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.
Allonzo Trier Hopes to Lead Arizona Back to a Final Four
NEW YORK — Allonzo Trier will bring instant offense to Arizona next season, but he hopes to bring a run to the Final Four, too.
In Coach Sean Miller’s six years at Arizona, the Wildcats have been to three Elite Eights and one Sweet 16, but never a Final Four.
“Most definitely, I know how important it is to CoachMiller and the Arizona program to get to the Final Four after going to the Elite Eight for so many times in a row and falling short, so that’s definitely going to be a goal of mine and my teammates to try to come in there and take that next step,” Trier told SNY.tv this week at the Jordan Brand Classic.
The 6-foot-4 Trier knows about performing big in crunch time.
He won MVP honors at the Jordan Brand Classic Friday night after going for a game-high 28 points on 8-of-10 shooting as the West Team beat the East Team, 118-116, at Barclays Center. After the game, Trier got his picture taken with Carmelo Anthony, who watched the final minutes of the game courtside. Michael Jordan, Victor Cruz, Victor Oladipo and Worldwide Wes were also in attendance.
“[Carmelo] said he knew me from a while back and he just said he was proud of me,” Trier told SNY.tv following the game. “He just gave me a big congratulations and said it’s a huge a honor to win. It feels great to be up there with him. He doesn’t have to be here but I’m thankful for this opportunity.”
Trier has been a grassroots basketball star since he appeared in The New York Times magazine as a sixth-grader in 2009.
But unlike some other childhood prodigies who fail to live up to the hype and get swallowed up by the culture, the streets or those around them, Trier appears to have come through relatively unscathed.
He averaged 26.3 points this past season at Findlay Prep and went for a game-high 27 points when Findlay lost to Montverde (FL) Academy in the semifinal round of the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals boys basketball tournament earlier this month in New York City.
“He’s a terrific scoring guard, he really hurt us in the national semifinals,” Montverde coach Kevin Boyle, who also coached Trier on the West Team in the Jordan Game, told SNY.tv. “We tried to double him a lot and he was hard to contain in the double. I think he’s got a scorer’s mentality and I think he’s going to bring 15-18 points a game [to Arizona] right away. There’s no question about that.
“Obviously, he’ll have bigs there that he can give the ball to, he’s gotta be willing to do that, distribute. Like most kids here, they tend to dominate the ball a little bit more than they should but they learn quick in college that there’s other good players who can score. I think he’ll be a terrific player there. He has a chance to be an excellent pro.”
Arizona is losing Brandon Ashley, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and likely Stanley Johnson to the NBA Draft, but they return 7-footers Kaleb Tarczewski and Dusan Ristic, along with guard Gabe York.
They will add the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation, highlighted by Trier, combo guard Justin Simon, small forward Ray Smith and big man Chance Comanche. They also add JUCO transfer Kadeem Allen.
“I’m definitely gong to spend some time at the one but what I’m going to bring most to the team is scoring and offensive firepower and things like that which is something they struggled with last year in a big way,” Trier said. “So I’ll step in right away and have a big roll in that area.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.