Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Arizona’s Allonzo Trier Ruled Eligible, Available Against UCLA
Look out for Arizona.
The No. 14 Wildcats (17-2) got a major boost on Friday when the NCAA ruled that sophomore shooting guard Allonzo Trier had been ruled eligible immediately and will be available for Saturday’s Pac-12 showdown with No. 3 UCLA (19-1). The teams will square off at 4 p.m. EST on CBS.
Trier failed a test for performance-enhancing drugs back in the preseason, leading to him to getting suspended for Arizona’s first 19 games. He appealed the decision and won the appeal, but the NCAA prohibited him from playing until the drug was completely out of his system. He has been allowed to practice and travel with the team.
A source close to Trier confirmed to ZAGSBLOG an ESPN report that Trier “was in a serious car accident over the summer, and the Trier camp told the NCAA that someone close to his family gave him the drug — without his knowledge — to help him recover from injuries suffered in the accident.”
“I have never knowingly taken a banned substance,” Trier said in a statement earlier this week. “After finding out that I was given a banned substance by a well-intentioned, but misguided person not associated with the University after an injury, I presented this information to the NCAA. The NCAA agreed that I had no knowledge of receiving the substance and my eligibility was restored. Although I can practice and travel with the team, I am not allowed to resume playing in games until the substance completely leaves my body even at a trace amount. Unfortunately, I am unsure of when that time will be, but I hope it is soon.”
As a freshman last year, the 6-foot-5 Trier averaged 14.8 points per game en route to being selected to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. He is currently projected as a late second-round selection (57th overall) in the 2017 NBA Draft, per DraftExpress.
His addition should provide a major boost to a team that has performed well despite losing him, wing Ray Smith (ACL) and shooting guard Terrance Ferguson, who chose to play in Australia instead of attending Arizona.
The Wildcats already feature 6-10 power forward Lauri Markkanen, the projected No. 9 pick in this year’s draft, and freshmen guards Kobi Simmons and Rawle Alkins, projected second-round picks in 2018.
Arizona would now appear poised to make a major run in March.
And oh by the way, the Final Four is in Phoenix.
Follow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd like ZAGS on Facebook
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.