact to help these guys.”

He didn’t come back until the biggest game of the season and now as the end nears in conference play, Trier is settling in more and molding into the guard that was expected.

“Every game allows me to get more comfortable,” Trier said. “It’s hard to gauge, but I just got to go out there and compete hard for my team and do what’s right every time I step on the court.”

Even Miller said Trier’s offensive production increased from last year. Trier shot 36 percent from 3-point range in 2016 and has been 30 percent through the first eight games this season.

“He was streaky a year ago. He’s a really good 3-point shooter right now and it’s great to see that percentage turn for him,” Miller said.

The past two games, Trier has shot 8-for-11 from 3-pointer and not only is he an improved deep-range shooter, but getting rebounds has been a pleasant surprise for Arizona. Last season he averaged 3 rebounds per game and those numbers jumped up to five boards this season.

“I don’t know if there’s a guard that’s better at rebounding than him,” Miller said.

It seems like a perfect game of chess, because Arizona is healthy and Trier being arguably the team’s most crucial player is hitting fifth gear just in time for March Madness. However, the last time the Wildcats were on primetime national television, they were embarrassed by Oregon. With No. 5 UCLA coming to town Saturday in a rematch for what could clinch the Pac-12 regular season title, Trier’s game will have to be turned another notch if he wants to keep the success flow going.

“We respect them a lot and we’re ready for Saturday,” Trier said.


Follow Justin Spears on Twitter. 


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