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Ayton and Trier bond on and off the court

Pac-12 Champ (17 of 20)
Simon Asher | The Daily Wildcat From left to right: Deandre Ayton, Allonzo Trier, and Brandon Randolph celebrate the championship victory over USC in the Championship game at the 2018 Pac-12 Tournament on Saturday, March 10 in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

Arizona basketball stars Allonzo Trier and Deandre Ayton have apartment rooms situated right next to each other. On any given night, the duo can be found going out to eat together or at home playing video games. In other words, they are always around each other. 

While the two have mastered video games together, most notably “NBA 2K” and “Fortnite,” Ayton and Trier have also formed a remarkable bond on the court.

Trier describes the two’s connection as “the closest on the team.”

The friendship between two of Arizona’s top players started long before they were wreaking havoc on opposing defenses.

When summer preseason rankings were being released, Trier and Ayton found their names plastered to every “Best Duos” and “Top College Players” article imaginable. Heck, with a 7-foot-1, 260-pound freshman being paired with already one of the best shooting guards in college basketball, it’s easy to see why their names were everywhere before they even stepped on the court together. 

That kind of attention can be a dangerous title to live up to, but it only fueled them.

“That brought even more of a connection,” Ayton said. “We try to really, you know, make that something.”

The two complement each other’s games like peanut butter and jelly — Ayton with his dominant moves around the basket and Trier lighting it up from deep. Over the course of the season, the duo have averaged nearly 40 points per game together. 

In recent weeks, it’s become more of a Batman and Robin duo with Ayton donning the role of the Dark Knight. Ayton, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, put on a historic performance in the Pac-12 Tournament en route to being named Most Outstanding Player in the tournament. 

But if it wasn’t for a pep-talk from Trier, the back-to-back 32-point outbursts from the freshman may not have even happened. After only scoring 10 points on a poor shooting performance against Colorado in the quarterfinal matchup, Ayton admitted he was nervous to Trier. Not an easy thing for arguably the best player in college basketball to own up to. 

The junior guard helped Ayton calm down, and the Bahamian big man owned the rest of the tournament. 

“It’s a blessing to your team, and it gives you a lot of help when you have a guy like that,” Trier said. 

As Arizona heads into March Madness, the duo are as in-sync as ever on the basketball court. A possession after Rawle Alkins slammed home one of the most ferocious dunks all season versus USC in the championship game, Trier threw a lob pass from three feet behind the 3-point line all the way to the rim, where his partner in crime, Ayton, instinctively jumped to get the ball for an alley-oop and let out a ferocious roar. 

“He’s gonna find you; he’s really smart,” Ayton said of Trier. “We feed off each other’s game.”

There might not be a lot of time for playing video games during the rigorous schedule of March Madness, but the connection between Ayton and Trier can help them put up video game-like stats in the coming days.


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