Arizona Wildcats sophomore guard Allonzo Trier has been named to the Jerry West Award watch list, recognizing the nation’s top shooting guards, it was announced Tuesday.
Trier was one of 20 candidates, and here is the complete list:
Trier, who averaged 14.8 points per game as a freshman last season, is expected to take a step forward in his second year in Tucson.
“I think he’ll be one of the best guards in the country and certainly one of the best in the Pac-12 this year,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said on media day. “He was tremendous last year as a freshman. He’ll add to that if healthy. I think he could have a big, big year. He’s earned it.”
By “earned it,” Miller means Trier’s improvement will be a product of his relentless work ethic. Trier recently won the gold practice jersey and can always be spotted in the gym.
“[He] is the hardest worker I’ve ever had,” Miller said. “He came back for all the right reasons. Just watching him in the gym, I have never been around a player that I’ve seen in the gym more than him. He has been there in the evening, in the morning, we practice he’ll come back at night, on the weekends...Allonzo has had a tremendous offseason.”
That said, the favorite for the Jerry West Award is likely Duke’s Grayson Allen, who many feel could take home the Naismith Award for the best collegiate player.
Allen, now a junior, averaged 21.6 points per game as a sophomore in 2015-16.
Arizona won’t face Allen this season (barring an NCAA Tournament matchup) but it will face four of the candidates on the watch list, including Michigan State’s Eron Harris, Gonzaga’s Jordan Mathews (previously at Cal), Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey, and UCLA’s Isaac Hamilton.
Trier and Arizona open the season against Harris and Michigan State on Nov. 11 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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