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PED ineligibility hits Trier again; what does this mean for Arizona?

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Simon Asher | The Daily Wildcat Allonzo Trier steps back to fake out a LSBU defender. Trier had 15 points.

Arizona junior guard Allonzo Trier is one of the most talented college basketball players in the country — but he isn’t allowed inside of the painted lines in McKale Center during game days. The 6-foot-5 junior has been named indefinitely ineligible by the NCAA for a “trace amount” of the drug Ostarine, which is ingested by athletes to build lean muscle mass. It was found in Trier’s system during his latest NCAA administered drug test in late January, according to multiple reports. It also happens to be the same PED that forced the 22-year-old slasher to sit out the first 19 games in last year’s campaign.

The re-emergence of the illegal substance was more than a year after the first failed test. Trier’s stepfather allegedly mixed the illegal substance into a drink of Trier’s, without his knowledge, to help him recover after a car accident in the summer of 2016. The explanation Trier’s attorney used to explain why the drug has reappeared was that Trier was dehydrated when he took the drug test.

Right when Trier seemed to have escaped from the overwhelming cloud of uncertainty and idleness, he finds himself back in street clothes. He has transformed from one of the Pac-12’s most lethal players to the Wildcat’s loudest cheerleader.

Right as Arizona looked to gain considerable momentum heading into postseason play, with a regular season conference title on the horizon, the wheels have come completely off for the Wildcats; not only is Trier being subjected to street clothes, but program integrity is disintegrating with the release of a scathing and controversial report by ESPN, saying that Arizona head coach Sean Miller had been caught on a wiretap discussing an alleged $100,000 payment to recruit a player. That led to Lorenzo Romar’s Arizona head coaching debut, as Miller stepped aside for the game in Eugene to limit the seemingly unending media carnage.

With the Wildcats a game or two away from Arizona’s first back-to-back conference titles since Damon Stoudamire was leading the point for Lute Olson in the early 1990s, the mood around campus couldn’t feel any bleaker. A program on the cusp of something it hasn’t done since its greatest coach ever was in his prime is also in its darkest days. 

There are fears of an incoming death penalty, even though many believe Arizona has built a program over the last 30 years that will stand strong no matter the storms. 

Allonzo Trier is the key to the morale rollercoaster. If his appeal process fails, Arizona fans can kiss their postseason goals goodbye. It would be the longest offseason for Wildcat fans in decades.

Even with Deandre Ayton, the potential No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, dressed in Arizona colors, the Wildcats don’t have enough firepower outside of their two standouts to make a considerable push in both the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments.

If Trier’s appeal process goes through, however, Arizona is in business. Moving forward with a chip the size of Florida on their shoulder, the Wildcats will be looking to prove a lot of people wrong in the coming weeks. And with their second leading scorer in hand, who is averaging just a hair under 20 points a game, Arizona would be on a shortlist of teams you don’t want to face in March.



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