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LOS ANGELES \u2013 Allonzo Trier has a drug testing schedule of every 7-10 days and won\u2019t be tested again until next week, according to the Pac-12 Networks\u2019 Lewis Johnson, meaning he\u2019ll be out again on Saturday when the Wildcats play at UCLA.

Johnson revealed the testing schedule during Thursday\u2019s UA-USC broadcast.

However, when I asked UA coach Sean Miller after Thursday's game if he knew of a testing schedule now that Johnson had mentioned one, Miller said \"we don't.\"

Miller went on to say that he can\u2019t comment further as per the UA statement quoting Trier saying he has asked UA not to say anything further.

The statement did not say what drug Trier took, what the injury was he sustained that prompted him to take it, how and by whom it was administered and how often he is being tested.

Kevin O'Neill is\u00a0among those wondering\u00a0about what has been in Trier's system so long.


The Wildcats won their 11th straight game and improved to 17-2 on Thursday, yet exited their Galen Center locker room in a manner that suggested they lost. Dusan Ristic said they had an extended conversation after the game about letting down in the second half.

Miller offered a version of the same talk with the media afterward, having seen his defense give up 50 percent or more shooting in the second half for the third straight game.

Texas A&M, Colorado, ASU and now USC have all outscored the Wildcats in the second half while preventing UA from running away from those games.

\u201cThis isn\u2019t the first time a team went on a 30-11 run,\u201d Miller said. \u201cI think it\u2019s about the sixth time. We\u2019ve hung on like this a number of times and it\u2019s really a bad sign because as thrilled as we are to win -- they\u2019re a quality team -- if you just continue to see guys go on a 40-10, 30-8, 20-0, 16-2 run you have to address it as a coach and what I\u2019m gonna start doing is sitting a couple of guys and then everybody\u2019s going to know he\u2019s not giving effort, he\u2019s not playing hard enough.

\u201cBecause the one thing you can control as a team is your effort level. We gave up on our effort level too many times in the second half \u2026 we should be like 10-9 (with this problem). We\u2019re 17-2 and we give up these runs. So we don\u2019t have time to talk a lot about it because we\u2019re playing UCLA at 1 o\u2019clock, but if we do that against UCLA they will beat us by 30 points. That\u2019s one thing I do know.\u201d


You know something\u2019s really bugging Miller when he fields a question about something completely different and transitions into the topic that he's not happy about.

Here\u2019s how he responded to a question about whether it was a focus to get Lauri Markkanen the ball in crucial moments:

\u201cYou have to really be a bad coach to not give him the ball in critical moments just because he\u2019s a great free throw shooter, a really good 3-point shooter, and from a decision-making standpoint, he rarely turns it over, and he\u2019s physical,\u201d Miller said. \"He can score from two. It\u2019s smart to put him in position to have the ball.

\u201cThere are some other guys who can certainly deliver. I really wasn\u2019t worried about our offense. Our offense was better in the second half than in the first. We got the ball inside more than we got to the foul line more. We attacked their zone with much more confidence. But while we were doing that, they went on the run they did in large part because if you don't defend them with your heart and soul being connected together they\u2019re too good of a team.

\u201cThey\u2019re too well coached, they have too many good players and they\u2019re gonna make a run. And, again, if I\u2019m only talking about one team, it\u2019s not going to be a problem. I can name seven teams, eight, maybe nine, where we might have been up 20, 10. When you\u2019re on the road up 21, a lot of good things are happening. To make that come down to a one-possession game for about the seventh or eighth time is beyond concerning and we have to address it.

\u201cWhen we have a big lead, we pull off the accelerator. We don\u2019t have 11 guys who are playing right now so we\u2019re kind of at the mercy of a guy saying, `Hey, look you have to finish, you have to be the same guy you were in the first half.' Tonight we had a hard time again and we did the exact same thing against Arizona State. We gotta move on to UCLA but UCLA may be the team to really teach us a lesson abut how important it is to be in the game for 40 minute because they\u2019re so good on offense.\u201d


Rawle Alkins hit 3 of 6 3-pointers and added a block and a steal, but still had moments of frustration Thursday. He shot 3 for 11 from the field, with four rebounds and three turnovers to his two assists.

\u201cI think he got a little down because he had some layups and finishes that he missed and he\u2019s missed a couple here in the last couple of games,\u201d Miller said. \u201cI think sometimes when you\u2019re a young player like that you can let it bother you, and I\u2019m telling him we wouldn\u2019t be 17-2 without him.

\u201cThen there are some things he can learn from. (As with) Kobi (Simmons) and Lauri, I know it\u2019s well documented, but they mean a lot to our team, sometimes it\u2019s actually not fair. They\u2019re almost not allowed to be freshman. You have to treat them as a senior. Because the role they have on our team is that. That\u2019s part of what I\u2019m talking about.\u201d


Hard to say Markkanen\u2019s 23 point on 8-for-12 shooting had anything to do with his new hairstyle, which featured a buzz cut on the sides with short curls on top.

After all, Markkanen had 30 on 12-for-18 shooting against ASU.

What it was about: The old look \"was getting out of hand,\u201d Markkanen said.


Isaac Hamilton made nine 3-pointers to help UCLA rout ASU 102-88.


Oregon's Dillon Brooks missed the entire second half of the Ducks' win over Cal, and Oregon wouldn't say if he might have reinjured his foot.


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be honored at the UA-UCLA game for receiving a Presidential Medal of Freedom

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LOS ANGELES \u2013 After his Arizona Wildcats nearly melted down again Thursday, this time when a 23-point lead shrunk to just three, coach Sean Miller said he might start benching those with sagging motivation.

The problem, as revealed yet again when the Wildcats hung on to beat USC 73-66 at Galen Center, is that he has only three reserve scholarship guys to turn to. Especially since Allonzo Trier was unavailable yet again Thursday and likely won\u2019t be Saturday at UCLA either.

Trier admitted to a positive PED test Wednesday and said he can\u2019t return until he tests clean, having missed 19 games already. During Thursday\u2019s broadcast, the Pac-12 Networks\u2019 Lewis Johnson said that Trier won\u2019t be tested again until next week.

Johnson\u2019s statement suggests Trier is out for the UA-UCLA showdown on Saturday, though Miller said UA doesn\u2019t have a testing schedule and largely declined further comment.

\u201cI\u2019d like to elaborate on that but I can\u2019t, as much as I would like to,\u201d Miller said. \u201cAnd it\u2019s not even that we\u2019re trying to hide anything. It\u2019s that it\u2019s the situation. We have our fingers crossed that at some point he\u2019ll join us but I really don\u2019t know any more than you in terms of when that will be. We\u2019re just hopeful.\u201d

Whatever the case, a Trier absence at UCLA means the Wildcats are stuck with the same eight players, who were largely bailed out Thursday when Lauri Markkanen scored 23 points that included a banked-in 3-pointer late in the shot clock with 37 seconds left.

\u201cWe had about 14 or 15 things go wrong in a row, but got lucky,\u201d Miller said. \u201cLauri\u2019s a great player but he made a lucky shot.\u201d

The Wildcats led just 67-64 entering the final minute, with USC shooting 50 percent for the second half, though Markkanen\u2019s 3-pointer expanded UA\u2019s lead to 70-64 and the Wildcats hung on from there.

\u201cIt was a broken play so I saw I should shoot it,\u201d Markkanen said. \u201cI\u2019ve made those shots before and I was confident.\u201d

Markkanen\u2019s confident play was one of the few things the Wildcats had going down the stretch.

While Arizona held a 22-point lead as late as with 11:01 left, 56-34, the Trojans gradually cut the lead down in large part because of USC guard Elijah Stewart\u2019s hot shooting and open looks.

Stewart was only 2 of 7 from the field and made just 1 of 4 3-pointers in the first half, but hit four three-pointers in the middle of the second half to help USC cut the UA lead into single digits.

Stewart later made a three-point play with 3:40 left to cut it to 64-57, and after Rawle Alkins fouled De\u2019Anthony Melton behind the 3-point line with 2:36 left, Melton hit all three ensuing free throws to make it 65-60. Shaqquan Aaron later made two free throws to cut it to 67-64.

Even though the Wildcats hung on at the end, Miller and center Dusan Ristic alike exited the locker room acting as if the game was a UA loss.

After all, they had let up late in wins over Texas A&M, ASU and Colorado, and had the same thing happen Thursday just as they were entering their toughest road trip of the season. UA (17-2 overall and 6-0 in the Pac-12) will face UCLA on Saturday at 2 p.m.

\u201cWe just had a long conversation about this,\u201d Ristic said of the Wildcats\u2019 postgame locker room scene. \u201cThis is not the first time this has happened. We\u2019ve got to learn from this.\u201d

The difference was starker Thursday than it had been before. In the first half, Arizona held the Trojans to just 25.8 percent shooting and took a 29-19 halftime lead, before USC shot 50 percent in the final 20 minutes.

Even early in the second half, Arizona kept jumping on the Trojans. USC shot just 1 of 4 and had four turnovers through the first four minutes after halftime, when UA took a 42-21 lead.

Then it all, almost, fell apart.

Miller shuddered to think about what a similarly bipolar effort would create on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion.

\u201cIt\u2019s a pattern that we have to break,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s my job to break it. If we have to take a loss because guys have to learn we just can\u2019t pick and choose how hard we want to play, then we\u2019ll do that.\u201d

Later Miller tried to look at the big picture, but still couldn\u2019t get his mind off the second half.

\u201cWe\u2019re 17-2 overall and 6-0 in the Pac-12, I get it,\u201d Miller said. \u201cBut I can only go on what I just saw and it\u2019s concerning. It only gets tougher from here as the calendar gets ready to turn to February.\u201d

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LOS ANGELES \u2013

Let\u2019s say you have 70 possessions in a college basketball game, like the one Thursday night at USC\u2019s Galen Center.

You miss 35 shots. You commit 10 turnovers.

That means you\u2019ve got to make your bread in about 25 possessions. The margin for error is sometimes something as simple as someone banking in a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock with 33 seconds remaining.

Someone like Lauri Markkanen.

\u201cIt was a backbreaker,\u201d said USC coach Andy Enfeld.

Trojan guard Jordan McLaughlin had another description.

\u201cIt was a heartbreaker.\u201d

It was both. Arizona beat the Trojans 73-66 because Markkanen had \u201cjaata suonissa\u201d.

That\u2019s Finnish for \u201cice in veins.\u201d

It was \u201ckytkin.\u201d

That\u2019s Finnish for \u201cclutch.\u201d

In the analytics that so dominate all sports, especially college basketball, the kenpom.com metrics list a factor called \u201cluck.\u201d Nothing complicated about that.

Kenpom.com ranked USC No. 5 of 351 college basketball teams in the luck factor entering Thursday\u2019s game. I\u2019m not sure how kenpom.com computes the luck category, but it probably has something to do with the Trojans beating Texas A&M, SMU, BYU, Troy, Oregon State and Wyoming by single digits.

On Thursday, USC\u2019s luck changed.

Markkanen banked in a 22-footer as the shot clock ran dangerously close to 0:0 with Arizona fading into the sunset, barely clinging to a 67-64 lead.

Arizona entered the game ranked as the No. 152nd luckiest team in college basketball and it only climbed to No. 136 after beating the Trojans. Maybe that\u2019s because the Wildcats have had to squirm to close out sloppy victories over Cal, Utah, Colorado and now USC since the Pac-12 season began.

It\u2019s not luck. It\u2019s more like survival.

Surely Arizona would be No. 1 in kenpom.com\u2019s survival metric, if he ever invents one.

The reactions from each team\u2019s locker rooms was fully different Thursday.

Enfeld was so befuddled he argued that Markkanen\u2019s winning 3-pointer came about a minute earlier, or with about 1:40 on the clock.

\u201cThat was a huge shot,\u201d he said. \u201cWe played great defense and we had all the momentum. I thought we could win the game.\u201d

Instead it was a piece of \u201conni.\u201d That\u2019s Finnish for \u201cluck.\u201d

\u201cHe\u2019d been making shots all night,\u201d said McLaughlin. \u201cIt was a tough shot. Credit to him.\u201d

Miller kept the Wildcats in their locker room for such an extended period that by the time he began his radio show, Enfeld and the Trojans had exited their postgame media obligations and hit the nearby freeway.

Miller has a good poker face, but this time you could tell he was steamed by another narrow escape.

He spoke about the \u201cfinal 14 minutes\u201d the way a coach would talk about being told his leading scorer will miss the season\u2019s first 19 games.

\u201cYou have to address it if you\u2019re the coach,\u201d he said. \u201cI\u2019m going to start to sit guys.\u201d

That was Miller\u2019s way of saying his team\u2019s puzzling inability to finish an all-but-defeated opponent is not going to be tolerated.

There are no dog days in college basketball. The games count too much in January when a lot of teams run low on fuel, but unlike an extended baseball season, any basketball game in the Pac-12, especially one in Los Angeles, is currency that leads toward more favorable seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

It was, however, a dog days performance by Arizona. You so rarely get away with one of those, on the road, that you\u2019d almost think Miller would smile all the way to the hotel, order the bus to stop at In-N-Out Burger and treat the whole team.

Not this time.

\u201cIn USC\u2019s run at the end of the game, we essentially gave them 42 points in 16 minutes,\u201d he said. \u201cThat speaks to the effort of USC.\u201d

And to Arizona\u2019s relative indifference.

The Trojans aren\u2019t likely to go far in March. They lost way too much from last year\u2019s NCAA team, one that beat Arizona in four overtimes at the Galen Center. Julian Jacobs and Nikola Jovanovic jumped early to the pros (neither was drafted) and Katin Reinhardt transferred to Marquette. Worse, 6-foot 10-inch \u201cstretch 4\u201d Benny Boatwright has a knee injury and hasn\u2019t played since November.

Enfeld suggested Boatwright\u2019s absence was a game-changer. \u201cHe matches up well with Markkanen,\u201d he said. \u201cThey\u2019re the same player.\u201d

Well, not really.

Boatwright is not listed in any 2017 NBA Draft projections, not in the first round, but he did average 11.5 points as a freshman and is tall enough that he might\u2019ve put a hand in Markkanen\u2019s face on the game-deciding 3-pointer.

Talk about your luck (or bad luck) factor.

Ultimately, Arizona was able to kill the clock even though it stopped playing aggressively and created suspense where a better, deeper team \u2013 one with Allonzo Trier \u2014 might\u2019ve lived comfortably with a 56-35 lead and 9:55 remaining.

Instead, the Wildcats were much like a football team that goes into a prevent defense and finds itself yielding long passes and momentum-changing touchdowns just when you thought all was safe.

That might work against USC and Colorado, but when the Wildcats play at 18-1 UCLA Saturday at Pauley Pavilion, the \u201cluck\u201d equation probably won\u2019t matter much.

You can beat the Trojans with a late bank shot, but to beat the Bruins you\u2019ve got to deliver a blow for 40 minutes.

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LOS ANGELES \u2014 With 5 minutes 45 seconds left in Arizona\u2019s visit to USC on Thursday night at Galen Center, a frustrated Sean Miller called a timeout.

A USC offense that had spent so much time in the freezer was suddenly on fire.

Elijah Stewart\u2019s 3-pointer dropped in to cut the Wildcats lead to 11, and a once-decided game was now back in play.

Gone were the errant, inefficient last-gasp heaves. In their place, wide-open looks, and they were falling.

Only they fell a little too late, and Arizona escaped with a 73-66 win over the feisty Trojans.

Given USC\u2019s hot shooting down the stretch, the Trojans probably wished the game lasted another five minutes. Maybe 10. Miller probably wished Galen Center sprang a leak with about 12 minutes to play.

After starting off 1 for 11 from behind the arc, the Trojans then hit 6 of 8 before going cold again.

\u201cThey had a chance to win a game that I think we were up by 21 with 14 minutes left, and you say, \u2018Coach, that happens;\u2019 well, it\u2019s happened 10 times,\u201d Miller said. \u201cIn my time, I\u2019ve never coached a team this has happened to.\u201d

With about one minute left in the first half, Stewart uncorked one from deep. It looked good. It was, the ball swishing through the net.

It was an unfamiliar sound for USC, on a night when Arizona\u2019s perimeter defense was just about as good as it can be. For a half, at least.

The Trojans shot 8 for 31 from the field, 1 for 10 from 3-point range.

Stewart, USC\u2019s long-range ace, was just 2 for 7 from the field and 1-for-4 from deep. Even reliable forward Chimezie Metu, the Trojans\u2019 leading scorer, was quieted, held to 1-for-7 shooting.

Little surprise, then, that the Wildcats went into the half up 29-19 even if their offense was a shell of its normal self.

And speaking of shells, Arizona looked shellshocked once the Trojans started dropping bombs.

First it was a Stewart three with 14:09 left, cutting Arizona\u2019s once-time 23-point lead down to 16. A few minutes later, another Stewart dagger kept it within 18.

And then, a barrage.

Jordan McLaughlin hit a 3 and another 41 seconds later. Another Stewart trey with 7:40 left, and another two minutes later.

One quick onslaught, and it was like the rather looming cloud that drifted over Los Angeles on Thursday night had settled in at Galen Center.

\u201cWe knew we\u2019ve been through this before,\u201d forward Lauri Markkanen said after the game. \u201cIn the locker room, we talked about how we had to be more tough. Finish the game. I think we relaxed a little bit. Every conference game is tough, and there\u2019s nothing different tonight. Have to give 100 percent effort every night.\u201d

For Miller, this is a worry. The Wildcats have shown a propensity of giving up big leads after the opponents go on a big, long-range run.

After the game on Thursday, Miller stood outside the Galen Center locker room and fumed. He made it clear: He was satisfied with yet another road win over a good Pac-12 opponent, one that pushed Arizona to 17-2 on the season.

But with UCLA and its high-scoring offense in the offing, he knew that dark cloud wasn\u2019t about to dissipate two days early.

\u201cWe\u2019ve been kind of that first-half team defensively,\u201d Miller said. \u201cTonight, I think we played about 26 minutes. \u2026 Our ability to endure, to play for 40 minutes, to give everything you have for Arizona, all the way through the finish line is non-existent. I wish I had some answers.\u201d

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Arizona won 91-75. 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LOS ANGELES \u2013 Lauri Markkenen had 23 points, including a critical late 3-pointer, to help the Arizona Wildcats hold off a second-half USC rally and beat the Trojans 73-66 at the Galen Center on Thursday.

Arizona held leads of up to 23 points in the second half, but USC cut it to within three points in the final minutes while shooting over 50 percent in the second half.\u00a0

The Wildcats led just 67-64 entering the final minute, though Markkanen hit 3-pointer late in the shot clock with 37 seconds left to expand UA's lead to 70-64 and the Wildcats hung on from there.

While Arizona held a 22-point lead as late as with 11:01 left, 56-34, the Trojans gradually the lead down in large part because of Stewart\u2019s hot shooting and open looks.

Stewart was only 2 of 7 from the field and made just 1 of 4 3-pointers in the first half, but hit four three-pointers in the middle of the second half to help USC cut the Wildcats\u2019 lead into single digits.

Stewart later made a three-point play with 3:40 left to cut it to 64-57, and after Rawle Alkins fouled De'Anthony Melton behind the 3-point line with 2:36 left, Melton hit all three ensuing free throws to make it 65-60. Shaqquan Aaron later made two free throws to cut it to 67-64.

After leading 29-19 at halftime, Arizona kept jumping on the Trojans early in the second half. USC shot just 1 of 4 and had four turnovers through the first four minutes after halftime, when UA took a 42-21 lead.

The Wildcats expanded their lead up to 23 points in the rest of the half before the Trojans made it a game in the final 10 minutes.

Arizona\u2019s defense held USC to just 25.8-percent shooting in the first half. During the first 20 minutes, Markkanen had eight points and four rebounds, while Ristic had six rebounds to lead the Wildcats, who shot 46.2 percent from the field. Point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright struggled, however, going 0 for 4 from the field with two turnovers to his two assists.

Defensively, UA kept USC without a single 3-pointer until Elijah Stewart hit one with 1:04 left. USC missed its first eight long-range shots and was 1 for 10 for the half.

Rawle Alkins hit a pair of 3-pointers early and Markkanen added another to help UA take an early 11-4 lead while establishing its defense on the other end of the court.

The Wildcats went on to lead by up to nine points before halftime.

UA played its 19th game with guard Allonzo Trier because of his ongoing NCAA suspension for a positive PED test.

Trier said in a statement on Wednesday that he won't be able to play until a test shows that the substance is completely out of his system, and that he didn't know when that might be.

Trier's statement said he unknowingly was administered a banned substance after suffering an offseason injury, and he was tested before the season.

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Trier said in a statement on Wednesday that he won't be able to play until a test shows that the substance is completely out of his system, and that he didn't know when that might be.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["arizona wildcats basketball","allonzo trier"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#editorspick","#toptwo"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"22824268-dead-11e6-9904-8b15e6f4b622","description":"Allonzo Trier takes a jump shot during early warmups before the Arizona Wildcats face USC, but he won't play in the game because of his ongoing suspension.","byline":"Bruce Pascoe","hireswidth":1200,"hiresheight":675,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/28/22824268-dead-11e6-9904-8b15e6f4b622/5881639a0a231.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"349","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/28/22824268-dead-11e6-9904-8b15e6f4b622/5881639a09032.image.jpg?resize=620%2C349"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/28/22824268-dead-11e6-9904-8b15e6f4b622/5881639a09032.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/28/22824268-dead-11e6-9904-8b15e6f4b622/5881639a09032.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/28/22824268-dead-11e6-9904-8b15e6f4b622/5881639a09032.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C576"}}}],"revision":11,"commentID":"88ea834a-deac-11e6-8151-93ff997d18c7","body":"

LOS ANGELES \u2014 Arizona guard Allonzo Trier will not play tonight in the Wildcats' game at USC because of his ongoing NCAA suspension for a positive PED test.

Trier said in a statement on Wednesday that he won't be able to play until a test shows that the substance is completely out of his system, and that he didn't know when that might be.

This will be the 19th game Trier has missed this season. Trier's statement said he unknowingly was administered a banned substance after suffering an offseason injury, and he was tested before the season.

"} ]