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Arizona basketball: Integrating Allonzo Trier into the lineup will be a “challenge” for the Wildcats

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Arizona’s rotations and team chemistry will change one way or another with Trier back in the fold

NCAA Basketball: Arizona State at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

There are still questions to be answered about Allonzo Trier, but none of them have to do with his playing status anymore.

It was confirmed by the Arizona Wildcats on Friday that the sophomore guard’s suspension is over and he will make his season debut Saturday against the No. 3 UCLA Bruins in Westwood, Calif.

Now, the question becomes: how will Sean Miller integrate Trier into the lineup?

Without Trier, the Wildcats have leaped ahead to a 17-2 record and are undefeated in conference play, winning all six games against Pac-12 foes. And despite some recent issues with his team’s effort, Miller has lauded the Wildcats’ camaraderie this season.

“One of the things this team has right now is very good team chemistry,” Miller said before the team departed for Los Angeles. “I think there’s reasons for it.”

Players have settled into their roles nicely, and the team’s eight-man rotation has been consistent since Parker Jackson-Cartwright returned from a high ankle sprain on Dec. 30.

Oh yeah, Arizona has won 11 games in a row, too.

But now Trier is back in the mix, and the addition will shake up the team’s chemistry one way or another. He is a talented player, but someone’s minutes are going decrease, a player or two will get fewer touches, and a guy that has started all season may be relegated to the bench.

And Saturday — against a top-five team no less — the “very good” chemistry that has propelled Arizona to a strong start will be put to the test.

“It will be a challenge,” Miller told Sporting News about integrating Trier. “Tough first game to welcome him back.”

How many minutes will Trier play? How long will it take him to get comfortable? Will he come off the bench? If he comes off the bench, how many games will it be until he returns to the starting lineup? Will he return to the starting lineup at all? Whose minutes does he take? How will he adjust to the team and vice versa?

These are some of the questions Miller and company will have to answer as the regular season continues and Trier’s season begins.

But considering the sophomore’s status earlier in the season, it’s a good problem to have — and one that Miller doesn’t think will be difficult to solve.

“He has been practicing the entire time,” Miller told Sporting News. “So in a few weeks he should be fine.”


You can follow this author on Twitter at @RKelapire