A man on a mission
Arizona guard Allonzo Trier is back, this time for a full season, as he prepares to place Wildcats back atop the college basketball world
Allonzo Trier is determined to prove to himself, and to the Wildcat faithful, that he indeed made the right decision to return for his junior year to lead the Wildcats past the Elite Eight for the first time under head coach Sean Miller.
Arizona has been in the headlines as of late for all the wrong reasons. Despite that, the Wildcats will look to their leading scorer in 2016 to pick up where he left off.
Due to testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs in the preseason of his sophomore year, Trier missed the first 19 games before the NCAA ruled him eligible to return in January as the Wildcats took on No. 3 UCLA in Los Angeles. Trier finished with 12 points and career highs in both rebounds, with seven, and assists, with four. The Wildcats would go on to win the game 96-85.
In his second year at Arizona, Trier started in 13 games, while coming off the bench the other five. He was named Most Outstanding Player of the Pac-12 Tournament, All-Tournament Team member and Second Team All Pac-12. Trier led the Wildcats with 17.2 points per game in the 18 games he played and finished the season averaging 20.7 points, five rebounds and 3.3 assists.
“Every time I take the court to play basketball I’m motivated,” Trier said. “I love the game, so I’m going to work at it, continue to try to perfect my craft the best I can so I can be the best player I can be.”
The Seattle native is not shy about being the “go-to” player for Arizona. Trier scored 28 points, setting his new career high against the Bruins shooting an efficient 11-14 from the field back on Feb. 21. Anyone who happens to follow Trier on social media is well aware he’s a Kobe Bryant fan. Like Bryant, Trier can play multiple positions; outside of being a shooting guard, he’s capable of playing point guard when called upon.
“In my mind he’s positioned himself to be one of the best at what he does,” Miller said. “He’s been through his fair share of adversity. Our hope together is he can have one of those seasons that are memorable but where you can string it together from start to finish.”
To a casual basketball fan, Arizona may not be a program that has the talent past or present such as a Duke or a Kentucky. But make no mistake about it, the Wildcats have had their fair share of talent come in and out of Tucson.
If Trier continues to put up numbers his junior year like he did as a sophomore, there is no reason why his name won’t be mentioned with the likes of Miles Simon (Final Four MVP), Jason “the jet” Terry or Mike Bibby — all guards who, by the way, won the National Championship in ’97.
“Just looking forward to having a great year with this team, continue to build, continue to be a leader,” Trier said.
Trier will look to make his own legacy and lead the ‘Cats back to a National Championship and accomplish something the program has not done in 20 years.
“I want to come back a better player every year,” Trier said. “I’m going to continue to work at this game because I love it.”
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